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+ servings
A low cooker insert filled with marinara sauce and meatballs.
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5 from 11 votes

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

These versatile Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs cook up plump and deliciously tender in a flavorful tomato cream sauce. A unique method and a few tips and tricks ensure a foolproof result.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time6 hrs 5 mins
Total Time6 hrs 25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 307kcal

Ingredients

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 cup Italian-style panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Tomato Cream Sauce

  • 28 ounce can Italian-style crushed tomatoes
  • 24 to 26 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

For Meatballs Subs or Pasta

  • hoagie rolls, sliced provolone cheese, dry pasta, additional shredded Parmesan (see instructions below)

Instructions

  • To make the meatballs, crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk them lightly. Add the chicken, bread crumbs, Parmesan, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, salt and pepper, and using your hands, mix and knead the mixture to combine it well.
  • Form the mixture into twenty-eight meatballs about 1½- inches in diameter. The mixture will be a bit sticky, so wet your hands as needed to make rolling the meatballs easier. Place the meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet, and cover them with another sheet of foil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or more. The meatballs can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
  • To make the sauce, add the tomatoes, marinara, water, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 1 hour on HIGH.
  • When the sauce is done, place the refrigerated meatballs into the sauce, reshaping them into nice balls as you add them. Spoon the sauce over any exposed meatballs so that they are all immersed in sauce. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 hours on LOW, until the meatballs are thoroughly cooked. Avoid stirring the meatballs during cooking to help them keep their shape.
  • Once meatballs are cooked through, stir in the cream and basil. Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

For Meatball Subs

  • Preheat your oven to broil, and place opened but unsplit hoagie rolls on a large rimmed baking sheet. Broil them briefly, until the bread is toasted. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top the toasted rolls with 3 or 4 meatballs and sliced cheese. Return the baking sheet to the oven, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, watching closely, until the cheese has melted.

For Pasta

  • Prepare 16 ounces of the pasta of your choice according to the package directions. Drain well and pour the cooked pasta into the slow cooker with the finished meatballs and sauce. Stir to combine and serve with additional grated Parmesan on the side.

Notes

Use a cheese grater to grate the onion before adding it to the meatball mixture. Grated onion practically melts into the meatballs as they cook, adding great flavor and ensuring tender, smooth meatballs.
Nutrition information was calculated for meatballs only and does not include ingredients needed to make subs or a pasta dish.
Total time does not include chilling time of 1 hour or more so please plan accordingly.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 3meatballs | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 987mg | Potassium: 1099mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 852IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 4mg