Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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Slow Cooker Meatballs with Red Sauce

There is something satisfying about coming home after a long day at work or school, opening the door, and having the wonderful aroma of dinner wrap around you!  I love slow cookers!  I love them so much, I have three different sizes!

This recipe is a great addition to your slow cooker recipe box.  Slow Cooker Meatballs in Red Sauce can be used for an appetizer, in sandwiches or over pasta!  It even freezes beautifully!

If you decide to use the Meatballs as an appetizer, freeze the leftover sauce in meal size, resealable bags, and you will have a quick, flavorful sauce for a fast pasta dinner.  Add a salad and some bread and you have a meal on the table in 30 minutes!

A gadget I wouldn’t do without in my kitchen is a portion scoop.  You may think of them as ice cream scoops, but these handy little scoopers come in different sizes!  I use them for making meatballs, filling muffin tins and making cookies! 

Slow Cooker Meatballs in Red Sauce

¾ cup seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
½ cup ketchup
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds ground beef
1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 – 28 ounce can tomato puree
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning Mix
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs, cheese, ketchup, eggs, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper together until well blended.  Add ground beef and knead all ingredients together until completely blended.

In large slow cooker, mix together diced tomatoes, tomato puree, onion, chili flakes, remaining salt and pepper.

Form ground meat mixture into meatballs (I like using portion scoops), approximately the size of a half dollar.  Drop into the sauce.

Heat meatballs and sauce on high for 4 – 5 hours or on low for 8 – 10 hours.

Serve as an appetizer, a pasta sauce or in meatball subs.

Remove any leftover meatballs from sauce, place on a wax paper lined baking sheet and freeze.  When meatballs are frozen, place in a resealable plastic bag and store in freezer.  Freeze any remaining red sauce in portion sizes in resealable plastic bags.

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