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Homemade Crockpot Meatballs Recipe

Updated on January 4, 2013

Easy to Make Italian Style Homemade Crockpot Meatballs Recipe

Homemade crockpot meatballs are one of easiest recipes to get going in just around 30 minutes for an easy Italian style dinner idea. Just get some fresh bread, parmesan cheese, and boil up some spaghetti (or your favorite pasta) for a delicious meal. Crockpot meatballs let the tomato and spice mixture marinate into the meat, while the sauce has time to age and taste better. Meatballs often taste better the next day, when the flavor really sets in, but will still taste excellent the same day. Read on for the instruction and ingredient list to make these homemade crockpot meatballs recipe!

Ingredients You'll Need to Make Homemade Crockpot Meatballs

Have these on hand to make the easiest and best meatball recipe ever!

This recipe doesn't call for many ingredients. You can also decide for yourself how much fat you'd like in the meatballs. Some people like a leaner, more dense meatball, while others like a slightly fattier meatball made with a higher fat content ground beef. Usually between 85%-90% is a safe bet.

* 2 pounds ground sirloin beef

* 1 1/4 cup bread crumbs

* 3/4 cup grated cheese

* 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped

* 3 eggs

For the sauce:

* 2 cans crushed tomatoes

* 1 can diced tomatoes

* 1 tablespoon minced garlic

* 5 fresh basil leaves, large

* 2 Tbsp olive oil

* 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper

* 1 tsp sea salt

Directions for the sauce:

1. Combine the olive oil and minced garlic over medium heat. Sauté the garlic lightly until just brown. Add remainder of the ingredients to the crockpot.

2. With a fork or vegetable masher, mash the tomatoes until it is part of the sauce, not just chunks.

3. Bring the sauce to a near boil, stirring occasionally, then simmer on low.

Meatballs almost always taste better the next day. Why? The sauce combines and has time to truly combine and absorb into the meatballs, while the spices fully become part of the sauce, not just separate specks of spice.

One of the Best Slow Cookers: Hamilton Beach Set N' Forget - Easy to use, digitial programming, and plenty of room

With plenty of room for your meatballs, the Hamilton Beach Set N' Forget slow cooker will not disappoint. It's just big enough for a large batch of meatballs like the batch featured here, or you can make a slow cooker soup. You'll get plenty of use out of this in the winter months, and it holds up well over time. The digital display is also simple to use and program, while the heating element is even and distributes perfectly throughout the dish.

Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe, 6-Quart (33967)
Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe, 6-Quart (33967)

* 6-quart programmable slow cooker with LED digital control panel

* 3 automatic-cooking options--program, manual, or probe; automatic keep-warm

* Power-interrupt protection; clip-on spoon; clip-tight gasket lid; side handles for safe transport

* Dishwasher-safe stoneware and tempered-glass lid; user manual with recipes included

* Measures approximately 10-2/5 by 16 by 16 inches; 1-year limited warranty


Unlike many other crockpot meals, this one might take a while from start to finish. However, it's preparation time is minimal. Once you shape the meatballs, you'll be ready to just throw them in the sauce and let them simmer until dinner.

1. Combine the beef in a large bowl with the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and eggs. Stir well.

2. Using clean hands, combine the ingredients, along with the basil. Smoosh the ingredients and beef well together until thoroughly combined.

3. For leaner meatballs and a less greasy sauce, preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Place the meatballs on a wire rack resting on a cookie sheet. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until the meatballs have cooked slightly to release some of the fat while cooking. You can also cook the meatballs in the crockpot only for a more tender, juicy meatball.

4. Add the sauce to the crockpot and turn the sauce on high. Add the cooked (or uncooked) meatballs to the sauce. Cook on high for 2 hours, then switching to low for an additional 4 hours. More time may be required for meatballs not cooked in the oven first (approximately an extra 90 minutes).

5. Test a meatball before serving. Internal cooked temperature should be 160 degrees F. Cut open the meatball to see if the inside is pink as well. If the inside is slightly pink, cook the meatballs another hour and recheck. Serve immediately with your favorite pasta or in a sandwich!

6. Cool the crockpot meatballs thoroughly before placing in a fridge. A hot crockpot can heat up a fridge in no time and spoil your other food.

