October is one of our busiest months of the year, since three of the kiddos have birthdays. And things are just about to get even busier, since the youngest two are starting swim lessons next week and Corban is starting basketball in a couple of weeks.
But hey, with five children, life never seems to slow down.
That's why I rely on slow cooker meals at least once a week, sometimes two or three times.
Three cheers for slow cookers!!
I have three, actually. A 6-qt and a 7.5 or 8-qt (can't remember) are my primary ones, but I also have a little 1-qt. one for dips. It's so cute!
I actually made this recipe for a church fellowship meal a few months ago and barely even got to try it. It was one of the first dishes emptied. So last week, I decided it was high time for this meal to grace our table. It makes HUGE batch, so we had dinner from it twice, as well as lunch for a few people twice.
Grant loved these meatballs so much, he skipped dessert so he could have seconds of them instead.
The sausage gives such a nice flavor, and combining it with lean ground turkey keeps the calories down quite a bit. I used homemade breadcrumbs the first time, but this time I tossed some oats in the food processor and ground them up pretty fine. Worked just as well.
I used homemade marinara sauce by simmering a couple of 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes with some garlic and herbs for awhile, but store-bought cans or jars of sauce work just fine and simplify the process a little.
We loved these meatballs over penne pasta, and I bet they'd be awesome as a meatball sub also. Annika had some leftover meatballs in a tortilla with some melted mozzarella cheese one day and said that was really good.
Any way you eat them, they're super delicious. And I'm sure they'd freeze really well.
Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs
from Rebekah's Family, Food, and Fun
1/2 cup milk
2 lbs ground turkey or beef
12 ounces bulk mild Italian sausage
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs, Italian-seasoned if you prefer
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
6 cups marinara sauce (Two 24 oz jars) or homemade
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs until combined. Add ground turkey, sausage, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; mix with your hands until well combined.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with foil and lightly spray with non-stick spray. Using your hands or a medium cookie scoop (my preferred method), shape 1-2 inch meatballs. Place on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Top meatballs evenly with sauce. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours in the slow cooker until meatballs are cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 160°F.
Serve on top of pasta, on split hoagie rolls with melted cheese for meatball sub sandwiches, with mashed potatoes, or as an appetizer.
Source: Girl Versus Dough, originally adapted from Taste of Home