Slow-Cooker Hoisin Turkey Meatballs


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 Meat in a slow cooker

In search of super easy weeknight dinners, Slow-Cooker Hoisin Turkey Meatballs have jumped to the top of my list. Tender meatballs simmer slowly in a sweet and savory sauce and come in at under 300 calories per serving.

Add rice and steamed broccoli or green beans and dinner is served!

Meat over rice in a white bowl

Meatballs in a slow cooker

Hoisin Sauce for Hoisin Turkey Meatballs

The key ingredient in the rich, sticky sauce that coats these meatballs is Hoisin sauce. Hoisin is a great pantry / fridge staple and if you’ve been reading for long, you may recognize it as a recurring favorite in our kitchen. Thick, sweet and savory, Hoisin is used in Chinese cooking and adds a ton of flavor to just about anything. I love it on salmon, pork, as a dipping sauce and as the base for saucy chicken lettuce cups. I also can’t resist it in the sauce for Hoisin Ginger Rice Noodles.

Best of all, most grocery stores carry it in their international aisle. No need to make a trip to a specialty store.

Meat over rice in a white bowl

For the turkey meatballs, you can make them yourself (I like this recipe from The Kitchn) or take a major short-cut and use pre-cooked frozen meatballs. I’ve been seriously loving Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs. If I don’t already have homemade meatballs in the freezer, I grab a bag at TJs and check one of the week’s dinners off my list.

Meatballs in a slow cooker

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3.90 from 50 votes

Slow-Cooker Hoisin Turkey Meatballs

These turkey meatballs simmer in a sweet and savory sauce for a perfect, super easy weeknight meal that the entire family will love. Serve over rice with steamed broccoli or green beans on the side.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • Mixing Bowl
  • 4-quart or 6-quart Slow Cooker


  • 1 cup Hoisin Sauce (look for this in the international aisle)
  • 1/4 cup Low-Sodium Beef Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated Ginger
  • 1 1/2 lb Turkey Meatballs (use pre-cooked frozen or see note)
  • 1 Tbsp White Sesame Seeds
  • 2 stalks Green Onions, chopped
  • White or brown rice, for serving


  • Whisk together Hoisin sauce, stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and ginger.
  • NOTE: If using fresh / home-made meatballs, sear the meatballs in a non-stick pan with a bit of cooking oil until browned on all sides. (They don't need to be cooked all the way through, but searing the outside will help them to hold together while they cook.)
  • Place meatballs in the bowl of a slow-cooker (if using frozen, do not defrost). Pour sauce over meatballs.
  • Slow-cook meatballs on low for 4 hours for frozen meatballs / 6 hours if using fresh. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, gently stir the meatballs to coat in sauce (the meatballs will be super tender after cooking, so use a large spoon to scoop the meatballs and sauce from the bottom up to the top).
  • Transfer meatballs to a serving bowl and top with sesame seeds and green onions.
  • Serve meatballs over rice with steamed broccoli or green beans on the side.


Just about any meatballs will work in this recipe, as long as they will hold up to simmering in sauce. I actually prefer to use store-bought pre-cooked turkey meatballs (Trader Joe's are my favorite). I put them straight from the freezer into the slow-cooker for a dinner that just takes about 5 minutes to prep.
If you want make them from scratch, I love this recipe from The Kitchn.


Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1636mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Calories: 383
Keyword: easy dinner, family friendly, slow cooker recipe
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Molly and Clara had their first real encounter with Sunday afternoon football this weekend. They were fascinated…for about 5 minutes.

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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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