Tuscan slow cooker meatballs

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These slow cooker meatballs are soft, juicy and delicious and so easy to make. A few minutes of prep before letting the slow cooker do all the work for you.

Tuscan slow cooker meatballsOk, so I have a confession. I haven’t owned a slow cooker or Crockpot since earlier this year. I never saw the need for one and just didn’t want one. But then I started seeing all the recipes online you can make in a slow cooker (and there’s  A LOT) and thought it was time I took the plunge and just get one. And I’ll admit, I was a total dummy for not getting one sooner because it has been so awesome to play around with it. These slow cooker meatballs have become an absolute stand-by for me.

Tuscan slow cooker meatballs

And it’s recipes like this that made me want to get a slow cooker. The idea of dumping all the ingredients into a machine and let it do the work for me was very appealing. And it’s even better than I thought it would be. Do a bit of prep in the morning, walk away, and a couple of hours the whole house smells like an Italian restaurant and dinner is ready. Uh, yes please!

Now, the name of this recipe could be totally misleading because I don’t know if meatballs like these are made anywhere in Tuscany BUT an Italian restaurant I love serves similar meatballs and call them Tuscan so I’m just going a long with it. The mixture of herbs, sundried tomatoes and Parmesan definitely give me Tuscan vibes and I love how the tomatoes and cheese keep the meatballs soft and juicy (helped along by the low-slow cook, of course).

I served the slow cooker meatballs over pasta but you could serve them over polenta or with crusty bread to mop up all the juice and they will be perfect every time.

Tuscan slow cooker meatballs

4.75 from 12 votes
Tuscan slow cooker meatballs
Tuscan slow cooker meatballs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
3 hrs 55 mins
 

These slow cooker meatballs are soft, juicy and delicious and so easy to make. A few minutes of prep before letting the slow cooker do all the work for you.

Course: Dinner, Easy Dinner, Meatballs
Servings: 8
Author: Alida Ryder
Ingredients
  • 500g / 1lb ground pork / pork mince
  • 500g / 1lb ground beef / beef mince
  • 2 red onions, chopped and sauteed
  • 4 garlic cloves, sauteed with onions
  • ¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • ¾ cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp black pepper
For the sauce
  • 2 400g/14 oz cans/tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato puree/Passata
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • 2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced/crushed
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
to serve
  • fresh basil
  • Parmesan, grated
Instructions
  1. To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker/crock pot.

  2. To make the meatballs, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Form meatballs and place in the sauce in the slow cooker. 

  3. Switch the slow cooker on high and cook for 3-4 hours or 6-7 hours on low until the meatballs are soft and cooked through and the sauce has reduced a little.

  4. If the sauce is too watery, simply place the slow cooker lid ajar for the last hour of cooking to allow the sauce to reduce. 

  5. Serve over pasta with fresh basil and Parmesan. 


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Showing 18 comments
  • Lisl
    Reply

    Any suggestions on how to cook this if I don’t have a slow cooker? Want to make it for dinner, but my boys have cricket matches till late…

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Just making it in a pot is perfect. Just simmer it gently as to not break up the meatballs.

  • Sophie
    Reply

    Roughly how many people does this serve?

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      I’ve amended the recipe, thanks fo notifying me. It serves around 6-8 people and can even serve 10 if portions aren’t too big.

  • Caroline
    Reply

    Great recipe. The meatballs are juicy and delicious.

  • Sigrid
    Reply

    This looks so delish! I have a slow cooker, have had one for years, but I bought an electric pressure cooker last year and IT’S THE BEST. It’s like an Instant Pot, but it’s Russell Hobbs. I think I’ll give these a go in the pressure cooker. I love cooking sausages in it (sausage casserole vibes) because they come out SO tender and juicy. I reckon this will work. The worst that can happen is they fall apart.

  • Christie
    Reply

    Thinking I might try this with my Wonderbag instead of slow cooker. Will let you know if it works…

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Oh that’s an awesome idea! Please let me know what your experience is!

  • Christina
    Reply

    Had this for dinner last night and I was amazed. I thought the meatballs would be a little bland due to not browning them in a pan before (how I always make them) but they were so tasty and soft and juicy, like you said. Also probably the easiest recipe for meatballs I’ve ever made. Two thumbs up!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      That is so great to hear. I tested the recipe a few times and tested browning the meatballs vs not and honestly, the difference was minimal and not worth the extra effort. I think because the meatballs are so intensely flavoured with herbs and cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, they have enough flavour so I’m so glad to hear that you agreed. 🙂

  • Jem
    Reply

    Currently making these and they smell SO good. Can’t wait for dinner.

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Let me now what you think once you’ve tried them!

  • Cara
    Reply

    What can I use in place of the pork? Can’t wait to try this!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      You could try lamb or just leave the pork and use double the amount of beef. 🙂

  • Jan
    Reply

    On my to-do list for this weekend. Can’t wait!

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Let me know what you think once you’ve tried it!

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