Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce are simple to make, delicious to eat, and are low-carb! With less than 15 minutes of prep time, this hands off recipe is sure to become a weeknight staple. You can make this recipe in either your Slow Cooker or Instant Pot for an easy dinner the whole family will love!
Healthy Classic Dinner for the win!
Classic Meatballs and Marinara are always a huge hit in this family. Today, we’re doing a keto-friendly recipe with ground turkey that is both healthy and loaded with flavor! As a nutritionist, I love to give classic dinner flavors an upgrade with both nutrition and taste. That is exactly what we are doing here with these meatballs! Using almond meal and plenty of dried herbs, these meatballs have a perfect texture and also get a boost of healthy fats and protein.
This goes down as one of Amy’s favorite dinner recipes. And I have A LOT of dinner recipes. So while the family loves my Classic Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, I also like to vary up the proteins and use turkey. With summertime under way, and this mama not wanting to heat up the oven or stove, these meatballs are a lifesaver! Definitely a dinner I make all the time.
Of course, adding another Healthy Slow Cooker recipe to the rotation also saves me time and allows me to make these earlier in the day.
How to make Turkey Meatballs in the Slow Cooker
Let’s gather up these simple ingredients:
- Ground turkey
- Ground turkey sausage (can also use pork sausage, or all ground turkey)
- Basil (dried)
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Almond Flour
- Kosher salt
- Can of San Marzano tomatoes
- Red wine vinegar
Preheat your oven to a broil.
We start by mixing together the ground turkey and sausage. Then add the remaining meatball ingredients: basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, almond flour, salt and egg. Mix well with your hands and form into 1-2 inch balls.
Broil for 2-3 minutes, just so the meatballs will stay intact while in the slow cooker. Add to the slow cooker.
Toss in the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and red wine vinegar to the slow cooker. Set on low for 6 hours and walk away. That’s it!!! By the end of the day, you’ll have a delicious dinner.
Serving and Storing:
- Serve: over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or pasta. Top with fresh basil and parmesan if you like! I also love to pair with my super simple House Salad or Roasted Broccoli
- Store: These will hold up well for up to one week in the fridge. They even taste better after sitting in the fridge overnight! You can also freeze in freezer friendly containers for up to 3 months.
Can you make these in the Instant Pot?
Yes! I have included directions for the Instant Pot below. Follow the same instructions of broiling the meatballs, then place inside your Instant Pot. You can saute the onion and garlic in advance, be sure to add a little water after the saute, to prevent the burn sign. The sauce will not be as thick, but still delicious!
Other Slow Cooker Recipes you will love!
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Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
With 15 minutes of prep time, you can set it and forget it with these Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce! Such a delicious and easy way to enjoy this classic dinner.
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 lb turkey sausage ground or in casing
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 egg beaten
- 28 oz San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt + more to taste
Heat your oven to broil.
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).
Place meatballs on a large cookie sheet. Broil for just 2-3 minutes, enough to allow the meatballs to stay together when thrown in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot.
For the Slow Cooker:
Add meatballs to slow cooker.
Top meatballs with tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, and vinegar.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
Serve plain with fresh basil, or with spaghetti squash.
For the Instant Pot
Select the Saute function on your Instant Pot.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil. Toss in chopped onion and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Select cancel. Pour in 1/2 cup water, and be sure to scrape up any browned bits to avoid the burn signal.
Now add in tomato sauce, vinegar, and salt. Then add meatballs.
Secure the lid. Select the manual function an cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
Use a natural release.
Serve with fresh basil, and plain. Or serve over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.
My husband is allergic to nuts so I can’t use almond meal. Do you have any suggestions for a substitute? Coconut or maybe tapioca?
Hi Mollie, yes coconut or tapioca flour would work. Or even cassava flour.
How long would these need to cook on the high setting?
Hi Ellen, only about 2-3 hours. Hope this helps!
These are sooo good! I made a double batch and everyone loved them. Even my pickiest eater! Thanks for such an easy, healthy and wonderful recipe!
So glad you loved them Candy!!
Can these be frozen?
I found this recipe through a Whole30 website last year. We have made it probably 10 times in 8 months — my family LOVES IT! Thank you so much for posting! (we’ve frozen it, we’ve taken it to friends with new babies, we’ve made it for when we have guests over — it’s a hit).
I love this Christina! Thank you!
These meatballs are making my mouth water. Do you have a recommendation for a sauce for those who can’t tolerate nightshade veggies?
Hi Sabrina, how about a pesto sauce? I have a dairy-free avocado pesto here: https://www.wholesomelicious.com/avocado-pesto/ I would bake the meatballs at 375 for 20 minutes. The Instant Pot and slow cooker would not work well with an avocado sauce.
Would you still brown the meatballs for the instant pot?
Oh! Never mind! It says yes!
Can I use almond flour instead of almond meal?