Crockpot Mini Turkey Meatball Vegetable Soup - Real Food Whole Life

Crockpot Mini Turkey Meatball Vegetable Soup

November 27, 2018 (Updated on October 1, 2021)

Crockpot Mini Turkey Meatball Vegetable Soup is hearty one-pot meal that’s packed with the good stuff.

A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 recipe your family will love.

I’m telling you, all I want in the dark, cold fall winter months is a big bowl of soul nourishing soup, a cozy blanket, and my couch.

Seriously, I’m a notorious homebody as it is, but when the days get dark and the rain rolls in, it is hard to convince me to leave the safe den of home.

And when it comes to soul-soothing soups, nothing beats a one-pot meal that’s packed with protein, veggies, and healthy dose of fat to keep you full and nourished.

This one definitely does the trick, and the addition of mini turkey meatballs helps to make this one super satisfying.

I’ll admit that rolling the meatballs does take a few more minutes than some of my dump and stir recipes, but I honestly think it’s worth it.

I took a cue from my egg-free, breadcrumb free meatball recipe for these mini turkey meatballs, and so they can be made without a hint of egg, gluten, or dairy.

Don’t worry, they are still totally delicious.

This one is perfect all on its own, or with a crusty loaf of bread to serve alongside.

Just don’t skip the lemon juice and olive oil at the end; both brighten up the flavors and add an extra layer of lusciousness to the final dish.

You’ll also notice I added stovetop and crockpot instructions, too, so no matter what you’ll be able to make this delicious recipe.

A quick note, too, that this soup make a lot, which is a very good thing since leftovers taste amazing and are perfect to take for lunch on the go.

I like to freeze leftovers in individual servings so I can grab and go anytime (and not get bored of eating the same thing over and over).

For more on freezing leftovers in jars, check out this glass mason jar storage post.

I hope you’ll make this one soon. If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

Now, let’s make some Crockpot Mini Turkey Meatball Vegetable Soup!

Recipe & Kid Friendly Adaptations

1 | Deconstruct the soup for resistant eaters by serving the meatballs, veggies and broth separately.

2 | Add crusty bread on the side for people who need a little something extra.

3 | Ground turkey or ground beef work well for the meatballs.

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5 from 5 votes

Crockpot Mini Turkey Meatball Vegetable Soup

Yield 6 -8

Crockpot Mini Turkey Meatball Vegetable Soup is hearty one-pot meal that’s packed with the good stuff. A gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30 recipe your family will love.

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • ½ cup grated onion from about 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
  • cup almond flour or oat flour
  • 2 pounds ground dark meat turkey or ground beef grass-fed if possible

For the Soup

  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free Italian seasoning
  • 1-2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • For serving: extra virgin olive oil fresh chopped rosemary

Instructions

  • Make the meatballs by combining the grated onion, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, flour, and turkey in a medium bowl. Stir until well combined, being careful not to over-mix. Form into meatballs, about 1 teaspoon each.
  • Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, Italian seasoning, and salt to a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to combine.
  • Add the meatballs, pressing gently to submerge in the liquid. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8, or until the vegetables and meatballs are cooked through.
  • Uncover, add the spinach, and cook on high for 5 more minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Add the lemon juice, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of fresh rosemary and healthy drizzle of olive oil.

Stovetop Variation

  • Make the meatballs per step 1 above.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, celery, zucchini, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, Italian seasoning, and salt, stirring to combine.
  • Add the meatballs, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered, for 25-30 minutes, until the vegetables and meatballs are cooked through.
  • Proceed with steps 4-5 above.

Instant Pot Variation

  • Make the meatballs per step 1 above.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in an electric pressure cooker set to saute for 8 minutes. Add the onion and pinch of salt and cook until soft.
  • Add the carrots, celery, zucchini, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, Italian seasoning, salt and meatballs.
  • Secure the lid, select the manual setting, and set it to high pressure for 10 minutes. When the pressure cooker timer is done, quick release the pressure.
  • Proceed with step 4 and 5. The spinach should wilt from the heat without adding any additional cook time.

