Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Italian Dinnah


This smells heavenly. I mean my kitchen smelled like an Italian restaurant while these bad boys cooked. Who knew this was so easy? I have a confession to make. This was my first time using my slow cooker. I love that it was a dump in the ingredients kind of recipe with minor prep (for the meatballs), and then I walked away to study for finals about a month ago. I was left with a hearty, yet light dinner (thanks, zoodles). I also don’t think I can buy sauce again. I’ve since doubled the recipe for this, tossed it in the slow cooker, kept some handy in my fridge and froze the rest. On this cold, rainy/snowy/sleety day in Boston, hope this Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs over Zoodles adds a little color (and warmth!) to your day!

Ingredients (serves 4 with meatballs & sauce to spare)

For the Meatballs (makes 24-28 meatballs with serving of 4 meatballs):

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/8 c panko
  • 1/8 c grated parmesan
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1/4 c fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 t salt

For the Sauce (makes about 3½ to 4 c of sauce):

  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes with basil (I like Whole Foods’ brand)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1 t basil olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Zoodles:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 4 medium zucchinis, washed and spiralized (I used the widest width for a fettuccine size)
  • 1/2 c matchstick carrots
  • 3-4 c spinach
  • Parmesan to garnish
  • Red pepper to garnish
  • Fresh basil to garnish


  1. In a crock pot, pour ingredients for sauce and mix well. BEFORE adding meatballs, taste sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ingredients for meatballs. Using clean hands, roll meatballs into small balls — about 1/8 c (or 2T) in size. Drop meatballs directly into sauce.
  3. Cover crock pot and cook on high for 2-3 hrs or on low for 4-6 hrs or until meatballs are hot and cooked through.
  4. When meatballs have 10 min left to cook, heat oil and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, sauté zoodles and carrots until tender about 5-7 min to be al dente. Stir in spinach and sauté until wilted. Remove from heat.
  5. Plate zoodles. Top with 4 meatballs and desired amount of sauce.
  6. Garnish with parmesan, red pepper flakes and torn fresh basil (all optional).
  7. Twirl those noodles and enjoy!

Adapted from my Turkey Meatballs. Slow cooker recipe for meatballs & sauce from Skinny Taste‘s Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs.


3 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Italian Dinnah”

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