How To Make Slow Cooker BBQ Turkey Meatballs
Slow-cooked to perfection, these juicy and generously-seasoned turkey meatballs are easy to make, then drizzled with a tasty BBQ sauce and Italian dressing!
- 2lbslean ground turkey,(92 to 97%)
- ⅔cupPanko breadcrumbs,or gluten-free, or quick oats, or whole oats
- 3clovesgarlic,(about 1 tbsp) minced, finely chopped
- 1tspfresh ground black pepper
- 1large sweet onion,sliced
- 1¾cupsBBQ sauce
- ½cupItalian dressing,store bought, or homemade
- 1tbspolive oil
Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl.
Add the ground turkey, panko, garlic, oregano, salt, paprika, and pepper.
Mix everything up just so the ingredients are combined – avoid overmixing.
Roll into desired size balls – slightly larger than a golfball, if desired.
Place all the rolled meatballs on a large baking sheet.
Place the onion slices in the bottom of the slow cooker, then top with ½ of the BBQ sauce and ½ of the Italian dressing (the rest will go on top).
Coat a large skillet with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat.
Lightly brown the meatballs in batches for about 1 minute on each side. (Do not skip this step. So much flavor and it helps set the meatballs so they do not fall apart.)
Layer the meatballs into the slow cooker while browning each batch.
Once all browned meatballs have been added to the slow cooker, pour the remaining BBQ sauce and Italian dressing on top.
Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 4 hours. Serve warm with sauce and onions.
Enjoy alone, or with mashed potatoes and veggies, salad, sweet potato fries, onion rings, with rolls and melted mozzarella for sandwiches, or even with toothpicks as a party appetizer.
- Store the leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make-Ahead and Freezing instructions: Prepare meatballs through the browning step; cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze up to 2 months. Add to slow cooker and cook as directed. OR you can fully prepare 1 day in advance, refrigerate, then cook in the slow cooker on low for 45 minutes or until warmed. Freeze cooked meatballs in sauce for up to 2 months. Defrost before reheating as desired.
- Meat: Any ground meat preferred can be used.
- As a substitute for Panko breadcrumbs, whole wheat or homemade dry breadcrumbs can be used instead. Or even oats. To make own breadcrumbs for this particular recipe, trim the crusts from 2 slices of stale whole wheat bread. Cut the bread into pieces and pulse in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees F until dry, about 12 to 14 minutes. This makes around ⅔ cup.
- BBQ Sauce and Italian Dressing: Use your favorite BBQ sauce and Italian dressing. These make up the sauce, so make sure you like their flavor!
- Slow Cooker: A 4-quart or larger slow cooker may be used.
- No Slow Cooker? No problem. Add the shaped meatballs to a large skillet coated with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté for about 5 minutes until browned on all sides. Place on a large baking sheet. Repeat with all the meatballs since they cannot all fit into the pan at once. Turn off heat. Pour off any excess oil. In a very large pot, add the sliced onions and half of the BBQ sauce and Italian dressing. Add the meatballs and pour the remaining BBQ sauce and Italian dressing on top. Turn the heat to low-medium and simmer for 25 to 35 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly, the flavors blend, and the meatballs are cooked through.
- Calories: 121.69kcal
- Fat: 5.05g
- Saturated Fat: 1.10g
- Trans Fat: 0.04g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 1.74g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.53g
- Carbohydrates: 11.33g
- Fiber: 0.48g
- Sugar: 7.95g
- Protein: 7.91g
- Cholesterol: 35.63mg
- Sodium: 234.69mg
- Calcium: 23.98mg
- Potassium: 163.25mg
- Iron: 0.72mg
- Vitamin A: 15.12µg
- Vitamin C: 1.03mg
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