Slow cooker turkey meatballs are a delicious and easy crockpot recipe for busy weeknights. Your entire family will love this simple recipe for juicy and tender turkey meatballs. Gluten-free and bursting with the best flavor!
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
Here are the top five reasons you need to make these slow cooker turkey meatballs:
- Delicious healthy meal for busy weeknights.
- Kid-friendly meal that the whole family will enjoy!
- Crockpot turkey meatballs are great for meal prep, to freeze, or to make a double batch.
- Gluten-free and can be made dairy-free.
- Make these slow cooker turkey meatballs for a great party appetizer, game day food, holidays, or a quick and easy dinner.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are the ingredients you need to make this recipe. Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements and the notes below for substitution ideas.
Can You Use Ground Turkey Instead of Ground Beef for Meatballs?
Ground turkey is a great replacement for ground beef in making meatballs. Turkey thigh meat generally has more fat creating a juicier meatball.
You can substitute ground chicken, sausage meat, or ground beef in place of lean ground turkey.
Other Ingredients for Slow Cooker Meatballs
Italian seasoning is a delicious dried seasoning mixture that adds flavors of garlic powder, salt, onion, red pepper flakes, dried basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and sage.
Parmesan cheese provides moisture and flavor enhancement. Omit for dairy-free.
Olive oil provides binding and moisture. It replaces the egg in this slow cooker turkey meatballs recipe, similar to our eggless meatballs.
Fresh parsley provides herb flavors and freshness that enhances the dried seasoning.
Almond flour helps to bind the meatballs and makes this recipe without breadcrumbs.
Salt and garlic enhance the flavors of these delicious meatballs
Use a jarred sauce like Rao's or a simple homemade marinara sauce to cook delicious turkey meatballs.
Taste and Texture
Slow cooker turkey meatballs have a seared and crispy outside and a juicy and flavorful inside.
They have a delicious meatball flavor combining meat and seasonings along with marinara sauce.
How to Make This Recipe
Below are step-by-step instructions for how to cook this recipe. The recipe card at the bottom shows the exact cooking time and temperatures.
Step 1 - Combine the Ingredients
Combine turkey meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until just mixed to avoid a tough texture.
Step 2 - Scoop the Meatballs
Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the meatball mixture into about 25 meatballs.
Step 3 - Sear the Meatballs in a Skillet
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the hot skillet to sear for a few seconds per side.
Allow a bit of space between meatballs to create a sear.
Step 4 - Add the Meatballs to a Crock Pot
Place browned meatballs into the crock pot.
Step 5 - Add Sauce
Add sauce and slow cook for 4-6 hours on low. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
For a pressure cooker version, try these Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs.
What to Serve with Turkey Meatballs
Turkey meatballs are one of the best versatile slow cooker recipes because of how many ways you can use them.
Stir them into cooked spaghetti squash noodles.
Serve them with a plate of spaghetti, rigatoni, or your favorite pasta shape.
Bake them in meatball subs using melted mozzarella cheese and hoagie rolls.
- Do not skip the sear. It helps to lock in moisture and keeps meatballs from becoming mushy and falling apart in the slow cooker.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container the the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheat cooked meatballs on the stove top in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
- Freeze leftover meatballs in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Recipe Troubleshooting FAQs
Searing the meatballs in a hot skillet prior to slow cooking helps to prevent the meat from falling apart in the crockpot.
If you skip the sear you may end up with meatballs falling apart in the crockpot.
Ground turkey tends to have more water than ground beef. Use the freshest meat available and follow the recipe card b written for the best texture.
If the meatball mixture seems overly watery, try adding in some Panko breadcrumbs to soak up some of the moisture.
Other Recipe FAQs
You can put raw ground turkey in a crock pot without issue. However, the sear helps to lock in moisture and keeps the meatballs from falling apart.
Meatballs can be left in a crockpot for most of the day. Meatballs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F.
You can cook these meatballs for 6-7 hours and then leave them on warm for up to 2 hours.
Other Delicious Recipes to Make in the Slow Cooker
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Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs in Sauce (Gluten-free)
- Combine all of the ingredients except for the sauce in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix the meat mixture until just combined.1 pound ground turkey, ½ cup parmesan cheese, ½ cup almond flour, 4 cloves garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ cup parsley
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop about 25 small meatballs. Gently roll the meat into balls and place on a plate.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the oil, leaving a small space between each meatball. Sear on all sides for about one minute in total.2 tablespoon olive oil
- Place meatballs into the crock pot and cover with marinara sauce.1 24 oz jar marinara sauce
- Slow cook for 6-7 hours on low or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.