Gluten-Free Crock Pot Italian Meatballs are easy to prepare and result in the most tender, flavorful, amazing, best meatballs, perfect for sharing with friends and family. Serve these slow cooker meatballs as is for a low-carb appetizer, or with pasta or rice for a complete meal.

Angle shot of Italian meatballs in a crock pot, sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Ready for the easiest, best meatball recipe that you’ll want to make over and over again?

This simple recipe is bursting with flavor and the meatballs turn out with the perfect texture.

Ideal for serving at any gathering or making a part of your weekly meal prep, this easy Italian meatballs recipe is simple enough to whip up at a moment’s notice, and delicious enough to prepare time and again.

Serve them as is for a perfect appetizer for game day, or over egg noodles or noodles of choice for the most amazing meatball pasta!

Two white bowls of pasta with meatballs and sauce on top with gold forks.

The best part is there’s no need to brown the meatballs in a skillet, saving time and energy.

With just a few easy steps, we simply mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a mixing bowl, form meatballs, and stick them in a crock pot with the sauce ingredients.

Set it up in the morning, leave for work, then come home to an incredible smelling home with the most inviting dinner already ready. Simply serve it with your favorite side dishes or over noodles for an amazing meal!

Horizontal image of finished meatballs in a crock pot.

Let’s discuss the ingredients for homemade meatballs.

I use gluten-free flour or gluten-free Italian bread crumbs and lean ground beef, but you can go with regular bread crumbs and any type of ground beef or even ground turkey.

Ingredients for Crock Pot Meatballs:

Ground Beef Meatballs: Ground beef, gluten-free all-purpose flour (or gluten-free bread crumbs or regular Panko bread crumbs if you aren’t gluten-free), onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, egg, and salt. Toss in some fresh grated parmesan cheese if you do dairy.

I like using garlic powder and onion powder for the meatballs because it ensures the flavor is uniform throughout without changing the texture, and it saves the chopping time. If you prefer using fresh yellow onion and garlic cloves, feel free to make the switch.

The ingredients list for the meatballs is comprised of traditional main ingredients in the sense that the best meatballs typically include varying amounts of these ingredients.

If you eat a grain-free diet, you can replace the bread crumbs with almond flour or skip them altogether.

For a dairy-free option, simply skip the parmesan cheese. The meatballs will still be delicious!

Meatball Sauce: Homemade or store-bought pasta sauce (I recommend marinara or tomato basil sauce but any type of tomato sauce or spaghetti sauces will work), garlic, diced tomatoes, fresh parsley, fresh basil

This combination of meatball sauce ingredients results in that perfectly tangy, herby sauce that drives our taste buds wild. The whole family will love it! I like serving the meatballs over gluten-free noodles but you can pick your favorite noodles or your favorite side dishes.

It’s such a big hit, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes one of those easy dinner recipes you make time and again.

This easy meatball recipe is an easy way of enjoying one of your favorite recipes after a long day.

Angle shot of two white bowls of pasta with meatballs on top, ready to eat.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • If you’re in a rush, you can buy pre-made frozen meatballs from the grocery store along with two jars of your favorite pasta sauce and simply dump it all in the slow cooker.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce or a little bit of fresh garlic or chopped onion to the meatball mixture if you’d like.
  • For a little heat, add 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the meatball mixture.
  • Employ this method and cooking times for any of your favorite meatball recipes, such as crock pot Swedish meatballs, meatballs with bbq sauce, Hawaiian meatballs, honey garlic meatballs, etc., using fresh meatballs or frozen meatballs.
  • Use leftovers for meatball subs!
  • Now that we’ve covered the simple ingredients for these Italian style crock pot meatballs, let’s make them!

How to Make Crock Pot Italian Meatballs:

Lightly spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray (this helps for easy cleanup).

Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a mixing bowl until well-combined.

Ingredients for meatballs in a mixing bowl.
Meatball mixture in a mixing bowl.

Form 24 meatballs out of the mixture and place them on the bottom of the slow cooker. it’s fine if the meatballs overlap. They don’t need to be in a single layer.

Raw meatballs at the bottom of a slow cooker, ready to be cooked.

Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together in a large mixing bowl, then pour it into the slow cooker over the meatballs. 

Pouring tomato sauce into the crock pot with the meatballs.

Cook on HIGH heat for 4-5 hours or LOW heat for 6 to 8 hours.

Crock pot with sauce and meatballs inside, ready to be cooked.

Serve meatballs over gluten-free pasta (or pasta or rice of choice) with fresh grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Finished meatballs in a slow cooker, ready to be served.

Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze meatballs for up to 3 months.

Top down image of two bowls of meatball pasta on a rustic wood backdrop.

If you love meatballs, also try my Mediterranean Baked Turkey Meatballs, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs, and Paleo Swedish Meatballs.

And that’s it! The easiest meatball recipe that will receive high praise from all who try it.

If you love hearty crock pot recipes, also try my Creamy Crock Pot Pork Chops with Potatoes and Mushrooms and my Crock Pot Creamy Kale and Sausage Soup.

More Healthy Italian Recipes:

Enjoy this healthy meatball recipe!

Angle shot of Italian meatballs in a crock pot, sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Crock Pot Italian Meatballs

5 from 1 vote
These easy gluten-free slow cooker meatballs are so tender, flavorful, AND easy to make! Make them as an impressive appetizer or main dish any time the craving for meatballs strikes!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings

Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground beef I use 80/20
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup gluten-free flour or bread crumbs*
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese optional

Meatball Sauce:**

Instructions

  • Lightly spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray (this helps for easy cleanup).
  • Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a mixing bowl until well-combined. Form 24 meatballs out of the mixture and place them on the bottom of the slow cooker.
    Raw meatballs at the bottom of a slow cooker, ready to be cooked.
  • Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together in a large mixing bowl, then pour it into the slow cooker over the meatballs. 
    Pouring tomato sauce into the crock pot with the meatballs.
  • Cook on HIGH heat for 4-5 hours or LOW heat for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Serve meatballs over gluten-free pasta with fresh grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
    Horizontal photo of a white bowl full of pasta and meatballs with red sauce.
  • Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze meatballs for up to 3 months.

Notes

*You can also use regular Italian bread crumbs or gluten-free bread crumbs
**Use two (28-oz) jars of your favorite tomato based pasta sauce instead of making your own if you’d like.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 8) · Calories: 311kcal · Carbohydrates: 18g · Protein: 26g · Fat: 15g · Saturated Fat: 5g · Cholesterol: 94mg · Sodium: 755mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 7g
Author: Julia
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: crock pot meatballs, crockpot meatballs, easy crock pot meatball recipe, easy meatball recipe, gluten free meatballs, slow cooker meatballs
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. These are really tasty Julia, thanks for sharing the recipe. Thumbs up all round, my hubby said restaurant quality! I used a spicy ready made pasta sauce. Really quick to prepare and tender meatballs. Will be eating again 😊

    1. Ooh, I love the idea of using a spicy sauce for the meatballs! I’m so happy you and your husband enjoy them! Thank you for the sweet note! xoxo

  2. My daughter requested this for her 16th birthday! We make meatball subs with this recipe. We heat sub buns with slices of provolone in the oven. Makes a fun delicious dinner.

    1. It warms my heart that your daughter requested these meatballs for her birthday! I feel so honored! Love the idea of making meatball subs with provolone – that was one of my favorites as a kid so I’ll have to make some soon, myself! xo