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Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs

Slow Cooker Spaghetti with Meatballs

Here’s my favorite homemade spaghetti sauce with my best meatball strategy – slow cooker! These meatballs are perfectly round and easy to prepare. Sometimes meat cooked in sauce can end up with a pool of juices that makes it runny. I love a thick spaghetti sauce and crushed tomatoes and tomato paste make it happen here. I never shy on spices so you can be sure there is plenty of basil and oregano to delight your palate.

a slow cooker recipe for easy meatballs and thick homemade spaghetti sauce
a slow cooker recipe for easy meatballs and thick homemade spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti sauce and meatballs is really two recipes in one, but the slow cooker cooks everything together at once. Rather than throwing a jar of spaghetti sauce at some noodles when everyone is clamoring for dinner, why don’t you set dinner to cook before you leave the house?

You can mix the meatballs together and stir them gently into the sauce in the crockpot. Or put the meatballs in first, pour the sauce over and gently stir. I’ve discovered that it’s easiest to stir in meatballs after I’ve frozen them overnight! I won’t tell if you just want to purchase prepacked frozen meatballs. You’ll still be a step ahead later when it’s time for dinner and have a wonderfully flavored sauce that has been simmering for hours.

Roll the meatballs together in your hands just like you did when you were little making playdough snowmen. Or clover-leaf rolls. Or sugar cookies. Plop, into the sauce they go! See you on the other side, beautiful meatball!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti with Meatballs

Slow Cooker Spaghetti with Meatballs

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours 6 seconds
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes 6 seconds

Creating perfectly round meatballs is so much easier in a crock pot! This thick, flavorful sauce suits them perfectly.

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 12oz tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Meatballs

  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg

1 lb spaghetti noodles, prepared

Instructions

    1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Combine with remaining sauce ingredients in slow cooker.
    2. Combine meatball ingredients and shape into 1” meatballs. Carefully stir into sauce.
    3. Set slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
    4. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles. Makes 30-35 meatballs

Notes

Freeze the meatballs beforehand to make morning prep even easier. Frozen meatballs stir in more easily and don't change the cook time on this recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 5 meatballs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 872mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 25g
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