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A Crock-Pot Italian Meatballs Recipe Perfect For a Crowd

Making a spaghetti dinner for others is easy with this simple dump-and-go slow cooker recipe!

Can you ever go wrong with a spaghetti and meatball dinner? If you're looking for a meal to serve a crowd, throwing together a large crock-pot of Italian meatballs is one of the easiest tricks of the trade.

Meatballs were always a staple in my house growing up. My family has some deep Italian roots, so some of my earliest memories involved canning tomato sauce for the winter and large pots of sauce and meatballs that cook on the stove for hours. The pleasing smell of tomato sauce, garlic, onion, and basil would waft around the house on cold winter nights. To this day, those smells remind me of home.

While I am a huge fan of making meatballs and sauce from scratch, sometimes it's hard to take the time to do so. That's why this crock-pot Italian meatballs recipe is the perfect go-to when you want a large spaghetti dinner without all the work.

My trick? Buy some quality frozen Italian meatballs! While the price of those meatballs is certainly more than buying some ground beef and making them yourself, it's worth the little time and effort you'll have to put into cooking them. This slow cooker recipe will create a delectable homemade sauce as the Italian meatballs start to cook, and it will only take you 2 to 4 hours to do so.

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Makes 4-6 servings


1 bag frozen Italian meatballs
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup beef stock

How to Make It

  1. Defrost the bag of Italian meatballs overnight.
  2. Add the meatballs to the slow cooker. Add the sliced onions as well.
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and sprinkle on all of the seasonings. Mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Pour in the beef stock.
  5. Cook on high for 2 hours, or low for 4 hours.
  6. Serve on prepared spaghetti noodles, or zucchini "zoodles," with some parmesan cheese.

Eat This! Tip

Freeze this meal and save it for later! Add the meatballs, crushed tomatoes, onion, and seasonings into a gallon-size freezer bag. Make sure to defrost the meal in the refrigerator 24 hours before putting it into the slow cooker. Mix ingredients together so they are evenly distributed before turning on the slow cooker. Pour in the beef stock and follow the normal instructions from there.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in recipe development, food, and diet coverage. Read more