Slow Cooker Meatballs with Balsamic Reduction

I love food and for me, nothing says love like a home cooked meal. I also really love things that come together quickly and don’t require a lot of work, but still taste like I spent a lot of time cooking everything. Day 2 of Valentine’s Day Prep is just that; an easy to make, delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Meatballs with Balsamic Reduction!

This recipe is special enough for a date night, but it’s perfect for a relaxing get together with friends. The flavors are also mild enough that I can add to a pasta sauce for spaghetti, or add more BBQ sauce for a messy, delicious sandwich. You can also make them smaller and put them on picks, for a quick and convenient appetizer. They are that flexible. This recipe was also featured on Sidetracked Sarah as a guest post, and has received a lot of awesome feedback from Pinterest and plain hungry people! I also love that I can use my Instapot for one more tasty recipe!

slow cooker meatballs

The Recipe:

1 lb ground turkey-although you can use any meat you choose
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs or panko (I love using panko, the end result is a little crunchier)
1 large onion, sliced
1/3 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pinches pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 pinch each: rosemary, thyme and oregano, rubbed between your palms to break them up
2 TB red wine, or beef stock if you prefer
1 TB barbecue sauce (trust me here guys! The sugar breaks down SO well!)
Balsamic vinegar – 1/3 cup you’ll need this a couple times

This is a pick your own adventure recipe, guys!! If you want to make the meat balls up in advance, start with the meatball step and put them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

Not waiting? Here’s where you start: Place your sliced onions in the Crockpot-this will act as a little raised nest to keep your meatballs from swimming too much in the yummy liquid! Add your wine or stock and a good splash of the balsamic-about half.

Next, make up your meat balls. To do this, add your beaten egg, your minced onion, the garlic, your panko or bread crumbs, your ground turkey, and herbs and mix. The key is to do this all quickly and not handle the meat too much-you don’t want the fat to start melting from handling. Once everything is mixed, you’ll form the balls-I grab just enough to fit in my palm and roll. Place those on top of the onions.

Now, for the glaze! Mix the remaining balsamic with your BBQ sauce and brush the sauce over the meatballs.

Cook on low until you’re ready to eat (I find it takes 4-5 hours on low) or cook on high for 3. Check to make sure they are done by cutting one in half. That’s it! Easy, right?

Drizzle the liquid from under the onions on top of the meatballs, as it should have thickened up some from cooking! If you want to add another step, you can reduce the liquid even more and slather that on like a hearty, thick sauce. Don’t forget about those onions, either, they make a great addition!

Now for the last step-go enjoy those bad boys!

How will you eat these?

Yours in food,