Italian Meatballs in the Crock Pot

Slow Cooker Meatballs Italiano: a super easy way to make meatballs in spaghetti sauceMeatballs are surprisingly tricky little guys to make. They fall apart in the pan all of the time. Am I the only one who has that trouble?  I will go to make them in a skillet and then end up with something that resembles crumbled meatloaf.  It could be because I like to stir things.  However, even on the occasions that I have waited, hoping that by letting the little things cook longer, they will keep their shape, I end up with them sticking to the pan.  By the time I muster up enough muscle power to turn them over, I still have crumbled meatloaf.Slow Cooker Meatballs Italiano: a super easy way to make meatballs in spaghetti sauce

But.  If  I either bake them on a greased wire cooling wrack over a cookie sheet or throw them in the crock pot, they keep their shape. And I don’t end up with crumbled meatloaf.  The following recipe can be made in the oven sans sauce.  I like the ease of making them in the slow cooker, though.

I am putting the gluten free options in the notes for this.  I don’t usually make gluten free pasta dishes.  Instead  I try to have enough leftover of something else for me to eat while my family eats macaroni and cheese or spaghetti.  I do buy gf pasta occasionally, but it’s about three times more expensive than semolina pasta, so I usually pass.  In the case of these meatballs, I serve mine over baked or mashed potatoes while the family enjoys spaghetti with garlic bread.

Italian Meatballs in the Crock Pot
  • 1½ lbs ground beef or a combination of ground pork and ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • ½ onion, minced fine
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp basil
  • ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 regular sized jars Your Favorite Spaghetti Sauce (about 48 oz)
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the spaghetti sauce.
  2. Roll into meatballs.
  3. Throw in the crock pot with the sauce on low for 8 hours.
For gluten free option: replace the Italian bread crumbs with gluten free oatmeal




8 thoughts on “Italian Meatballs in the Crock Pot

  1. >This looks great–I'm always interested in easy and tasty, and this looks to be both… 🙂 Looking forward to trying it–thanks for sharing!

  2. >Your meatball recipe sounds really good! Next batch, I'll try this mixture. Thanks!

    Too funny….I replied to your comment on my blog and I mentioned meatballs in the crock pot and did not know you posted about meatballs! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. >Haven't used my crockpot in awhile. I'll have to break it out and give this a try. My meatballs always fall apart. This way I can't touch them!

  4. No browning the meatballs first in a pan? Wow! This could be life-changing for me. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but only slightly. And if the meatballs don’t fall apart or turn into rock-hard balls (as mine occasionally do), that’s a bonus.

    1. I just made this again this week and it was amazing how easy it is! I just scooped the meat into a huge ice cream scoop and dropped them into the crock pot. I covered them with the sauce and let them go. One word of caution, though, they will fall apart if you let them cook too long. I actually like them better made with the oatmeal than the breadcrumbs, but both will work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: