Slow Cooker Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

I love meatballs, possibly too much really. Meatball subs are my favorite, though I can just eat the meatball whenever. With pasta, without, on a roll, without a roll. Right out of the pan…..

 They are so good I can’t help it.

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs ( I made these with GF crumbs)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 garlic gloves minced
2 eggs
1/4 cup skim milk
1 lb  lean ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
8 oz can tomato sauce
6 oz can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
* pinch of sugar. I don’t always add this, but when I taste the sauce and something is off, usually the sugar makes it perfect!


In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, a tablespoon of the Italian seasoning, minced garlic, eggs ,  milk then stir until well combined.
Next add the ground beef mix together with a spoon or your hands until thoroughly combined. Separate the meat mixture into 16 even pieces and roll each into a ball.
In a medium skillet you want to brown the meatballs on all sides, just so they keep their form, so only for a minute on each side. Transfer to your slow cooker. In the same skillet heat oil over medium heat.
Add the diced onion and cook until the onions are golden brown. Add the other 2 garlic cloves which you minced and cook for another two minutes.
 Transfer this mixture into a large bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir. Pour this sauce over the meatballs in the slow cooker. Cook for about 8 hours on low.
Serve with cooked pasta or can be used for making a meatball sub.


  1. I love meatballs but I've never thought about making them in the slow cooker. Thanks for sharing your recipe and how you make them. I think I am going to put this in my meal plan for next week!

  2. I've actually never made meatballs but would love to give this one a try. I got a slow cooker at Christmas and I still have yet to make delicious food like the ones you do.

  3. I will have to try this recipe out, it sounds amazing! We are a big pasta family, but I never have time to make home-made meatballs. This sounds perfect, thanks!

  4. I can not wait to try this, I have tried so many different sauces for meatballs and have yet to find one my entire house agrees on. Hopefully this will make everyone happy.

  5. I love slow cooker meatballs and love trying new recipes for them. These are a big hit at family get togethers and I will try this recipe at our next one.

  6. I love meat balls too! And my daughter can eat a lot of them. Thanks for sharing a delicious recipe! Sure vill try this out.

  7. This recipe looks awesome but my daughter has an egg allergy. Would this work without eggs?

    • Yes! Instead of the egg you can use pasta sauce, the eggs is a binder for the meat, if totally skipped 9 no red sauce in the eggs place) use less bread crumbs, it gives extra moisture and keeps it together, but will work without.

  8. Hi! How do you think this would work with ground turkey rather than ground beef? This looks delicious 🙂