Skip to Content

Crock Pot Meatballs With Sauce

Sharing is caring!

Crock Pot Meatballs with Sauce are an easy, no-fuss meal! No browning is needed for these tender, juicy meatballs that are cooked in a delicious thick sauce in the slow cooker! Great on pasta or for making the BEST meatball sandwich! 

meat balls in a red sauce

I love Italian food! (Awww heck… I love all food!) When it comes to comfort food, foods that speak of family meal time, and meals made with love…the Italian’s just hold the corner on the market!

You’ll know exactly what I mean when you make this dish! My house smelled like a five-star Italian restaurant! Oh my goodness, it was so amazing… they need a wall flower with that scent! (Well…maybe not, but you get the gist, right?)

Who doesn’t like a delicious meatball sandwich, or pasta and meatballs with a deep rich marinara sauce? It’s the BEST!

The beauty of this recipe is you can do both, in the crock pot, (no kidding) and the sauce is OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD!  So, go dig out that crock pot that you thought you had put away for the winter and let’s make ‘a some ‘ meatballs… hey! (Terrible Italian accent…awful! Lol)

Uncooked Meatballs

How To Make Slow Cooker Meatballs and Sauce

In a large bowl, mix together 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of mild Italian sausage (If you can only find it in links…just get the links and cut them open…not a big deal)… along with your seasoned bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, and Parmesan cheese. Mix that together really well. I say “mush” it all together! (That’s right… Mush! I love mushing…just dig your hands in and mush away! Don’t be a pansy…roll up those sleeves and MUSH!!! Lol)

Take a heaping tablespoon of the meatball mixture and roll it into a ball. I like to use a cookie scoop, but a tablespoon works just as well.

Place the meatballs on the bottom of your crock pot. (Think golf ball size…maybe just a tad bigger)

Continue rolling the meat into balls and placing them in the crock pot until you have used all the mixture. You should have around 25 – 30 meatballs…give or take.

Adding the Sauce Ingredients

Pour the remaining ingredients on top of the meatballs…DO NOT STIR!  

That’s right, “dump” 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes, 1 can of tomato paste, 1 small can of tomato sauce, 2 cups of water, your onion, garlic, seasonings and sugar.

Cooking the Meatballs

Place the lid on top, set it on low and… walk away….yep…walk away, or you can dance…whatever gets ya moving on to the next thing on your list.

TIP: If you have the newer crock pots with the digital settings…and you’ve already discovered that “low” is burning everything to a crisp…set it to “warm” to cook! I am not a huge fan of the new digital crock pots.)  

In 4–5 hours, as the house is starting to smell like Cousin Vinny’s, you can gently…ever so gently, to not break the meatballs apart… stir the mixture together.

Replace the lid and continue cooking another 5 hours.

Crock Pot Meatballs with sauce

Finishing Slow Cooker Meatballs and Sauce

After 8–10 hours (I prefer 10 hours… just gives the sauce longer to do its thang!) and a couple more stirs your entire house and… the next door neighbor’s house now smells like Italy!  

As those meatballs cook… the juices from the meat and the flavors from the Parmesan cheese start to seep into that tomato sauce. (Cooking Magic…we love cooking magic!)

The sugar is caramelizing in that sauce, and it will just keep getting richer and richer with each passing hour. Your meatballs are going to cook perfectly! Want to see….

Meatballs in Crock Pot, finished cooking

Oh… Mama Mia! That’s a meatball!

Amazing, right? So simple, so quick, so easy… you are probably skeptical about the taste! 

You wouldn’t think something this simple would be this wonderful… however… you end up with beautiful perfect meatballs, full of flavor, and a rich thick sauce that is just as good as any fine Italian restaurant you will ever go to! (Forget the Cannoli…bring me the Meatballs! Sorry God Father…had to steal your line!)

Depending on the size of your family, I can get 2 meals out of one recipe of meatballs.

The first day, I made a pasta dish using Penne Pasta (it’s our favorite), you can use any pasta you want. The second day, meatball sandwiches.

The meatballs and sauce store really well in the fridge until you are ready to use them. I recommend making them one day, allowing them to cook the entire 10 hours, then using them throughout the week. 

Meatballs with Meat sauce

I cook some pasta, then spoon the meatballs and sauce over the noodles.

I add some chopped fresh basil, and sprinkled it all over the top. Add some fresh grated mozzarella cheese and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Pop it into the broiler for a minute until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Serve it with a salad and some garlic cheesebread! Yum! (I really need another go-to word! Yum is so original!)

Meatball and pasta casserole

I can promise this recipe won’t disappoint.

You will be able to tell all your friends and neighbors that you have Cousin Vinny’s very special old world meatball recipe! Okay, maybe not…but they won’t doubt its authentic Italian!

Meatball Casserole

How to Get Two Meals out of One Recipe

As mentioned above, you can get two meals out of this recipe! The second day… I use these meatballs to create the world’s best Meatball Sub Sandwich! 

Split your favorite sub rolls in half, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt, pop in the broiler till toasty and golden brown.

