Slow Cooker Meatballs Marinara Recipe

4 Min Read

There’s nothing quite like the aroma of homemade marinara sauce simmering in the slow cooker, infusing your home with the promise of a delicious meal.

And when that marinara sauce is paired with tender, flavorful meatballs, you have a winning combination that’s sure to please the whole family.

This Slow Cooker Meatballs Marinara recipe takes the classic Italian dish to a new level of convenience and taste, allowing you to enjoy a hearty, satisfying meal with minimal effort. Let’s dive into the savory world of slow-cooked goodness!


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Preparing the Meatballs:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, beaten egg, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.

Mix until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Shape the mixture into meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.

Making the Marinara Sauce:

In the slow cooker, combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped onion, minced garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.

Stir until well combined.

Cooking the Meatballs:

Gently place the meatballs into the slow cooker, ensuring they are submerged in the sauce.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is flavorful.


Serve the meatballs and marinara sauce hot over cooked pasta or with crusty bread for dipping.

Nutritional Facts

(Per Serving)

  • Calories: 320
  • Total Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 90mg
  • Sodium: 800mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Sugars: 10g
  • Protein: 25g


1. Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef for the meatballs?

Yes, ground turkey is a suitable substitute for ground beef if you prefer a leaner option.

2. Can I add additional vegetables to the marinara sauce?

Certainly! Feel free to add diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or carrots for extra flavor and nutrition.

3. Can I freeze the leftovers?

Absolutely! Allow the meatballs and sauce to cool completely before transferring them to airtight containers or freezer bags. They can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

4. Can I make the meatballs ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the meatballs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking them in the slow cooker with the marinara sauce.

5. Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried in the marinara sauce?

Yes, you can substitute fresh herbs for dried, keeping in mind that the flavor may be more intense, so adjust the quantities accordingly.

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