Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs and Tomato Stew (9 pointsplus)

Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs and Tomato Stew (9 pointsplus)

Mention to an Italian child that you’ll be serving polpettine for lunch, and chances are, he will respond with an excited hurray! Yes, this is a dish that will please every kid you know. Most of us know “polpettine” as meatballs, in English. We dunk them in tomato sauce and mix them with spaghetti.

But you can also serve this family favorite the way it is prepared in Italy, paired with a simple dish of sautèed peas. A tip: these two ingredients pair perfectly together. In this recipe, two worlds collide as we cook them in the traditional fashion for the first half of the recipe, and simmer them in the slow cooker for the second half. The result is a fantastic dish! Mix it up with your spaghetti, or serve it as a main course with a side dish of your choosing.

Our choice to mix ground beef with ground chicken or turkey gives you that traditional meatball flavor you love, but with reduced fat and calories. And peas, with scores of phytonutrients, are a healthy addition to this classic dish. Dig into this healthy entree and enjoy traditional flavors in a healthy way!

Yield: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1-1/2 cups including meatballs/ 1/6 of recipe | Calories: 347 | Previous Points: 8 | Points Plus: 9 | Total Fat: 19 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 87 mg | Sodium: 220 mg | Carbohydrates: 22 g | Dietary Fiber: 3 g | Sugars: 5 g | Protein: 21 g


  • 1/4 cup non-fat milk
  • 2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread (crusts taken away)
  • 7 ounces ground beef
  • 7 ounces ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Flour for coating the meatballs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups or 1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped or torn


In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk.

In a big bowl, mix the beef, chicken, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, egg and the bread soaked in milk. Mix well until it becomes compact.

Prepare a plate with flour.

Get about a tablespoon of the meat then roll in between your palms to make the meatballs.

Coat the meatballs with the flour by rolling them on the plate. Shake off the excess.

Over medium heat, in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, brown all the meatballs. Do it by batches if they don’t fit in one cooking. Transfer them to a plate when they are cooked.

Discard the oil after cooking then replace with new extra virgin olive oil.

Over medium heat, sautè the onions and garlic then put the meatballs back.

Pour the wine then cook until the sauce thickens slightly.

Transfer the meatballs and the sauce to the slow cooker.

Add the tomato puree, oregano, sage, the remaining salt and pepper then mix.

Set on low for 4 hours.

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