Add 3-4 meatballs and cover with sauce, top with cheese! Place them back in the oven under the broiler for another 2–3 minutes.

Another amazing dinner…and my personal favorite!

Slow Cooker Meatball Sub Sandwich

It’s so nice on those crazy days that we all have to just pull out a healthy, hearty meal, you can heat up in minutes and be done!

Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes We Love

I’ve got the printable below for you… What’s your favorite Italian dish? There’s so many to chose from but, I’d love to know what some of your favorites are…maybe I can include them here on the Blog! Until next time… Manga!

Happy Nesting!

Photo of Norine and her signature.
Yield: 25- 30 meatballs with sauce

Crock Pot Meatballs and Sauce

Meatballs and pasta in a baking dish with lots of yummy sauce.

A true rich Italian dish made in your crock pot. Meatballs with a deep rich Marinara sauce. Simple, easy and full of flavor!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes



  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated Kraft Parmesan Cheese


  • 2 (16 oz.) cans diced petite canned tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl mix together all the meat ball ingredients. Mix till well blended.
  2. Take one heaping tablespoon of meat mixture and roll into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Place into the bottom of the crock pot. Continue the process until all the meat mixture has been made into meatballs.
  3. In the crock place all of the sauce ingredients. Cover, turn on low heat, and allow to cook for 4 hours.
  4. After four hours gently stir the sauce to some what blend together. Return cooking on low heat for another 6 hours, checking about every two hours and gently stirring. Total cooking time should be about 8 - 10 hours. If you have a digital crock pot and you've noticed it burns even when cooking on low heat, I recommend turning the heat level to "warm".
  5. After the 10 hours of cooking time you can serve the meatballs over the pasta of your choice or make into meatball sandwiches. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

3 meatballs

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 1031mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 29g

Norine’s Nest in no way provides any warranty, express or implied, towards the content of recipes in this website. It is the reader’s responsibility to determine the value and quality of any recipe or instructions provided for food preparation and to determine the nutritional value, if any, and safety of the preparation instructions.

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 15th of November 2022

I made this crock pot meal in-spite of my never making, not only meatballs but also sauce in a slow cooker. That’s amazing since I’ve eaten a lot of spaghetti and meat sauce in my life. The outcome was delicious. Not only were the meatballs very tender and juicy, the sauce was much better than I expected. This is not a fast meal since it took me a while to make the meatballs. (Someone needs to invent a good meatball maker.) this recipe makes a lot of golf ball size meatballs, so there is plenty left over from after the spaghetti amd meatballs to make meatball sandwiches. Love it!

[email protected]

Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Hi Janis! I'm SO glad you enjoyed this recipe! It is one of my very favorite recipes and I love how the house smells when I'm making it! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your review with us. Have a wonderful week and a Happy Holiday Season! Come back soon! Norine


Sunday 22nd of December 2019

Hi Norine, I have searched for a good meatball recipe and found this one. I am going to make them for Christmas . I bought double the recipe. Can this crock pot meatballs be doubled and cooked it for the 10 hours? Thank you happy holidays .

[email protected]

Thursday 26th of December 2019

Hi Joann! I'm so sorry I'm so late responding to this question. I took a little time off to get my Mrs. Clause act together...needless to say she was a tad behind. I hope the recipe turned out okay for you. I'm not sure you could fit that many meatballs in one crock pot with the sauce. I would have used two or a really big crock pot. I'm sorry. This is my very favorite meatball recipe. The sauce is incredible. Please forgive me for responding so late. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and that you have a Happy New Year. Sincerely, Norine


Tuesday 22nd of October 2019

Loved this recipe! Popped them in the crockpot then we had the best meatballs subs the first day. Spaghetti and meatballs a few days later and they tasted even better! The rest will hit the freezer. Thanks for an easy, delicious recipe.

[email protected]

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Hi Angela! I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe. It's one of my very favorites! Makes the best Meatball Sub sandwiches and Pasta. That sauce is heavenly! I think I'm hungry now!! lol Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting with us! Have a wonderful week! Happy Nesting! Norine

DeAnna S

Wednesday 4th of September 2019

This is a GREAT recipe!!!! Can I make the meatballs ahead of time and put them in the fridge???? I want to make the meatballs and sauce the night before so all I have to do is place the meatballs in the crock pot and pour on the sauce, turn it on and go about my day. This is great with garlic toast!

[email protected]

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Hi DeAnna! Yes you can make the meatballs ahead of time and then just plop them in the slow cooker in the morning. You could even freeze them...which has me thinking I'm going to do that, then I have a dinner ready to go in a pinch. I love this recipe so does my family. Lots of great dishes you can make with this recipe. Thanks for stopping by! Happy Nesting! ~Norine


Friday 22nd of March 2019

Great Recipes Norine thanks for your time to do this. Wish I lived next Door !!

[email protected]

Friday 22nd of March 2019

Thanks! I wish my foodie friends lived next door too so that I could visit and share a meal. I'd love that. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with me. Hope you have a GREAT weekend!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe