Easiest Slow Cooker Meatballs

This requires two high quality ingredients for a super tasty meal with five minutes preparation.  Just what we need on a busy weeknight or game watching weekend!

Easiest Slow Cooker Meatballs | Simply Fresh Dinners

I have to confess to being a little obsessed with meatballs.  I’ve made some delicious chicken and turkey and even some turkey, spinach and quinoa  but I’m a die-hard beef fan too.

Tomorrow we’re celebrating my nephew’s 14th birthday and it’s also the long awaited battle between the Steelers and Cowboys.  In our family, I’m the Steelers fan and everyone else is a Cowboys fan, ha!  It’s one of the best rivalries in sports and it’s been eight long seasons since they last played so this is going to be good!

My nephew, John loves his pizza, meatballs and all things caveman-like.  He’s a super fit kid who excels in karate, ball hockey, golf, rowing and on the slopes so he needs his protein.  What better way for everyone to enjoy the day together than slow cooker meatballs?!  Can’t wait till he tastes these!

(This is from a couple years ago.  Being 14, he refuses to let me post his picture now, lol)

He’s so little in these next pics!  I told him that as much as I miss those days the present is even more special because he has grown into such a responsible, caring young man.  Happy Birthday, John!  And don’t get mad at your Aunty for posting these, lol.

You can enjoy these on top of pasta, rice or in a bun.  We’re also going to cook up some meatballs in the oven for those who don’t like tomato sauce so there will be lots of choices for everyone.

So the trick here is finding quality, frozen pre-cooked meatballs.  This isn’t going to be a repeat dinner if you go with the cheaper ones and since you only need two ingredients, splurge a little.  I get mine from Nicholyn Farms and after having theirs for the first time, I decided I didn’t need to make my own recipe – I was sold!

Easiest Slow Cooker Meatballs | Simply Fresh Dinners

The other option is to use your own meatballs, of course.  If they’re not frozen, just brown them up in a saucepan first and add your sauce.

Now, the marinara sauce.  There are loads of great companies that make tasty marinara sauces with natural ingredients only so you’ll want to read your label carefully.  Let’s keep this meal as healthy as possible.  And once again, there is the option of using your own, of course.  I have a delicious recipe from my talented cousin that you can try as well.

Easiest Slow Cooker Meatballs | Simply Fresh Dinners

And you know I’m going to put this on Chickapea Pasta because I’m a huge fan and you totally rock the nutrition value when you include it in a meal.

What’s your go to easy meal on game days?  Are your teenage boys cavemen too?  Share your fun creations with me on Instagram using #simplyfreshdinners so I can share them with my readers.  Cheers!

Easiest Slow Cooker Meatballs

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: Prep Time: 5 mins. Cooking Time: Slow Cooker on LOW 8 hours On HIGH - 4-5 hours


  • 1 package of 24 frozen meatballs (beef or turkey)
  • 2 28 ounce jars of organic marinara sauce . (This is the one I recommend http://bit.ly/2es5gwn)
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Optional:
  • Pasta, rice or whole gran sub buns
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese



Spray inside of slow cooker with non-stick spray.


Pour one jar of marinara in the slow cooker. Place frozen meatballs in next. Top with second jar. This is a lot of sauce but it will ensure the meatballs are super tender at the end of the day.


Cover and set slow cooker on low for 8 hours. If cooking on high set for 4-5 hours.


Top with fresh basil and cheese. Serve with your choice of pasta, rice or sub buns.


Prep Time is 5 min. Cooking Time:


This requires two high quality ingredients for a super tasty meal with five minutes preparation. Just what we need on a busy weeknight or game watching weekend! From Simply Fresh Dinners


  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    November 12, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    ROBYN!!!!!!! Enjoy your celebration and food is always a memory-maker. My family still reminisces about those fun family gatherings from 40-50 years ago where our mothers and fathers prepared meals that instantly come back to us through the aroma of ingredients. Make it memorable!

    • Reply
      November 12, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks so much, Anita! We reminisce too, especially among the cousins and our family gatherings at our grandparents’ house every summer. So much fun! I remember having the most fun doing dishes with my aunts and grandmother because I would hear all the family gossip, haha!
      Robyn recently posted…Easiest Slow Cooker MeatballsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    November 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Love how easy this is, especially with the busy holidays approaching! Cutie nephew!
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings recently posted…Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Pie BarsMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 12, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      It’s probably too easy for a post, Karen, but I’m just so darn proud of my little nephews, lol. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!
      Robyn recently posted…Easiest Slow Cooker MeatballsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    November 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Yum! I’m a huge meatball fan too. Your nephew is so handsome!I know he’ll be so happy with his dinner!

