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Slow cooker meatball marinara with spaghetti noodles and garlic bread on a white plate.I have been craving spaghetti lately. And we have been spending a lot of our date nights at the Spaghetti Factory. I absolutely love their brown butter and mazithera and their meat sauce. But there might be a little reason why I have been craving these things…

I am pregnant!! And I couldn’t be more ecstatic about it!! I am 15 weeks along right now and this pregnancy has been very different than my last two. I never got sick a day with my other ones and I was able to eat whatever I wanted from the beginning. Not with this one! The whole month of October and November I have never been so sick and I even had to get on nausea medication. The smell of foods made me want to gag and even when I would try to make something for the blog I would get sick just photographing it! My first doctor appointment I had lost weight and that never happens. Luckily I am over the sickness stage of my pregnancy but now I have never experienced bigger migraines in my life. One day I hope that I will start feeling myself again. But my family couldn’t be happier for the arrival of this baby!

Sonogram photo.

Enough talk about my exciting news, lets talk about this recipe. Now it will start to make sense why I have been making easy meals for the blog! I haven’t felt like cooking, but I still want to give my family a yummy dinner. This meal was awesome! I made the delicious marinara sauce and just dumped it all into the crockpot. In just a few hours, we had a delicious meatball sauce over pasta. Serve it with some garlic bread and a salad and you have a fantastic meal! This will be made probably weekly at our house from now on. 🙂

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Slow Cooker Meatball Marinara

By: Alyssa Rivers
Delicious and saucy meatball marinara that you cook in your slow cooker!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Slow Cooker: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings



  • Place italian stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, powdered garlic, italian seasoning, thyme, oregano, sugar and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until the sauce is smooth and ingredients are combined.
  • In your crockpot, place meatballs on the bottom. Pour the marinara sauce on top of the meatballs.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours and low for about 5-6 until meatballs are heated through.
  • Serve over some hot pasta and enjoy. 🙂


Recipe Jamie Cooks it up


Calories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 21gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 468mgPotassium: 726mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 395IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!




About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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  1. Spaghetti with meatballs is a favorite meal around here that, I admit, I don’t make often enough. Your photos, however, have me drooling on my keyboard at 6:30 a.m., and I’m seriously wondering how realistic it is to make this my dinner plan for tonight…

  2. I need to try this in my Instant pot stat! I love the flavor imparted to sauces when the meat is cooked IN the sauce!

  3. These look amazingly delicious, I’ve never done meatballs . .. err, but now I MUST. I’ve tested around with doing something similar (with beef) in the Instant Pot and browning beforehand, but also having done slow cooker agree that it’s not really a necessary step.

  4. Such a great dish! Can i use swedish meatballs for this recipe? Since they start pulling in more of the delicious flavor when they are in sauce.

  5. what is the total cook time for this? the ‘cook time’ at the top says 4 hours 20 mins but in the directions it says high for 4 hours then low 5-6. is that 5-6 hours on low? so is the total time 9-10 hours 20 mins?

    thanks 🙂

  6. Congratulations!! I know your pain! I am 11 weeks pregnant and my blog is pretty much suffering. I am not the least bit interested in cooking and photographing. I hope my drive comes back pretty soon. This is my fourth and I’ve been sick until 14 weeks for all of them!! The couch is my best friend right now!

  7. Congratulations on your baby! I’m 16 weeks pregnant, so we are probably due right about the same time. I was just wondering if you put the meatballs in the crockpot frozen or if you thawed them first?

  8. WooHoo!!!
    Congrats to you and your family, another baby!! 🙂
    Family is the best and you’re very lucky to be adding one more to your beautiful bunch.
    Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling yucky, but all will pass and you’ll be feeling tip-top in no time at all.
    This crockpot recipe sounds yummy. We really enjoy anything that has saucey-meatballs in it..
    Sounds like I have a nice new and easy recipe for later this week, thanks!

  9. Yay, congratulations on your pregnancy, that’ is such fantastic and exciting news for you and your family:) Aaw, I’m so sorry to hear that you have been feeling so sick than with your boys. .When I was carrying our son, I had very little morning sickness but with this pregnancy I was sick from day one with migraines which have finally stopped now at 6.5 months. We found out we are having a baby girl so that may be why the symptoms have been different.
    No matter what, I am wishing you a happy and healthy baby and an easy pregnancy and labor. So excited for your new addition to your family Alyssa:)

  10. Hi there! I am new to your blog and just love it. Found some great recipes for my family to try out! Congrats on your bundle on the way!

  11. Congratulations Alyssa! That’s so exciting! Sorry about the awful nausea and sickness, I hated that. Hopefully you get feeling better soon! This meatball marinara sounds delicious and I especially love that it is in the crockpot!