Crockpot · Easy Family Meals

Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs You’ll Love

At the end of a long day isn’t it great to come home to the smell of comfort food. Walking in and knowing you have a great meal of Italian Meatballs already made just waiting for you. The kids are crazy, the house is a mess, but you can relax dinner is ready.  This is why I love my Healthy Slow Cooker Italian Meatball recipe.  

It’s a twist on the Italian meatballs with Italian sausage, ground turkey, zucchini and this might sound strange but quinoa as our secret ingredient. The kids will have no idea you are hiding vegetables and super healthy quinoa. The quinoa acts as the breadcrumbs in the meatballs so it makes them a gluten free option too.   

A great part about my slow cooker Italian Meatballs is it makes a ton. Our family gets at least three meals out of one batch. So, one morning of cooking equals three meals depending on how you stretch it. They also freeze great so it can be a make-ahead meal too.  Here are three ways our families eats these delicious Italian meatballs for dinner: 

Meal Option One- Meatball sandwiches toasted with Mozzarella cheese melted on top. 

Meal Option Two– Quick Spaghetti and Meatballs.  

Meal Option Three-  A Pasta Bake.  

 Related Article – 25 Easy Family Dinner Ideas Every Mom on the Run Needs

Healthy and Easy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs recipe. These homemade crock pot meatballs are great for weeknight dinners or party appetizer. Feed your family a delicious and healthy meal with ground turkey, Italian sausage, quinoa, and zucchini. #italianmeatballs, #partyappitizer, #familymeal, #slowcooker, #crockpot

How to create Healthy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs 

First cook the cup of quinoa according to the package directions. When done set aside to cool so that it doesn’t burn your hand when you mix all the ingredients. 

Healthy and Easy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs recipe. These homemade crock pot meatballs are great for weeknight dinners or party appetizer. Feed your family a delicious and healthy meal with ground turkey, Italian sausage, quinoa, and zucchini. #italianmeatballs, #partyappitizer, #familymeal, #slowcooker, #crockpot
Shredded Zucchini

Shred the zucchini. I would use your smallest setting. Set aside. 

 

Healthy and Easy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs recipe. These homemade crock pot meatballs are great for weeknight dinners or party appetizer. Feed your family a delicious and healthy meal with ground turkey, Italian sausage, quinoa, and zucchini. #italianmeatballs, #partyappitizer, #familymeal, #slowcooker, #crockpot
Mix all the ingredients into one big bowl.

In a large bowl add, ground turkey, ground Italian sausage, shredded zucchini, cooled quinoa, 1 egg, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, olive oil, Parmesan cheese. Mix the whole thing together with your hands. Next Set up your slow cooker by spraying the inside with Olive oil spray and add 1 can of the crushed tomatoes. 

Time to cook the Italian Meatballs

Start to heat up your frying pan on medium high heat. This temperature will help keep the meatballs from sticking. You can skip this step if you are in a hurry but it does help hold the flavor in the meatballs while they cook in the slow cooker. 

Healthy and Easy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs recipe. These homemade crock pot meatballs are great for weeknight dinners or party appetizer. Feed your family a delicious and healthy meal with ground turkey, Italian sausage, quinoa, and zucchini. #italianmeatballs, #partyappitizer, #familymeal, #slowcooker, #crockpot
Uncooked Meatballs. Shaped like golf balls

While the pan is heating up use your hands to mix all these ingredients together but don’t overmix it. Then make golf ball size meatball shapes out of your mix or whatever size your family prefers. 

Healthy and Easy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs recipe. These homemade crock pot meatballs are great for weeknight dinners or party appetizer. Feed your family a delicious and healthy meal with ground turkey, Italian sausage, quinoa, and zucchini. #italianmeatballs, #partyappitizer, #familymeal, #slowcooker, #crockpot
Slow Cooker Meatballs browning in the pan

Now that the pan is hot add some olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Next add in the first batch of your meatballs. The pan should be hot enough that you can shake it and the meatballs roll over. You want to make sure all sides are brown to hold the flavors in. This should take about a minute on each side.  When meatballs are finished browning, dump them into the slow cooker on top of the can of crushed tomatoes you added earlier.

Healthy and Easy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs recipe. These homemade crock pot meatballs are great for weeknight dinners or party appetizer. Feed your family a delicious and healthy meal with ground turkey, Italian sausage, quinoa, and zucchini. #italianmeatballs, #partyappitizer, #familymeal, #slowcooker, #crockpot
Adding the meatballs into the crockpot

Last step is to pour the remaining can of tomato sauce over the top of all the meatballs. Turn the slow cooker on low, put the lid on and cook for 6-7 hours. Serve right away or cool down and freeze what you don’t eat for another night.  

