Crock Pot meatballs in tomato sauce

Crock Pot meatballs in tomato sauce

Old new meatballs in sauce

Meatballs in tomato sauce, this is the favorite dish of our younger family members. If they could choose, they would eat them all the time.Meatballs in tomato sause

These are the same home cooked meatballs, just with a slightly different flavor. Sometimes, changing just one ingredient can have an effect on the final flavor. And this one was outstanding, I’ll admit.

10 minutes PREPARATION
140 minutes COOKING


  • 450 gr minced beef
  • 450 gr minced pork
  • 70 gr onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • parsley to your taste
  • 250 gr breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 130 gr parmesan
  • 2 cans of tomato (one with sliced tomato)
  • salt, pepper
  • bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilly
  • 1/2 teaspoons Italian dry spice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme


  1. Set the oven at 200°C.
  2. While it’s heating, chop onion, garlic, parsley
  3. Mix beef and pork minced meat together, add breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and onion, eggs, Italian dry spice, parmesan and make a homogenous mixture
  4. Make small meatballs of the mixture. I had about 40 of them
  5. Cover the tinplate in which you’ll cook the meatballs with the baking paper so that they wouldn’t stick to it
  6. Sort meatballs so that they don’t touch each other. Bake them for around 10 minutes on each side at the temperature of 200°C.
  7. While the meatballs are baking in the oven, we prepare the sauce for the Crock Pot and meatballs
  8. Sliced tomato from the can and the tomato juice from the can should be combined for the sauce, adding chilly, salt, pepper, and bay leaf to it
  9. Once the meatballs are cooked (they should only get the ‘roasted’ color, because its inner part will certainly cook in Crock Pot) and lined in Crock Pot, we cover it with the already made sauce. Add half a glass of water in it.
  10. Set the temperature at ‘low’ and cook for approximately 2-2.5 hours
  11. At the end, when they’re cooked, add fresh basil, oregano, thyme, and serve it with or without accompaniments, they taste just as great

A magical ingredient

So close, and yet so far away from our traditional cooking style.

Close, because we use it more often as an addition to spaghetti, as a ‘cherry on top of the cake’.

And far, because we rarely use it in other courses, as some of the basic ingredients. We are simply not used to it.

And that ingredient is…?

Its majesty, the parmesan, which makes these meatballs in sauce somehow different from what we’re used them to be.

Freshly ground parmesan in this case:

Meatballs in tomato sauce- parmesan

My first encounter with this amazing Parmesan course, was in Verona, a couple of years ago.

Afterwards, I had to make them myself. Since then, they’ve become the main dish in our family lunch menu.

A couple of words about the recipe


Based on my experience, they taste the best when I mix various minced meat (any of the following combinations is good: beef, veal, pork, lamb, turkey). Even the best Bosnian ‘cevapi’ are made of the combination of mutton and beef. Although I didn’t do so, you can mix meat with less fat in this recipe (turkey and chicken), and thus affect the number of calories you eat for this lunch.

Good mutton is hard to find in the city areas, so on this occasion I combined beef and pork:

Meatballs in tomato sauce

Just a couple more ingredients, and the lunch is finished:

Meatballs in tomato sauce

In order to cut back on the unnecessary calories (and avoid additional frying), and make some time for the additional chores, I didn’t fry or stew meatballs in the pan, but I cooked them in the oven. In my opinion, they were a notch better than the ones made in the pan.

Meatballs in tomato sauce

Meatballs in tomato sauce

The temperature of the oven was set to 200°C, and they were cooked 10 minutes on each side. It’s best to set the cooking time to your oven, so that your meatballs don’t scorch.

Meatballs in tomato sauce


I added Parmesan additionally, because of the new flavor it creates. I take care to add less salt to the dish later. Unless I take care about it, the dish can easily be too salty, which isn’t my intention in the first place.

There’s always the option of buying the already grated parmesan, but it is better to grate it yourself from the fresh slice of Parmesan.


I always prefer fresh spices to the dry ones.

Meatballs in tomato sauce, fresh spices

I still have the possibility to use them, because I was diligent this year and planted my own. Fresh spices are no longer a problem in case you don’t have them in your household.

Now, you can always find small flowerpots in the supermarkets, containing some of the basic spice herbs

Although, when I don’t have the other possibility, I certainly use the dry ones.

The difference is in the intensity of flavor you want to achieve.

Variations and options

Meatballs in sauce, there’s vast number of combinations they can be served in. With or without additions.

Mashed potato, pastas, rice, boiled potato… it can be mixed into anything.

European flavors, the American or the Asian ones. In tomato sauce, or the sauce made from the combination of honey and soya sauce, in the combination of mustard and Worchester sauce, or even with ketchup and BBQ sauce.

Any combination is great.

Mine was a simple one this time, I added some hot pepper and some extra parmesan, because I’m a big fan 🙂 .

Meatballs in tomato sauce

Crock Pot

Crock pot

I made them in Crock Pot, because while combining meatballs and sauce, I don’t have to take care of it much. There’s no way they could scorch, no matter for how long you cook them (if you add the appropriate amount of liquid).

In this case, I set Crock Pot at a low temperature, and left it cook for 2-2.5 hour. Afterwards, the meatballs in sauce were extremely juicy.

With lots of spices.

Meatballs in tomato sauce- Crock Pot

In case you still haven’t bought your own Crock Pot, now is a unique opportunity, as I could see on their website

Once you get it, you can start testing it with this recipe.

Bon appetite!

Your journey with savour of Italy and meatballs in tomato sauce.

Hi, I'm Sanja Pejic!

Ćao svima! Ja sam Sanja, rođena sam u Beogradu, a živim i radim u Italiji. Bavim se klasičnom muzikom, sviram violinu i klavir. Volim psihologiju, umetnost i uživam u kuvanju. Često eksperimentišem i spajam italijansku i našu domaću kuhinju :) .

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