2 ratings

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Garden Vegetable Sauce


Slow Cooker Meatballs

Because of all the extra veggies, the sauce is light but savory, with just enough cream (or coconut cream) to make it extra satisfying. You could serve these on their own, with rice, or over pasta, but I love to spoon these slow-cooker meatballs over simple zucchini noodles (learn how to make zoodles here), using up the abundance of summer squash and adding some extra lightness to this dish on a hot day.

— Emily of Holistic Squid

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  • 1/2 Pound ground beef
  • 1/2 Pound ground pork (or use all beef)
  • 1/4 pound beef liver
  • 2 eggs, preferably from pasture-raised hens
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon. ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs or almond meal

Garden Vegetable Sauce

  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 cup raw cream or coconut milk
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano cheese, optional
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil



Place the liver in your food processor with the s-blade. Pulse until liver is smooth.

Beat the eggs. Mince the onion, garlic and parsley finely. If making breadcrumbs, pulse sourdough or sprouted toast in the food processor.
Combine the ground meat and liver in a large mixing bowl and mix together evenly. Add beaten egg, onion, tomato paste, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, and breadcrumbs or almond meal to meat and combine well.

Using clean hands roll the mixture into ping pong ball sized balls. Set aside until sauce is ready.

Garden Vegetable Sauce

Coarsely chop the onions, carrots, zucchini, and celery. Mince the garlic. Zest the lemon.

In your food processor with the s-blade, combine onion, carrots, zucchini, and celery. Process until minced. Transfer to saucepan or slow cooker (see options below)
Place tomatoes in the food processor and pulse until smooth.
If you don’t mind sparking up the stove during the summer, save time by preparing the sauce on the stove. Sauté the veggies in the olive oil until onion is translucent. Add the lemon zest, garlic, tomatoes, and stock.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, then transfer sauce to the slow cooker.

- OR -

Add the minced veggies to the slow cooker with olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic. Add tomatoes and stock. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs. Reduce heat to low before adding meatballs.
Place the raw meatballs in the tomato sauce in the slow cooker gently without stirring. Cook on low for 4-6 hours until meatballs are cooked through.
Stir in the raw cream or coconut milk and honey. Adjust seasoning with salt and fresh ground pepper. Turn to warm until ready to serve.
Grate parmesan cheese and chop basil, if using.
Serve slow cooker meatballs with garden veggie sauce atop zoodles, rice, or noodles of your choice and garnish with optional parmesan cheese and fresh basil.