Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

Easiest, delicious Italian turkey meatballs made in the slow cooker. No baking or frying required!

Delicious Italian turkey meatballs, all made in the slow cooker. No baking or frying required!
Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

We are a meatball loving family, these turkey meatballs are so tender and delicious, and easy to make any night of the week. Although I often make them on the stove as you can see in this recipe for Italian Turkey Meatballs, you can’t beat the convenience of the slow cooker! A few more meatball recipes we love, these vegetarian Zucchini Meatballs, and this Giant Turkey Meatball are on rotation in my home!

Delicious Italian turkey meatballs, all made in the slow cooker. No baking or frying required!

Helpful Tips

One thing I should mention when making this for the slow cooker, 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), not all canned tomatoes are created equal.

And since so many are asking, I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker (affil link). 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 slow cooker is so great, I actually own two!

More Meatball Recipes You May Like:

Delicious Italian turkey meatballs, all made in the slow cooker. No baking or frying required!
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4.96 from 21 votes
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Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

4
4
4
SP
200.5 Cals 17.3 Protein 12.6 Carbs 8 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 15 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
Delicious Italian turkey meatballs, all made in the slow cooker. No baking or frying required!

Ingredients

  • 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, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For the sauce:

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 4meatballs with sauce, Calories: 200.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 12.6g, Protein: 17.3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 84.1mg, Sodium: 427.5mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 4.5g
Blue Smart Points: 4
Green Smart Points: 4
Purple Smart Points: 4
Points +: 5
Keywords: Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs, Skinny Turkey Meatballs, Slow Cooker Italian Turkey Meatballs

 

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246 comments

  1. Where do you find 20oz packages of ground turkey? I have only been able to find 1lb packages.

  2. Another amazing recipe! These are so good, I can’t wait to make when we can have dinner guests again.

  3. Can you make the meatballs ahead of time (the day before?)

  4. This recipe is delicious! I only had 16 oz of turkey, so I used ground pork for the additional ounces. Came out delicious!!!!! So easy! I made them as directed except for the addition of the pork. So nice to cook in the late morning to have fresh meatballs ready at dinner time. They were very good reheated the next day also.

  5. Hi Gina,
    I make one of your recipes almost daily.  Today was chopped feta salad for lunch and Italian turkey meatballs.  My family is having the meatballs and I am omitting the meat and having the sauce with whole wheat pasta.  Would you be able to provide the nutritional information for the sauce only?  I use this sauce with several options. 
    Thank you.
    Terri Shepherd

  6. Do you think you could use the slow cooker function on the Instant Pot for these instead of a Crock Pot? If so, how would you go about doing that? How much time would you cook it on?

  7. I love all of your meatball recipes and have made many! I am wondering if you can tell me how to adapt any of them with only a pound of lean ground beef…with the Covid-19, finding ground turkey and chicken around where i live has been tough! If it’s not possible to adapt the recipe, I understand! 
    Thank you!! 

    • Hi Ashley! Have you tried the https://www.skinnytaste.com/skinny-italian-spinach-meatballs/ or https://www.skinnytaste.com/slow-cooker-beef-meatballs-with-broccoli-rabe/?

  8. These meatballs are amazing! I’ve been trying to cook more in 2020 and these have been perfect for my lunches this week. Delicious fresh and reheated. Thank you!!

  9. Did you use can crushed tomatoes, Tuttorosso with basil?

  10. I made these for New Year’s Eve and they were a huge hit! I baked them in the oven and then when we got to my friend’s house we heated then in the crockpot. Delicious! I just used jar sauce but next time I’ll try making my own. Thank you so much. 

  11. Absolutely Delicious!
    Thank you,
    Kimberley W.

    • So I have made two batches of this recipe this week and they are fantastic! Easy to throw together and tastes amazing! My husband said he didn’t even know they were turkey and the homemade sauce was fantastic! Will definitely keep in my rotation going forward 🙂

  12. So I forgot this was a slow cooker recipe and used my instant pot out of necessity. Used the saute function for the garlic, then 15 min high pressure and used quick release. Served over a mix of angel hair and zucchini noodles. Came out perfect – super tasty.

  13. Could I make the meatballs ahead of time and put them
    In the fridge until I’m ready to cook them? 

  14. Do you plan to modify this for the instant pot?

  15. Hi Gina,

    I’ve made these several of times. They are delicious. What do you suggest for directions in an instant pot instead of crockpot?

    Thank you,
    Kellie

  16. Wow! Made this in the instant pot – 7 minutes and it was perfect. Just delicious!!

  17. Hi! Do you knowthe point value if it’s 99% fat free?

  18. Cooked these for 4.5 hours in my crockpot (I omitted the cheese) and they came out AMAZING. Hats off, Gina! 

  19. I have these in my crockpot now. I have 2 questions. Was the one can of sauce enough? Don’t want them to over cook which leads me to next questions how many hours did you all do?
    Thank you

  20. I tweaked this recipe a bit, I added fennel to the meatballs to give a more italian sausage type of taste, added chopped onion and mushroom to the sauce. I also braised the meatballs slightly before adding them to the slow cooker. Turned out delicious

  21. How should I alter amounts if I use 2 lbs of ground turkey?

  22. Made this for a crowd at a family dinner and it was a huge success; everyone loved it !! My husband just asked for this recipe for its birthday 🙂 i add chopped onion and fresh basil to the sauce and its just fantastic.

