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Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo. Turning a meatball and pasta dinner into an easy slow cooker meal. We’re using white wine, creamy Dijon mustard, garlic, herbs, parmesan cheese, and orzo. Then adding in some vibrant spinach and sun-dried tomatoes for veggies, flavor, and a pop of color. This slow-cooked chicken meatball dinner is a delicious meal to come home to at the end of the day. And the best part? It’s the easiest, cozy fall-winter dinner to prepare. Directions for the Instant Pot and stove-top are provided! 

Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

I know I’ve said something like this before. But when a recipe I’m not sure about works out so well, I get incredibly excited! When I had this idea, at first I didn’t want to make it. I was honestly scared it would end disastrously. But after some pushing from mom, I decided to just go for it. 

I kept asking her about the recipe, “should I make this”? I think I asked her 3 days in a row until she finally said, “Tieghan, MAKE THE MEATBALLS”! Finally, I listened and I sent her a text a few hours later to thank her for the encouragement. The recipe turned out better than I’d imagined and more importantly, it was so delicious.

Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

Here are all the easy details

To be honest, I may only want to make meatballs in the crockpot from now on. This was so easy and almost mess-free. 

Start with the meatballs. I make mine using ground chicken, Italian seasoning, dijon, and parmesan cheese. Just mix everything together and roll it into meatballs. Then place them in the crockpot with a little olive oil to prevent any sticking.

Next, pour over white wine, add an onion, and a whole head of garlic. Cover and slow cook. Since these are meatballs, they can cook quickly on high for a couple of hours or cook them low and slow all day. Either is great and the meatballs are never dry. The wine will add moisture to them. 

Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

When the meatballs are cooked, pull them out along with the garlic, then set them aside on a baking sheet. 

Add the orzo to all the yummy broth in the crockpot. Now simply cover and cook a few minutes longer, until the orzo is al dente.

Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

Meanwhile, I love to add butter to the meatballs and garlic and toss on some rosemary. Then place the sheet pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp them up. 

What happens is that the butter browns around the meatballs, garlic, and rosemary. I then chop up the garlic and rosemary and toss them back onto the pan with butter. Then toss the meatballs with the garlicky butter to finish. This step is optional, but I think it really adds flavor.

Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

When the orzo is finished, stir in the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, then add the cream and parmesan, stirring until the orzo becomes very creamy. 

Serve the garlic butter meatballs over the orzo, then drizzle any butter left on the pan over top. 

Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

So simple and quick with barely any clean-up and minimal hands-on time too.

What I love most about this recipe is the fact that it’s a complete all-in-one dinner. You have your protein, your carbs, and even your vegetables. You can serve this up on busy weeknights, but it’s equally great for those upcoming holiday dinners with friends and family.

Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com
 

Looking for other slow cooker meals? Here are a few ideas:

Creamy White Bean Noodle Soup with Rosemary Bacon.

Mustard Herb Chicken and Creamy Orzo

Crockpot Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Ranch

Slow Cooker Saucy Sunday Bolognese Pasta

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bolognese

Lastly, if you make this Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 878 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

Slow Cooker

  • 1. Add the chicken, Italian seasoning, dijon, and 1/2 cup parmesan to a bowl. Season with salt, and pepper. Mix to combine. Coat your hands with oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-16 meatballs). Add olive oil and place the meatballs in the bowl of your crockpot.
    2. Pour over the wine and 1/2 cup water. Add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 1-2 hours.
    2. Preheat the broiler to high. Remove the meatballs and garlic from the slow cooker and place on a baking sheet.
    3. Crank the heat on the slow cooker to high. Stir in the orzo, and 1 cup water. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente. If the orzo needs more liquid, add additional water. Stir in the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cream, and 1/2 cup parmesan.
    4. Arrange the butter and the rosemary around the meatballs and garlic, then broil 1-3 minutes, until crisp. Peel away the garlic skin, then chop and mix with the butter and rosemary on the sheet pan. Toss the meatballs in the butter.
    5. Serve the meatballs over the orzo.

