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Prep 20 mins
Cook 6 hrs
Measure and chop most of the ingredients the night before, and the next day it'll take you just a few minutes to have everything in the slow cooker. Before, when I didn't care for sausage, I would substitute ground beef. Also, if you don't like eggplant, you can increase the amount of mushrooms or zucchini. Update 8/16/07: I just made this using my new slow cooker, and I found it didn't require more than 4-5 hours on low to cook.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 lb bulk mild Italian sausage
- 1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
- 1 small eggplant, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, divided
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into 5-quart slow cooker.
- Shape sausage into 1-inch meatballs. Place half the meatballs in slow cooker.
- Add half the mushrooms, eggplant and zucchini.
- Top with onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Add remaining meatballs, mushrooms, eggplant and zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Top with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Cover; cook on low 6 to 7 hours.
- Stir in diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Cover; cook on low 15 minutes.
- Stir in basil and lemon; serve.
I have been using this recipe for years and my entire family loves it. I often use frozen meatballs (Armour Italian or Butterball Turkey) in place of the bulk sausage to save time. Canned mushrooms also work well in a pinch. Just love this recipe!