  23. Can you tell us how much protein?

  24. This was incredible! I made a few modifications:

    1). I purchased “roasted garlic” crushed tomatoes for even more flavor.
    2). I added red pepper flakes and an extra bay leaf to the sauce, in addition to a ton of chopped basil (added before serving).
    3). We served this over Zoodles and garnished with additional parsley and grated cheese. Delightful!
    4). I only used 1 lb of ground turkey and I think the extra ratio of turkey to breadcrumbs/egg/cheese made the meatballs extra juicy. 

  25. Excellent!! Soft and perfect!  Tastes like it’s from a restaurant!

  26. The protein amount here is missing. 🙁

  27. I make this meal on a regular basis as it is a favourite in our house, my husband and mum are gluten intolerant so I just add gluten free breadcrumbs and it works a treat. I sometimes use different spices to change things around but it is a foolproof winner. We love it!! Thank you

  28. As always- delicious! I doubled the recipe for my 6 quart slow cooker and it was perfect! Plenty of leftovers for my family of 5 plus some extras to freeze for later. Easy meatballs to assemble. Mine were delicious- not too dense, delicious flavor. The sauce was perfect as well. Served ours over zoodles with a little ricotta. YUM!

  29. my go to for meatballs in crockpot – very flexible too – I have used all kinds of ground meat and sausage and combos of both and also anywhere between 1 and 1.5 pounds of meat with the same single egg. For the breadcrumbs I use panko and just add some italian seasoning

  30. These were so good! I made them with 1/2 lb of ground chicken and 1/2 lb lean ground chuck. I also used 28 oz of tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes. I didn’t have any problems with them staying together, and the sauce is something I will use for other recipes that call for marinara. The little bit of oil in the ground chuck added flavor and depth to the sauce. I used them for my weekly meal prep and the extras for meatball subs for dinner one night. You couldn’t tell they were healthy.

  31. Pingback: 11 Easy How to Make Meatballs [Recipes] | Tip Junkie

  32. So easy and delicious!

  33. Do the meatball have to be in a single layer to cook properly? My daughter’s christening is next week and was considering making these for about 35 people so was going to double the recipe since we’ll have other food as well, but just want to make sure if they would cook right if some are on top.

    Thanks!

  34. Pingback: SLOW COOKER ITALIAN BEEF ZUCCHINI MEATBALLS - Plates and Playdates

  35. How many points would the meatballs be without the sauce? Thank you!!

    • Oh my! I loved this and it’s definitely a keeper recipe for me with the modifications I made and will probably continue to make! I used 16 oz of Italian seasoned 93% lean turkey and add 1/4 cup onions and 1 cup mushrooms both finely chopped. Used less salt as the breadcrumbs were also Italian seasoned ones. Added dried basil and oregano and a splash of red wine to the sauce. Cooked the meatballs in the oven about 20 minutes before adding to the sauce which had been simmering stovetop for 30 minutes or so and continued simmering for another 30 minutes or so. Tender and delicious! Oh and I did omit the cheese. I got 16 meatballs. 1 and 1/2 ounces each.I’m having fun with my new food scale. I counted 5 points for a 4 meatball serving with a generous portion of sauce. 

  36. Has anyone made it with 99% fat free turkey?

  37. Would it be okay to prep/roll the meatballs the night before, store them in the fridge overnight, and then drop them into the sauce that morning to let them cook during day? Wasn’t sure if this would affect their consistency…

  38. Do you have plans to turn this into an instant pot recipe? Love this, just got an instant pot, and I’m looking for ideas! 

  39. Pingback: Slow Cooker Italian Turkey-Zucchini Meatballs – Substitute Take-Out

  40. I know I’m late to the game here but…just made this last night for my meat-loving husband and he was obsessed! Kept raving about the flavor and asked me to make them again ASAP. Thanks for the recipe!

  41. Could you make this with 93% lean ground beef as well?

  42. Has anyone ever made these with ground bison, you think would it change the timing?

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  45. How much protein and fat?

  46. I got 99% lean turkey by mistake… I’ve always made this recipe with 93% and LOOOVE it… do you think the meatballs would get too dry using 99%? Thanks!

  47. Just made it… And it turned out great, both meatballs and sauce. In absence of parsley i used the green from some green onions. And for the sauce I sautéed in addition to the garlic, some scallions and the white from the green onions. It turned out delicious especially with basil, i will definitely do it again.  I frozen a batch of raw meatballs for the next round, i didn’t feel like putting two layers of meatballs in the crockpot at once . Easy receipe, will put it in my receipe chest.

