Slow-Cooker Meatballs

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 3 hours

Makes

6 dozen

This idea came to me while sitting on the back porch. The combination of meats and ingredients in the sauce produce slow-cooker meatballs unlike any I've ever had. —Justin Boudreaux, Walker, Louisiana
Slow-Cooker Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 2/3 pound ground turkey
  • 2/3 pound ground pork
  • 2/3 pound ground beef
  • SAUCE:
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup mixed fruit jelly
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup prepared mustard
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, salsa and onion. Add turkey, pork and beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place meatballs on greased racks in two 15x10x1-in. baking pans. Bake until browned, 18-22 minutes.
  2. In a 6-qt. slow cooker, combine sauce ingredients. Add meatballs; gently stir to coat. Cook, covered, on low 3-4 hours or until meatballs are cooked through.

Can you freeze Slow-Cooker Meatballs?

Freeze cooled meatball mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Microwave, covered, on high in a microwave-safe dish until heated through, gently stirring and adding a little water if necessary.

Slow-Cooker Meatballs Tips

Can you make slow-cooker meatballs without red meat?

Yes, you can make slow-cooker meatballs without red meat. Replace the beef and pork with equal amounts of ground chicken or ground turkey. You can also substitute all of the meat for a meat alternative like Beyond Meat or Impossible beef for a vegetarian or vegan option. Check out more of our meatball recipes for inspiration!

How do you store slow-cooker meatballs?

Store any leftover meatballs in a sealed container and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To use frozen meatballs, partially thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Then microwave them, covered, in a microwave-safe dish until heated through, gently stirring and adding a little water if necessary.

How can you make slow-cooker meatballs your own?

Meatballs are easily customizable to your preferences. If you’re looking for a little heat, add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to the meat mixture, or some Sriracha to the sauce. If you want a less sweet sauce, reduce the sugar in the recipe for a more tangy bite. Otherwise, add any fresh herbs you like. If you loved these slow-cooker meatballs, check out these Italian meatball recipes next.

Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 meatball: 87 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 195mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

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