Instant Pot

  • 1. Add the chicken, Italian seasoning, dijon, and 1/2 cup parmesan to a bowl. Season with salt, and pepper. Mix to combine. Coat your hands with oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-16 meatballs).
    2. Set the instant pot to sauté. Add olive oil, then add the meatballs to the instant pot and sear until browned, about 5 minutes, Pour in the wine and 1/2 cup water. Add 1 chopped onion. Cook 5 minutes, then add the butter, garlic and rosemary. Let the butter butter, another 2-3 minutes. Cover and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.
    3. Once done cooking, release the steam. Set the Instant pot to sauté. Remove the garlic. Stir in the orzo and 1 cup water. Cook 6-8 minutes, until the orzo is al dente. Stir in the spinach, tomatoes, cream, and parmesan.
    4. Serve the meatballs over the orzo.

Stove-Top

  • 1. Add the chicken, Italian seasoning, dijon, and 1/2 cup parmesan to a bowl. Season with salt, and pepper. Mix to combine. Coat your hands with oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-16 meatballs).
    2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, then add the meatballs and sear until browned, about 5 minutes. Add 1 chopped onion. Cook 5 minutes, then add the butter, garlic and rosemary. Let the butter butter, another 2-3 minutes.
    3. Reduce the heat to medium. Pour in the wine. Stir in the orzo and 1 1/2 cups water. Cook, stirring often, another 6-8 minutes, until the orzo is al dente. Stir in the spinach, tomatoes, cream, and 1/2 cup parmesan.
    4. Serve the chicken over the orzo. Enjoy!
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Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 2 stars
    I really wanted to like this recipe, but similar to other comments, the meatballs were SO dry. My meatball loving kids are struggling to eat them, and asked what was different about them to other meatballs. Followed the recipe to the letter and ended up with gluggy orzo.

    1. Hi Holly,
      So sorry for the trouble and to hear that this recipe didn’t workout for you. Thanks for giving it a try! xT

  2. 1 star
    Teighan, why do you often omit breadcrumbs,egg, and milk in your meatballs?? Without overworking the mixture, they always are dry, and hard,like little baseballs. I just don’t get it… I now add this combo whenever I make your meatball recipes… I’ve been making meatballs for many years. This combo is essential for tender meatballs…

    1. Hi Geraldine,
      Thanks for sharing your feedback:) This is just what works well for me, but certainly make your meatballs however you like! Happy Friday! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Wonderful and so easy in the slow cooker! I used half chicken, half pork for the meatball and it made the perfect hearty fall meal. Love more uses for coconut milk. Thanks!

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Happy Friday!!❄️ Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it was a winner! xx

  4. 3 stars
    I cooked this recipe in a crockpot and the meatballs turned out delicious but the orzo became sticky instead of creamy! The taste was still good but it was really rich. I feel like I’d hold off on the cream next time!

    1. Hi Joelle,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback! So glad to hear the meatballs were enjoyed, sorry to hear you had some issues with the orzo. Please let me know if there is anything I can help with! xx

    1. Hey Lindsey,
      Sorry, it should say “let the butter melt”. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was Ahmazing!!!! Pretty easy and lots of leftovers. Can’t wait to try my next recipe later this week!

    1. Hey Kim,
      Happy Tuesday!! Thanks a lot for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it turned out tasty for you! xT

    2. 4 stars
      Those were some dry meatballs! I think pork or a combo with pork would be better. I used just chicken. But the orzo was delicious!

      1. Hi Cheri,
        Thanks for trying the recipe, so sorry the meatballs were dry for you! Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with! xx

  6. I am very confused about the garlic and onion in both the instapot and skillet versions. In both am I still putting the garlic clove in whole? Is the onion chopped or quartered? Thanks.

    1. Hey Anie,
      Yes, the garlic is whole and the onion is quartered. You can serve them or just leave them in the pot, they are really just infusing the dish. I hope you love the recipe! xx

    1. Hey Allie,
      I would recommend using arborio rice for best results:) I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

  7. 4 stars
    Pretty good, I loved the flavor, but my meatballs turned out a little dry. Is there anything I can do to fix that? I cooked it in the crockpot and followed all the instructions to a tee. The only thing I noticed is that our meatballs seemed a little smaller than yours, so maybe that’s why? Let me know if you have any ideas.