  48. I made this in the crock pot last night. The meatballs were moist and tender although not as flavorful as I had hoped. The sauce was incredibly disappointing. It looked nothing like the picture. It was thin (watery) and not a vibrant red. It seemed kind of like it was marbled with the fat/drippings from the turkey. I did use 93% lean ground turkey, but even that has a lot of fat that can be drained when cooked on the stovetop. I will not be making this again.

    • I made mine stovetop and the sauce was fantastic. I did add some basil and oregano and a splash of red wine and didn’t drain the meatballs which I had baked in the oven. Yum!

  49. The meatball ingredients list 1 teaspoon kosher salt + fresh pepper. Is this 1 teaspoon of each? Or 1 teaspoon total mixed together? Also the directions do not list the S&P as a step to add to the meat mixture. Should it be added at all? I make a lot of your recipes for me and my husband! Thanks Gina!!

  50. Can I leave out the parmesan? I need dairy free recipe

    • Sure but you may have to add more salt and check the seasoned breadcrumbs, they may contain cheese. (plain breadcrumbs do not)

      • Great advice! Never thought to looking for cheese in the breadcrumbs. Trying this recipe for my refined palate (aka picky eater) baby boy (also not a baby…12 year old) this week.

  51. My gravy after the first hour got a little cloudy… maybe the meatballs disintegrated a little? Is this ok? Has this happened to anyone?

  52. Pingback: Sunday Funday with a side of meatballs! – Real Food. Real You.

  53. Can you use the instant pot with this recipe? If so, do you need to modify anything? Thanks!

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  56. Gina,
    I am very interested in making these but I would like to make them without the sauce. I know it might sound odd but I want to have them with the bolognese sauce that you have on the site. Can I bake these in the oven without sauce and maybe throw them in teh crockpot for the last house that the sauce is cooking to finish them off? If so, how long should I bake these?

  57. Why isn’t your skinny italian turkey meatball recipe available anymore?

    https://www.skinnytaste.com/skinny-italian-meatballs-turkey-1-pt/

  58. These were absolutely to die for. Both kids (15 and 5-year old boys) asked if they could have leftovers in their school lunch. It's not often that they clean their plates. The kids had theirs with pasta and we had our with zoodles; really a fantastic recipe. I wish I had leftovers for myself!

  59. I substituted coconut flower for the breadcrumbs to make this gluten free. Hope it turns out well.

  60. WW is changing their point system and now requires saturated fat numbers in order to calculate point values. What is the saturated fat number for this dish?

  61. Great recipe one strange thing though: when I add it into recipe builder in ww it comes out to be 7 points+ for 6 servings with sauce ingredients included.

  62. Gina I ws wondering before I put in the crockpot if the recipe is for one can or two can of the tomatoes. The stoves top is two cans. Thank you

  63. These were delicious! I baked them for 15 minutes first then added to the crockpot and they turned out perfect. Served over zoodles for me and added mashed potatoes for the hubby who wanted something more substantial than just zucchini with them. They were even better the next day for lunch at work!

  64. Great recipe. In my opinion, meatballs are a truly personal food – they are often connected to so many family memories.

  65. Help! does 1 tsp kosher salt + fresh pepper go into the meatballs or the sauce? If it goes into the sauce, is it before or after cooking? Thanks, trying to make this now…

  66. I used Panko instead of breadcrumbs and ground chicken instead of turkey and they are delicious! They will definitely be on my clean eating menu rotation.

  67. Not sure what I did wrong but my meatballs fell apart during cooking. On the positive side my husband thought it was the best meat sauce I've made and wants me to make it like that again instead of your Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce which I had been using.

  68. Great recipe. If I wanted to use double the meat, would I double all the ingredients? Also does the time then change also?

  69. These meatballs were so good! My fiance (still getting used to that word!) was skeptical (even though everything we've tried from your site has been amazing), but they came out even better than I had hoped! The meat flavors the sauce so well, and the consistency of the meat was perfect. I froze a third and we refrigerated a third (we try to cook for the week on Sunday); I am hoping they will turn out right when we re-heat them. We did ours for four and a half hours. Thank you Gina!

    • Hi Michelle! How did your frozen meatballs turn out once you reheated them? Also, did you freeze before cooking or after? Thank you!!

  70. This (and in a saucepan on the stove) is the ONLY way my mother, and now I, ever make meatballs. I hate frying them – they get hard on the outside but stay mushy inside. Baking them gives them a weird shape and texture and the fat leaks out and then sticks to the meatball in clumps – SO gross. But making them and then dropping them directly into hot sauce is the way to go. They come out so much better, and the meat flavors the sauce as they cook!

  71. I love this recipie and it has become a staple in my household but when the meatballs are done cooking on low for 6 hours I do notice there seems to be some sort of white film that looks like "cooked cagulated blood" it forms a ring around each individual meatball. I have also made your asain meatballs in the oven and the same thing forms at the bottom of each meatball. Any suggestions on how to solve this?

