Slow Cooker Kale and Beef Meatballs

Recipe posted in: Flex™ Meals & Snacks, Healthy Sides & Snacks, Lunches & Dinners

This healthy slow cooker recipe couldn’t be any easier… or any tastier! Featuring lean ground beef, cheese, breadcrumbs, spices and more, they’ve got all the flavor of your favorite Italian dish, without any of the pound-packing add-ons.

We love the convenience of this slow cooker recipe—all you have to do is toss the ingredients together in your crock pot, set it and forget it. We also appreciate the versatility of this slow cooker meal. You can pair your meatballs with a SmartCarb like a whole wheat roll or a half cup of brown rice for a full Flex™ dinner, or you can top one of your favorite Nutrisystem meals with them. Or, spiralize up a bunch of zucchini noodles and toss them with these tasty meatballs for a lighter take on spaghetti and meatballs.

Servings: Makes 6 servings (3 meatballs with sauce counts as one serving)

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 PowerFuels

Ingredients:

  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. skim milk
  • ½ tsp. red chili flakes
  • ¼-½ tsp. salt
  • ¼-½ tsp. pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of water to a large skillet. Heat skillet to medium-high. Add kale and garlic to the sauté pan. Sauté the mixture until kale is wilted and water has evaporated.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the milk and breadcrumbs together until moist.
  3. To the large bowl add lean ground beef, Parmesan cheese, onion, kale/garlic mixture, eggs, red chili flakes, salt and pepper.
  4. Use your hands to mix everything together and roll the mixture into meatballs.
  5. Gently form into 18 meatballs and transfer to a large baking sheet.
  6. Broil on second rack from the top until meatballs are golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Pour the crushed tomatoes into the slow cooker. Add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, and bay leaf.
  8. Carefully place the meatballs into the sauce, cover and cook low 4 to 6 hours or high 2 to 3 hours.
  9. Remove bay leaf prior to serving.