Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs and Tomato Stew

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A meatball dish that grown-ups and kids will both love!

Mention to an Italian child that you’ll be serving polpettine for lunch, and chances are, he will respond with an excited hurray! Yes, this is a dish that will please every kid you know. Most of us know “polpettine” as meatballs, in English. We dunk them in tomato sauce and mix them with spaghetti.

But you can also serve this family favorite the way it is prepared in Italy, paired with a simple dish of sautèed peas. A tip: these two ingredients pair perfectly together. In this recipe, two worlds collide as we cook them in the traditional fashion for the first half of the recipe, and simmer them in the slow cooker for the second half. The result is a fantastic dish! Mix it up with your spaghetti, or serve it as a main course with a side dish of your choosing.

Our choice to mix ground beef with ground chicken or turkey gives you that traditional meatball flavor you love, but with reduced fat and calories. And peas, with scores of phytonutrients, are a healthy addition to this classic dish. Dig into this healthy entree and enjoy traditional flavors in a healthy way!

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Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs and Tomato Stew

A favorite among kids and adults, this meatball recipe will soon become a regular on the menu.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Yield 6 people
Serving Size 1.5 cups
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian



  • 1 pound lean ground beef optional turkey
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1 egg


  • 23 to 24 ounces Italian marinara jar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk canned
  • 4 sage leaves fresh, coarsely chopped


  • In a large bowl, combine meat, bread crumbs, egg, Parmesan, onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Shape mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  • Place meatballs in the slow cooker.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine marinara ingredients and pour over meatballs. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours or until meatballs are cooked through.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 220mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 11
Keywords Budget-Friendly, Kid-Friendly, Slow Cooker

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Here are more amazing Slow Cooker recipes to choose from:

Slow Cooker Cranberry Poached Pears

Slow Cooker Halibut Stew

German Schnitzel, Slow Cooker Style

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding

Slow Cooker – Spicy Three Bean Turkey Chili

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Rowena Dumlao-Giardina

Rowena is a recipe developer and food & travel writer/photographer from Italy with Asian roots. Creating healthy dishes in her own kitchen is priority. She believes there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that her family is eating natural & nutritious meals.

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