  72. I tried these last night and they are great. We are gone all day so I put the crock pot on low for 11 hours and they were perfect.
    dianem

  73. In the recipe, it says 28oz cans crushed tomatoes. Is it suppose to be two or is it just a typo.

  74. I made these today and my 11 year-old just ate five meatballs. It was great because they are nice and soft and he just had his braces adjusted. My house smells great all day. I love the flavor the meatballs give the sauce

  75. I believe theres a meatball recipe with spinach but I havent seen one with zucchini

  76. I swear these meatballs used to have zucchini in them…. Am I delusional or was the recipe changed? I used to loved that I could sneak zucchini into my meatballs!

  77. Alanna-I just made these two days ago. This recipe called for whole wheat breadcrumbs, which I didn't have but I wanted to get a punch of whole grain in my meatballs so I took whole oats and ground them up in my food processor to make oat flour. I did 1/2 italian breadcrumbs and 1/2 oat flour. I bet you could use only oat flour, which is GF. I'm no expert, but I don't think just increasing Parm cheese would work because it doesn't bind the meat together in the same way as breadcrumbs/oats. Hope this helps!

  78. I love the idea of turkey meatballs! I'm trying to cut down on red meat. I was wondering if you ever skipped the breadcrumbs for this recipe? Would they still turn out alright without the breadcrumbs? I'm have an intolerance to gluten so I need to avoid bread. If I increased the Parmesan cheese maybe? Thanks!

  79. Am i the only one whole has very sticky turkey meatballs? I don't know if it's the kind of turkey i use but i end up having to add a bit more breadcrumb and cheese, and even then it's still very sticky. I can't really even roll them i just kind of form them. Anyways i got them to fit in the crockpot all at once although it's a very tight fit. I started late so i have them cooking on high for 3-4 hours. Hope that works out! I made these once before in a skillet and they came out fantastic!

  80. I've made these meatballs several times now, and they always turn out absolutely amazing. I've never tried them in the crock pot, I just cook them in a pan with a tad bit of grapeseedgrape seed oil. I usually triple the recipe when I make it so I have them all week to take for lunch at work. Amazing recipe, thank you for sharing it!

  81. These were fantastic, I used an icecream scoop for form the balls so that I didn't need to pack the meat densely at all. Fantastic. I did prebake them for 15 minutes and cooked for 3 hrs on low as directly. They were cooked, juicy and tender! YUM!

  82. So just one can of crushed tomatoes in this revised version?

  83. bomb dot com! super win on this recipe. I made the meatballs the night before and refrigerated them overnight. Dropped them in the slow-cooker with sauce for 5 hours the next day while at work and the family loved it! Thank you for another winner.

  84. I made these overnight and while the meatballs themselves came out great, my Rival non-programmable crockpot burnt the sauce even on warm. Just ordered the slow cooker you recommended which should arrive on Monday. I will be making this again in the new crockpot and can't wait to taste the difference!

  85. I have used this recipe multiple times and my family LOVES it. Will it work just as well with 99% lean turkey breast?

  86. The crock pot link is incorrect. You want the set and go. http://www.hamiltonbeach.com/programmable-slow-cookers-set–forget-6-qt-programmable-slow-cooker-33969.html

  87. Gina, I love your recipes. I saw your comment regarding the brand of crock pot. I have a Rival, 6 qt. and I don't like the texture of meats I cook in them. Do you think switching to another brand might improve the texture? I've read some poor reviews on Amazon on the Rival brand, folks say it is too hot, even on low. Thanks for your help.

  88. I just made these and they are fantastic! The turkey meat is a little dense, but I did precook them in the oven. Next time I will precook for less time or not at all. Great recipe!

  89. Is it possible to make the meatballs without egg? They look good but there is an egg allergy in the group.

  90. I just made this the other night. How do you keep your meatballs from getting so heavy and dense? The flavor was good, but the turkey was not the same as the beef. Any tips?

  91. Being an Italian married to a non-beef eater, I've been resigned to a turkey lifestyle for years. I used to be bitter about it, but now I don't even miss it. That being said, these were awesome! I served on crusty italian bread and topped with fresh parmesan. My nine year old ate two. Score! Here's a tip from my mom: When forming meatballs, run your hands under running water for a just a second. The water left over will help keep your meatballs together.

  92. Being vegetarian if i were to use veg. Sausage(soya)cut into balls, will they be cooked same way, as meatballs.
    Thanks

  93. Being vegetarian if I were to use "veg. sausage" cut into balls, will they cook the same way as meatballs?
    Thanks

  94. I just got a crockpot, and this was the first dish I made with it! I added onions to the sauce, and then served it as a meatball sub with melted mozzarella on top. My boyfriend was in heaven! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe 🙂

  95. Can I make the meatballs without the cheese?

  96. I made these tonight and they were very good. But, I found the sauce went bland in the crockpot. I've made the stove top version before and it was amazing. Any advice on how to keep it from getting bland in the crockpot?

  97. My husband and I love this recipe! We've made it several time since stumbling on SkinnyTaste. We've made some minor adjustments such as avoiding the garlic and switching up the grated cheeses from time to time. It always comes out great! In fact, I've written two blog posts to toot your horn! http://bit.ly/11yesgD
    Cheers,
    Sarah C.
    http://tobemrscollier.blogspot.com

  98. surprising my husband with this tonight! he loves meatballs so i hope it turns out delicious!

