Growing up in an Italian household, a pot of meatballs and sauce simmering on the stovetop was an almost weekly occurrence. Meatballs cooked directly in the tomato sauce are insanely delicious and super tender, but having to babysit and constantly stir the pot for 4 hours can be quite time consuming.
So when I saw this Skinny Taste recipe for meatballs and sauce made in the crockpot, I knew I had to try it. My own version has a few slight modifications to fit our tastes, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised on how it all turned out. Even my parents loved it and that’s saying a lot! I’ll definitely continue making the old-school stovetop version, but this crockpot one is great for when you just want to “set it and forget it” (with a few quick stirs along the way). Serve over your favorite pasta with a salad and some crusty bread. Enjoy!
For the sauce:
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 small onion finely chopped
Crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning to taste
Pinch of sugar (to offset acidity of tomatoes)
For the meatballs:
1.5-2 lbs ground turkey or beef
1/2 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
Italian seasoning to taste
Sauté onion and garlic in oil until browned – about 5 minutes
Mix together meat, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg and seasonings