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slow cooker italian meatballs

Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs

  • Author: Adapted from Taste of Home
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 15 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: About 40 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian


Deliciously easy slow cooker Italian meatballs — perfect as an appetizer, with pasta or on a sub sandwich with melty cheese. Freezer-friendly, too!


  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 12 ounces bulk mild Italian sausage
  • 1 ¼ cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 (24 oz) jars marinara pasta sauce (or make your own & use 6 cups)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs until combined. Add ground beef, Italian sausage, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder; stir with a wooden spoon or mix with your fingers until well combined.
  2. Heat broiler to high; place an oven rack about 4 to 5 inches from the broiler. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or oil. Using your hands, shape (about 40) 1 to 2-inch meatballs from the mixture; place on prepared baking sheets.
  3. Broil meatballs 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through, until browned. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  4. Top meatballs evenly with sauce. Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours in the slow cooker until meatballs are cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F.
  5. Serve on top of pasta, on split hoagie rolls with melty cheese for meatball sub sandwiches, alongside buttery mashed potatoes or on their own as an appetizer.
  6. TO FREEZE: Let meatballs and sauce cool completely. Place in a resealable plastic bag and freeze in a single layer; or, freeze in a Tupperware container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then heat the thawed mixture (meatballs and sauce) together until heated through.


  • This recipe makes a lot of meatballs, so if you don’t plan to freeze any I’d suggest halving the recipe.