Slow cooker Italian meatballs doesn't get any better then this! Flavourful, melt-in-your-mouth meatballs are gently simmered in a rich, luscious tomato sauce. Only ten minutes of prep and no stirring involved. Modern method but tastes like what nonna used to make.

My family loves eating meatballs. I usually make them over the stove top, but this time I wanted to try them in the slow cooker. I combined my favourite marinara sauce and my mom's Italian meatballs, and they turned out sooooo good! The sauce was thick and velvety; and the meatballs were tender and moist. My kids kept asking for more when I made this last week. :-)

The original recipe for the sauce calls for four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, but for the slow cooker, I will use half the amount, the next time I make it. When I make the sauce over an open flame, the olive oil seems to blend into the sauce much better. This dish reminds me a lot of how my grandmother in Italy used to cook. She wasn't afraid of using a good glug of oil in her sauces. :-)

To start, add the sauce ingredients into the slow cooker, cover and set on high for three hours. As the sauce begins to heat up, start making the meatballs.

When you mix the ingredients for the meatballs, don't be afraid to mix them well into a homogeneous mixture. The meatballs will turn out very tender in the slow cooker. I used an ice cream scoop to get even-sized meatballs.

Now, this is the only time that you can remove the lid. Place the meatballs into the sauce (it's okay to overlap them if your Crockpot is smaller), and then gently shake the slow cooker back and forth, to settle the meatballs into the sauce (not all them need to be covered with the sauce). Cover with the lid and let the slow cooker do the rest for the next couple of hours. After two hours, you will follow your nose into the kitchen. Trust me, I did. 

This is what you get when it's done ... luscious, melt-in-your-mouth meatballs and a rich, velvety tomato sauce. Even though, the preparation of this dish is not your traditional, over-the-stove recipe, the taste is definitely authentic!

I have a little confession: When the meatballs were done, I tried one and had another three right afterwards. They were sooooo yummy that I couldn't resist! But ... I didn't eat any during dinner, so there would be enough for my boys to have. I do try to be a good mom. :-)

The recipe doesn't get any simpler than this. Serve with any type of pasta and enjoy! 

Pssst: You'll keep coming back for more! 

(From the Kitchen of For the Love of Italian Cooking)


For the marinara sauce:
  • 3 cups (700 ml) pomodoro passata, or plain pureed tomato sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 large basil leaves, left whole or torn into small pieces
  • 2-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the meatballs:
  • 1 lb (500g) ground meat (half beef, half pork)
    1/3 cup (30g) grated parmesan or grana padana
    1/3 cup (40g) dried plain bread crumbs
    2 large garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
    1 tbsp (5g) chopped fresh parsely
    1 egg
    salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place all the ingredients for the marinara sauce into the slow cooker, cover, and set on HIGH for 3 hours.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs in a medium or large bowl until you have a homogeneous mixture. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out the meat, and then roll into balls. I got 16 but the amount may vary depending on the size of the scooper that is used. NOTE: If you'd prefer, you can also use a spoon instead of the ice cream scooper, and roll out into golf-size meatballs. 
  3. Gently place the meatballs into the slow cooker, cover and let cook for the remainder of the time, without lifting the lid (the hard part). 
  4. Serve with your favourite pasta and extra grated cheese on top.
Serves 4-6 people.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. I love reading your comments. (Please note that all comments are published on approval and spam will be automatically deleted.)

Rosa G.
Hamburg, Germany
Hi! My name is Rosa and welcome to my blog! I'm a fun loving, most-of-the-time stressed mother of three small boys, and a former cubicle dweller turned pastry chef. I am an amateur blogger and food photographer and lover of good Italian food. My food is simple, fresh, and seasonal (with an occasional frozen pizza).