This meatballs and gravy recipe is budget-friendly and belly satisfying!

Fresh or frozen meatballs that are simmered in a shortcut brown gravy with onions. Made in a slow cooker or Crockpot, these meatballs are easy to prepare in advance.

Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or rice for an easy meal.

top view of plated Slow Cooker Meatballs and Gravy

Slow Cooker Meatballs (& Gravy!)

We love crock pot recipes to make weeknights extra easy!

  • Let the Crockpot do all the work for these quick and easy meatballs and gravy!
  • Perfect for those chilly weeknights or as a make-and-take dish for any get-together!
  • Tender and juicy meatballs are slow-cooked in rich onion gravy. Just set it and forget it for an easy weeknight dinner.
  • Frozen meatballs make this dish even easier. It’s always a good idea to have extra meatballs in the freezer for easy-to-make dinners!
ingredients to make Slow Cooker Meatballs and Gravy

Ingredients for Meatballs & Gravy

Meatballs – Fresh for frozen work in this recipe. Frozen fully cooked meatballs make for extra quick prep.

If you’d prefer homemade meatballs, check the notes below. Beef, turkey, chicken, pork, or any combination can be used!

Gravy – Everything about this gravy is super easy and delicious! Just toss everything in at once! Heavy cream is used as it holds up well in the slow cooker (milk doesn’t hold up well). It can be substituted with evaporated milk if you’d like.

How to Make Meatballs & Gravy in the Slow Cooker

  1. If using fresh meatballs, brown in a skillet. Add onions and soften.
  2. Add the meatballs and onion with remaining ingredients to a slow cooker. Cover & cook per the recipe below.
  3. Discard the bay leaf, make corn starch slurry, add to meatballs and gravy, and cook until thickened.
taking Slow Cooker Meatballs and Gravy out of the slow cooker

What Goes with Meatballs and Gravy?

Serve hearty meatballs with gravy over mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles with a tangy Caesar salad, and add some dinner rolls and sauteed mushrooms.

Storing Leftovers

Keep leftover meatballs & gravy covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Store in zippered bags in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight or gently thaw on low heat on the stovetop.

Slow Cooker Weekday Meals

Did your family enjoy these Slow Cooker Meatballs and Gravy? Leave us a comment below!

top view of plated Slow Cooker Meatballs and Gravy
4.93 from 54 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Slow Cooker Meatballs & Gravy

Juicy meatballs slow cooked in a rich and creamy onion gravy.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 24 ounces frozen meatballs or homemade meatballs below*
  • 10 ½ ounces beef broth
  • 10 ½ ounces French onion soup condensed
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper to taste

To Thicken Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • If making homemade meatballs, combine the meat mixture and roll into 36 meatballs. Lightly brown in a skillet over medium high heat, cooking in batches if needed. They do not need to be cooked through. (Frozen meatballs do not need to be browned).
  • Remove the meatballs and place in the bottom of a 6qt slow cooker (frozen fully cooked meatballs can be added right from frozen).
  • Add the onions to the pan with butter and cook over medium heat until softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Place onions in the slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients except cornstarch and stir. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  • Remove bay leaf and discard. Combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Stir into the slow cooker and cover. Cook 15 minutes or until thickened.


To Make Homemade Meatballs:
Combine the following in a large bowl. Divide into 36 meatballs.
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon each onion and garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper
Keep leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Store in a freezer-friendly container in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight or on low heat on the stovetop. 
4.93 from 54 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 612 | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 681mg | Potassium: 1076mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Dinner, Slow Cooker
Cuisine American

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plated Slow Cooker Meatballs and Gravy with mashed potatoes and writing
Slow Cooker Meatballs and Gravy with mashed potatoes and a title
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Slow Cooker Meatballs and Gravy in a bowl with potatoes and cooked in the slow cooker with writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


    1. While I haven’t tried it, I think the dry onion soup mix would be a good option. I would mix it with water and add about 10 oz (approx 1 ⅓ cups). Let us know how it works out!

  1. This recipe was so easy and delicious! We served it over cauliflower rice for a lower carb meal and it was perfect. Will become a quick and easy go to!5 stars

  2. I don’t normally leave reviews because the food is usually still edible, but this was AWFUL! Does not look like the photo because it’s not brown gravy, it’s more like a cream gravy. I should add that I followed the recipe 100%. Would not recommend frozen meatballs because they turn to mush. Haven’t tried real meatballs and won’t because this was not good at all. The rice was good though! 1 star

    1. Oh no! While the gravy should still be a little runny and liquidy, the corn starch should have helped thicken it. Did you cover the slow cooker after adding it? You could try adding a little more corn starch slurry to help thicken as well.

  3. I really like your recipes, however, they NEVER print dark enough to add to my collection. Why? I have a new ink cartridge so ink is not a problem. Please advise. Thanks

    1. I have not had this problem when printing Gracie so I can’t say for sure. A printer printing too light is often a malfunction or setting within the printer itself. I hope this helps.

  4. Love this recipe, especially the part for the homemade meatballs. I’ve already made this recipe twice and once instead of the gravy I used the meatballs in a marinara sauce for spaghetti night. Worked out great!!5 stars

  5. I made this an it was very good, I will do half the worcestershire sauce next time an add fresh mushrooms!! YUMMMMM!!!!!!5 stars

    1. While I haven’t tried it, I think the dry onion soup mix would be a good option. I would mix it with water and add about 10 oz (approx 1 ⅓ cups). Let us know how it works out!

  6. Hello! I’m excited to try this! I’m going to make for a group of 25 people or so, but many are kids. I was thinking of tripling the recipe for somewhere between 80-100 meatballs. However, I’m not sure if they will all fit in the slow cooker! Do you think I could at least get a double recipe in there? I do have 2 crockpots.

    1. Hi Holly, I don’t know if a double recipe would fit, but you may be able to get 1.5x in. You want your Crock Pot to be a maximum 3/4 full. I hope this helps, I would love to hear how it turns out!

  7. Looks great! What would you sub for the heavy cream? I’m wanting to make this for my son who is allergic to dairy. Or just omit and make more slurry to thicken? Thanks!5 stars

    1. Heavy cream is used in this recipe because other dairy does not hold up as well in the slow cooker. I am not sure how other substitutes would do in the slow cooker, but If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out Sarah!

    2. I replaced the heavy cream with Lactaid milk because my son can not have milk either. Worked out perfect and the family loved it!! Repeat meal.5 stars

  8. This was a family favorite. I cooked it just like the recipe meatball from scratch. Husband loved the gravy. We be a regular in my house. Quick easy setup5 stars

  9. I made this recipe and it was delicious….I added two pinches of paprika and a bit more salt and pepper and it turned out so good…I will definetely make this again….thanks for such good recipes…

  10. Ok I’m confused some responses you stated they can be frozen and then others you state they should be cooked..can you please verify which way frozen or cooked first???5 stars

    1. Sorry for the confusion. We use either frozen meatballs that are fully cooked or uncooked meatballs that have been browned in a pan.

    1. Hi Justin, we have never tried replacing the sour cream with cream cheese but I would love to hear how it turned out for you!

      1. I didn’t see sour cream in the recipe. I’m sure I just missed it, but is it added at the end?

      2. Hi Altie! This recipe has been updated for improved flavor and consistency. It no longer needs sour cream as written. Enjoy!

  11. Hi,
    If I am using frozen meatballs, do they need to be cooked/baked first or can I throw them in the crock pot frozen with the other ingredients?

  12. I had frozen meatballs and thought of making Swedish Meatballs. My coworker suggested this website because she religiously makes recipes from it and loves them all. This recipe was SO simple and SO delicious! I was a little skeptical when the recipe called for Alfredo sauce, but the ingredients really blended well together! New family favorite!! ❤️5 stars

      1. Hi Eileen, this recipe has been updated for improved flavor and consistency. It no longer needs alfredo sauce as written. Enjoy!

  13. You didn’t say if the meatballs are cooked before going in the crockpot … Thank – you!