Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs

My Great Grandma had great Italian roots and she liked everything super spicy!  My dad called these the “3 glasses of milk meatballs” because she would make them so spicy.  You don’t have to make them spicy.  My kids (7 and 3 years old) don’t love spicy, and so we keep these mild.  The cayenne pepper is really not necessary as they have excellent flavor without it, but if you like a little spice, go for it.  Add 1/8 tsp for a little spice and 1/2 tsp for a lot of spice.

slow cooker meatballs

Prep: About 30 minutes

Makes About 30 Meatballs

(10 Servings)

Ingredients for Meatballs:

1 pound lean Ground Beef

½ pound Sausage

½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

2 slices Whole grain bread

¼ cup Milk

2 Eggs

½ Tbsp Dried Oregano

½ Tbsp Dried Basil

1 tsp Onion Powder

½ tsp Garlic Powder

¼ tsp Black Pepper

¼ tsp Salt

1/8 to 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Directions for Meatballs:

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Form into meatballs and set aside. 

Ingredients for Sauce:

28 oz Tomato Sauce

6 oz Tomato Paste

1 cup Water

½ Tbsp Dried Oregano

½ Tbsp Dried Basil

1 tsp Onion Powder

½ tsp Garlic Powder

¼ tsp Black Pepper

¼ tsp Salt

 Directions for Sauce:

Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Add meatballs to slow cooker.  Be careful not to splash!

Cook on low heat 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

Tip:  Use fresh shredded parmesan cheese for the meatballs to maximize flavor!

Gluten-Free Tip: you can substitute 1/2 cup crushed Rice Chex in place of the bread and milk to make these meatballs gluten free!!!

Serving Ideas: Serve with 1.5 oz pasta and add 150 Cals, 0 g Fat, 30 g Carb, 2 g Fiber, and 5 g Protein.  Serve over spaghetti squash instead of pasta for a lower Calorie dinner.  Add a side salad for a complete meal.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 3 meatballs and 1/2 cup of sauce)

Calories: 283 Total Fat: 16 g, Total Carbs: 13 g Dietary Fiber: 2 g  Protein: 22 g


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