Italian Stuffed Artichokes in homemade marinara sauce on a white platter

Slow Cooker Stuffed Artichokes with Turkey

Packed with lean protein, Italian herbs, and seasoning and ready when you are, these Slow Cooker Stuffed Artichokes are a satisfying twist on the traditional breadcrumb and cheese stuffed artichokes popular in Italian cooking. Prepping them a day or two ahead of time means you can add them to the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a hot meal.

Prep: 45 minsCook: 8 hoursTotal: 8 hours, 45 mins
Servings: Serves 4


For the Filling:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or avocado oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken (93% lean)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried fennel seeds, lightly crushed (see Notes)
  • ¾ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided


For the Artichokes and Marinara:

  • 4 artichokes, stem end trimmed, sharp ends of leaves cut off
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Optional for Serving: Cooked pasta, fresh chopped basil, and/or more parmesan cheese.


  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 1 teaspoon oil and swirl to coat. Add ground turkey, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, fennel seeds, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. 
  2. Using a spatula or large spoon, break the meat up into small pieces while stirring the spices into the meat. 
  3. Cook 7-8 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Transfer the meat to a medium bowl and set aside. 
  4. Return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil along with the bell peppers and onion. Cook 5 minutes, until the vegetables just start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant, stirring continuously.
  5. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the meat and allow them to cool 5 minutes before adding all of the mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup parmesan cheese.  Use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix well. 
  6. Prepare the artichokes: Trim the stems from the artichokes so that they sit flat and remove any loose or dry leaves from the base of the artichoke. 
  7. Lay the artichoke on its side and with a large, sharp knife cut 1 – 1 ½ inch off of the top to reveal the smaller inner leaves. Use kitchen shears or scissors to snip off the sharp leaf tips.
  8. Spread the leaves apart so that you can reach into the center of the artichoke and pull out the small inner leaves and create a space for the filling. 
  9. Using a spoon, scoop out the fuzzy choke and discard. Rub the cut surfaces of each artichoke with a lemon wedge to prevent oxidation and bitterness. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. 
  10. Stuff the center of each artichoke (and the first few rows of leaves nearest the center if your artichokes are on the smaller side) with the meat-vegetable filling. It’s okay if you can’t get it all in there, any extra filling can be added to the slow cooker later. 
  11. To the bottom of a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker, add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. 
  12. Place the artichokes, filling side up, into the sauce in the slow cooker. Any remaining filling that didn’t fit into the artichokes can be stirred into the tomato mixture or simply mounded on top of each artichoke. 
  13. Top each artichoke with remaining Parmesan cheese (1 tablespoon each). Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours or until a leaf pulls out easily.
  14. Serve stuffed artichokes with sauce and optional pasta and/or toppings if desired. 


To crush the fennel seeds, use a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, move the flat side of a large chef’s knife blade over the fennel seeds, pressing down with your fingertips to crush the seeds lightly.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 artichoke + ¼ of the sauce
  • Calories: 355
  • Fat: 14 g
  • (Sat Fat: 5 g)
  • Sodium: 722 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 30 g
  • (Fiber: 5 g
  • Sugar: 15 g)
  • Protein: 26 g
  • Cholesterol: 65 mg


© The Real Food Dietitians
Recipe By: Jessica Beacom