Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs are simple to make, delicious to eat, and are grain free!
If any of my Paleo or Gluten Free friends ever try to eat or buy meatballs, you’ll notice that they almost ALWAYS contain breadcrumbs. It drives me crazy, really. I love all the spices, but can do without the many additives and fillers in most store bought meatballs. These meatballs are without the crap, but full of taste! These can be made pretty quickly, and the best part is they slow cook in a delicious and easy marinara sauce all day to let the flavors meld and develop. One of my favorite ingredients in any italian meat recipe is to add in sausage. I used turkey sausage in casing, and cut the casing to get it out. Ground turkey sausage is also a great option, but not always easy to find.
Typical italian spices in this recipe include: basil, oregano, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, and onion powder. I used almond meal as a grain free binding agent, and also added an egg to make sure they hold together. You will start by mixing together the almond meal and spices, and then mixing the egg into the meat. My meatballs were pretty large, about 2 inches in diameter:
One of the most important aspects of this recipe is that you MUST let them brown for about 1 minute per side on a skillet before transferring them to a crockpot. Otherwise the meat will fall apart. You don’t need to cook them, they will do that in the slow cooker. The sauce is made up of my favorite canned San Marzano tomatoes, 1/2 large onion, minced garlic, and splash of red wine vinegar. I pull out the onion once the recipe is done, but feel free to keep it in the sauce. It tastes so delicious after cooking several hours!
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 lb turkey sausage (ground or in casing)
- 1 tsp basil
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp rosemary
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup almond meal
- 1 egg, beaten
- 24 oz San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- ½ large onion, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Begin by heating a large skillet to medium high.
- In a large bowl, mix together both ground turkey and sausage until well blended.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and almond meal. Add mixture to the meat.
- With your hands, mix together the spices and meat until well incorporated. Add in beaten egg and continue to mix well.
- Form meat mixture into large meatballs (about 1.5-2 inches in diameter).
- Grease your skillet, and add meatballs. Cook each meatball about 1 minute per side until the meat is browned (but not cooked through). Add meatballs to slow cooker.
- Top meatballs with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and vinegar.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
- Serve plain with fresh basil, or with spaghetti squash.