Melt-in-your-mouth slow cooker meatballs

  • Yield : 32 meatballs
  • Servings : 6
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 6m
  • Ready In : 6m

Melt-in-your-mouth Slow Cooker Meatballs
(+ pressure cooker option)

There’s no need for me to dust off the slow cooker in winter as I often use it throughout summer. Especially to make these meatballs. They are the most tender, melt-in-your mouth meatballs you’ve ever eaten. Inspired by the wonderful kitchn website I’ve finally found my favourite way to cook meatballs to a texture my kids enjoy. Well, one in particular – my almost 3 year old – he loves them and can eat more of them in one go then I can! My older 2 boys struggle with meatballs as I’ve either undercooked them or overcooked them too often in the past. They’re too wary what the texture might be to really enjoy them – yet! But with the frequency as to which I will make these this winter, there’s a sure fire chance they will begin to add them to the list of foods they love. Served in a bowl with pasta or deconstructed as finger food they make an ideal family meal to suit all ages. I hope you love them as much as I do. Happy eating! x

Nutrition note: you can introduce this lovely, iron-rich meal to young babies soon after 6 months as either finger food – meatballs with steamed pasta spirals, or as a spoon-fed meal – chopped and mashed with some small pasta such as risoni or star pasta.


There’s nothing fancy in these meatballs and the simplicity adds so much flavour and a tender texture.



There’s no doubting whether the meatballs are cooked through or if the texture is OK – they’re perfect every time in the slow cooker or pressure cooker.



Not all kids enjoy bowl food or finger food or even meatballs. They might still be learning to eat them or learning to love them. If so, you will love this post on the variety of ways you could serve meatballs to kids to help encourage their interaction with them and enjoyment of them.

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Baby Foodie, Finger Foodie and Family Foodie take you and your baby from first tastes to age-appropriate finger foods looking at baby-led weaning and adapting family meals to suit your baby’s preferred style of feeding. Each has over 50 dietitian approved recipes, nutrition notes and fussy eating tips to help guide you along the way. Purchase the ebooks here.

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  • 1/2 cup fresh multigrain breadcrumbs (Gluten-free breadcrumbs or quinoa flakes or cooked quinoa for GF option)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or preferred milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese or Parmesan cheese (can omit for dairy allergies)
  • handful chopped parsley (optional)
  • 1/2 brown onion, coarsely grated or finely chopped
  • 500g pork and veal mince (or beef mince, or pork and beef mince)
  • cracked pepper, optional
  • {Sauce}
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • cooked pasta, to serve
  • pepper, optional, to serve


Step 1

Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a large mixing bowl and allow to stand for 5 minutes or until the milk has soaked into the breadcrumbs. -

Step 2

Add the egg, cheese, parsley, onion and mince, season with cracked pepper and mix well to combine. -

Step 3

Shape the mixture into small meatballs and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with a little olive oil, place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden. {You can skip this step and simply transfer the meatballs straight into your slow cooker or pressure cooker, after placing them in the fridge for 30 minutes to prevent them from falling apart first, however we prefer to roast them}. -

Step 4

In the base of your slow cooker or pressure cooker, heat the oil over low-medium heat and gently sauté the onion for a few minutes. If you don't have the sauté function, gently fry the onion in a frying pan and then transfer to the bowl of your slow cooker or pressure cooker, or simply add them in raw. Add the tinned tomatoes and sugar, season with pepper, then gently stir through the meatballs to coat in the sauce. -

Step 5

Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours on LOW.
If you have an electric pressure cooker, or multi-cooker, place and lock the lid and cook the meatballs on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Once the time is up, allow to release naturally for around 10 minutes and then slowly release the valve to release the rest of the pressure. -

Step 6

Serve with your preferred cooked pasta and salad or steamed vegetables. -

Step 7

Storage: keep leftover meatballs in the fridge for 1-2 days, alternatively freeze in an airtight container for up to months. -


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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Sarah on June 1, 2021

    This recipe is fantastic. I didn’t use parsley and I added tomato paste & crushed garlic. The meatballs were delicious, held together really well and were soft enough for my baby to eat.

  2. posted by Agata Szlanta on January 3, 2022

    In step 3 of the recipe, how long would you recommend pressure cooking the meatballs? 5 minutes? Thank you.


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