Spicy Italian Meatballs


For your next party or tailgate, prepare a batch of these slow cooker beef and sausage meatballs. They can stay warm in the pot as guests come and go!

Spicy Italian Meatballs
Photo: Kritsada Panichgul
Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs
Bake Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 55 mins
24 meatballs


  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs

  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion

  • ¼ cup finely chopped bottled pepperoncini salad peppers

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage

  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • ½ cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup onion, pepperoncini peppers, Italian seasoning, and the 1 clove garlic; mix well. Add ground beef and sausage; mix gently until combined. Shape mixture into twenty-four 2-inch meatballs. Place meatballs in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes; drain well.

  2. Meanwhile, in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup onion, the vinegar, 2 cloves garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Add baked meatballs to slow cooker; stir gently to coat.

  3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 3 hours. Skim fat from sauce before serving.


Meatballs can be served on their own, over hot cooked pasta, or in buns for meatball sandwiches.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

133 Calories
9g Fat
5g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 133
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 237mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 4.1mg 21%
Calcium 20.2mg 2%
Iron 1.3mg 7%
Potassium 213mg 5%
Folate, total 8.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.6mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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