These Crockpot Meatballs will melt in your mouth! They are incredibly tender, loaded with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and garlic. Simmered low and slow for 4 hours in a homemade tomato sauce. This will be your go to Sunday Dinner!

Love meatball recipes?! Then give my Asian Turkey Meatballs or my Old School Italian Meatball Recipe a try!

Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs in crockpot sprinkled with parsley and parmesan cheese

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    Crockpot Italian Meatballs

    Who doesn’t love meatballs? Especially when they are cooked low and slow in a crockpot. These authentic beef meatballs are easy to make, versatile and can be made in advance and frozen for quick weeknight meals. The meatballs are melt in your mouth tender thanks to the combination of beef and pork. This truly is the best Italian meatball recipe!

    Rich, meaty, hearty and comforting these Italian Meatballs are the perfect meal for busy weeknights or Sunday dinner. You will need a little bit of prep time to throw the meatballs together. The most time consuming part of this recipe is forming the meatballs.

    The sauce is super simple as well. Simmering the sauce low and slow for 4 hours makes the sauce super thick, rich and loaded with flavor. I add some crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and bay leaves for extra flavor.

    This recipe makes enough to serve 6-8 people and always leaves tons of leftovers!

    Crockpot Meatball Ingredients

    • Meat: For the best tender and flavorful meatballs I like to do a combination of ground beef and ground pork! Look for a 80 / 20 ground beef for juicer / tender meatballs.
    • Onion: Minced yellow onion is added for flavor. To make mincing easier you could also grate the onion with a cheese grater.
    • Garlic: 2 minced garlic cloves are added. Add more if your a garlic lover!
    • Parsley: Fresh chopped parsley really brightens up these meatballs. I also love the pop of green!
    • Italian Breadcrumbs: I always opt for Italian breadcrumbs for the extra seasonings and salt that it adds to the meatballs. You can use panko if you have that on hand just make sure to sprinkle in some extra seasoning and salt.
    • Eggs: Act as the binder for the meatballs and help to hold everything together.
    • Parmesan Cheese: Add a bit of salt and a pop of flavor to the meatballs. You can use pre-grated or shred your own parmesan cheese.
    • Crushed Tomatoes: Are the base of the sauce. If you only have whole tomatoes or diced tomatoes simply pulse it a couple times in the food processor before adding to the crockpot.
    • Tomato Paste: Helps to thicken up the sauce.
    • Seasonings: Crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper and bay leaves are added to the tomato sauce. Feel free to omit the crushed red pepper flakes if you don’t want the touch of spice.
    Scooping Italian Meatballs out of a crockpot with a wooden spoon

    how to make crockpot meatballs

    • Add beef, pork, onion, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, eggs and cheese to a large bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until combined. Make sure not to over-mix. The more you mix the meatball mixture the tougher it will become.
    Italian breadcrumbs, egg, ground meat and parmesan cheese
    • Form into 1 or 2 inch meatballs. I made 24 meatballs.
    meatballs portioned on baking sheet greased with cooking spray
    • Lightly grease a baking sheet. Broil meatballs on high until browned on each side. About 4-5 minutes on each side.
    broiled meatballs on baking sheet
    • Add meatballs to crockpot. Top with crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning.
    adding browned Italian Meatballs to crockpot
    • Cook on low for 4 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with basil or parmesan cheese for serving, if desired.
    Italian Meatballs cooked in the crockpot

    Kelley’s tips

    • Do not over mix: I combine the ingredients with my hands just until it’s combined. That’s it. The more you work the mixture the tougher the meatballs will be.
    • Wet your hands to help with rolling: When you portion the meatballs they tend to get a little sticky. I recommend wetting your hands with water before you start rolling out your meatballs.
    • Buy 80/20 beef: If you can find it 80/20 beef makes the best crockpot meatballs. They turn out super juicy and tender.
    • Freeze leftovers: This recipe makes tons of meatballs. Freeze the extras in an airtight container for up to 3 months for a quick weeknight meal. You can freeze the meatballs either par cooked (just broiled) or fully cooked.
    • Brown meatballs: It’s important to sear the meatballs before adding them to the slow cooker. This helps to keep the juices inside. I brown the meatballs under the broiler on a sheet tray to get a nice caramelization on the outside.
    • Baked Meatballs: If you are short on time try my Easy 30 Minute Meatball Recipe. Perfect for a busy weeknight!
    • Use a cookie scoop: To easily portion out perfectly round meatballs. It saves on time and keeps everything consistent.
    • Reheat: To warm up leftovers simply add the meatballs back to the crockpot and warm up on low heat with the sauce. Or heat them up in a saucepan on the stove until warmed through.
    Adding meatballs to the slow cooker without sauce

    What to serve with Crockpot Meatballs

    Crockpot beef meatballs with tomato sauce

    Here are more Easy Meatball Recipes to try!

    Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs

    4.88 from 57 votes
    Super Tender Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs. Loaded with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and garlic. They melt in your mouth and are incredibly tender. Simmered low and slow for 4 hours!
    Servings: 6 About 24 meatballs
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 4 hours
    Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

    Ingredients 

    Instructions 

    • Add beef, pork, onion, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, eggs and cheese to a large bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until combined.
    • Form into 1 or 2 inch meatballs. I made 24 meatballs.
    • Lightly grease a baking sheet. Broil meatballs on high until browned on each side. About 4-5 minutes on each side.
    • Add meatballs to slow cooker. Top with crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning.
    • Cook on low for 4 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with basil or parmesan cheese for serving, if desired.

    Nutrition Information

    Calories: 527kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 34gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 520mgPotassium: 512mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 345IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 174mgIron: 4mg

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