Cook Like a True Italian American! - A book featuring authentic North End recipes

If you're looking for true Italian American recipes, then you'll want to head to the North End of Boston. With the largest "Little Italy" neighborhood in the United States, this area has over 100 restaurants to choose from, each with their own personality and time tested recipes. If you can't make it there, the next best thing is to try out one of these recipes offered in this book. These are actual recipes shared from North End chefs, not the fake stuff.

The North End Italian Cookbook, 5th
The North End Italian Cookbook, 5th

Why should you get this book? No, not just because Amazon reviewers rave about it and it's one of the best selling books, but because it features some excellent homemade pasta dishes, breads, desserts and other Italian style favorites that can't be found anywhere else.


The finished product: delicious homemade meatballs!

The finished product: delicious homemade meatballs!
The finished product: delicious homemade meatballs!

Thanks for dropping by! If you have any suggestions to make a better meatball (or a favorite recipe), feel free to leave it in the guestbook here.

Slowcooker Crockpot Recipe Books - Recommended books to make more delicious crockpot recipes

Get more use out of your slow cooker and start having healthier, more tender and delicious meals! Here are some of the best reviewed books on Amazon featuring some incredible recipes to choose from.

Italian T-Shirts

Not your average Italian heritage themed t-shirts and gifts, from Biscotti Mafia.

Wha'ts Your Favorite Type of Meatball? Have a Tip to Share? - Share your tips, or just drop a note to say hello in the guestbook here..

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    • Grandma-Marilyn profile image

      Grandma-Marilyn 5 years ago

      I have never made homemade meatballs before but this lens sure has me wanting to. Might try this next time my kids come over for dinner.

      I listed your recipe in my Picking The Right Crockpot lens so that they would have some new recipes to try in their new crockpot.

    • NigelmJeffries profile image

      NigelmJeffries 5 years ago

      This looks great, your pictures make me feel hugry!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      Well I'm not a meatball connoisseur or anything, but these ones look fabulous to me... I don't know if I've ever really tried any different types of meatball... although I have tried many different sauces, and they are all great too :)


    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      What a great idea! I need to get a crock pot! We always cook them from the morning til the afternoon!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Congratulations on the well deserved purple star!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Your meatball recipe sounds easy and delicious! I have tried very few homemade meatballs that I think are really good, but I definitely want to try your recipe.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Looks so good, I'm glad that I just ate dinner, or I would be going nuts after this visit. I love meat-balls, and this recipe looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yummmmmeeeee! I'm so craving a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Only thing that I can say about your homemade cockpot meatball recipe is ....Yummy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      These crick pot meatballs look and sound great. A good meatball is hard to come by out here in Los Angeles.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Ah meatballs in a crock pot ... doesn't get any better than this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I constantly use my crockpot during the cooler months, and your meatball recipe will be a new one for me to try out.

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 7 years ago

      Happy Valentine's Day!! I use my crock-pot all of the time and for the life of me I never thought about cooking meatballs in it. GREAT Yummy lens!!

    • momto4 lm profile image

      momto4 lm 7 years ago

      This sounds really good! I think I might actually have all the ingredients handy so I can try it today! Thanks for sharing!

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 7 years ago

      I am going to make this tonight for dinner! Nice lens !

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This sounds so good. Have you ever made Meatballs with Grape Jelly and Chili Sauce? It is good, too. Blessed!

    • profile image

      eytans_art 7 years ago

      Very nice lens!

      5 stars actually...

      I can't wait to get all the ingredients and try it :-)

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      The meatballs look really great!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 8 years ago

      An excellent lens and a great recipe but you have the wrong man in me. I'm one of the very few people I know who for some reason can't get to grips with Italian food especially spaghetti bolougnaise,( sp?) so there you have it. Having said that if I came your house for dinner I would eat it quite happily and enjoy it to. Just don't serve it in my house although my wife and kids love this type of stuff I would rather just have something plain. No offence meant or intended.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      I don't eat beef so my favorite is ground turkey. What I find is that people really can't tell the difference because of the spices. I'm definitely going to try this recipe with turkey. Great lens. Bear hugs, Frankie