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make-ahead recipes slow cooker meatballs

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Marinara

This super-easy, make-ahead recipe has been a crowd-pleaser in our family for nearly 20 years. We love walking in the door to the aroma of Italian spices and savory sauce. Feel free to vary the seasonings to your taste – you can’t go wrong.


Units Scale

1 lb. ground beef OR 1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder or fresh minced garlic
1 egg, beaten
Enough milk to moisten mixture


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Use your hands to form mixture into 2” meatballs. Place meatballs in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Cover with a jar of your favorite marinara sauce plus ½ cup water. Cover and refrigerate until next day.
  3. Cook on low 6-7 hours, or on high 3-4 hours, or until meatballs are done.

Keywords: meatballs, slower cooker recipes