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Spaghetti with Saucy Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs

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Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with Saucy Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs

Jessica Braider
My boys love, love, love spaghetti and meatballs, but sometimes I just don’t have the time to assemble the meatballs or the desire to eat red meat, and that is when this recipe comes in handy! The slow cooker keeps the turkey meatballs nice and moist, which is harder to do when you bake or fry them and I love that I come home to the welcoming scent of meatballs and sauce without all the effort!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced, about 2 tsp.
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 carrot grated ½ cup
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs (store-bought or homemade)(use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce (or use any variety) (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 16 oz. spaghetti (use wheat/gluten-free if needed)


  • Using the saute function on your slow cooker or a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it is shimmering but not smoking. Add the onions and sauté until starting to turn golden, 6 - 8 minutes.
  • Add 1 tsp. garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • If you are using a skillet, pour the onions and garlic into the slow cooker, scraping in as much as you can.
  • To the slow cooker, add the tomatoes, bay leaf, 1 tsp. oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Then assemble the meatballs. In a large bowl combine the meat, egg, carrots, bread crumbs, cheese, 1 tsp. garlic, the soy sauce, 1 tsp. oregano, and basil and mix well with your clean hands. (At this point you can cover the bowl and refrigerate the meatball mixture for up to 24 hours hours.)
  • Scoop out portions of meat, about 2 Tbsp. in size, and form into balls. Place the meatballs into the sauce in the slow cooker.
  • Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours. If you like thicker sauce, after the 6 hours of cooking, remove the lid and let the sauce reduce for about another 30 minutes.
  • Twenty minutes before you plan to serve the meatballs, cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Remove the bay leaf and serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti immediately, refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze the meatballs and sauce for up to 3 months.


Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the onion, grate the carrot, combine the spices, make the meatball mixture and refrigerate, assemble and cover the meatballs and refrigerate, cook the spaghetti and store it with a little oil to prevent sticking, fully prepare and refrigerate the dish, or freeze the meatballs and sauce.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1 tsp. dried thyme to the meatballs and/or a dash of crushed red pepper flakes to either the sauce or the meatballs.
Tip: I serve the meatballs over spaghetti here, but they would also be delicious served over rice or polenta or tucked inside a soft roll.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 398, Total Fat: 9g, 14%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 13%; Cholesterol: 62mg, 21%; Sodium: 541mg, 23%; Total Carbohydrate: 56g, 19%; Dietary Fiber: 5g, 18%; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 24g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword All, Dinner, Fall, Freezer-Friendly, Gluten-Free, High Fiber, Kid-Friendly, Low Fat, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Winter
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