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Ultimate Slow Cooker Cheesy, Garlic-y Meatballs

Melt-in-your-mouth, cheesy, garlic-y, Italian meatballs in homemade marinara sauce.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6


For the Marinara Sauce:

  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth or water
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour (non-GMO) or almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp parsley dried or chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients for the marinara sauce in a slow cooker and turn on HIGH. Heat a large skillet on medium. 

  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs and mix well. Shape into small balls.

  3. Cook meatballs in the hot skillet for several minutes on one side, until starting to brown. Flip over gently with tongs (do not stir) and cook on the other side. Meatballs will still be pink in the center.

  4. Transfer the browned meatballs to the slow cooker with marinara sauce. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours, or LOW 4-6 hours. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Recipe Notes

To eliminate the slow cooker option, you can cook these meatballs on the stovetop in the marinara sauce on medium low for about an hour.

For a gluten-free option, replace regular flour for almond flour. For a Keto option, omit the honey in the marinara sauce also.