Braces-Friendly Recipe: Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs


Enjoy this easy and fabulous slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs recipe. The flavor of the sauce is rich and the meatballs are so savory. The spaghetti cooks in the slow cooker so there are less pots and pans to clean up afterwards. It's the perfect weeknight meal to serve, especially to family members with braces.

Serves: 4


  • 12 ounces spaghetti noodles, broken in half
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil or thyme for garnish (optional)


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • ⅓ cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning


  • In a medium bowl combine ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix with your hands until mixture is blended. Form mixture into 12 balls. Set aside.
  • In a greased slow cooker, combine marinara sauce, basil, garlic, and Italian seasoning and stir. Arrange meatballs on top of sauce. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Uncover and use a fork or tongs to transfer meatballs to a plate. Add noodles to slow cooker making sure the noodles are covered by the sauce. Return meatballs to slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on high 15-25 minutes until noodles are softened. Give it a stir, then top with fresh basil or thyme and grated parmesan cheese. Serve hot.


A Hungry McFarland Orthodontics Staff member


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