Sunday Slow Cooker Meatballs

Chris and I have been re-framing Sundays lately. Fed up with the constant go go go, we really need a true day of rest. Our ancestors somehow figured out how to do properly take a break every Sunday, so there’s no reason we can’t do the same. The other Sunday the sun was shining so we took the kids to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It felt so good to get out of the house!

The key to my weekly sabbatical is the slow cooker. I toss everything in after breakfast, and dinner is ready when we are ready, giving us the full day to relax, have fun as a family, and prepare for the week ahead. My current favorite recipe comes from my friend Tracy. The first time I met her I knew she was special. She introduced herself to me at the gym asking “Are you the mom I see walking all over town with all those kids?” She is so involved with the community, makes amazing banana bread, and her daughters are just so sweet. I feel so lucky to know her!

The best part about this recipe is that it is super easy to make with the kids. Vivian and Ben can cut the mozzarella using a dull butter knife, and Mack can mush up the meat mixture. Second best part: no browning in a pan before turning on the slow cooker, giving me one less dish to clean and saving me many minutes! Third best: this dish freezes really well, so I always make a double batch.

Chris likes these meatballs over spaghetti squash, but the kids and I will eat them on their own. My friend Paige turned them into meatball subs. I put the leftovers over cooked pasta for the girls to bring to lunch at school the next day. Easy easy easy.

Just what I need for a day of rest!

Slow Cooker Meatballs

1. Cut low-moisture mozzarella into 3/4 inch cubes (I just use string cheese to keep it simple). Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine:

1 pound ground beef

1 pound Italian sausage

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup breadcrumbs (I use panko)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (I use more like 1/2 cup)

2 eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup chopped parsley

3. Roll meat mixture into golf ball sized meatballs. Squish a mozzarella cube into the center of each meatball and seal the meat around it. Re-roll into a nice meatball.

4. Arrange meatballs in a slow cooker and pour in a¬†24-ounce jar of marinara sauce (my favorite is the Rao’s brand).

5. Cook on high for 2.5 hours (I usually just do it on low for 6 hours since I like to have it simmering all day).

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