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Slow-Cooker Spanish Meatballs

Take a family favorite to new heights: Hot smoked paprika gives meatballs deep flavor and low, slow cooking ensures they're extra tender. These meatballs will also taste great made with ground turkey or beef.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Slow-Cooker Spanish Meatballs

Photography: Con Poulos

Source: Everyday Food, May 2011


  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
  • 5 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • Rustic bread (optional), for serving


  1. In a large bowl, combine pork, 1/4 cup onion, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, breadcrumbs, eggs, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. With a wooden spoon, gently mix to combine and, using your hands, roll into 25 meatballs (each 1 1/2 inches wide).

  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. In two batches, brown meatballs on all sides, 8 minutes per batch. Transfer meatballs to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add remaining onion to skillet; cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Transfer onion to slow cooker, along with 1 teaspoon paprika and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on low until meatballs are tender, 5 hours. Serve with rustic bread if desired.

Cook's Note

Meatballs and sauce can be frozen, up to 2 weeks, for a quick dinner another night. To freeze, let cool completely, then transfer to airtight containers. Gently reheat on the stove, covered, over medium-low and serve over pasta or polenta.


Reviews (3)

  • CarmenMS 17 Sep, 2013

    I used one pound of ground turkey and halfed the seasonings. I also followed the first reviewer's advice on simmering. I served it over veggies to cut out the carbs. It was delicious!

  • ATL_Anne 16 Aug, 2012

    I followed the first reviewer's advice and finished on the stove. Just let them simmer and reduce. They were wonderful!

  • AndreaDwyer 14 Jan, 2012

    I liked the flavors, but the meatballs seemed overcooked and little burny after being in the slow cooker. I think if I were to make this again, I would make the meatballs just like the recipe said, adding fresh minced garlic to the meat mixture, brown them, and then just let them simmer 1/2 hour in the sauce ingredients. The meatballs looked gorgeous after browning - it was a shame they looked so much more appetizing then than after being slow cooked for several hours.

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