• Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

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    9.2K shares 13 9.2K Jump to Recipe Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs is always a family favorite. The lean meatballs are served in a delicious, easy homemade tomato sauce and clean-up is a breeze. Things have changed a little since I was a kid. Back then, when my mum asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner, the answer was always…ALWAYS…spaghetti and meatballs, preferably the “Lady and the Tramp” spaghetti and “Tinkerbell” meatballs from our Disney kids’ cookbook. And I guarantee if my mum had a crockpot back then, these slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs would definitely have been her choice! These days, my kids request sushi on their birthdays (okay, so do I). Really, I have no one but myself to blame for this. I talk about sushi as though it’s the food of the gods (the gods like salmon skin rolls, right?). My kids listen and emulate. Like mother, like sons. Sometimes we curb our cravings with an Avocado Salmon Poke Salad or a Sushi Salad. Thankfully, my boys are just as easily impressed by a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs as they are with rolls filled with shrimp tempura or ahi tuna. Our wallets are grateful for that. My whole family fell in love with this recipe, both for the taste and the health benefits. You never know…maybe, just maybe, my boys will request this for their birthday dinners this year. WHAT YOU NEED FOR SLOW COOKER SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS: These are the main components for this recipe (including affiliate links)… Equipment: 1) For the slow cooker, I use a 6-quart programmable digital version, such as this one. 2) For baking the meatballs, I use one large baking sheet, such as this one. If you don’t have a large baking, use two smaller ones and rotate, rack to rack, them halfway through cooking. 3) For shaping the meatballs, cookie scoops are lifesavers. So much easier than using a regular tablespoon measuring spoon. Ground beef: To make the meatballs lighter, I use lean ground beef – specifically, 93% lean. If your store carries grass fed ground beef, I highly recommend picking some up! Other meatball ingredients: The seasonings are simple – dried oregano, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. To hold the meatballs together, eggs and breadcrumbs (I prefer whole wheat panko breadcrumbs) are all you need. Sauce ingredients: Simple as it gets! Canned crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic and seasoning. Spaghetti: We prefer whole wheat spaghetti for the extra fiber, but regular spaghetti or even bucatini works equally well. Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef? Yes! Feel free to sub in ground turkey. However, as I explained in the tips section of 15 Ground Turkey Recipes, I highly recommend using regular or lean – NOT extra lean – ground turkey for meatballs and patties. Can I just cook the meatballs in the slow cooker instead of pre-baking them? I like to partially bake the meatballs before being moving them to the slow cooker so that any excess oil is released on to the baking sheet (and discarded) rather than pooling in the tomato sauce. You’ll be rewarded with a lighter and less oily sauce. How do I make this slow cooker spaghetti recipe gluten free or low carb? The gluten (and carbs) shows up in two places – the spaghetti and the breadcrumbs in the meatballs. Sub the spaghetti out and replace it with zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, brown rice or quinoa. In place of the panko breadcrumbs, use gluten free breadcrumbs or crush gluten free crackers. This step won’t lower the carbs, but it will help to eliminate any gluten. What to serve with spaghetti and meatballs: For me, the answer to this questions is always a big salad. It’s a chance to sneak in some extra veggies. Some of my favorites to serve with pasta are: Warm Kale Salad with Caramelized Onions & Mushrooms Maple Pear & Goat Cheese Salad Pomegranate, Clementine, Herbed Chickpea & Arugula Salad. Other slow cooker recipes: Slow Cooker Turkey & Potato Soup {Cookin’ Canuck} Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry with Sweet Potato & Chickpeas {Cookin’ Canuck} Slow Cooker Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Stew {Center Cut Cook} Healthy Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy {Healthy Seasonal Recipes} Slow Cooker Spaghetti and MeatballsSlow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs is always a family favorite. The lean meatballs are served in a delicious, easy homemade tomato sauce. Print Pin RateCourse: Entrees, PastaCuisine: ItalianKeyword: Crockpot, Homemade, Slow CookerPrep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 5 hours 20 minutesTotal Time: 5 hours 40 minutesServings: 8 ServingsCalories: 446.5kcalAuthor: Dara Michalski | Cookin' Canuck Ingredients The meatballs: 1 1/4 pounds lean (93%) ground beef 1/2 yellow onion peeled & grated 3 cloves garlic minced 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 egg 1 egg white 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs 1 teaspoon kosher salt The sauce: 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/2 yellow onion chopped 3 cloves garlic minced 1 teaspoon dried oregano 4 ounces tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper 42 ounces canned crushed tomatoes 4 large basil leaves thinly sliced The rest: 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti cooked according to package directions & drained Grated Parmesan cheese* for serving Minced flat-leaf parsley for serving Instructions The meatballs: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the ground beef, onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until combined. Using a 2 tablespoon portion of the meat mixture, form meatballs by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly. Bake until the meatballs are almost firm to the touch and still pink inside, 12 to 15 minutes. Using tongs, immediately transfer the meatballs to a large slow cooker, scraping any accumulated fat off the bottom of the meatballs. The sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and oregano, and cook until the onions are starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cooking, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper to the onions and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the basil. Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to LOW and cook for 5 hours. Serve the sauce and meatballs over the spaghetti. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired. Notes Weight Watchers Points: 10 (Freestyle SmartPoints) *Not included in the nutritional information. Nutrition Serving: 4 meatballs + 1 1/3 cup pasta + sauce | Calories: 446.5 kcal | Carbohydrates: 60.8 g | Protein: 30.4 g | Fat: 9.1 g | Saturated Fat: 2.9 g | Cholesterol: 81.6 mg | Sodium: 546.4 mg | Fiber: 9.5 g | Sugar: 11.2 g Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it on Instagram! Just use the hashtag #COOKINCANUCK and I'll be sure to find it. This was originally posted on February 21, 2014 and updated on October 9 ,2019. Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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