Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Turkey Meatballs in the Crockpot

If you have 15 minutes in the morning, you can have a filling dinner when you get home from work, allowing your crockpot to do all the work. 

We made these turkey meatballs last week and enjoyed them so very much.  Meatballs around here are a treat – heck, meat is a treat around here, especially in spaghetti.  Typically, we load our marinara sauce with veggies and if we do want meat, we toss it in as a garnish.  But, these meatballs – wow.  Definitely stole the show. 

We reserved the leftovers for a meatball sub casserole.  I can’t wait to share that recipe with you. 

Turkey Meatballs in the Crockpot

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe quick spaghetti sauce (skip the meat)
  • Whole wheat spaghetti noodles (we love Healthy Harvest)
  • 1 medium zucchini (or summer squash), shredded
  • 1/2  tsp. minced garlic, divided
  • 1 C spinach (fresh or frozen, torn)
  • 1/3 C Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey

Directions

Get your crockpot all set up and ready to go. Lightly grease the bottom and sides with olive oil.  

In a large bowl, combine together 1 lb. ground turkey with shredded zucchini, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 1 C spinach, 1/3 C Panko bread crumbs and 1/3 C Parmesan cheese.  Mix together well. 

Add in 1 egg and salt and pepper and continue mixing.  I recommend using your hands here. 

Then, using a T cookie scoop or your hands, shape the meat mixture into fairly tightly packed meatballs about 1 T in size.  Place each in the bottom of the crockpot.  If you’d like, you can make the meatballs as large as 2 T in size. 

Arrange the meatballs carefully in the crockpot. {Note – I tried the meatballs with tomato sauce on the bottom of the crockpot and I wouldn’t recommend it.  So, just skip it, even though you can see it in the photo.} 

Place the lid on the top and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meatballs have reached 180 degrees. 

In the last 20 minutes, prepare a batch of quick marinara sauce and boil up your pasta. 

Serve warm, topped with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. 

Enjoy!

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