Friday, October 29, 2010

‘Tis the season…



This time of year makes me think slow cooker; hearty, comforting meals that you eat on the couch wearing your sweats and slippers.

I love the idea of the slow cooker. Throw everything in, turn it on, and forget about it until the smell of pot roast is wafting through the kitchen and it’s time to eat. I understand that the very point of the slow cooker is to be able to turn it on and leave it. But sometimes (maybe always) I get nervous about our house burning down. I am that person that checks the knobs on the stove before I leave the house for fear that I will come home to either the pets being gassed to death or to a pile of ashes. Is this rational? Probably not. Okay…not at all. Does that stop me from thinking it? Nope.

So as much as I love the slow cooker, I cannot get away from that image of it bursting into flames on the counter. Needless to say, I am incapable of leaving the house with it on. That means shorter slow cooker recipes are my friend. This way I’m not chained to the house for 10 hours while dinner cooks.


Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs

Makes 20 meatballs

Sauce:
2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
a few dashes of hot sauce (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Meatballs:
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated yellow onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all sauce ingredients in the slow cooker.

Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Form into golf ball sized meatballs. Put the meatballs into the sauce in the slow cooker. (They should be almost completely covered with the sauce.) Turn slow cooker on high. Meatballs will be done in about 2 hours 30 minutes.

(This makes a fairly thin sauce. If you like a thicker sauce, you could reduce it in a pot on the stove after the meatballs are removed.)

Serve over pasta or rice.


These meatballs are fluffy and light; not at all heavy. The flavors of the sauce combine perfectly with the meatballs for a very tasty bite. Thyme, parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, tomato and red wine all come through.

We ate the meatballs over pasta tossed with a little heavy cream, gruyere and parmesan cheeses. The next night for leftovers we ate them over white rice. The verdict was a split decision: I preferred the meatballs with the pasta and Andy favored the rice. Both are delicious.

With this recipe, you get all the convenience of the slow cooker, but in only two and a half hours you’re sitting on the couch, cozily eating a plate of comfort food. 

Maybe I'd better go check the stove one more time…


(I want to thank Gina @ What’s For Dinner Across State Lines and Kristy @ My Little Space for the recent awards passed on to me. Also, a big thanks to Christiane @ The Mom Chef for the award and an even bigger apology for forgetting to mention it day after day!)

55 comments:

  1. I love using my slow cooker all the time but I've never thought about making meatballs in it! I bet they came out so tender and moist!

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  2. I love the idea of throwing these in and letting them just simmer until they look so wonderful!

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  3. Slow cookers are a genius invention. The meatballs look so hearty and good!

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  4. This is such a comfort food plus the fact that in the slow cooker is much more easy.

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  5. Looks fabulous! I could go for a big bowl of meatballs and spaghetti right about now!

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  6. Thank you so much. I use my slow cooker all the time; great recipe that I will make, freeze and have when the kida come to visit.
    Rita

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  7. I thought I was the only one nervous about leaving my crock pot on! These look really good, and the quicker cooking time would be perfect for my peace of mind. :) I bet they'd also be good on a sandwich!

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  8. I love using my crockpot and always use turkey to make my meatballs, but I have to say your picture is making me crave this wonderful display of delicious Italian style food....bravo!

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  9. It's the perfect kind of day here for a dinner like this! This looks SO good!

    I am the same way with my slow cooker, don't totally love leaving the house while it's on. (mine is cheap too!)

    I think I would go for the pasta! Thanks for sharing this comforting meal!

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  10. Adding Worcestershire sauce to the turkey meatballs and the sauce surely gives it an extra added flavor. The red wine, and the special flavor from the thyme is also very nice.
    Beautiful presentation, and yummy flavors!

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  11. This sounds like a good recipe. I love it when I can throw something in the slow cooker and it be done when I get home from work. I also love using turkey as a healthier substitute for beef. Thanks!

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  12. I am really hungry for meatballs now! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  13. Hey, Karen...you may have missed that I too, gave you an award! You are one highly-lauded blogger, it would seem ;)
    Love the meatballs, they are popular in our house and yours would go like hotcakes!

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  14. I am the same way! I take after my Grandma - she would go all around the house checking faucets and making sure everything was off including the oven. It's a curse I tell ya! Your meatballs look so yummy and comforting!

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  15. I just started to use my slow cooker. Not that I was afraid it would burn the house down, I couldn't get all the stuff thrown in so early before work in the morning. These look great though!

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  16. Must buy slow cooker! I've never even used one but it seems very useful, especially to make comfort food such as this wonderful dish you created!

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  17. This looks like the most delightful dish. I love slow cookers; they're so easy and create the most flavour infused foods.

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  18. Lovely recipe. I have never tried a slow cooker though.

