This slow cooker turkey meatballs florentine has unbeatable flavor. With the combination of spices, spinach, and parmesan cheese it is sure to please your dinner crowd.
Since these meatballs are prepared in a slow cooker there is very little work involved, making these great for a busy weeknight meal. You simply brown the meatballs on the stovetop, and the slow cooker does the rest!
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Slow cooker turkey meatballs florentine recipe highlights:
- This recipe was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens. I first came across the recipe for slow cooker meatball sandwiches in one of their 2013 summer magazines.
- Meatballs cooked with crushed tomatoes in a slow cooker yield an extra juicy and tender result. This slow cooker is similar to the one I own.
- Browning the meatballs before adding them to the slow cooker sears in all the juices and helps the meatballs maintain their shape. Otherwise, they sort of crumble and fall apart in the sauce.
- This recipe calls for ground turkey, but ground chicken is an excellent alternative. Over the years, I’ve made meatballs both ways and have never had a complaint.
- Spinach is mixed into the meatballs adding moisture and flavor. I like to sneak vegetables in whenever I can. My favorite way to do that is with cupcakes.
A quick sear on all sides in a hot pan will trap the juices inside the meatballs. Then, allowing them to continue cooking slowly in a slow cooker with crushed tomatoes leaves them so tender they melt in your mouth. I used 93% lean ground turkey for this recipe. Ground chicken can be used as well and is just as tasty.
These turkey meatballs contain a lot of garlic. Feel free to scale back if your palate is sensitive to garlic. For even more flavor, parmesan cheese is mixed in, along with white pepper, oregano, and basil. The sauce is left simple because the majority of the flavor goes into the meatballs themselves. The two paired together is perfectly balanced.
Serve the slow cooker turkey meatballs florentine on a sub roll with mozzarella cheese, on top of your favorite pasta, or alone with a side of salad. Either way, you and your family are sure to be delighted.
Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs Florentine
- 1 pound ground turkey, ground chicken is great too
- 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 6 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, divided
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, spinach, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, egg, half of the garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, oregano, basil, and 1/4 teaspoon of the white pepper. Knead gently until incorporated. Form the mixture into 1 and 1/2 tablespoon size balls and place them on a large plate or baking sheet.
- Add the tomatoes, remaining garlic, salt, and white pepper to a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Set the slow cooker on the counter next to the stove.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Place the meatballs in a single layer in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Stir to coat the meatballs about halfway through the cooking time.