Healthy Crockpot Mini Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

Don't skip the browning step! it helps seal the juices in so the meatballs are tender and also keeps them from becoming one giant mess of meat in the crockpot. If desired, you can brown the meatballs one day (such as the day before) and then refrigerate until ready to use. you can also freeze the same way!

Photo by Luann L.
Adapted from howsweeteats.com

PREP TIME

30

minutes

TOTAL TIME

390

minutes

SERVINGS

40

meatballs

PREP TIME

30

minutes

TOTAL TIME

390

minutes

SERVINGS

40

servings

Adapted from howsweeteats.com

Ingredients

  • 1

    pound 99% lean ground turkey breast

  • 1

    pound 94% lean ground turkey

  • 2/3

    cup cooked quinoa (preferably cooked in flavored stock)

  • 3

    garlic cloves, minced or pressed

  • 1

    large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 2

    tablespoons finely grated romano cheese

  • 2

    teaspoons dried basil

  • 1

    teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2

    teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2

    teaspoon salt

  • 1/2

    teaspoon pepper

  • 1

    large sweet onion, sliced into thin rounds

  • 2

    (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

Directions

In a large bowl, combine turkey, quinoa, garlic, beaten egg, olive oil, cheese, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly but quickly, just so the ingredients are combined - do not overmix! Roll into mini balls - slightly smaller than a golfball, and place on a baking sheet. Layer sliced onion on the bottom of the crockpot and add 1 can of crushed tomatoes. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (mine was actually almost high) and add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add meatballs, searing on the top and bottom until golden, about 1 minute per side. To flip meatballs, gently toss with a spoon. I also shook the pan a few times to roll the meatballs around - if you pan is hot enough this works! Add meatballs one at a time to the crockpot. Repeat with remaining meatballs - it is okay to stack them once they are all finished. Once all the meatballs are in the crockpot, add the other can of crushed tomatoes, completely submerging the meatballs. Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve!

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