    Karen, I have tagged you. Please read this: http://spoon-and-chopsticks.blogspot.com/2010/10/thanks-elisabeth-for-tagging-me.html

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  19. Hi Karen,

    The meat balls make me hungry...lovely...:)

    Dr.Sameena@

    www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com

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  20. I don't think I've ever made meatballs in my slow cooker and I don't know why! These look mighty tasty and I may have to break my slow cooker in for this season with this recipe!

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  21. As always beautiful dishes!
    Have a nice week end
    Barbaraxx

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  22. I made a stew this week with sherry in it in my crockpot. As I was turning on the crock pot and getting ready to leave the house I thought, "Hmmm, alcohol + heat = potential disaster, but I shrugged it off thinking of the time I made mulled wine in the crockpot. DO crockpot fires happen?

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  23. Love the turkey meatballs. I"ve never made meatballs in the crockpot either. I have had various crockpots for over 30 years, left them on
    when I left the house, and I've never had a problem.. I won't leave the dishwasher, washing machine, or the dryer on when I leave home however:)

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  24. I bet these meatballs just melt in your mouth. I really needed to implement my slow cooker in my cooking. And I must agree with the more quicker slow cooker recipes (=

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  25. Bursting on the counter? Are you trying to make us all stay home while the slow cooker runs???? :)

    Those look amazing. I love meatballs but have never considered cooking them that way.

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  26. Ohhhh my! That is sooo beautiful and sounds delicious!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

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  27. Awesome stuff Karen. I made chicken meatballs that were very, very similar a while ago when I cooked for some friends and they were a huge hit. Actually our recipes are so similar it's spooky. I used parsley instead of thyme and I didn't use Worcester-chester-shire sauce but the quantities are super close.

    I'll have to try Worcestershire next time.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  28. I am the same way, every time I use that crock pot, I'm sure it's going to burn the house down. My husband is retired now, so this Winter, you'll see alot of meals in my crock pot. He'll be here to call the fire department. :-)

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  29. I really need to invest in a slow cooker!

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  30. Those are some nice looking meatballs! I very rarely have meatballs made from poultry--I like how the turkey sounds though--it's probably healthier too! Very nice :)

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  31. i have never thought to use a slowcooker for meat balls... they are my FAVORITE!

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  32. I love that you just put the meatballs in the crock pot with the sauce. I usually brown mine first, but I'm definitely going to try it your way. The addition of red wine and Worcestershire with turkey seems like it would give great depth to the overall flavor.

    I use my crock pot all the time this time of year, but I often forget to get it going first thing, so I'll file this one away for those days.

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  33. nice blog and please check out my new post on :http://matbakhun.blogspot.com/

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  34. I love using my crock pot... I wonder why I do it so infrequently??? The Turkey meatballs look and sound wonderful!

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  35. I definitely don't use my slow cooker enough~ great idea!

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  36. Meatballs in a slow cooker. There is absolutely everything good and nothing bad about that idea. You have inspired me ...

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  37. What a great dish! So delicious looking.

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  38. This is fanTAStic! I try to do a slow cooker meal every Sunday, I need to bookmark this! Delish!

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  39. Baby steps.. and you will find yourself cooking 9 hour long recipes one day...:)

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  40. I love turkey meatballs and slow cooker recipes are essential for my busy life, thank you!

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  41. I am reminded once again that I need to use my slow cooker more often. These meatballs look great and are perfect for a weeknight,

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  42. Ooooh love slow cooker recipes. And we do meatballs for Christmas Eve, birthdays, well any old time. Yum. Thx for sharing!

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  43. This is a perfect comfort food dish. It looks delicious! I recently bought a slow cooker and will be trying this. I'm new here and really like your blog! I'll be looking around. Thanks for the recipe.

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  44. I really want to use my slow cooker more this winter. This recipe is major inspiration, you can cook practically anything in a slow cooker. Your meatballs look delicious.

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  45. Looks fantastic and delicious,Yum!

    simplehomefood.com

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  46. wow, these look really great! ... mm ... champagne and pear drizzle, the combo sounds fantastic!

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  47. Oh I love cooking with slow cooker too! Especially in making soup. Have you ever tried making beans soup on slow cooker? Absolutely fabulous and hassle free. Dump everything in and cook overnight, over low heat. And you'll have a nice warm bowl of bean soup in the morning. yummm...
    Kristy

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  48. Congratulations on your awards :)
    I love using the slow cooker/crockpot especially for soups...I do leave mine though.
    Great recipe, my kids frequently have turkey meatballs and pasta :)

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  49. Love your site! Such great recipes. Looking forward to being a regular reader. And this dish? Love the slow cooker... and adding heavy cream and the cheese to the pasta sounds so amazing!

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  50. This sounds so good. I wonder if I left them all day on low if they would dry out too much.

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  51. Such a Amazing and Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account and your blog posts.


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