Healthy Turkey Meatballs

Photo Credit: Beachbody

I never thought of doing this before, but turkey meatballs in the crock pot? Yes, please!

There’s nothing better than coming home to the smell of a delicious dinner that’s been slowly cooking all day, especially when you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen to make it! All you need is 20 minutes to make and brown the turkey meatballs. Then you can throw the meatballs and the rest of the ingredients for the sauce into a crock pot in the morning, set the timer, and you’ll have a warm meal waiting for you that night!

That being said, meatballs are not my first choice when it comes to a meal. Or my second, or third. “Oh, you have meatballs? I’ll take a bowl of those please!” Haha, nope. If I’m eating spaghetti you can bet I’m ordering it with marinara sauce. My husband, on the other hand, would order meatballs as a main meal, side dish or even dessert!

I was intrigued when I came across this healthy recipe.

My husband LOVES meatballs, but I don’t eat much meat. But I thought turkey meatballs would be a great compromise for us to try. Plus it gave me a good excuse to pull out the crock pot. Who doesn’t love a meal that you can set in the morning and forget about it until dinner time? 

A few hours after the meatballs had been cooking, I have to admit, the house smelled wonderful. I later found out my husband thought so too because he snuck in and stole a meatball before they were done. He just wanted to “test it, to make sure they were coming out alright.” Haha, ok, meatball thief! 

I missed the part in the recipe where it called for crushed tomatoes and grabbed whole tomatoes instead. I ended up cutting them into bigger pieces and think I’d do it the same way again because the chunky sauce was my favorite part of the recipe. I only had one serving of the meatballs, but my husband really liked them and happily ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs
Serves 6
A heart-healthy meatball recipe using ground turkey instead of beef or pork.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
5 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
5 hr 20 min
  1. 1 lb. raw 93% lean ground turkey
  2. 1/2 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt), divided use
  3. 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  4. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  5. 1/2 cup whole grain panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  6. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  7. 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  8. 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  9. 2 tsp. olive oil
  10. 1 medium onion, chopped
  11. 1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes, crushed
  12. 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  1. Combine turkey, 1/4 tsp. salt, pepper, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, and cheese in a large bowl; mix well with clean hands.
  2. Roll mixture into eighteen 1-1/2 inch meatballs. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add half of meatballs; cook, turning occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until meatballs are browned on each side. Place browned meatballs in a 3-quart slow cooker.
  5. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Set aside.
  6. Add onion to same skillet; cook, over medium-high heat, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  7. Top meatballs with cooked onion, tomatoes, oregano, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt; cook, covered, on low temperature for 5 to 6 hours, stirring once or twice.
Adapted from Beachbody
Adapted from Beachbody
Rachel Freebairn Fitness
Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs Nutritional Data

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