Coming back to work after the holiday hiatus has been a little harsh. Because I am starting completely new projects at work this month, it reminded me of those winter breaks back in college when your routine is turned upside down (read: sleeping til whenever) and you feel like you may never go back to classes and responsibilities until your parents try to enforce silly things like curfews! I’m really just now getting back into my full meal prep routine and wanted to incorporate a new dish into the mix.

Make these pesto parmesan meatballs easily in your slow cooker for a flavorful dinner or appetizer. Recipe by Dash of Jazz

Enter these pesto parmesan meatballs. I made them with lean 99% ground turkey from Jennie-O then paired them with zucchini noodles for a light but filling lunch on workdays. You can buy veggies like butternut squash, sweet potato, and zucchini pre cut from your local grocer or make them yourself using this tool, which comes highly recommended by my foodie friend, Trent.

turkey meatball mixture

If you’re familiar with my recipes, you know I typically substitute ground turkey for beef as a way to eat better without sacrificing flavor. None of my friends can ever tell the difference. Jennie-O ground turkey gets the job done and these meatballs aren’t lacking in taste or moisture! They’re super juicy from being cooked in an easy mixture of pesto and broth in a crockpot. This is definitely one of those set-it-and-forget-it-meals. I chose to pair them with the zucchini noodles for that classic spaghetti and meatballs feel. Just like that, a week of complete lunches was prepped.

raw turkey meatballs

turkey meatballs cooking in slow cooker

But wait! There’s more! *in my game show announcer voice* These meatballs by themselves are a perfect game day food. You can serve them straight out of the crock pot with tongs or toothpicks for grabbing or sandwich them between mini buns with a bit of mozzarella cheese for tasty sliders. It’s playoffs time right now but in a few short weeks, my hometown (Houston, TX, in case you’re new around here) is hosting the the Big Game. Make these for your guests if you’re hosting a watch party and they’ll likely be gone by the end of the first quarter.

turkey meatballs over zoodles

Don’t worry, though. I have another easy recipe you can add to your spread coming up next week! In the meantime, here are the popular goodies I made for last year’s game:

What are your plans for the Big Game–will you be here in Houston or watching from home elsewhere? Thanks for reading!

Signature Dash of Jazz

pesto parmesan meatballs over zucchini noodles #zoodles #slowcookerrecipe

pesto parmesan meatballs in bowl with fresh basil leaves

In collaboration with Jennie-O. As always, all opinions are my own.  

Pesto Parmesan Meatballs
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 10 mins

Lightened up turkey meatballs with the flavors of pesto and parmesan cheese made easily in a slow cooker

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: slow cooker meatballs, slow cooker recipe, turkey meatballs from scratch
Servings: 18 meatballs
  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup broth or water
  1. Add all ingredients except for pesto and broth to a large bowl and mix until uniform. I do this with my hands to make sure all the spices are incorporated throughout the turkey.
  2. Form mixture into balls slightly larger than golf balls. Place into crock pot.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together pesto and broth. Pour over meatballs and cover crockpot. Cook for about 4 hours on low, checking every so often. (Crock pots differ, so you may need to adjust the cooking time.)
Recipe Notes

Recipe by Jazzmine of Dash of Jazz