Here’s an awesome slow cooker recipe that is Whole30 compliant: Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs and Marinara. Nestle some browned meatballs in a homemade red sauce in your slow cooker and let it do its thing. Serve over baked spaghetti squash, or spiralized zucchini “noodles” AKA zoodles.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1.5 cups finely diced sweet onion
- 1.5 cups finely diced carrots
- 4-5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 (28oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 cans (6 oz. each) tomato paste
- 1.5 Tbsp. dried basil
- 1.5 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1.5 Tbsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1.5 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 lbs. ground turkey
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
WHAT YOU DO:
To make the marinara sauce:
- Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and garlic. Sauté veggies until carrots soften, approx. 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a 6-qt slow cooker.
- Wipe out skillet and set aside to use for browning the meatballs.
- Add remaining marinara sauce ingredients to slow cooker then whisk to combine.
To make the meatballs:
- Put all of the ingredients for the turkey meatballs in a large mixing bowl. Using a fork (or hands if you’re into that, ha), combine the ingredients. Divide mixture to form approximately meatballs. (a 2-Tablespoon cookie scoop helps)
- Reheat the skillet over med-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Working in batches, lightly brown all sides of the meatballs in the hot skillet (3-4 minutes per batch). Add more olive oil to the skillet as needed to complete the browning process. Place browned meatballs on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to absorb any excess oil.
- Place browned meatballs in marinara sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
- To serve, place cooked meatballs in serving bowl. Discard bay leaves. For more fresh garlic flavor, season sauce with 2-3 more cloves of minced garlic.
- Optional: Place marinara sauce on spiralized zucchini “noodles” or baked spaghetti squash. Top with meatballs and enjoy.
- You can freeze or refrigerate leftovers for quick future meals.
MAKE-AHEAD OPTION if you want to partially prep this recipe, cook the veggies as instructed above, transfer them to a freezer-safe container, and freeze. Prepare the meatballs using the recipe above until browned. Place browned meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put into the freezer to “flash freeze.” Once they’re frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe container and freeze. When you’re ready to prepare this recipe, just add the frozen, prepped ingredients to the slow cooker.