Slow Cooker French Onion Meatballs

  1. Prepare the Meatballs:
    • In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix until just combined—do not overmix.
    • Form the mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter, and place them on a baking sheet. You should have around 20-24 meatballs.
  2. Brown the Meatballs (optional):
    • In a skillet over medium-high heat, sear the meatballs on all sides until they’re browned. This step is optional but adds flavor. You don’t need to cook them through, just get a nice color on the outside.
    • Transfer the browned meatballs to the slow cooker.
  3. Cook the Onions:
    • In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt, cooking until they are caramelized and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Add the minced garlic in the last few minutes of cooking.
  4. Add Sauce Ingredients to Slow Cooker:
    • Once the onions are caramelized, transfer them to the slow cooker on top of the meatballs. Add the beef broth, red wine (if using), Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Slow Cook:
    • Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  6. Add Cheese and Serve:
    • Just before serving, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of the meatballs and sauce. Cover for a few more minutes until the cheese is melted.
    • Garnish with fresh thyme or parsley, if desired.
  7. Serving Suggestions:
    • Serve the French onion meatballs as an appetizer with toothpicks or over mashed potatoes, rice, or buttered noodles for a hearty main dish.


  • Onion Cooking Tip: Patience is key to caramelizing onions. Cook them slowly over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning while allowing them to develop a deep golden color.
  • Cheese Topping: For a bubbly and browned cheese topping, transfer the cooked meatballs and sauce to an oven-safe dish, top with cheese, and broil in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Enjoy your Slow Cooker French Onion Meatballs, a savory and satisfying dish that brings the beloved flavors of French onion soup into a delightful meatball form!

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