  99. I don't know why I was skeptical…these were delicious! I was worried because I've never cooked ground meat in the crock pot before. I had to let these cook longer than suggested because I wasn't home and my crock pot isn't fancy and they were still so yummy! Another winner of a recipe! Everything, and I've tried a lot of your recipes, have been absolutely amazing! Thank you!!

  100. This is really good! I'm gluten free… so I just grate a piece of gf bread and use in place of the breadcrumbs. A winner for the entire family. Thank you.

  101. I made these for dinner tonight and they were delicious! I hollowed out some French bread rolls, put the meatballs and sauce on with some mozzarella cheese. Then put them in the oven to melt the cheese and crisp up the bread a bit. Will definitely be making these again!!

  102. I believe you meant the Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget 6-Quart Slow Cooker since the "Stay or Go" is not programmable and doesn't have a meat probe. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hamilton-Beach-Set-n-Forget-6-Quart-Slow-Cooker/16913518

  103. Hi Gina, I made your escarole soup today (YUM!), so I doubled the meatball recipe and froze 1/2 the turkey meatballs while I was at it. How long would you recommend cooking them in the crock pot from frozen? Thanks!

    • They were done from frozen in six hours on low. Very moist! Very delicious! I like the idea of making a whole bunch one Sunday and having them throughout the month.

    • What a great idea! I’ve always cooked them first, then froze. Hmmmm…. 

  104. I'm making these as I type. Question: your serving size says 4 meatballs and 6 servings total. That would be 24 meatballs. I used a 1/8 measuring cup and mine only made 15 meatballs 🙁 I prepared using 20 oz of ground turkey. Is 1/8 cup just an approximation? Btw, I've made these before and they are delicious! One of my many favorites from your website. Thank you so much for your fantastic, creative, and healthy recipes!

    • Hi, I am making this right now according to the directions an I am also only getting 18 meatballs should y
      They be less than 2 tbs each?

      • Every time I have made meatball recipes I have always had to use 1 Tbsp and that isn’t an actual Tablespoon, it’s the measuring one. That’s just from my experience.

  105. I make this recipe at least once a month with the addition of a finely chopped onion and a cup of sliced button mushrooms. Leftovers freeze well for later in the month.

    Yum!

  106. If you have more meatballs then you need, do you freeze them before cooking or after ?

  107. Absolutely delicious! Added a splash of red wine and brown sugar to balance the acidity and was blown away by the flavor! Another gem 🙂 thanks so much Gina!

  108. Thanks! I have a ton of fresh frozen elk meat. And have been looking for recipes to make it not taste like wild game. And Yay! This totally worked. Substituted ground elk for the turkey. They were a hit and lifesaver being able to cook them in the crockpot. Love your all of your recipes we have tried so far.

  109. I want to make these for a potluck at work. Do you think it would be ok to prepare them the night before, or would the meatballs get soggy? Would you suggest that I refrigerate the meatballs and sauce separately, or would it be ok to refrigerate them together overnight?

  110. Do you know how these are if made and refrigerated for a day or two?

  111. Your Web Site is my new Favorite for Food and we love Food. Thank you for doing such a nice job. Just made my first of your recipes. Your Turkey Meatballs! They were just right! Again Thank You!

  112. I just discovered I am gluten intolerant and had just bought everything to make these. With what can I substitue the breadcrumbs?

  113. I have yet to find one of your recipes that I do not like. You are amazing! Thank you for being my go-to site when planning my menu! These were delish. My kids absolutely loved them too, which is a major plus! Keep up the great work. You have no idea how much your readers appreciate it!

  114. I made this tonight and it was amazing, the kids and hubby ate it with spagetti and i made a meatball sub. Just enough leftover for lunch tomorrow! I put it in at 1pm on high for about 2-3 hours and then left it on warm. I did find that the liquid of the turkey floated at the top so about 2 hours in I stirred it up and covered up the meatballs. It was delish and I plan to have this on my regular routine.

  115. My whole family raved about these meatballs! Thanks for a delicious and healthy recip:)

  116. Cooking as we speak.. Very simple and smells wonderful.. Love your recipes..

  117. LOVED this! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 I put fresh rosemary and some dried Italian herbs in the meatballs because I didn't have any parsley and it was great.

  118. Umm.. I'm afraid and sad to say we didn't really like this. I think it was the turkey. All the ingredients that went into the meatball, I use in beef meatballs. I'm so sad, cause I just wanted to like it, b/c I love love LOVE italian-y foods… oh well. I'm making the baked oatmeal now! Can't wait.

  119. I know you said to cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. But what exact length of time do you recommend? I see someone else asked this and it hasnt been answered yet, and i am very curious too. Also, how do you know when they're ready?
    Thanks!

  120. i made this last night but my sause came out thick and i only cooked it for 4 hours maybe i neede 2 cans of sause can some one help me!

    • Different brands may vary, if it came out too thick next time try adding a little broth to it, or even water or add another 1/2 can.

  121. I have a question. I used two cans of sauce and now I have a lot left over. How many points would it be for just the sauce ( without Any meatballs)? This recipe was delicious by the way. I was nervous using ground turkey, but this recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you!

