Crockpot · Easy Family Meals

Healthy Crockpot Italian Meatballs with Sausage, Turkey and Quinoa


Healthy Crockpot Italian Meatballs

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 Crockpot 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 this meal 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 them 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.  

 

How to create Healthy Crockpot 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. 

Shredded Zucchini

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

 

All Meatball Ingredients Mixed into bowl
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 crockpot by spraying the inside with Olive oil spray and add 1 can of the crushed tomatoes. 

 

Time to cook the 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 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. 

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 crockpot on top of the can of crushed tomatoes you added earlier.

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 crockpot 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.  

Add the sauce to top of the Crockpot

Bon Appetit!! I hope your family enjoys this recipe for Healthy Crockpot Italian Meatballs as much as mine.

Finished Meatball Dinner

 

If you enjoyed this recipe take a look at my Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe Your Whole Family Will Eat http://happymomhacks.com/easy-pesto-pasta-recipe-whole-family-will-eat/

 


Healthy Crockpot 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.  

www.happymomhacks.com

 

 

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