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Slow-Cooked Italian Meatballs

What I love about these meatballs is that they can be served as an appetizer right out of the slow cooker, or alongside your favorite pasta. They also make a delicious sandwich. —Jason Romano, Downingtown, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. Cook: 3 hours
  • Makes
    about 5 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Italian-style panko bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 4 cups spaghetti sauce
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender and golden brown, 5-9 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, parsley, water, basil, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Add ground meats; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-in. balls. Place on greased racks in shallow baking pans. Bake until browned, 20-25 minutes.
  • Transfer meatballs to a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Pour spaghetti sauce over top. Cook, covered, on low until meatballs are cooked through, 3-4 hours. If desired, serve with minced parsley.
  • Freeze option: Freeze cooled meatballs and sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a covered saucepan, stirring gently and adding a little water or broth if necessary. Serve as directed.
Nutrition Facts
1 meatball: 54 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 16mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Queenlalisa
    Oct 28, 2020

    They had a great flavor. Tender and delicious.

  • Matt
    Jun 13, 2020

    Nov 13, 2019 Can you tell me the purpose of sautéing the onions and garlic? I

  • Maureen
    Nov 13, 2019

    Can you tell me the purpose of sautéing the onions and garlic? I don’t see any reference in their use for the meatballs or the sauce. Also, I used 80/20 beef with the pork and veal and it was so greasy I was worried smoke alarm would be activated. They were overcooked.

  • GsGram
    Sep 24, 2019

    The recipe itself sounds amazing. Although, I find it hard to believe 1 inch meatbalks need to be baked for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees and then 3-4 hours in a slow cooker. I think that long in the oven would dry them up. JMHO

  • BeckyJCarver
    Mar 14, 2018

    These are AMAZING!!!! I only used the pork & beef & left out the veal but that was the only change i made.