  122. Made meatballs for the first time last night, ever! They were simply delicious. I used the 2-28oz. cans of crushed tomatoes and added one extra can of diced tomatoes, and it made TONS of extra sauce. I made the spinach shells last week and put the extras in the freezer, will use the extra sauce with those. Oh, and the flavor of the sauce is way better than any store-bought brand. A must try recipe!

  123. Hi!
    How much sauce is included in the points plus value?
    Thank you!

  124. I made these tonight and they were FANTASTIC! I didn't have time to let them cook in the crockpot, so I baked them for about 10 min and then cooked them the rest of the way by simmering in the tomato sauce. I loved how easy and healthy it was! Cant wait for the leftovers tomorrow! 😀

  125. Gina, this recipe looks great. Going to try it tonight. In your original recipe you suggested putting onion in the sauce and removing it at the end. Do you add the onion in this recpie as well? I would imagine it would add some sweetness to the dish.

    • Sure you can if you want. I never make it the same way twice, improvise with what you have on hand.

  126. Delicious! i made these tonight using only white meat turkey and they were still delicious.

  127. I made this over the weekend and my family scarfed them down—even my super-picky 14 yr old loved them! I forgot to do them in the crockpot so found the stovetop directions, and I did throw a parmesan rind into the sauce. Molto bene, molto grazie!!

  128. I am craving this for tonight, however if I had to cook it for 4 hours, it wouldn't be done until about 8:30pm…any thoughts on cooking it on high for 2-3 hrs?

  129. I made this recipe today for Valentine's Day. Two thumbs up from my husband and me! I can't wait to bring leftovers into work tomorrow for lunch!

  130. You always use Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with the green label. The only Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with the green label that I can find is the New World Style Crushed Tomatoes with basil. Is that the correct one? because then you add basil to your recipe…wouldn't that be toomuch basil?

  131. I made these last week and they were delicious. Be sure that all the meatballs are tucked into the sauce otherwise they can dry out. I didn't have whole wheat bread crumbs so had to add a point or 2 but I didn't need a ton of breadcrumbs anyway. Served this with roasted green beans and the rosemary garlic biscuits—a great meal enjoyed by me and my picky husband for a couple days!

  132. Can I use Panko crumbs??

  133. Hi! If you were going to double does the cooking time change?

    Thanks!

  134. These meatballs were delicious. I added some oregano and hot pepper flakes to the sauce, but that's just my personal preference. I cooked mine for 8 hours and the meatballs were perfect, not too dry, actually very moist!

  135. I'm making these right now, but I accidently bought ground chicken instead of turkey…anyone try these with chicken before? I'll let you know how it comes out

  136. *Stay or Go* is the one I had…typo! 😉

  137. Do you have the Hamilton Beach 33967 Set 'n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker? I have the Store and Go and it doesn't have a probe or switch temps automatically. I'd really like to buy one that someone is already happy with…tired of buying and trying and being stuck! Thx!!!

  138. Gina,
    I've loved all the different meatballs I've made off your site so far. They often include Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, and recently we discovered my 18 month old daughter cannot have cheese, so I was wondering if you think they would work as well without the cheese, or if there was something you might suggest we use instead. I would really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!
    Lydia

  139. Hi Gina!
    First of all your AWESOME!! Second, do you have a crock pot brand you recommend? I am in the market for one and there is so many! Thanks in advance.

    • Gina uses the Hamilton Beach Programmable crock pot and I do too. I actually have 2 Hamilton Beach crock pots and I LOVE both. My first one is a 'Stay or Go' and my second is the same as Gina's. She has a link to it in her post.

  140. Gina – In the recipe you stated cook 4-6 hours on low. How long did you actually cook yours for? I am excited to try these (finally) today or tomorrow!!

  141. How long would you cook these on the high setting?

  142. they are very pretty but mine ended up quite bland. not sure what i did wrong?! 🙁

  143. Delicious!! These were super easy to put together, and even easier using the crockpot. My fiance & I have very busy schedules, and work opposites days, so using the crockpot is nearly a must for us. I look forward seeing new crockpot meals!

  144. glad you all liked them!!

    mushrooms only take an hour in the crock pot, add them in the end.

  145. I made this tonight for our dinner. My husband always complains when I make spaghetti because it is bland. (I only use turley and he likes beef.) I wasn't sure this would be flavorful enough for him, but he LOVED it. And the bonus is that our two year old and I loved it too. This is going into regular rotation in our house!

  146. If you put mushrooms in the sauce would it be too long to cook them in there the whole time?

  147. Hi! Mmm… Yummy! Meat balls remind me of my childhood which my parents used to make especially during my birthday. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  148. @Megan – I don't think anyone answered your question about 1/4 cup of basil in the sauce. That would be fresh basil. Maybe the other recipe you were referring to called for dried basil, and you would only use a tsp or so. With fresh herbs you use much more.

  149. I made these for dinner tonight and they were absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great. Next time I may mince the garlic clove that is in the actual meatball. Honestly, every recipe I've tried on your site has been amazing and filling. Thanks for another great meal!

