We spent a week in a condo on fabulous Tybee Island, Georgia not long ago. I wanted to maximize our time on the beach, which meant that I wanted meals that I could prepare with minimal effort and time. Slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs was the perfect choice. And it was mighty tasty too. Yummy meatballs in a flavorful sauce, with the spaghetti already mixed in. It really doesn’t get any easier. I always like a little kick in my spaghetti and meatballs, whether they’re from the slow cooker or not, so I added a bit of red pepper flakes. You can leave them out if you like.
Never has the kitchen smelled so great as it did when I was cooking these Salisbury steak meatballs. The anticipation of dinner was making my stomach growl and my mouth water. Every bite was packed with savory flavors. Tender meatballs with a bit of tang from mustard. Rich beef-flavored sauce. Give me more! And more! I’m quite sure you’re going to see Salisbury steak meatballs on Life’s A Tomato again soon. I’m already thinking that I need to make a po’boy sandwich using these meatballs. Hmmm. Smothered in gravy. Yummy!
When I started cooking the onions a thought occurred to me: mushrooms. I think the next time I make this I’ll add a half pound of thinly sliced mushrooms in with the onions and let them cook down a bit. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms will definitely go well with the gravy.
I’ve done the meatballs-in-a-slow-cooker thing before. You know, the standard sweet-and-sour appetizer version. Great snacks for the big game. I wanted to do something like that traditional recipe, but with a little difference. A little kick and a lot more flavor. These slow cooker Fiesta meatballs are exactly what I was looking for. Eat them by themselves or on a roll as a sandwich, either way they’re great!
As easy as these slow cooker Fiesta meatballs are to make, I thought they were quite tasty. They were tender and juicy, and a bit spicy. Just like I like them!
Although I did use pre-cooked meatballs, homemade would be great (read: better). Next time (if I have time) I’ll use a batch of my cooked Italian meatballs. If you do use homemade you can cut the cooking time back since the meatballs won’t be frozen.
I have a slow cooker (er, crockpot) for the same reasons everyone else does. I on occasion like a great, easy meal that I can toss into the pot and not have to fuss with. A Dutch oven over low heats works just as well, specially if you need to brown something first. For this spicy spaghetti and meatball soup it doesn’t matter whether you go low-and-slow in the crockpot or Dutch oven, the end result is great. It’s like having Campbell’s SpaghettiOs™ but with much better, richer flavor, and a nice kick. And really big meatballs. Who didn’t want more meatballs in their SpaghettiOs™ when they were a kid? Well, problem solved! I used packaged frozen meatballs for this slow cooker spicy spaghetti meatball soup, but our homemade Italian meatballs (made on the stovetop or in the Char-Broil Big Easy) would be great too. Outstanding, even.
You can leave out the red pepper flake, but I think you’ll want to add at least a little. And don’t be shy with the basil either.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try out my homemade SpaghettiOs. They’re fun to make and even more fun to eat.
I was looking for something a little different for an appetizer to serve for the Superbowl. I’ve done the beef and pork meatballs, and those are great, but I wanted something new. I thought, let’s try chicken and turkey meatballs instead. But let’s make sure they aren’t bland. These fire-eater chicken meatballs are definitely not bland. They are tender and tasty by themselves, but made even more perfect with a kicked-up dipping sauce that also has a bit of sweetness to it.
I am definitely going to use the meatballs in other dishes. I’m already planning to make meatball sandwiches with them. A hoagie bun, a few fire-eater chicken meatballs, a little of the sauce and some melted habanero cheese and I’m happy! Or, serve them over pasta with a spicy Alfredo sauce (made spicy by adding it a bit of the sauce).
I used my fire-eater spice rub to give the meatballs and the sauce a great kick. You can substitute any spicy mix you like. Just don’t be shy with it.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
Form into balls. Depending on how you want to serve them, make smaller or bigger balls. The cook time is for balls that are golf ball-sized so you might want to adjust the cook time depending on how large you make yours.
Place balls onto the baking sheets. Do not crowd them.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they reach 165 F internal temperature.
Brush the meatballs with a bit of the sauce and return to the oven for 2-3 more minutes to 'set' the sauce.
Serve with more sauce on the side for dipping if serving as appetizers.
For the sauce
While the meatballs are cooking, place all of the sauce ingredients into a medium saucepan.
Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer, whisking often, until the sauce thickens.
Sweet and sour meatball appetizers have probably been around forever. I’ve certainly made them a time or two. I was looking for a different way to serve them. Something new. Something that makes people not realize they’re eating the usual sweet and sour meatballs.
The crispiness (really a great contrast to the meatballs) and coolness of the cucumber really makes these sliders stand out in the crowd. As does the tomato. They’re quite yummy and addicting. Make a bunch for your next family get-together and watch them disappear. They assemble in just minutes, making them perfect for feeding a crowd.
Place meatballs and sauce in a large sauce pan or pot and warm over medium heat.
Place a slice (or two if they are small) of cucumber on each slider roll bottom.
Add a meatball with a little of the sauce. Note: I flattened the meatballs just slightly using a wooden spatula so they would look a little larger on the buns. If you're using larger meatballs you can probably skip flattening them.
This is our go-to Italian meatball recipe. We usually double the ingredients and make a big batch (24 2-ounce meatballs), freezing some for later. They are perfect on sandwiches, over pasta, wrapped in bacon, you name it.
These meatballs really need to set up overnight in the fridge to be the right consistency and flavor. We always make 2 ounce balls, but you can make smaller ones if you like. I wouldn’t make them any bigger, though.