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Slow-cooker classic Italian beef meatballs

Slow-cooker classic Italian beef meatballs

Total Time
3 hr 45 min
35 min
3 hr 10 min


Lean beef mince, raw

500 g


2 medium, lightly beaten

Brown onion

1 medium, finely chopped


3 clove(s), crushed

Fennel seeds

¾ tsp, crushed

Tomato passata

700 g, (Italian tomato puree)

Dried basil

1 tsp

Canned diced tomatoes

1 400g can, (1 x 400g can)

Plain flour

2 tbs, (use ⅓ cup)

Olive oil

1 tbs

Fresh basil

½ cup(s), leaves, shredded


  1. Combine beef, eggs, onion, half the garlic and fennel seeds in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into 24 meatballs.
  2. Combine passata, dried basil and diced tomatoes in a 4.5 litre (18-cup) slow cooker. Set aside. Spread flour on a plate. Roll meatballs in flour until coated on all sides, shaking off excess
  3. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook meatballs, in batches, for 5 minutes turning, or until browned. Transfer meatballs to slow cooker. Spoon reserved tomato sauce over meatballs. Cook, covered, on low for 3 hours or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened. Serve topped with fresh basil or oregano.


Saucy meatballs and pasta are a classic combination, especially when paired with regular or wholemeal penne or spaghetti. Otherwise try a spiral pasta, that the sauce can cling to. Alternatively, serve with zoodles.