Crock pots are so convenient, plug them in and go to work... come home and dinner's ready! I've always wondered if I can make meatballs start to finish in my crock pot without having to bake them first. Well now I know the answer, yes you can!
I'm starting to experiment with some of my favorite recipes to see how they translate into the crock pot and I plan on posting the ones I have success with. For the stove top version of this recipe, see Skinny Italian Turkey Meatballs.
One thing I should mention, it's best to carefully form the meatballs with gentle hands, if you pack them tight they will get tough while cooking. If you prefer to bake them in the oven first, bake them for 15 minutes at 350°F. Then add to the crock pot for 2 - 3 hours on low. If you want more sauce, add another can of crushed tomatoes.
The one step I wouldn't skip is browning the garlic in oil first, this is a must for best results. And of course, you all know I swear by Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes (green label.)
And since so many are asking, I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker. I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook, and it automatically turns to warm when it's done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This crock pot is so great, I actually own two!
Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs
Adapted from my stove top Skinny Italian Turkey Meatball recipe.
Servings: 6 • Size: 4 meatballs with sauce • Points +: 5 pts • Smart Points: 4
Calories: 200.4 • Fat: 8.1 g • Carbs: 12.6 • Fiber: 0.6 • Protein: 17.3 g • Sugar: 4.4
Sodium: 427.5 mg
- 20 oz (1.3 lb) ground turkey breast 93% lean
- 1/4 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp kosher salt + fresh pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I like Tuttorosso)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil or parsley
In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic and cheese. Using clean hands, mix all the ingredients and form small meatballs, about 1/8th cup each.
In a small saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn.
Pour crushed tomatoes into the crock pot with bay leaf. Add garlic and oil.
Drop meatballs into the sauce, cover and set crock pot to low, 4 to 6 hours. When meatballs are ready, adjust salt and pepper to taste and add fresh chopped basil or parsley.
Serve with ricotta, over pasta or enjoy with French bread.
Makes about 24 meatballs, 2 tbsp each.