Why go to the hassle and trouble of making classic chicken parmesan when you can make this kid friendly version instead! Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs are even better than the real thing.
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs is a flexible family recipe that can easily be adjusted and customized.
Using ground chicken to make my easy meatball recipe and utilizing your favorite high quality jarred sauce, you can assemble this recipe in minutes and have a delicious meal to come home to at the end of the day.
The key to making delicious meatballs in your slow cooker lies in this one trick. Using panko breadcrumbs soaked in milk as your filler, your meatballs will be juicy and delicious with no overwhelming bread flavor or texture.
This step only takes 5 minutes and I recommend it in all my meatball recipes in place of oatmeal or other fillers.
Other important tips for making meatballs:
- Once you add all of the ingredients, don't over-mix.
- Gently combine until everything is evenly distributed and stop there so that your meatballs will be tender.
- Use an ice cream scooper or other similar sized utensil to ensure your meatballs are evenly sized sot that they will cook evenly.
- keep in mind that these meatballs will seem very soft and like they might fall apart easily when forming, but this is what will yield deliciously juicy cooked meatballs.
Why I love making meatballs in the slow cooker:
- they stay juicy all the way through
- they are very forgiving, it's really hard to over-cook them
- you can make them ahead and let them cook all day for a no stress dinner
Can I make ahead or freeze this recipe?
Yes! I recommend making the meatballs ahead of time and freezing them on a tray of parchment paper for a couple of hours. Once they are frozen, you can transfer to a freezer bag and they won't stick together.
To cook, you will need to thaw and continue the recipe from there. No need to freeze with the sauce since you can add it from the jar when cooking.
What slow cooker do I use to make this recipe?
In this case it won't matter too much. I used a 2.5 quart casserole slow cooker, which worked perfectly, but any regular slow cooker will work.
If you want to double the recipe, you will need a 5 quart or larger slow cooker.
More common questions about this recipe:
What if I can find ground chicken?
Ground chicken is available at most markets, but if you can't find it, feel free to sub ground beef or turkey
Which pasta sauce is best?
It's best to use one that does not have added meat or cheese. I suggest a tomato basil sauce for best results. Here is one of my favorites!
Can I double this recipe?
Yes! This recipe can be easily doubled to feed up to 8 people by exactly doubling all ingredients. Be sure to use a 5 quart slow cooker or larger.
Can I make half a recipe?
If cooking for 2 people, simply freeze half of the meatballs and cook the other half. That way you'll have another meal later with no extra effort!
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 24 oz tomato basil pasta sauce
- 2 oz Fresh mozzarella
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan
- Mix panko with milk and let set 5 minutes
- Mix soaked panko and remaining ingredients except pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese and shredded parmesan in bowl just until evenly mixed
- Form meat into golf ball-sized rounds and place in single layer in slow cooker (about 8 meatballs)
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours
- During the last 60 minutes pour in pasta sauce and top each meatball with a little slice of cheese and shredded parmesan and heat on high until melted and heated through
- don't over-mix the meat or you will end up with tough meatballs
- feel free to swap ground beef or turkey if you can't find chicken
- recipe can be doubled just be sure to use a 5 quart or larger slow cooker
- meatballs can be made ahead and frozen prior to cooking. Freeze in single layer on cookie sheet then transfer to bag for storage up to 3 months. Thaw before cooking.