Your family can't get enough spaghetti and meatballs? For a little variety, try this Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs Soup!! A fun twist to the classic but a little less filling for those nights when you crave the flavor but want a lighter meal.
There are not many meals I can think of that capture the essence of a traditional family comfort food dish more than Spaghetti and Meatballs. Simple, delicious and filling...what more can you ask for?!
But what about when you want all the flavor but you want something a little less filling? In comes Spaghetti and Meatball Soup! All the flavors you love, but less of the overly filling noodle and more delicious tomatoey broth.
This is the perfect slow cooker recipe, make it up in the morning and let those meatballs simmer all day to juicy perfection. Use your own choice of sauce and noodles to customize the flavors.
Ingredients You'll Need
- ground turkey - I use turkey instead of beef so keep the grease factor to a minimum. If you decide to use ground beef for your meatballs, be sure it's super lean
- rolled oats - as a binder and filler for the meatballs. I used gluten-free for a gluten-free meal
- parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning to flavor the meatballs plus egg to bind them
- pasta sauce - use a high quality sauce with a flavor you love. I prefer a tomato basil with no sugar added.
- chicken broth - to make the soup
- more seasoning to season the broth
- spaghetti noodles - any regular spaghetti noodles you like. If gluten-free I find the only option that hold up well to the slow cooker are the Banza Spaghetti Noodles.
How to make spaghetti and meatballs soup in the slow cooker...
First you'll mix up the meatball ingredients and form them into equal round meatballs. You can go with larger meatballs and make about 10 of them or go with small bite sized ones instead.
Place the meatballs carefully in the bottom of the slow cooker
Add the sauce, broth and extra seasoning but DO NOT STIR! You don't want to break apart the meatballs, so just leave it alone at this point until it's done cooking.
Once the meatballs are done, you can stir carefully and they will hold their shape.
Once they are done cooking, turn the slow cooker on high, break up your noodles and add them. The brand and thickness of your noodles will determine cooking time, but most take around 30 minutes, give or take.
Make Ahead Tips
This is another recipe that is great as a make ahead meal. You can make the meatballs in advance and then freeze them.
Then when you are ready to make the soup it is a matter of just adding a few ingredients to the slow cooker and away you go! Perfect for busy mornings!
Be sure to thaw the meatballs before cooking.
Want regular spaghetti and meatballs? Try my easy slow cooker version!
Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatball Soup
- For the meatballs:
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 egg
- ½ cup quick cook rolled oats
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian season blend I used McCormick's Tucscan Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the soup:
- 24 oz pasta sauce or 3 cups
- 3 cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3-4 oz dried spaghetti noodles broken into 1 or 2 inch pieces for later
- In a medium bowl add all meatball ingredients and work with hands until combined
- Form into meatballs, large or bite sized whatever you would prefer
- If you are making this for later then place the meatballs on a wax lined cookie sheet and place in freezer for an hour until they are firm and then move to a large ziploc bag and freeze until ready for use
- Otherwise place meatballs in slow cooker
- Carefully add pasta sauce, broth and seasoning
- Don't stir as you don't want to break up the meatballs
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4
- Turn the slow cooker on high and add spaghetti noodles
- Let cook for 30 minutes until noodles are done
- I used a 5 quart slow cooker for this recipe
- Meatballs can be made in advance and frozen. Thaw before cooking.
- Leftovers will keep for up to 3 days sealed in fridge
- use any flavor pasta sauce you love for spaghetti