How to make slow cooker turkey meatballs (video)

Print this recipe
It's fair to say that many people have stopped eating red meat, opting for healthier, leaner white meats instead. For pasta lovers, this is good news, as turkey meatballs made in the slow cooker bring all the flavor of their beef counterparts, just with a lower calorie count. And because they're turkey, these meatballs are stuffed with sage and thyme instead of the traditional Italian herb mix — but you'll get that too, from the sauce these meatballs are cooked in.
It's important not to skip the freezing step in this recipe. Without it, the meatballs might fall apart and turn into a meat sauce rather than individual turkey meatballs. They'll need at least half an hour in the freezer, but if you want to cut down on prep time the day of, you can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them overnight.
Advertisement
Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs
6
20 minutes
4 hours
4 hours, 20 minutes
2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 24-ounce jars marinara or your favorite spaghetti sauce
In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, egg, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, sage, thyme, onion powder, salt and white pepper. Mix to combine all ingredients thoroughly, but be careful not to overmix, as this can cause the meatballs to dry out.
One by one, roll the turkey mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Continue rolling meatballs until you've used the entire mixture and all the meatballs are on the baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least half an hour. To keep meatballs for later use, freeze overnight, and then place them in a large resealable bag and keep frozen until ready to use.
When ready to cook, empty one jar of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Place the turkey meatballs into the slow cooker on top of the sauce and cover with the remaining jar of sauce.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, until meatballs are hot and completely cooked through.
Pro tip: To get even more turkey flavor from these meatballs, sear them in hot oil for a few minutes per side before placing in the slow cooker. This will give more texture and flavor as the natural sugars will caramelize on the meat. If searing the meatballs first, you can also skip the freezing step, as the sear will help the meatballs hold their shape.
Note: All slow cookers are a little bit different in temperature and calibration. This recipe was tested in Cooktop Cove's Test Kitchen using this slow cooker, which is available for purchase here.
Advertisement
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which help support our website.
Resources How Sweet It Is
Print this recipe

When all the rich goodness of a traditional casserole gets converted for a slow cooker, you know you're in for a treat.
October 31   ·  
Advertisement
These little guys are the perfect party food for the next bbq, pool party or game day!
October 27   ·  
One of the best things about this dish is that it's incredible as is, but also wonderfully easy to adjust to your own preferences.
October 26   ·  
In Ireland, the humble potato is treated with reverence. Far from being an afterthought on the side of the plate, the potato can be a thing of real beauty.
October 28   ·  
Feeling chilly? These two slow-cooker gnocchi recipes will warm you up in no time.
October 31   ·  
This recipe is a keeper.
October 3   ·