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Slow Cooker Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Meatballs are simmered in the slow cooker in a thick, rich tomato sauce.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 50 mins
Course: Slow Cooker Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (Pintxo de Albóndigas con Tomate)
Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 48 pintxos
Author: Coco Morante


  • 2 pounds 90% lean ground beef
  • 2 cups 300 grams cooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 1/2 cups 28 ounces marinara sauce
  • 1 cup puréed cooked carrots
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • To serve:
  • 2 loaves of artisan bread Italian or large baguette, in 1/2-inch slices


  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, cooked rice, eggs, salt, oregano, and thyme. Use your [impeccably clean] hands to mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Roll out the meatball mixture into golf ball-sized balls and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and just beginning to brown.
  • While the meatballs are baking, turn a 4 or 5-quart slow cooker on to its high setting. In the slow cooker, stir together the marinara sauce, carrot purée, wine, paprika, and chili flakes and cover.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and gently drop them into the sauce in the slow cooker. Turn down to low setting and let cook for 4 hours, until the meatballs are very tender but not falling apart. Turn down to keep warm setting if holding before serving.
  • To serve, spoon a heaping tablespoon of sauce onto each slice of baguette, then top with a meatball and skewer with a toothpick, if desired.