  150. I made these today and they were delicious! As an FYI, I cooked them on low for 10 hours and they were moist and flavorful. The only change I made was to double the tomatoes. This is a keeper recipe. Thank you!

  151. These were FABULOUS!! I love your filetto di pomodoro sauce, but this sauce was amazing too! I used freshly grated Asiago instead of the Reggiano Parmigiano. The meatballs held together just fine and I couldn't believe how moist they were for turkey.

  152. My husband made this for me yesterday morning since he didn't have to go to work until 12pm and it was so delicious! I could not believe how much I loved the meatballs because I was raised on my Mother's homemade Italian beef meatballs and thought that they wouldn't be as good. Boy, was I wrong. The only thing I didn't like was that my husband forgot the basil and parsley and the sauce needs it. I think next time when I make it, I will even add some dry seasonings to the sauce before heading to work. Bravo! 🙂

  153. We had this recipe last night and just loved it. I switched the turkey to lean beef (I'm somewhat allergic to turkey) and served it over spaghetti squash with ricotta cheese. The sauce was amazing and the meatballs were delicious. This is a keeper!

  154. Gina, a huge thank you to you! I've tried a few of your recipes, and my husband, and my two year old have loved them all! Made these meatballs the other night they were awesome, and my house smelled heavenly! Last night I made the Asian glazed chicken with thighs instead of drum's! Yummy! I started WW 2 weeks ago have lost 3.5 lbs already! Thank you for giving me something new to look forward to!! Your awesome!!

  155. I made this today and it is wonderful. The taste is out of this world. Only thing I would do is put alittle more sauce to have extra, otherwise this is fantastic. I love all the recipes I have tired on this site, they are all fantastic and with great flavors. Thank You Gina for this great site. Please keep it going.

  156. These were delicious! I used my own homemade crushed tomatoes, but other wise I followed the recipe exactly. Browning the garlic in the oil really made this too. Also, to form the meatballs, I used my cookie scoop. It's exactly 2 Tbsp and it made rolling them so fast and easy!

  157. So glad you all liked them!

    September, aren't they great!

  158. I recently bought a new crockpot and because of the settings, I had mine cooking on low for 8 hours before it switched to warm setting for a few more hours before I got home.
    It may have been dry by some standards, but I thought this is a fantastic recipe, and my boyfriend LOVED it.
    It was also my first go with Tuttorosso – I usually use my homemade canned crushed tomatoes, but Gina you were right! This is a great brand – the sauce was fantastic.

  159. Some advice for using a crockpot and cooking only 6 hours when you are gone for longer than 6… Use a lamp timer that you plug into the wall. Set the time for when you want the crockpot to start cooking and when you want it to stop. Just plug it in and turn it on low or whatever and then plug the timer in with your set time. It will start and stop when you say and you won't over cook your meat or whatever.

  160. These were amazing- and held together great in our crockpot!

  161. Made this tonight! first time making homemade meatballs and these are surprisingly good…..I have only eaten beef meatballs before and was wary of the turkey but they are yummy!

  162. I have yet to be disappointed with anything yet Gina! I this on an open faced mini dinner roll with a pinch of mozzarella cheese and some roasted garlic, popped it in the oven for a few minutes and it was amazing! Perfect and fit right into my points! This I will definitely make again, especially because it's so easy with the crock pot!

  163. Yummo!!! made these today and love them…sauce is so tasty
    great idea to serve with ricotta

    so enjoy your blog
    thanks
    wintkat

  164. The crock pot you linked is not 5 quart, and it does not have a timer that switches to warm after a pre-set time…

  165. Oh good question! I will link to it at the top but it's the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go.

  166. What kind of crock pot is the new 5 quart? I am looking for a new larger one for the same reason!! The one I have runs too hot and when I contacted the company they told me supposedly it runs on the same temp whether low or high but cycles differently. Makes no sense to me – all I know is that it overcooks the food!!

  167. I made this over the weekend. Fabulous and so easy! Thank you! Can't wait for the leftovers this week for lunch!

  168. I'm so glad you all liked them!!

    This is a 5 quart pot, it's brand new. I just bought it because my older one ran too hot and burnt everything.

    I used one can of tomatoes but 2 would be good if you want more sauce.

    The points would probably slightly higher with beef, depending on how lean the beef is. I would use recipe builder to see the difference.

    So glad Nonna approved of these! 🙂

    2 tbsp is about the size of a golf ball I guess!

  169. I apologize if this was already asked in the comments but due to severe lack of sleep last night thanks to my 2-year-old I don't have the patience to read them :). Anyway, what size are the meatballs in your pictures? I know it says 1/8th of a cup or 2 TBSP above so would you say about the size of a golf ball? Sometimes I do better with visual references 🙂 – THANKS!!

  170. I made this yesterday and it came out awesome and was super easy to make! I followed your recipe 100% and both my non diet friendly hubbie and my Italian born mother loved it. My mom liked it so much she was thinking of going out and buying a crock pot.

