Slow Cooker Summer Italian Turkey Meatballs

Hiiiiii! I’m back after a few different setbacks. I’m ready to get back to bringing ya’ll delicious recipes and one too many run-on sentences. I’ve missed ya! First up, these crockpot meatballs are eeeeeeverything you need in your life. I promise.

Okay, okay. I know I am almost on the brink of sharing too many meatball recipes with ya, but I just can’t help myself. In this house, we love meatballs! I think my favorite part about them is that I can make a big batch in the beginning of the week and then eat them multiple different ways throughout the week so that I do not feel as if I am eating the same thing every single day. This is one of my tried and true absolute favorite summer crock pot recipes. I always say that I don’t use my crockpot all that much, but then summer rolls around and I begin to remember how much I absolutely love that little kitchen appliance more than anything in this world on these midwest steamy summer days. It rings even truer now with a little one because we spend our long summer days on the go, in a pool, or just outside playing in the yard. By the time we come in for the evening I often find myself giving Eric a look like, “I’ll give you a thousand dollars to go get us dinner so I don’t have to heat this dang kitchen up.” Sometimes he does and I always kick myself a little because it is such a big waste of time, money, and even gas since we live a ways out from different restaurants. It’s also not the healthiest of choices, which is probably my biggest concern. In the summer, I really try to cook one or two days a week in the kitchen where I make multiple meals and only heat up the kitchen on those days. The rest of the days are either salads, on the grill outside, or you guessed it, in the crockpot.  Why is this one of my all time favorite crockpot recipes? Because I start out with a handful of ingredients, a few minutes of prep in the morning, and by the afternoon I’ve got a big ol batch of Italian Meatballs just bursting every which way with lots of flavor. Then, all week I have so many different choices of lunches and dinners to make for the family.  We usually start off with good ol Spaghetti and Meatballs. It’s such a delicious classic and in my opinion, so underrated. The next night, I usually make Meatball Sub Sandwiches. Soon, I’ll have fresh zucchini out of the garden, and will more than likely make Italian Meatballs over a big bed of my garlicky-zoodles. I’ve also used these in my Insta Almost famous Meatball Sub Bubble Up! Last but not least, Meatball Pita Pizzas. So good. In a few weeks, I’ll share a few quick recipes on what I do with these meatballs, but for the time being I think you get the picture. Just make’m and enjoy’m however you want’m because they are so wonderful, I just had to share them with ya.

Let’s get in the kitchen!

 

Start off by placing 1 chopped onion, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbs oregano, 1 tbs dried basil or about 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil, and two 24 ounce cans crushed tomatoes. Don’t mind that goop in the back there.

So, I killed my basil plant. I didn’t actually kill it, I forgot to water it and we were on borderline draught conditions and it was outside and I forgot about it. Okay, I killed it. Fast forward, I went to the grocery store to pick up odds and ends I needed to photograph this recipe. I was just going to grab another basil plant. No basil plants. Okay, fine. I’ll spend 3-4 dollars on one of those small plastic packages for 8 basil leaves. No over priced little plastic packages. Okay, fine. Weird basil green goop tube in produce section? Sure, why not. To be honest, It tastes pretty legit. I would probably buy it again in a pinch, but it looks a little to goo-like so for that reason, I more than likely will not buy it willingly again. If you choose to use the green goo. I think It was about 1 1/2 tbs. I’m honestly not sure.

Mix it all up inside the crockpot. In case you’re wondering, yes this is basically the same recipe as my crock pot marinara!

In a large mixing bowl add lean ground turkey, italian seasoning, salt, and just a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.

Then add parmesan cheese, minced garlic cloves, an egg, olive oil, and bread crumbs.

Dig in with your hands and mix it up real good! (I know, I know it’s kind of gross, but you’ll be fine) Just wash your hands real good after.

Grab a couple plates or a sheet pan to place meatballs on. You can also drop the meatballs directly into the crockpot full of sauce if you’d like, but because I have precisely 764 things going on in my brain I normally lose count. I like to keep count of how many I am making to ensure that I have all my nutritional info in check because I’d like to lose 5 lbs a few times over. Haha! No really though. I do.

Plop those meatballs in your crockpot o’ sauce. I just love the word plop, don’t you?

Mix them into the sauce ever so slightly. Juuuust enough to cover the meatballs with a touch of sauce.

Several hours later you’ll come inside from the heat or come home from work to these delicious little guys and it’ll smell so good you’ll just take a fork and eat one. Trust me, I do it every single time. So does Eric. We love these things so much.

Note: you can make these any time of the year. I personally make them in the summer for some reason I truly do not use my crockpot as much in the cooler months, but I sure should start.

To round this meal out, I made a big ol pot of spaghetti or sket as miss Pepper says!

And then something I thought would be a nightmare to photograph turned into some of my favorite food photos that I think I have ever taken.

