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Slow Cooker Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

I’m pretty pumped today to share the recipe for these super cheesy Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs! First off they are a slow cooker dinner. Slow Cookers for president!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

ANNND the recipe also comes from my sweet friend Shawn’s new cookbook Express Lane Cooking!! Shawn’s website I Wash You Dry is SO fun…..I mean she makes OMG CRAZY stuff like this Pizza Cake (WHA??) and Pumpkin Magic Cake (Magic? LOVE).

Anyhow her first book, Express Lane Cooking, has a really fun concept…a well stocked kitchen (with basics) along with a few extra ingredients and you can make really outstanding meals. I super love this idea, because the idea of the stocked kitchen is really basic and totally doable. Most of the items you probably already have! Shawn gives you a great list of things you should always have on-hand…so then when you do need to do your meal planning it makes your shopping lists short because you already have most everything you need!


The book is gorgeous to look at with a photo for every recipe…I know how much you guys love that (me too!).

When I was flipping through the book I kept coming back to her Slow Cooker Ricotta Stuffed Meatball recipe. My family loves meatballs and the idea of making them in the slow cooker really appealed to me, especially on busy weekdays!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

I went ahead an assembled the meatballs the night before and in the morning I just popped them in my slow cooker. Of course you could wake up early and get these going too. But I don’t really operate in the morning until I have 1.5 cups of coffee…

Also full disclosure…I have made this recipe twice and the second time I made them in the oven (because I didn’t plan properly). They turned out great both ways and I included the oven cooking temperature in the recipe below just in case you would like that option as well!

Anyhow, let’s get started…


Mix up the quick cheesy filling…it’s just ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella with a little salt and pepper.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

The meatball recipe is super simple. I used really lean ground beef so I wouldn’t have as much grease in the slow cooker. You could totally use ground turkey too. I’m going to try that next time!

Use a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off the easily pipe the cheese mixture into the meatball. Pinch the meatballs closed and place them in your slow cooker with some pasta sauce!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

Top them with more sauce and cook on low for 6 hours!

Serve them on a plate of pasta and you have dinner!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

Love the cheesy inside!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

Such a great recipe in a book loaded with great recipes! If you’re looking for some fun meal inspo that’s both easy and interesting Express Lane Cooking is a great book!

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Slow Cooker Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Easy Slow Cooker Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs are juicy and flavorful, and filled with three types of Italian cheese. Serve these cheesy crock pot meatballs over your choice of pasta for an effortless weeknight dinner.


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (29 ounce) can pasta sauce
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta, cooked according to package directions


  1. In a large bowl combine the beef, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, milk 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Use your hands to fully mix the seasonings with the meat. Form the meat into 1 1/2 – 2 inch meatballs.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Spoon the mixture into a large zip-top bag and cut off the corner of the bag.
  4. Form a well in each meatball, careful not to push all the way through. Squeeze about a teaspoon of the cheese mixture into the meatball and pinch the meatball closed so that none of the cheese is exposed. 
  5. Pour half of the pasta sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the meatballs on top of the sauce and pour the remaining sauce over the meatballs.
  6. Cook on low for 6 hours.


  • You may have leftover Ricotta cheese mixture. Use this as a garnish on top of the cooked meatballs for a pretty presentation. You could also save the leftover cheese for another meal and stir it into pasta sauce for extra creaminess.
  • Oven Method: If you choose to not use the slow cooker method, follow all the instructions as written, but use a 9×13 baking dish to cook the meatballs at 400°F for 30 minutes.

Keywords: slow cooker meatballs, crock pot meatballs, cheese stuffed meatballs

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12 comments on “Slow Cooker Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs”

  1. Debra A Lockhart

    Instead of tomato product, I used pesto sauce. Absolutely scrumptious. Thank you for this recipe.

  2. Hi there, I know this is an old thread but hoping someone sees this…

    Do any of you have issues with the cheese oozing out? I LOVE the sound of these meatballs and I love any and all crockpot recipes but I have been doing some recipe research on stuffed meatballs and I see that a common issues is that the cheese oozes out.

    Thoughts or tips?

    Thanks SO much in advance!

  3. I had quite a bit of ricotta filling left over, what would you do in terms of storing it for something later? Zip lock? Tupperware container?

    How long can I store it before I have to use it?

    Thank you!

  4. Shawn @ i Wash You Dry

    Thank you SO much for sharing my book and this recipe! These look fabulous, and now I am going to get my crock pot out and make these again!! 🙂

  5. I’ve always browned my meatballs. No need to do that? I mean, I guess the cheese would melt. I will use the oven method since I don’t have a slow cooker. Thanks for the oven directions.

  6. Sue|theviewfromgreatisland

    This looks like the perfect cozy fall meal! I love ricotta in anything–stuffing meatballs is a great idea!

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