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Three Meatballs sitting on top of spaghetti noodles with marinara sauce sitting on a white plate, fork and parsley.
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5 from 4 votes

Italian Marinara with Meatballs

There's nothing better than a homemade authentic Italian Marinara with Meatball dish that has been passed down for decades!. This pasta recipe features a sauce made with fresh basil and oregano mixed with crushed tomatoes and classic Italian herbs and spices. The meatballs have fresh basil and oregano mixed in and are big and full of flavor with every bite! 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 30 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 514kcal
Author: Amanda Mason

Ingredients

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 2 bunches fresh basil, (you will take this out at the end so they need to be whole bunches)
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh oregano, (you will take this out at the end so they need to be whole bunches)
  • ¼ cup c freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 drop Taste of Italy Young Living Essential Oil, optional

Meatballs

  • 2 pounds ground turkey, (Jennie-O, 93/7 fat)
  • 1 ½ pounds turkey sausage, (hot or sweet- I buy Jennie-O)
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs, (I use a Gluten Free Panko Bread Crumbs)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, (if you have a flavored olive oil, use it!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh basil & oregano, (as much as you want, cut or torn into small pieces)
  • 1 drop Taste of Italy Young Living Essential Oil, optional

Instructions

For Marinara

  • Combine all marinara ingredients in a slow-cooker, stir together. 
  • Turn slow-cooker on low heat.

For Meatballs

  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 
  • Roll mixture into medium sized balls (about 1.5 to 2 inches thick).  
  • Add 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet and brown the outsides of the meatballs before putting them into the slow-cooker (If you don’t do this step, they will fall apart in the sauce).
  • Add the meatballs to slow-cooker after they’ve been browned. (Note – the sauce will not cover them; this is okay. The sauce cover the meatballs by the end of the cooking process)
  • Place the lid on the slow-cooker and cook on low for 5 hours. 
  • About 20 minutes before the sauce and meatballs are finished cooking, make your favorite pasta and cook according to packaged directions.
  • When you remove the meatballs from the sauce at the end, do so with a slotted spoon to catch the basil and oregano leaves/stems to remove them from the sauce. 
  • Once the meatballs and sauce are done, serve on top of a plate of pasta! Top with fresh Parmesan cheese!

Nutrition

Calories: 514kcal