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Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

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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:

Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

4.93 from 27 votes
Delicious Italian turkey meatballs, all made in the slow cooker. No baking or frying required!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Delicious Italian turkey meatballs, all made in the slow cooker. No baking or frying required!
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 15 mins
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 4 meatballs with sauce


  • 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


  • 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.

Last Step:

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Serving: 4 meatballs with sauce, Calories: 200.5 kcal, Carbohydrates: 12.6 g, Protein: 17.3 g, Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 2.5 g, Cholesterol: 84.1 mg, Sodium: 427.5 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g, Sugar: 4.5 g



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256 comments on “Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs”

  1. These are delicious. They are always on rotation in my house. I plan on making them for an easy Christmas dinner with side salad and garlic bread. Gina I am so thankful for all your recipes. 

  2. The meatballs were absolutely  delicious, but the sauce was so disappointing. Way too thin and not enough taste. ..
    A sauce needs to be thick enough to stick to the pasta. It did not. Way too nunny. I would make the meat balls again but not in the crockpot and with a different sauce. 

    1. It will certainly depend on the brand of crushed tomatoes, tuttorosso is wonderful. But since food doesn’t evaporate in the slow cooker that could be the issue you have.

  3. Any recommendation for how to freeze?  I need to make multiple batches (I love these meatballs) for an upcoming party and would like to get a head start. 

  4. These are my go to meatballs, my whole family loves them and that’s saying something 🙂 I’ve been making for years! So easy and so delicious! 

  5. These meatballs are a staple in my meal rotation. Very easy to make and so tasty. Also great as leftovers and a crowd favorite 

  6. These surprised me! I’ve never found a meatball recipe with turkey that I loved and this was so good! I only used 1lb of turkey so eyeballed and used a little less cheese and breadcrumbs. All other ingredients I left the same. These were delicious, thanks!

  7. Avatar photo
    Emily Leroeye

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

  8. 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.

  9. Avatar photo
    Terri Shepherd

    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

  10. 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?