    • Reply
      November 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      Oh my gosh, Chris, aren’t they just the best! He’s such a cutie! And let’s hope he doesn’t see this post because I’ll be in trouble for saying that, lol
      Robyn recently posted…Easiest Slow Cooker MeatballsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    November 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Ever since my teenage years my guilty pleasure has been meatball subs. You just reminded me I am due for a feed since these would naturally be perfect 🙂 Have a great weekend celebration!
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers recently posted…Apple Cider Roasted Pork Belly SandwichMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Me too, Jennifer! I remember hitting Mr. Submarine in downtown Barrie with my friends late at night and I was hooked. If you get the chance, the meatballs at Nicholyn are to die for! This really isn’t a recipe but it was fun to write 🙂
    Robyn recently posted…Easiest Slow Cooker MeatballsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Blair @ The Seasoned Mom
    November 13, 2016 at 6:00 am

    You KNOW this is my kind of meal! Two ingredients, dump, and GO!

    Meatballs have been on my brain this week and I even pulled a slow cooker recipe to add to our meal plan next week. They’re always a hit with my kids and husband. I think I need to try your version instead!

    Happy birthday to your sweet nephew, and YES — as Redskins fans, we will definitely be rooting for the Steelers today. Nobody wants to see the Cowboys win around here! 🙂
    Blair @ The Seasoned Mom recently posted…Our Week In Meals #2My Profile

    • Reply
      November 13, 2016 at 8:01 am

      Yay, Blair! It’s good to know I have back-up! I may have to call and put you on speaker phone and you can get the whole family to cheer when Pittsburgh scores, haha.
      Do you have a brand of awesome pre-cooked, grass-fed meatballs that you use? I’d love to share some names with the readers. Enjoy your Sunday

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    November 13, 2016 at 8:36 am

    What a handsome young man! I love that he is so active and just adorable 🙂 We miss youth sports but since we have grandkids, there is hope we will get to go again one day. And I love meatballs too! That sandwich looks amazing and sometimes I crave one just like that. It’s been so long – you have inspired me. Have a wonderful day Robyn!
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert recently posted…Mini Cheese Quiche RecipeMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 14, 2016 at 9:09 am

      I hadn’t had a meatball sub in ages, Tricia, but I knew this was the perfect solution for a party where kids would think it was gourmet fare, lol. I love watching my two nephews in their sports and next weekend is a hockey tournament. Oh to be that age again! He really is adorable, lol, and I think I’m allowed to say that because he’s my nephew, right? lol.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I remember those days of soccer and track. Your nephew looks adorable, so wonderful he likes sports, happy birthday to him and I wish you the best with the Steelers!!
    cheri recently posted…French Country Cooking, A Cookbook and Comté, Ham and Walnut FeuilletéMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 17, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks Cheri. Oh boy, the game was insane and we lost but everyone had a great time. So glad tomorrow is Friday! lol
      Robyn recently posted…Easiest Slow Cooker MeatballsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat
    November 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes! I love that these are made in the slowcooker! The simplest recipes are always the best, so I love this!
    Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat recently posted…Sweet Potato Pecan PieMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 17, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      It’s the only way to go with our busy lives these days. Now if the rest of life was so simple, lol. Thanks for visiting, Shelby!
      Robyn recently posted…Easiest Slow Cooker MeatballsMy Profile

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    November 16, 2016 at 1:33 am

    I really do love meaty balls in my mouth. #sorrynotsorry 😉
    GiGi Eats recently posted…I’m GETTING MY VERY OWN GIRAFFE!My Profile

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    November 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I’m sure these were a hit at the party.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted…Restaurant Obauer, One Of The Top Four Restaurants In AustriaMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 17, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      They were, Karen. This really isn’t a recipe. I just wanted a chance to embarrass my cutie nephew, lol
      Robyn recently posted…Easiest Slow Cooker MeatballsMy Profile

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    November 16, 2016 at 11:04 am

    The slow cooker is a great way to make meat balls, isn’t it? I’ve made homemade ones this way, but never thought to use frozen ones. Great idea! Thanks!
    John/Kitchen Riffs recently posted…Chipotle Mashed Sweet PotatoesMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 19, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Easy peasy. I love putting the meatballs in the crockpot. I have tried numerous recipes and they are always great. Lots of love from W.W.
    Linda recently posted…Caramelized Party Mix RecipeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Emma @ General contractor
    December 15, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Your nephew looks adorable, so remarkable he likes sports, pleased birthday to him and also I desire you the very best with the Steelers as well as I love that these are made in the slow cooker! The easiest dishes are constantly the very best, so I enjoy this!

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