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This is called meatballs/meat sauce because when I set out to make these meatballs, the end product was supposed to be in ball form, but what I was left with was a (thick and beautiful) meat sauce.

Clearly things did not go as planned.

My future in-laws were here visiting the other week, and I wanted to impress them with a traditional, homey, comforting, classic meal. Spaghetti and meatballs. And since we planned to go out during the day to lunch and a museum, I thought the slow cooker would be ideal. So I flipped through my Fix it and Forget it cookbook and found a great looking recipe for slow cooker turkey meatballs.

And though I followed the recipe, the meatballs had a little too much moisture in them,  so while I was pan frying them, they…eh….crumbled.

I figured it would still taste good, and made meat sauce instead :)

But here’s the recipe for the meatballs:

Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs (Adapted from Fix-it and Forget-it Recipes for Entertaining)
Makes 15-18 meatballs
>> Click here for printable recipe


  • 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 (14 oz) can plain tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands into the slow cooker. Pour in the remaining juice, and mix in the other can of tomato sauce, vinegar, onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, and basil. Set aside.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Form into 1 inch balls, then brown in a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker. Gently stir to combine the meatballs and sauce.
  3. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Serve over pasta (and hope it didn’t disintegrate into meat sauce, but if it did, I assure you — it’s still delicious).

My Two Cents: I think using two egg whites made the meatballs a little too moist. I think next time I will use just one egg white. That should be plenty of moisture. Either that, or I’ll put in 1/2 cup of quick oats to give them more body.

My future in-laws loved this sauce. They went back for seconds (and Chris even went back for thirds). Spaghetti and meatballs is one of the best comfort foods they make. And as usual, the slow cooker marries all of these flavors beautifully.

Enjoy! :)