With juicy meatballs and a rich, savory gravy made right in the slow cooker, this recipe for Crock Pot Meatballs and Gravy is not only effortless to make, but it's also packed with comforting flavor! Whether you serve it over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes, it'll become a family favorite in no time!
With juicy meatballs and a rich, savory gravy made right in the slow cooker, this meal is the epitome of an easy crock pot meal. And the best part? You can serve it over a variety of starches, such as rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes, making it a versatile dish that can be changed up every time.
This crock pot comfort food is a must-make for many reasons. For starters, the slow cooking process allows the flavors to slowly cook together, creating a rich, comforting aroma that will fill your home and will make you hungry. With the addition of heavy cream, tangy Worcestershire sauce, and savory onion soup mix, each bite is a great balance of flavor that is both comforting and satisfying.
Slow cooker meatballs and gravy is the ultimate weeknight meal. The convenience of the slow cooker means you can prep the ingredients in the morning and have a delicious, hearty meal waiting for you to serve over your favorite side dishes like Crock Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Crock Pot Green Bean Casserole!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Slow cooked meatballs and gravy are the perfect combination of convenience and comfort.
- With the ability to serve it over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes, this versatile dish can be customized to your liking, making it a go-to recipe for any occasion.
- The slow cooking process allows the flavors to develop and meld together, creating a rich, savory gravy that perfectly complements the juicy meatballs.
- With minimal prep time and only a handful of ingredients, this easy crock pot meal is perfect for busy weeknights when you want a delicious, satisfying meal without the fuss!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Frozen Meatballs - This is the main protein of the dish and saves you the hassle of making meatballs from scratch. Using frozen meatballs also speeds up the preparation process.
- Seasonings - Black pepper and dried thyme add a depth of flavor to the dish and complement the other ingredients.
- Minced Garlic - A flavor enhancer that adds a pungent, slightly sweet taste to the dish. It pairs well with beef and other seasonings.
- Dry Onion Soup Mix - Adds a savory onion flavor and also serves as a thickening agent for the gravy.
- Beef Broth - Adds a rich, savory beef flavor and is the base for the gravy.
- Heavy Whipping Cream - Provides richness and creaminess to the gravy, balancing out the savory and tangy flavors.
- Ketchup - Adds a touch of sweetness and helps balance out the acidity from the Worcestershire sauce.
- Worcestershire Sauce - Adds a savory, umami flavor and complements the beef broth and garlic.
- Cornstarch - Used as a thickening agent for the gravy, helping it to reach a smooth and velvety texture.
How To Make Meatballs with Gravy In The Crock Pot
Add meatballs: Place frozen meatballs in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
Assemble the gravy: Add salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, onion soup, beef broth, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, heavy cream, and cornstarch to a medium bowl. Whisk together and pour over the frozen meatballs.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
Serve over side dishes: Ladle the meatballs and gravy over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes, and enjoy!
- Though optional, to prevent the meatballs from sticking to the bottom of the slow cooker, coat the bottom with a thin layer of cooking spray or olive oil before adding them.
- To ensure there are no lumps, mix the cornstarch with a small amount of water before adding it to the slow cooker.
- For added flavor, brown the meatballs in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker. This will create a slightly caramelized exterior and enhance the dish's overall flavor.
- The time it takes to cook through fully will depend on the size of your meatballs. Check for doneness by cutting one open with a knife.
- For a spicy kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a few dashes of hot sauce to the gravy.
- For a vegetarian version, substitute the meatballs with vegetarian meatballs or a combination of chopped mushrooms and lentils. You can also use vegetable broth instead of beef broth to make the gravy.
- Add a hint of sweetness, and replace the ketchup with barbecue sauce or honey mustard.
- For a tangy twist, swap out the Worcestershire sauce with balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar. This will add a slightly sour flavor that pairs well with the beef and garlic.
- Top the meatballs and gravy with crispy fried onions or chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives to add even more texture and flavor.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: To store leftovers, transfer the meatballs and gravy to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. The gravy may thicken slightly upon refrigeration, so you may need to add a splash of beef broth or water when reheating to thin it out.
Freezing: This dish can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. To freeze, let the meatballs and gravy cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing. When ready to enjoy, thaw the meatballs and gravy in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.
If you can't find onion soup mix, you can make your own by mixing together 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper. This homemade onion soup mix will give the same savory flavor to the dish and works as a great substitute for the store-bought version.
To ensure your meatballs don't fall apart, you want to make sure you start with frozen meatballs as they will warm through slowly. You also want to make sure you are not overcooking the dish, as this can cause the meatballs to break apart easily.
More Crock Pot Meatball Recipes
- Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs
- Crock Pot Honey Garlic Meatballs
- Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Crock Pot Grape Jelly and Chili Meatballs
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Crock Pot Meatballs and Gravy
- 26 oz frozen meatballs
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 3 tbsp garlic (garlic)
- 1 (1 oz) package dry onion soup mix
- 2 cups beef broth
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- Place frozen meatballs in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, onion soup, beef broth, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, heavy cream, and cornstarch to a medium bowl. Whisk together and pour over beef tips.
- Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes, and enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.
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