Mmm.. Mmm MM!

I’m actually working on this post much later than I had anticipated so unfortunately I have no more meatballs in my fridge at this time. So, my mouth is watering and I am thinking of going to make a pot right this very minute. In mid sentence.

But, I can’t because it’s been weeks since I’ve posted and I want to give y’all a delicious recipe to make up right awaay.

Can we just make Meatball Monday a thing from now on?

Vote yes or no.

I vote yes times 1,000.

If you need me, I’ll be thinking of more meatball creations.

I hope you love these guys, let me know if ya make’m and what you decide to do with’m!

With love from my kitchen to yours,

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5 from 2 votes
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Slow Cooker Summer Italian Turkey Meatballs

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings 30 meatballs

Ingredients

The Sauce

  • 2 24 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbs oregano, dried
  • 1 tbs basil, dried or 1/4 cup chopped, fresh
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Turkey Meatballs

  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 tbs minced onion, dried found in the spice aisle
  • 1 1/2 tbs italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

The Sauce

  1. In a crock pot add crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, chopped onion, minced garlic, salt & pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

    Set slow cooker to low and assemble meatballs. 

Italian Turkey Meatballs

  1. In a large bowl add ground turkey, dried minced onion, Italian seasoning, grated parmesan, egg, breadcrumbs, olive oil, minced garlic, salt & pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Dig in with your hands and mix thoroughly together. 

    Roll each meatball in between palms to form and place into the slow cooker full of sauce. When all meatballs are placed into the sauce stir together and cover meatballs. 

    This should make 30 healthy sized meatballs about 1-1 1/4 inches in diameter. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 7 hours. 

Recipe Notes

Each meatball is 1 Smart Point, 1 Points Plus, 60 calories, 3g fat, .6g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 6.5g protein

1/2 cup sauce 20 calories, 4g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 1.5g sugar, .8g sugars

Please note that the calories are calculated for the sauce are by using only the crushed tomatoes, onions, and garlic if following smart points/points plus the sauce will be 0 points for any amount. I figured out the caloric information for those who count calories. 

 

 

21 Comments

  1. Is it okay to use mean ground beef. I can’t stand the taste of ground turkey

  2. Yum!! Are we talking turkey boobs here? thigh? Or a combo? Thanks!!

    • Lean ground turkey, I use 93% lean 7% fat I believe it’s a mixture of thighs and breast! Hope you enjoy!

      • Ah makes sense- I’m used to seeing breast and thigh separate I guess at the butcher counter. Mix sounds good! Thanks! Excited to try these!

  3. SO GOOD! I have experimented with several turkey meatball recipes and I will look no further because this one delivered the goods. I was going to use jarred marinara but your recipe was easy, so I made both the meatballs and your homemade marinara and I’m thrilled that I did. My family couldn’t believe these were low WW points. Truly delish. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I think I need a larger crockpot! Mine was filled to the top….fingers crossed they turn out ok =) Can you tell me what size crockpot you have before I make my purchase? Thank you!

  5. Thank you for all of your delicious recipes. I see the chopped onion that you added to the sauce up in your directions, but it is not listed in your ingredients list. Did I miss it?

    • You’re very welcome! I’m sorry about that. I didn’t catch that while editing. I just fixed the recipe. It calls for one medium chopped yellow onion. I hope you enjoy!

  6. How much onion is in the sauce?

  7. Pingback: 20 Weight Watchers Slow Cooker Recipes with Smartpoints - Sweet T Makes Three

  8. Made these yesterday and they were great! So easy and the whole family loved them! Thanks for another great recipe that will be on my menu rotation 🙂

  9. I just came home and my house smells amazing. I made them this afternoon for tomorrow’s dinner. (I snuck a piece of bread in the gravy while I was putting it in containers. Yum!!! ) Can’t wait for dinner tomorrow.

    • My favorite part about using the slow cooker is how amazing the house smells when you walk in the door after being away for a few hours. I’m so glad you enjoyed the gravy, and I hope you enjoy your dinner tomorrow!!

  10. So, I just made these and I’m wondering if I did something wrong. The meatballs came out rather crumbly, almost dry and tasting like meatloaf. The sauce tastes awesome. Just not impressed with the meatballs which I was super excited for too.

    • Hm, that doesn’t sound good! Honestly, I’ve only had positive feedback with these meatballs and I personally think they are super moist and flavorful! Did you by any chance use extra lean ground turkey? I tested these out once using extra lean ground turkey to see if I could get points/calories lower and what your describing was my result trying it that way, so I use lean ground turkey instead (93% lean 7% fat). Hope that helps! Sorry they didn’t turn out right for ya!

      • I actually used a 90/10 as it was cheaper than the 93/7. I’m not sure what went wrong. Followed all the directions. Guess I’m just one of the variance.

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