Slow cooker meatballs with ravioli is an easy meal the whole family will love! Soft pillows of ravioli cooked together in a red sauce topped with meatballs and cheese.Jump to Recipe
Have I mentioned that I don't like the term "dump and go"? It is a super popular one in the world of slow cooking. And who wouldn't love the idea of just dumping food into their crockpot and going on their way.
But it just sounds so unappetizing to me. So, I am suggesting something more refined. How about Place and Pace? Cook and Run? Mix and Meander?
Yeah - I agree, none of these sounds great. If you have a suggestion, I would love to hear it! Please include it in the comment section below.
Whatever you call it, this Italian dish is the perfect add-it-all-in-and-go-about-your-day (dump and go!) meal that will quickly become a family favorite! It is a great idea any night of the week. One of those super easy recipes that doesn't take much time to set up.
To make this great recipe you will need:
- Frozen Meatballs - fully cooked, cocktail sized Italian meatballs work best. I prefer those made from 100% ground beef, but any combo of meat or even turkey will do. Homemade meatballs also work as long as they are fully cooked in advance.
- Ravioli - frozen cheese ravioli is perfect. If you are avoiding dairy, mushroom ravioli is delicious in this dish
- Red Sauce - Marinara works really well, But any tomato sauce you love would work as well.
- Italian Seasoning
- Basil - dried
- Parmesan cheese - shaved or shredded. Dairy free versions work well too.
- Non-stick spray - of choice. I always prefer to spray pure olive oil.
Exact quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
If you plan to use a slow cooker liner, adding it is always the first step. If not, spray your slow cooker with a non-stick spray of your choosing. Next cover the bottom of your slow cooker with a layer of spaghetti sauce. Add a single layer of frozen ravioli on top of sauce.
Next spoon another layer of sauce over the ravioli. Sprinkle sauce layer with seasonings. Place meatballs in a full layer on top of sauce.
Top meatballs with yet another layer of sauce and sprinkle with about half of your parmesan cheese (or dairy free alternative) . Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
About 10 minutes or so prior to serving, sprinkle top of dish with remaining parmesan cheese and cover allowing it to melt. Devour!
This dish is best served in a large bowl (because it is so delicious a mere plate won't be enough😂). It is truly a complete meal on its own. It is wonderful served with a vegetable like zucchini and squash parmesan, mashed cauliflower or sautéed spinach. Some warm, crusty garlic bread is also a great side dish.
Leftovers can be stored in airtight containers or bags in the refrigerator. The microwave is the easiest way to re-reheat. If your leftovers are drier than you like, add some fresh pasta sauce and top with extra parmesan or mozzarella cheese prior to reheating.
This dish is not a great freezer candidate. When I tried reheating it, the ravioli broke up into little mushy pieces. It still tasted delicious, it just didn't look very appetizing!
😉Hints & hacks
- Looking to make a dairy free version of this dish? Skip the parmesan cheese (or use a dairy free alternative) and use dairy free, frozen ravioli. Mushroom is my favorite!
- Want to spice things up a bit? Add some extra seasonings! Just sprinkle in a little bit of garlic powder, onion powder and red pepper flakes while adding the Italian seasoning. Red pepper flakes can also be added on top at serving time. This is the best way (laziest!) to add some extra flavor.
- Topping this dish with some fresh basil will also add a nice flavorful and colorful touch!
- I always suggest the use of a slow cooker liner for easy clean up. I like to buy mine in bulk for a cheaper per-piece price.
- In the market for a new crock pot? I love mine!
- If you like to confirm that your meatballs are fully cooked through, use a meat thermometer. Once they register an internal temperature of 165ºF, they are ready to be served.
More great crockpot pasta dishes
Yes! Just grab a freezer bag and layer in ingredients the same way you would in your slow cooker. Every ingredient can be frozen together with the exception of the cheese on top. I would suggest adding fresh parmesan cheese directly to the dish as in the original recipe.
Be sure to allow the mixture to defrost most of the way in your refrigerator prior to cooking
Lazy Slow Cooker Meatballs with Ravioli Recipe
- 1½ lbs. frozen cheese ravioli
- 1 lb. mini meatballs fully cooked and frozen
- 5 cups (or about 2 jars) marinara sauce
- 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 cup shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese divided in to two equal parts
- non-stick cooking spray of choice
- If using crockpot liner, add that in first. If not, spray slow cooker with non-stick spray
- cover bottom of slow cooker with about 1-1½ cups sauce
- add a full layer of ravioli over sauce
- spoon another layer of sauce over ravioli
- sprinkle with Italian seasoning and dried basil
- place a layer of meatballs on top of spices
- spoon remaining sauce over top of meatballs
- sprinkle half of cheese over sauce, cover and cook on low for 6 -8 hours
- To confirm exactly when meatballs are safe to serve, use a meet thermometer. When meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165°, they are considered ready to serve.
- about 10 minutes prior to serving, sprinkle cheese over top of dish. Cover and allow cheese to melt before serving,
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Have you tried this recipe? Please let me know what you thought in the comment section below!