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Slow Cooker Meatball Gnocchi Soup


posted: 09/18/14

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Slow Cooker Meatball Gnocchi Soup is easy to throw together and so delicious and warm!This Slow Cooker Meatball Gnocchi Soup is easy to throw together and so delicious and warm!

I think I underestimated how much it took to mother three kids. I mean, I think I always understood that it’s a lot of work. Like triple the laundry, the meals, the bedtimes, the baths to give, the butts to wipe, and so on and so on.

I guess what I underestimated was this overwhelming feeling that you aren’t giving enough to everyone all the time. I always feel like someone is getting short changed. Like Piper is getting woken up from a nap to pick up Gavin from school. Or Gavin isn’t being taken on fun weekend outings because his sisters need naps.

I feel like someone is always losing at the expense of one of the other kids.

This Slow Cooker Meatball Gnocchi Soup is easy to throw together and so delicious and warm!

I said this to Nathan the other night, and he very wisely said to me, “But maybe that’s how it should be.” He went on to say that in life you can’t always get everything you want all the time, you have to accommodate other people, so at least our kids are learning that early. (He’s a smart cookie.)  And while I agree with him (Did you hear that? It was him cheering and writing down this moment in history.), it’s still so hard. And exhausting.

So in the middle of our crazy lives, and trying to get them all what they all need all. the. time. . . . apparently I need to feed them also.

Like daily.

This Slow Cooker Meatball Gnocchi Soup is easy to throw together and so delicious and warm!

I would say that I’m sort of a Slow Cooker newbie. I mean, I get how it works, and I get how to follow a recipe for it, but I feel like the only recipe I know how to develop for it involves chicken. And more chicken. And then maybe more chicken? So this is totally a win for me! I experimented and though this isn’t like some crazy off the wall original recipe or anything, it totally worked! And it was easy to throw together, and above all else, it was tasty!

And better than all those things, it made life 10 times easier on a day that was SUPER crazy with cranky babies, sick moms, potty training toddlers, and over booked six year old. #handmeacocktail

This Slow Cooker Meatball Gnocchi Soup is easy to throw together and so delicious and warm!

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Slow Cooker Meatball Gnocchi Soup

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  • 12 oz mild Italian sausage I used Jennie-O
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
  • 28 oz crushed tomatos
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 TBSP dried basil
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 16 oz gnocchi
  • fresh basil optional


  • Combine the sausage, cheese, and bread crumbs in a medium bowl until fully mixed.
  • Pour the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth into the slow cooker. Form the meat/cheese mixture into one inch balls and drop them into the liquid.
  • Add the spices, carrots and celery and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • With a half hour left in the cooking (so at 7 hours and 30 minutes in), turn the heat up to high and add the gnocchi. Continue cooking for a half hour.
  • Serve with grated parmesan and fresh basil.
Author: Lisa Longley

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Slow Cooker Meatball Gnocchi Soup

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. heather @french press says

    I really don’t know how you do it with three little ones – you make it look pretty darn easy from where I sit :)

  2. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says

    See, I totally agree with Nathan. Having only had one, I see how it damaged her (well, you know what I mean). I think only children can grow up perfectly fine (I’m one of them) but she gets her way…all the time. Nothing has to wait for her and she has to wait for no one. It’s instant gratification at it’s worst. So know it’s hard now, but they’ll love you for it when they’re older. One hopes. :) xo

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oh, thanks Dorothy. I hope they love me for it when they’re older and don’t need crazy amounts of therapy, lol! As for Jordan, even though she gets what she wants when she wants it . . . she kind of doesn’t. Crazy for Crust is like her sibling. And that’s such a great thing for everyone in so many different ways!

  3. Tara says

    No matter how hard we try, no matter how much sweat and tears come out of our body each day, we will have mommy-guilt. It’s like we’re hard-wired for it.

    You sound like a very wonderful and well-rounded mama, Lisa – and the fact that you’re so conscious of your efforts speaks volumes as to how you parent.

    Kids are resilient – far more than we are. Keep doing what you’re doing, and don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of wine every now and again.

    Also, that gnocchi soup looks frigging awesome. I want to make it.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Awww, thanks Tara. It’s amazing how the words of someone you’ve never even met can be so supportive.

  4. Amy | Club Narwhal says

    Nathan really is so wise :) I don’t have children yet but all of my siblings do and I know it is a constant battle of feeling like you’re giving your all but it still feels like falling short. I really like the idea that kids can learn young to be accommodating–also, that they don’t have to be the center of the world and other people matter :) PS: This soup looks to die for. I love my slow cooker so much and this soup is going to be made this weekend!

  5. Lyuba@willcookforsmiles says

    My gosh, great mind really do think alike! I love your soup, Lisa. Pinning it for sure :)
    I absolutely agree with Nathan! And you are incredible for doing it all!

  6. Nibbles By Nic says

    What a lovely combination!!!! I am such a meatball fan and the idea of adding gnocchi is phenomenal!!! Your lovely dish is being featured this week as a NIBBLES BY NIC favorite! Congrats! Nic

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much!


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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners