Tuscan slow cooker meatballs
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.
Ok, 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.
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
- 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
- fresh basil
- Parmesan, grated
- To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker/crock pot.
- To make the meatballs, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Form meatballs and place in the sauce in the slow cooker.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve over pasta with fresh basil and Parmesan.