Notes

*Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor without containing any dairy. Find it on the bulk aisle of your natural foods store, or in the baking section. It adds an essential “cheesy” flavor to the recipe, which makes a difference in the overall flavor. If you can’t find it or don’t want to use it, the meatballs won’t be quite as flavorful but the soup will still be tasty.
Make your own oat flour for this recipe by placing ⅓ cups whole rolled oats in a blender and blending until a coarse flour forms. You can purchase pre-made oat flour at many grocery stores and natural food markets or online. If you are gluten-free be sure to buy oats that are specifically labeled gluten-free.
For a totally different vegetarian twist, substitute 2 cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas for the meatballs.
Deconstruct the soup for resistant eaters by serving the meatballs, veggies and broth separately.
Add crusty bread on the side for people who need a little something extra.
Ground turkey or ground beef work well for the meatballs.
Nutrition disclaimer
did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!

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22 comments to " Crockpot Mini Turkey Meatball Vegetable Soup "

  • Meg

    I am really looking forward to trying this one. My family is still loving your crock pot lentil chili, so I can’t wait to add another crock pot meal from you to our weekly mix. I am listening to your podcast weekly, too…so lots of fun inspiration from you, lady! Thanks for all you do.

    • Robyn Downs

      Yay, Meg, love that you’re plugging into all the Real Food Whole Life love. Hope you enjoy this one and so happy you’re part of the pod community!

  • Laura

    So glad you included an Instant Pot variant! This looks super doable. Thanks 🙂

  • Anna

    My family loves this recipe (1yo and 4yo included). But the meatballs are very sticky for me and very hard to work with. Too wet? I use almond flour (family members are allergic to oats). Have you had this experience? Should I add more flour? How much? (I’m hesitant to experiment myself). Thanks!

    • Robyn Downs

      Hey Anna, the texture of ground turkey can very depending on the grind and fat ratio. Were you using white meat? Dark meat is a little easier to work with–additional suggestions would be to add 1/4 more almond flour, and instead of trying to roll with your hands, scoop with a small cookie scoop directly onto the pan. You can also put some olive oil on your hands to prevent sticking. Hope this helps!

  • Robyn

    Yum! my 7yo told me to make this again! I’m hoping the 3yo will try it next time 🙂 I used what I had on hand which was Earth’s Best mini meatballs and frozen spinach. I made it on the stovetop and it simmered slowly until we were ready to eat; I love when a recipe can be low maintenance like that!

  • EJ

    This looks delicious but would it also work with chicken thighs?

  • Randye Jensen

    only the first variation tells you what to do with the other veggies, tomatoes, stock, etc

  • Lynn

    The photo does not represent the actual recipe… I added the canned petite diced tomatoes and the broth is red. It also looks as if the photo shows cherry or grape tomatoes … The recipe is decent. But I wish that an actual photo was shown not a doctored photo.

    • Robyn Downs

      Lynn, those are diced tomatoes pictured. Tomato products can be different brand to brand–sounds like yours had a more puree like consistency. And when in doubt, always follow the directions of a recipe.

  • Candice

    Love this recipe! I’ve done both the stovetop and instant pot version and love them both! Everyone including the 1.5 year old and the 5 year old loved it. I love how clean it is. We are having it tonight after a chilly walk. Thank you!

  • Adrienne Stark

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! It freezes so well and the meatballs are delicious. I used seasoned bread crumbs in lieu of the flour since I don’t have dietary restrictions and I seasoned bread crumbs make everything delicious. The recipe as written made more meatballs than can fit into my slow cooker, so the leftovers made a great sheetpan meal later in the week with roasted veggies!

    • Robyn Downs

      Adrienne, yay, so happy to hear you’re enjoying this one! Great tip on the breadcrumbs, and also making another sheet pan meal. Cheers!

  • Tara Jeffers

    5 stars
    Made this using the instant pot version. Just like Robyn mentioned. It’s super quick and easy to put together and it was fantastic. Yummy meal adding to rotation. Thanks so much for sharing this one.

    • Robyn Downs

      Tara, yay, so glad you enjoyed this one and happy you were able to make it in the Instant Pot. Cheers to those quick and easy wins!

  • Katharine

    5 stars
    Robyn,
    It’s in the pot now and smells gorgeous.
    We as a family of 5 love many different items of yours. I’m sure this will be just as amazing like the 5 ingredient black bean stuffed sweet potatoes and the veggie chickpea curry. Yum.
    Thank you so much for all that you do.
    Katharine
    From sunny Poole, Dorset, UK

    • Robyn Downs

      Katharine, yay, so happy to hear this one is a hit with you and your family! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!

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If you love this recipe it would mean SO MUCH if you gave it a star rating and left a comment. Your feedback helps me create more recipes you'll love, and helps others find my recipes online. Thanks so much for your feedback! —Robyn

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