Recipe: Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs and Meatball Sandwich

After the success of my Hamburg Steak, I wondered what else I could try and make with the additional ground hamburger patties in my freezer and was quite happy with the results of this one.

I busted out the slow cooker again to take a stab at making some Italian meatballs which turned out also a swimmingly fine recipe.

Just throw together and chuck into the slow cooker and you're set for meatballs with your pasta or in sandwiches.

Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs
Makes 4 Servings

You'll need:
- 1 1/2 pound (about 24 oz) of Ground Beef 
- 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/3 cup of Dried Italian Herb Seasonings
- 1/2 cup of Bread Crumbs (Italian seasoned or regular)
- 1 Egg
- 1 small can of crushed Tomato (14.25 oz)
- 2 cloves of crushed Garlic
- Salt and fresh cracked Pepper

1. In a large bowl, add the grated Parmesan cheese, the dried herb seasonings and the bread crumbs. Then add your beef and egg. Add a dash of salt and cracked pepper for good measure

Fresh chopped parsley and other herbs would make a fine addition

Just missing the browned garlic!

2. Brown up the crushed garlic on a pan with a bit of olive oil for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it will leave a bitter taste! Add the cooked garlic and oil to the meatball mixture. 

Don't burn the garlic!

3. Using your hands, mix it all up by hand.

Mix, mix, mix

4. To shape the meatballs, scoop a small amount and toss the meatballs back and forth between your hands to help ensure there's minimal air inside. This will help ensure the meatballs don't crack during cooking. The size of the meatballs can be left up to you. Depending on the size you make your meatballs, you should get between 15-18 meatballs.

Tossing between your hands will help ensure the meatballs don't fall apart during cooking

5. Open the jar of crushed tomato and add it to your slow cooker. Then, carefully place and arrange your meatballs so they're all swimming afloat the crushed tomato.

Ready for their tomato baths

6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for about 4-5 hours (cooking time can vary by slow cooker).I like to carefully turn over the meatballs time to time to help ensure equal coating. 

7. Begin preparing and cooking your favorite pasta sauce (either from a jar or your own recipe) approximately an hour or so before serving, when your meatballs are done, add them to your pan with the pasta sauce in it to simmer on medium high heat for a few minutes.

Simmering with your favorite pasta sauce gives the meatballs an extra flavor punch

8. Serve over pasta immediately with a bit more grated Parmesan on top with a salad for a meal.

Over pasta

Inside one of the meatballs


Or, add them to some hoagies with some roasted peppers, Mozzarella cheese (or provolone) and plenty of sauce and throw them in a broiler for a few minutes for a fine meatball sandwich. 

Ran out of hoagie so I made an open-faced sandwich.
Just scoop a generous amount with peppers, cheese, and red pepper powder and throw in your broiler or oven for a bit

Have extra sauce on hand!

The meatballs can be frozen and then thawed and reheated for future use as well!