Slow Cooker Pesto Turkey Meatballs

Slow Cooker Pesto Turkey Meatballs
I wanted to give you guys an easy recipe, perfect for throwing in the slow cooker and forgetting about it. That has been the name of the game lately. When life gets busy, which it always is, I’m all about the slow cooker. I use it for making shredded chicken breasts to put on salads all week, pulled pork (my favorite thing in the world), soups, and meatballs like these! I’m obsessed with pesto lately too. I put it in my egg white scrambles, in frittatas, on salads, roasted veggie bowls, and pretty much anything I can think of. It adds so much flavor and brightness to everything! And tons of garlic flavor of course.

Slow Cooker Pesto Turkey Meatballs
The sauce is super simple too. Crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, garlic, and Italian seasoning.

You could use your favorite bottled marinara here, but this is so quick and easy to throw together. And super flavorful. You really can’t beat homemade sauce.
Slow Cooker Pesto Turkey Meatballs
For the meatballs, you make a “pesto” mixture in the food processor with onion, garlic, fresh basil, fresh Italian parsley, parm, and walnuts. Then, you add egg and panko breadcrumbs to the turkey as well, and mix!

Total flavor bomb.
Slow Cooker Pesto Turkey Meatballs
One step you can’t skip, is browning the meatballs before you add them to the crockpot. It helps them keep their shape while they cook all night! Or all day. If you don’t brown them, it’ll just end up being a meat sauce because they’ll all fall apart. Trust me on this one.
Slow Cooker Pesto Turkey Meatballs
These would be super ideal to make for a party, or to have dinner made with next to no effort! Super kid-friendly too. Love them!

Slow Cooker Pesto Turkey Meatballs
Recipe type: Main, Slow Cooker, Crockpot
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • For the MEATBALLS:
  • 1.3 pounds 93% lean ground turkey (make sure you don't use ground turkey breast, the meatballs will be dry)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ of a medium yellow onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup packed flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the SAUCE:
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. To your food processor, add garlic, onion, parsley, basil, parmesan, walnuts, salt, and pepper. Pulse until mixture is very fine, like a pesto.
  2. Add turkey to a medium mixing bowl and add pesto mixture. Add egg and panko breadcrumbs and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium/high heat and add olive oil. Cook meatballs for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  4. Add meatballs to your crockpot.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the crockpot. Don't stir, the meatballs are very delicate at this stage.
  6. Shake the crockpot a little bit to be sure the sauce reaches the bottom..
  7. Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours.
  8. Serve with pasta, zucchini noodles, on rolls or subs, or by themselves!