  171. OMG. These meatballs were sooo good. I made these earlier in the week, and it turned out awesome. We had "spaghetti" and meatballs. I roasted spaghetti squash and served it with the meatballs. A filling meal with low points. Thanks Gina

  172. Just made these tonight and they are the BEST meatballs I have ever made! I can't believe how moist they are! I'm never making meatballs any other way again! Thank you!!!

  173. I prepared these for dinner tonight and they were delicious!!! My husband is not a very big ground turkey fan…so thank you for sharing the recipe. He loved them!!!

  174. This looks delicious! Can't wait to give it a try.

  175. I bought my first crock pot a couple of weeks ago so I've been looking for slow cooker recipes and this one looks delic! 🙂

  176. ok, I am writing another review on this recipe. Should have waited until the cooking was done ~ this is a delicious, delicious recipe!! I already had a tried and true meatball & gravy recipe but will now use yours. My family loved it. (By the way, I doubled the tomatoes and garlic.) Thank you!

  177. How many cans? You don't say…..

  178. Just when I think I can't love your website any more, you post yet another amazing recipe! I cannot wait to try this one!!!

  179. Gina, I was also wondering what the difference in point value would be if I used ground beef instead of turkey. Please let me know, and thanks for all that you do! 🙂

  180. Thank you Gina for converting your meatball recipe to a crock pot recipe. I have them cooking right now and look forward to future crock pot recipes from you! I have tried many of your recipes and all of them turn out great. Hope you produce a book someday!!

  181. Gina – can I ask what crockpot you use? Mine runs REALLY hot and even when it switches to warm, it's more like low on a regular crockpot. I'm in the market for a new one!

  182. I wonder what the points value would be if you used extra lean ground beef? It's really tough to find ground turkey at my grocery store, or any turkey at all out of holiday season for that matter….
    Would love to know!
    As always, Thanks Gina for keeping us inspired in the kitchens and healthfully full!

  183. Hi Gina,

    How many 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes does the sauce part of this recipe? I wasn't sure if it was just 1 or not. This recipe looks amazing, and I just can't wait to make it! I love my crockpot! Thanks!!

  184. Oh me I just figured out what we are having for dinner tonight! Good thing I'm not working outside my home today (will be getting a few things at store shortly then I'm good to go). Thanks for sharing this bet it will be wonderful

  185. Wow, this is an awesome recipe! I love it!! I want to make these, but I don't have time to brown the garlic. Dam it!! These would of made for a good meatball sandwich for hubby and a just plain for me, sided with a big salad!

  186. I've been loving my crockpot lately – this simple healthy recipe would make my kids super happy. I prefer to brown the meatballs first in the oven or in a little oil stovetop. Like your tip about browning the garlic for extra flavor.

  187. its great
    i'll try it
    thanks for sharing

  188. Do you have a suggestion for using raw, pre frozen meatballs? Would the cook time be the same or should I add some time? (Currently in the process of trying to plan for my Once a month cooking day :))

  189. Looks great and its on my list for this weekend.

    One question. You said its 4 meatballs with sauce for 5 points. How much sauce is included?

  190. Great sounding recipe. I'm looking for more crock-pot recipes and this one sounds like a winner!

  191. I didn't see the number of cans of tomatoes? Looks great.

  192. Gina, what a great idea. I saw a recipe where you microwave the meatballs for a few minutes (to firm them up) and then add to the crockpot, but this sounds even easier!

  193. THese look excellent! I love anything in a crockpot because it's so simple and when you get home dinners ready! love it.

  194. Danielle yes you can, I personally find them to be dryer, it's a matter of taste.

    Tara, not sure, if anyone cooks it longer, let me know! I just bought a new crock pot that allows you to set any time you want, I love it! It turns to warm after it's done.

    Lisa, that would be brilliant!

  195. Now if only I could find a way to get my crockpot to roll the meat into the balls!

  196. Hi Gina! I love your recipes–thanks for your posts. What are your thoughts on leaving the meatballs longer than 6 hours, on low? I'm usually out at work for closer to 9 hours, and I'm never sure how long additional time will affect recipes like these.

  197. Is it okay to use the 99% FF ground turkey or does it have to be the 93%?

  198. Can't wait to try these! Your recipes have been wonderful!! Thank you!!!

  199. Thanks Heather, I am trying to do that with a lot of my recipes. 🙂

  200. Yum I love recipes that can be converted to crock-pot cooking!

  201. These look amazing! I love meatballs:)

  202. These look delicious! I love that they are a crock pot recipe!

  203. Does this recipe actually call for 1/4 cup of the basil in the sauce? Ive used one of your recipes that's similar to this (the marinara sauce) and I dont recall there being that much basil – is it different because we're cooking with meat?

  204. This looks great! I've also been wondering about cooking ground meat in the crock pot, because, honestly, it's not much of a time saver if you have to bake them first. I can't wait to try this!

  205. I've always wondered if you could cook ground beef in a crock pot too. Thanks for posting this!

    • i cook ground beef in the crock pot ALL the time! the great thing is, is it really never gets dry like chicken if you over cook it!