    1. Hey BreAnna,
      Awesome! Love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! Yeah, try making them slightly bigger next time, that will probably help! Have a great weekend:)

    2. I’ve not yet made this recipe but noticed a few comments on dry meatballs. The recipe doesn’t state whether to use ground dark or white chicken. I’ve never been a fan of dark (thigh) meat but will use it to make my meatballs as my sister uses it exclusively in all her recipes calling for ground chicken. She said you will not be able to tell the difference between dark and white meat in a recipe so I’m following her suggestion. Dark meat has more flavor and isn’t as dry so a win-win.

  8. 5 stars
    I bought all the groceries for this at Trader Joes and used the Crockpot version of the recipe. My house smelled SO good all day while the meatballs cooked in the white wine and even better once I made the orzo. Super savory and delicious, surprisingly easy with a huge payoff! It tasted and smelled like a Holiday meal!

    1. 5 stars
      OH.MY.GOSH!!! If you are hesitant to try this recipe you shouldn’t. This recipe is pack with flavor. I didn’t have any ground chicken at my grocery store so I did italian sausage meatballs, I followed the recipe as is and all I can say is… Incredibly YUMMY! and sooo easy!

      1. Hey Jeru,
        Happy Friday!!🌻 I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for trying it and sharing your review:) xT

  9. 2 stars
    I really wanted to like this. I loved the process (ie cooking the meatballs in the slow cooker – brilliant). But the overall flavor of the orzo was uninspiring and bland for being so so high in calories with all the butter and cream. I’ll make definitely make meatballs in the crockpot again so thank you for that hack.

  10. Thank you for another recipe! We love everything HBH around here. I think there might be a typo and an omission in the stove-top recipe instructions. The recipe says to “Let the butter butter, another 2-3 minutes”, but I am guessing that is supposed to say let the “butter melt”? Also, are you supposed to take the meatballs out of the pan before starting to cook the orzo? Thank you!

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Fantastic!! I love that this recipe turned out tasty for you, thanks so much for giving it a try! Thanks for pointing that out, yes let the butter melt and no need to remove the meatballs for this cooking method:) xx

    2. 4 stars
      I made the instant pot version of this tonight for dinner. The directions for that version were a little confusing and not consistent with the crock pot version so I made the following changes: seared the meatballs on top and bottom (5 min, then 3 min) diced the onion rather than quartering, minced the garlic after pressure cooking and added it back into the pot. Like other comments here, my meatballs turned out a little dry (and they were big. I used 1.7 lbs meat and made 15 meatballs total) so I might try again and pull the meatballs out before stirring in the orzo rather than having them cook in the pasta liquid. Overall, really delicious and will make again! Just needed some method tweaks for my preference.

      1. Hey Jenna,
        Thanks so much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! So glad to hear it turned out well for you:) xT

  11. 4 stars
    I’ve never met a HBH recipe I didn’t like. However, the meatballs left me wanting something more or different. They were dry and flavorless. The orzo was amazing and I would make that again. I think I’ll do this another time with something other than chicken as others recommended.

    1. Hey Kara,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! So sorry to hear about the meatballs, please let me know if there is anything that I can do! xT

    1. Hi Kate,
      You bet, just follow the stove top or instant pot instructions listed above:) I hope you love the recipe! xT

  12. 5 stars
    Made this recipe last week and followed ingredient list and instructions exactly as written. Used the slow coker. Was upstairs and smelled the meatballs and garlic cooking – came downstairs into the kitchen and WOW, the smell was even stronger and more mouth watering!!!! I could not wait for dinner. Unfortunately hubby was delayed by an emergency for several hours, but I kept those yummy meatballs on the “keep warm” setting of the slow cooker and completed the rest once hubby arrived home! Yummy, yummy, yummy! Will be making again and again!!

    1. Hey Elaine,
      Happy Wednesday! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback! xx