Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs

Photo Credit: Flavor Mosaic

This slow cooker Italian meatballs recipe provides everything you desire in a meatball dish. These meatballs, from Michele, the author of the Flavor Mosaic recipe blog, are tender, juicy, and fully flavoured with Italian herbs and garlic. They are a multi-purpose recipe for dinner throughout the week because they can be served in several ways. Consider serving these meatballs over classic spaghetti, enjoying on their own with your favourite sides or stuffing into a sandwich. Either way, these meatballs will be a delicious and easy meal to make during the busy week. If desired, you can even freeze this Italian recipe in airtight containers so that dinner is even faster to make through the week.

This slow cooker meatball recipe starts with mixing the meat ingredients and shaping into balls. The mixing is a very easy process, but one thing that can help produce an extremely tender meatball is to limit how much you knead the meat. A good way to prevent over-kneading is to stir all the ingredients together except for the ground meat, and then crumble in the meat and mix with your hands until just combined. Mixing all the other ingredients limits the amount the entire mixture has to be kneaded once the meat is added. Another important step that Michele provides is to use the oven broiler to colour the balls before going in the crockpot. Crock pot recipes are usually very easy to make, but what makes this one extra tasty is the fact that the broiler caramelises the edges, providing additional flavour and texture. If you don’t have a broiler, though, you can as easily brown the meatballs in a skillet on the stove to achieve similar colour and flavour. Simply heat the skillet over medium heat, add a small amount of oil or butter, and sear, while turning, until golden on all sides. These won’t have to be cooked through as they will finish cooking in the crockpot, according to Michele’s meatball recipe instructions.

This slow cooker recipe showcasing homemade meatballs is a great start to making meatballs if you haven’t before. The mixture contains products you may already have in your kitchen, like onions, garlic or Italian seasoning, and ground beef is something that many families choose to buy for a multitude of meals through the month. For even easier preparation, rather than finely chopping the onion and garlic, you can grate them to a fine consistency on a box grater or pulse until fine in a food processor. These aromatic ingredients will incorporate with the ground beef even better that way. You may be trying to limit your intake of red meat or have another variety of ground meat on hand, but you can try this comfort meal with ground chicken, turkey, pork or a mix depending on what you enjoy or have in your freezer.

Another great thing that easy crock pot meals like this one does is provide a punch of flavour with few ingredients. In the case of this dinner recipe, Italian seasoning is used, because it is a combination of several dried herbs, like basil, oregano, rosemary and marjoram. Having a single blended bottle of herbs saves money on having to buy several. If you don’t have Italian seasoning at home, you can blend your own with what is in your pantry. While you may be tempted to use fresh herbs in the meat mixture of this easy meatball recipe, they may not hold up during the lengthy cooking time. Thank you to Michele, the author of the Flavor Mosaic recipe blog, for sharing their slow cooker Italian meatballs recipe with us.

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