Meatballs in Marinara

Put this hearty dish together in minutes, then let the slow cooker do the work.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 24-32 oz marinara or other pasta sauce
  • 1 lb ground beef, turkey, or chicken
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper


  • Add marinara to a slow cooker set on low heat.
  • Combine all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  • Form into meatballs about the size of a golf ball, and add to the slow cooker. (The meatballs don't need to be fully covered.)
  • Cover and let the slow cooker take care of the rest.


This recipe only takes three hours in the slow cooker, but don’t overthink it. You can also put it on before you leave for work and come home to a perfect meal. The extra time won’t hurt a thing.
This recipe is delicious over pasta, and also makes an excellent alternative to fast food sub shop meatball marinara sandwiches. Just scoop the meatballs onto a sub roll, cover with marinara and add provolone or mozzarella cheese.
PRO TIP: Make a double batch of meatballs and freeze half of them in a zipper bag. You can slow cook them right out of the freezer.
Keyword slow cooker

About the Author

Michael Nolan

Michael is a Forensic Addiction Counselor and founder of Rediscovery Wellness. He is Executive Director of Just Love More, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing compassionate support to people affected by addiction. A member of the National Alliance for Mental Health, he is an addiction, recovery, and crisis intervention specialist, a Red Cross certified First Aid & CPR instructor, and a Certified Anger Management Specialist.