Skip links
Taste of Home Logo
Slow-Cooked Italian Meatballs


  • 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


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.


Average Rating: 5
  • 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.

© 2020 RDA Enthusiast Brands, LLC