This recipe for Crockpot Italian Meatballs is the absolute easiest way to prepare warm, delicious meatballs for a variety of different uses. Using frozen meatballs, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and very little effort, you can serve these over a bed of pasta, add them to a pasta bake, make meatball subs, and so much more.
Easy Frozen Meatball Crockpot Recipe
It doesn’t get much easier than these Crockpot Italian Meatballs. Made with a bag of frozen meatballs, store bought marinara sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese, there truly is no prep involved. Just dump and go!
This is a great recipe for busy weeknights, meal prep, game day, or even potlucks. You can serve over a bed of spaghetti or mashed potatoes, use to make meatball subs, toss into pasta bakes and casseroles, or eat with toothpicks as an appetizer.
Crockpot Italian Meatballs Ingredients
- Meatballs - you can use any size of frozen store bought meatballs for this recipe. I typically use Italian meatballs, but you could also use Swedish meatballs or even turkey meatballs. You can also use homemade ground beef meatballs. If you want to be sure they hold their shape, just brown them before adding to the crockpot to cook until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Marinara Sauce - you can use your favorite kind of store bought pasta sauce, spaghetti sauce, or marinara sauce for this recipe. If you’re up for it, homemade marinara sauce tastes amazing, too.
- Mozzarella Cheese - you can use pre shredded mozzarella or shred your own. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top wouldn’t hurt either.
- Parsley - fresh chopped parsley makes a great garnish that adds colors and flavor.
How to Cook Frozen Meatballs In the Crockpot
- Add the meatballs and sauce to the crockpot. Place frozen meatballs in crockpot and pour the marinara sauce over the top.
- Cook the meatballs. Cover and cook for about 2½ hours on low, or about 1½ hours on high.
- Add the cheese and finish cooking. Remove the cover and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top, then cover again and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Serve. Garnish with chopped parsley just before serving warm. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations for Slow Cooker Frozen Meatballs
These frozen meatballs crockpot variations are perfect for any occasion. Whether you're having a family dinner or hosting a party, you can easily switch up the flavors of your meatballs to keep things interesting.
- Asian Meatballs: Combine frozen meatballs with soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.
- Spicy Buffalo: Toss frozen meatballs with buffalo sauce, butter, and Ranch seasoning. Cook on low for 2-3 hours. Serve with celery and carrot sticks for a spicy snack or game day appetizer.
- Sweet and Tangy: Mix frozen meatballs with grape jelly, chili sauce, and mustard. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with toothpicks as a sweet and tangy party appetizer.
- Mexican Fiesta: Combine frozen meatballs with salsa, chopped green chilis, taco seasoning, and a can of black beans. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with tortilla chips or as a taco filling.
- Mediterranean Delight: Toss frozen meatballs with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and feta cheese. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over couscous or with pita bread.
Frequently Asked Questions
The amount of time it takes to cook frozen meatballs in a crockpot depends slightly on the size of the meatballs and the quantity you are cooking. Generally, these should take you about 2 hours to cook on high or about 3-4 hours to cook frozen meatballs on low. For this recipe, you are cooking them until the meatballs are warmed through and the cheese on top has melted.
Yes! If you would rather use homemade meatballs, feel free to use them in this recipe. If you want to be sure they hold their shape after slow cooking, it’s a good idea to brown the meatballs before adding them to the crockpot. However, it’s not completely necessary. The meat will need to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the total cooking time will depend on the size of the meatballs and how many you cook at once.
Besides just devouring them as is, there are so many ways to enjoy Crockpot Italian Meatballs. You can use them to make Meatballs Subs, add them to pasta bakes, use them as a topping for pizza, or serve over spaghetti.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerator: store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: to freeze, transfer cooled meatballs to freezer bags and store frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- To reheat: you can either microwave the meatballs, or reheat in a saucepan over medium heat. You may want to add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of marinara sauce to the pan.
Crockpot Italian Meatballs Recipe
- 2 pounds Italian Meatballs frozen
- 2-3 cups Marinara Sauce
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded
- 1 Tablespoon Parsley chopped for garnish
- In a slow cooker, add the frozen meatballs and pour the marinara sauce over the top.
- Cover and cook on low heat for about 2½ hours, or on high for 1½ hours.
- Remove the cover and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top, then cover again and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Garnish with chopped parsley just before serving warm. Enjoy!
More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- Slow Cooker Tortellini Pasta Bake
- Easy Crockpot Lasagna with Ravioli
- Crockpot Chicken and Gravy
- Crockpot Mississippi Pot Roast
- Easy Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- More Crockpot Recipes
- More Main Dish Recipes
If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate it and leave a comment on this post. I love hearing feedback from you. It helps me and other readers too! If you love Pinterest, feel free to leave a comment and photo there too. Also, if you like to share, use the hashtag #thecarefreekitchen on Instagram and tag me @thecarefreekitchen so I can find you and give your post some love. You can also find me on Facebook at The Carefree Kitchen. Thank you!!
This easy Italian Crockpot Frozen Meatball Recipe uses frozen meatballs, marinara sauce, and cheese to make a hot delicious meal with very little effort. Enjoy over pasta, or use to make meatball subs, pasta bakes, and so much more.