Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs. The slow cooker makes these the most tender, juicy Italian turkey meatballs you will ever try. Healthy and freezer friendly!
Prep Time: 30mins
Cook Time: 4hrs6mins
Total Time: 4hrs36mins
Servings: 381 1/2-inch meatballs
20ounces93% lean ground turkey - (1.3 pounds)
12ouncessweet Italian turkey sausage
3/4cupItalian breadcrumbs - plus 2 tablespoons
1/4cupfreshly grated Parmesan - pecorino, or asiago cheese, plus additional for serving
1/4cupfinely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2teaspoonskosher salt
2jarsprepared tomato pasta sauce - (24 ounce jars) (choose something with good flavor that you love) or homemade
Prepared whole wheat pasta - sub-style buns, polenta, or enjoy alone as an appetizer
Place two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs until evenly combined. Add the ground turkey, turkey sausage, breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Lightly mix with a fork or your fingers, just until combined, being careful not to compact the meat. With a scoop or spoon, scoop the meat, then shape into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Arrange on the prepared baking sheets. (You will have about 38 meatballs total).
Bake the meatballs for 3 minutes, remove the pans from the oven and flip the meatballs, then return the pans to the oven, switching each pan from bottom to top. Bake 3 additional minutes, then remove from the oven. The exterior of the meatballs should be lightly browned, but they will not be cooked through.
Lightly coat a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Arrange a layer of meatballs over the bottom, pour on half the sauce, then stack any remaining meatballs on top. Pour on the remaining sauce. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, until the meatballs are cooked through and reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Serve warm with pasta, on buns, over polenta, or enjoy alone as an appetizer.
To freeze AFTER the meatballs have been cooked: Freeze with sauce for up to two months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
To freeze BEFORE the meatballs have been cooked: Complete the broiling portion, then bake the meatballs at 350 degrees F until cooked through. Freeze separately from the sauce. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then place in the slow cooker, top with sauce, and cook as directed.