Healthy and Easy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs recipe. These homemade crock pot meatballs are great for weeknight dinners or party appetizer. Feed your family a delicious and healthy meal with ground turkey, Italian sausage, quinoa, and zucchini. #italianmeatballs, #partyappitizer, #familymeal, #slowcooker, #crockpot
Add the sauce to top of the Crockpot

 

How to serve you slow cooker Italian Meatballs:

Meal Option One- Meatball sandwiches toasted with Mozzarella cheese melted on top. 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then on a sheet pan place large rolls down then top with meatballs and sauce from slow cooker. Next place Mozzarella cheese on top. The meatballs will be hot so you are just going to be melting the cheese. Should be only 5 minutes or so just keep an eye on the oven and take out went the cheese looks gooey and delicious.  You can cook several of these sandwiches at a time on a large sheet pan. So your family can all eat together.

Meal Option Two– Quick Spaghetti and Meatballs.  

Before it’s time to eat dinner cook up a quick box of spaghetti according to package directions. When finished cooking drain the pasta and add to plates. Top your spaghetti with the meatballs and sauce. Last add vegetable or garlic bread and your dinner is complete.

Meal Option Three–  A Pasta Bake.  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For this dish I like to use penne pasta. While the meatballs are finishing cooking boil a box of penne pasta according to directions on the box. When finished drain and add the pasta back into the pot. Now add in your finished meatballs and some extra pasta sauce so that the pasta bake will not dry out. I also like to add a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese. Now mix all of this together and then pour into a lightly greased casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Bon Appetit!! I hope your family enjoys this recipe for Healthy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs as much as mine. Please let me know what you think after you try this recipe in the comments. Did you find another way to tweak this recipe and make it your own. Let us know. Enjoy!

 

Healthy and Easy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs recipe. These homemade crock pot meatballs are great for weeknight dinners or party appetizer. Feed your family a delicious and healthy meal with ground turkey, Italian sausage, quinoa, and zucchini. #italianmeatballs, #partyappitizer, #familymeal, #slowcooker, #crockpot
Finished Meatball Dinner

 

If you enjoyed this recipe take a look at some of my other family friendly recipes:

Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe Your Whole Family Will Eat (here)

25 Easy Family Dinner Ideas Every Mom on the Run Needs (here)

How to Make the Easiest Teriyaki Crockpot Chicken (here)

Sheet Pan Recipes Perfect for Weeknight Meals (here)

 


Healthy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs with Sausage, Turkey and Quinoa Meatballs

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
 

Ingredients 

1lb Ground Italian Sausage 

1lb Ground Turkey 

1 small Zucchini 

1 Cup of uncooked quinoa (you will cook this according to package directions) 

1 Egg (lightly beaten) 

1 tsp Minced Garlic 

2 tbsp. Italian Seasoning 

¼ tsp Salt 

1 tbsp. Olive oil  

½ cup Parmesan Cheese 

2 (28 ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes with basil

How to Make the Meatballs 

  • First cook the cup of quinoa according to the package directions. When done, set aside to cool so that it doesn’t burn your hand when you mix all the ingredients. 
  • Shred the zucchini. I would use your smallest setting. Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl add, ground turkey, ground Italian sausage, shredded zucchini, cooled quinoa, 1 egg, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, olive oil, parmesan cheese 
  • Set up your crockpot by spraying the inside with Olive oil spray and add 1 can of the crushed tomatoes. 
  • Start to heat up your frying pan on medium high heat. This temperature will help keep the meatballs from sticking. You can skip this step if you are in a hurry but it does help hold the flavor in the meatballs while they cook in the crockpot. 
  • While the pan is heating up, use your hands to mix all these ingredients together but don’t overmix it. Then, make golf ball size meatball shapes out of your mix or whatever size your family prefers. 
  • Now that the pan is hot, add some olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Next, add in the first batch of your meatballs. The pan should be hot enough that you can shake it and the meat balls roll over. You want to make sure all sides are brown to hold the flavors in. This should take about a minute on each side. When finished, dump them into the crockpot. And repeat this step until all the meatballs are browned. 
  • Last step is to pour the remaining can of tomato sauce over the top of all the meatballs. Turn the crockpot on low and cook for 6-7 hours. Serve right away or cool down and freeze what you don’t eat for another night.  

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Easy Homemade Crockpot Italian Meatballs your kids will love. Great healthy weeknight dinner for families or appetizers at a party. #crockpotmeals, #meatballs, # familyrecipe
Healthy and Easy Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs recipe. These homemade crock pot meatballs are great for weeknight dinners or party appetizer. Feed your family a delicious and healthy meal with ground turkey, Italian sausage, quinoa, and zucchini. #italianmeatballs, #partyappitizer, #familymeal, #slowcooker, #crockpot

 

 

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