Slow Cooker Italian-Style Turkey Meatballs

We were going to be out of the house in the middle of the afternoon, so trying meatballs in my crock pot seemed perfect for today. I was really pleased with the results. I used turkey instead of beef this time, but still kept to a traditional Italian-style recipe. The meatballs stayed together very nicely, but also lent little flecks of turkey to the sauce, so that it became like meatballs in a Bolognese. Very yummy.

I continue to hold out hope that either boy will one day eat this “kid favorite.” (Was there a poll done? Whose kids are they?) A. tried a minuscule bite as part of our loose “try something new before you get more pasta” rule. Mostly, I was just very pleased that he managed a “No, thank you” in declining more, rather than a “Yuck!” At least I never get any complaints about the spaghetti.

Slow Cooker Italian-Style Turkey Meatballs

Note: I use a 6-quart crock pot

2 lb. lean ground turkey
1 egg
1/4 c. fine, plain breadcrumbs
1/3 c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
ground black pepper to taste (about 6 turns of the grinder)
1 26-oz. jar of your favorite marinara sauce

Add all ingredients — except for the sauce — to a large bowl, and mix with your hands until well-combined.

Roll meat into golf ball-sized balls, and layer into the bottom of your slow cooker. (2 lbs. of meat makes about 28 meatballs, and not quite 2 layers of meatballs in my 6-quart crock pot.) Pour the jar of sauce over the meatballs so they are completely covered.

Place lid on your slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 hours.

15 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Italian-Style Turkey Meatballs

  1. My kids like meatballs and like noodles, but not together:) They can be served on the same plate but have to separated.

  2. You totally have to keep track of how much work you do for little result with them at this age, so you can use it against them later!!

  3. I just found this blog today… and it is nice to find kindred spirits out there… I am trying this recipe tonight. I understand Merrie’s serving issue… my 4 year old will eat the spaghetti and the meatballs–separately, of course–but I have to wipe the sauce off first. My two year old may not even sit still long enough to eat. That’s part of the fun of being a mom!

  4. My kiddos really enjoyed this. I liked how quickly meatballs came together and how it wasn’t greasy at all. I added shredded zucchini to the sauce and adapted it to be gluten free. I posted about it and linked your recipe on my blog.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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