I love crock-pot meals. Why, you may ask? Because they do they cooking for you, simple as that! Now, this meal does require a bit more prepping than most easy crock-pot meals, but I still got to come home from a day at work with the smell of cooked meatballs wafting through my house. I actually prepped the meatballs the night before, so all I had to do in the morning before work was brown the meatballs (about 8-10 minutes) and throw all the ingredients in the crock-pot (about 2 minutes)! Easy peasy. Two words that I love when it comes to cooking. Not just cooking, but “smart choices” cooking. Healthy cooking choices that are quick, makes it even better, and tastier!
Crock-Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs with Marinara Sauce
what you need:
For the Meatballs (will make 14-16 2″ meatballs)
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (*leave this out for strict paleo)
- 1/4 cup 2% milk (*sub coconut milk or almond milk for strict paleo)
- 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
For the Marinara Sauce
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
what you do:
- First, prepare the meatballs.
- Heat olive oil and minced garlic on medium heat in a skillet. Add onion, and saute until onions become translucent (about 5-7 minutes).
- In a kitchenAid bowl or large mixing bowl, add ground turkey, egg, almond flour, Parmesan cheese, milk, Italian seasoning, and sauteed onions.
- Mix all ingredients until they are completely combined. Use your hands if you are not using a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.
- Lay out a piece of parchment paper on the counter (or in a Pyrex pan for storing purposes).
- Create 2″ size balls, using your hands, and place them on the parchment paper. *I prepared my meatballs the night prior. I stored them in a Pryex in the fridge overnight, and did the next few steps in the morning.*
- Prepare the sauce directly in the crock-pot. Place onion, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, fresh basil leaves, dried basil, parsley, and oregano in the crockpot and stir well.
- Heat olive oil on medium-low heat in a skillet, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Place meatballs in the pan, and brown each side (aprx. 2 minutes per side). Put browned meatballs directly into the crockpot. Repeat until all the meatballs are brown and in the crockpot. (It took me 2 rounds.)
- Gently stir the meatballs in the sauce, so each one is covered.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Then, they are all ready to eat! Eat with Spaghetti squash, spaghetti noodles, over vegetables, or just plain! The possibilities are endless.