Thursday, February 7, 2013

Easy Slow Cooker Meatballs and Sauce

Made this today in a rush - sauce came out tasty but meatballs needed more spices. Served with spaghetti. Could use leftovers to make meatball sandwiches. Worth trying again and adjusting the spices and flavorings. Definitely was easy as it was. Most other recipes require cooking meatballs separately. This is done all in the slow cooker. The risk is a greasier sauce. There was minimal grease in mine - I was able to spoon off some extra liquid/grease from the top.
  • 1.5 lb (extra) lean ground beef
  • 1/4 c parmesan (increase to 1/3)
  • spices: parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, rosemary, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, etc
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c - 2/3 c breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomato
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T parmesan* (or more?)
  • more spices* (same as above, generous pinches of everything)
  • optional: diced carrot
  • optional: 1/3 c red wine
  1. Mix beef with parmesan, generous amount of spices, garlic and egg. Add in breadcrumbs until desired consistency.
  2. Pour crushed tomatoes and sauce in 4.5 quart slow cooker. Add in sugar, parmesan and pinches of spices (and optional carrot). Stir.
  3. Divide beef mixture into 16-20 pieces and roll into balls. Place in slow cooker and stir to cover with sauce.
  4. Cook on low 6-8 hours.


- add in tomato puree to thicken sauce
- add minced onion to meatball mixture
- use homemade sauce instead of store bought
- use mixture of beef, sausage, turkey, etc
- use fattier meat, at the risk of greasier sauce. To counter it, you could prebake the meatballs at 350 F...but then it wouldn't really be an "easy" slow cooker recipe anymore.
- make meatballs night before, then throw in sauce ingredients next day to cook.

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