Easy Slow Cooker Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs are juicy and flavorful, and crammed with three types of Italian cheese. Serve these cheesy crock pot meatballs over your choice of pasta for a simple weeknight dinner.
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 (29 ounce) can pasta sauce
- 1 pound bowtie pasta, cooked according to package directions
- In a large bowl combine the meat, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, milk 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Use your hands to fully mix the seasonings with the meat. Form the meat into 1 1/2 – 2 inch meatballs.
- In a medium bowl combine the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into a large zip-top bag and cut off the corner of the bag.
- Form a well in each meatball, careful not to push all the way through. Squeeze a few teaspoon of the cheese mixture into the meatball and pinch the meatball closed so that none of the cheese is exposed.
- Pour half of the pasta sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the meatballs on top of the sauce and pour the remaining sauce over the meatballs.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- You may have leftover Ricotta cheese mixture. Use this as a garnish on top of the cooked meatballs for a pretty presentation. You could also save the leftover cheese for an additional meal and stir it into pasta sauce for extra creaminess.
- Oven Method: If you choose to not use the slow cooker method, follow all the instructions as written, but use a 9×13 baking dish to cook the meatballs at 400°F for 30 minutes.