Print Options:

Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs

Yields1 ServingPrep Time20 minsCook Time6 hrsTotal Time6 hrs 20 mins

Who doesn't love and often crave comfort-food spaghetti and meatballs on a regular basis. This terrific recipe is almost verbatim from one of my all-time fave online Gluten-Free resources, Nicole Hunn of Who adapted it from Fine Cooking.

The Meatballs:
 1.50 coarse gluten-free bread crumbs (2 or 3 slices gluten-free bread chopped or pulsed 2 or 3 times in a food processor [leave the crusts on])
 1 cup dry red wine
 1 lb lean ground pork
 1 lb lean ground beef (I use 10% fat or less)
 1 egg, beaten
 1 tbsp dried oregano, crushed in a mortar and pestle
 2 tsp dried basil
 0.50 tsp garlic powder
 1 tsp onion powder
 1 tsp salt
 0.13 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
 2 Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (or non-dairy alternative)
The Sauce:
 128 can tomato puree
 2 tbsp concentrated tomato paste
 1 tbsp dried oregano, crushed in a mortar and pestle
 2 tsp dried basil
 1 tsp garlic powder
 1 tsp salt
 0.13 tsp freshly ground black pepper
 0.50 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
 0.50 tsp culinary lavender, ground in a mortar and pestle (optional)
 2 tbsp assorted fresh herbs (Italian parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc.), finely chopped (optional)

Place the breadcrumbs and wine in a small bowl and combine. Allow the breadcrumbs to soak in the wine while you prepare the sauce.

Prepare the Sauce:

In the crock of a slow-cooker (I used my 3.5 quart but any size 3.5 and up will do), place all of the tomato sauce ingredients and whisk ot combine well.

Make the Meatballs:

In a large bowl, place the ground pork and ground beef, and break up the meat gently with your fingers.


Add the remaining meatball ingredients in the order listed, mixing gently to combine with your fingers. Do not overwork the meat or the meatballs will be tough.


Add the breadcrumb mixture and mix until just combined with your fingers.


Divide the meatball mixture into 12 to 14 pieces and roll each gently into a ball.


Nestle each meatball into the tomato sauce in the crock.


Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours until the meatballs are cooked through. They can remain on your slow cooker's WARM setting for up to 1 1/2 hours. Sprinkle in the chopped fresh herbs and cook on HIGH for 5 to 10 minutes to finish.


Prepare the gluten-free pasta of your choice according to package directions. Drain.


Turn cooked meatballs over in the sauce to coat completely. Place pasta on plate and cover with 2 to 3 meatballs and adequate sauce. Top with grated Parmesan or Parmesan alternative).