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Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs intertwined with spaghetti and garnished with basil

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

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These Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs are tender, flavorful and filled with gooey cheese! You’ll savor every bite.

This Easy Meatball Recipe with Mozzarella is a winner that your family will request again and again! Guaranteed.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs intertwined with spaghetti and garnished with basil

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

When Nick was in high school, I schlepped along a stack of recipes to one of his basketball games. I am well known for taking a book to sporting events—my attention span is better when my kiddo is playing, but I definitely need reading material.

One of my girlfriends and I thought a recipe for stuffed mozzarella stuffed meatballs looked intriguing, so we both flagged it and I made them shortly after. What a disappointment. They were bland and not worth the effort.

Fast forward to last week. I had some leftover mini fresh mozzarella balls in my fridge, and I decided to develop my own recipe. My friend, Becky, shared some amazing Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatballs. I had faith my results would be as incredible as her ham and blue cheesed stuffed version.


Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs in a white casserole dish

Easy Meatball Recipe with Mozzarella

Is there anything that makes your mouth water more than the aroma of a garlic laden dish simmering away in the oven? Well, maybe chocolate chip cookies baking or a turkey roasting, but it’s up there in my top 5.

I made and filled these meatballs and popped them into a baking dish. Slathered with marinara, I popped them in the oven for an hour, but the meat was still pink near the Mozzarella, so I’ve adjusted the baking time as yours may take a while longer.

Just make sure to cut into one before serving. My marinara had cooled down, so that may have slowed the cooking process. But I promise, this easy meatball recipe with mozzarella is worth the wait! Feel free to cook these meatballs in your favorite spaghetti sauce, and if you ever have a spare afternoon give this Classic Italian Meat Sauce a whirl. The depth of flavor is incredible!

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with pasta on a white plate

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Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs intertwined with spaghetti and garnished with basil

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Tender meatballs filled with gooey mozzarella were a hit with my family!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Yield 6 servings


For marinara sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grates of freshly ground black pepper)

For meatballs:

  • 2 slices of bread, processed into crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, I recommend Certified Angus Beefยฎ brand
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 8 ounce container of small fresh Mozzarella balls packed in water (ciliegine)


  1. Make marinara by heating oil in large saucepan. Add onions and cook till soft, then add garlic and cook a minute or so till fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Chop tomatoes into chunks with your spatula. Simmer until sauce thickens, 10-15 minutes. Cover and keep warm while you prepare the meatballs.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 2-quart oven safe dish and set aside.
  3. Combine bread crumbs and milk in a large bowl. Add the rest of ingredients and mix together using your hands. Be careful not to compact the mixture.
  4. Drain mozzarella balls and set aside. Using a ¼ cup scoop, form balls of meat. Flatten each and add a mozzarella ball to the middle of the disk. Enclose the mozzarella in meat by folding sides up and over cheese. Reshape into balls.
  5. Add meatballs to bottom of prepared dish. Pour marinara sauce over meatballs. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 1-1½ hours or till meatballs are completely cooked through.
  6. Serve warm with pasta, if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 690mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 40g


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40 comments on “Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs”

  1. Oh my goodness, Liz…Garlic, mozzarella in mini meatballs is indeed almost as alluring as your divine cookie and brownie recipes =) P.s. When my mom played her tennis tournaments I usually brought along a Nancy Drew or some other adventure story =)

  2. I am sure you made one fine dish Liz. These meatballs with the little cheesy surprise inside them must have been a big hit!

  3. Yum, this sounds great and I seriously need some carbs:@)

  4. These stuffed meatballs look so delicious! I must try them..thanks for the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I don’t eat ground beef, but I could totally substitute some turkey meat to recreate these meatballs. It’s been a while since I’ve made homemade meatballs, but these look too good not to try. ;D

  6. Wow – this sounds really good. The homemade marinara sauce sounds delicious and the meatballs with mozzarella cheese filling has my mouth watering! Thanks for this recipe – must make this!!

  7. Homemade meatballs are always the best Liz! (sorry about that first recipe though:) Filled with little surprises fo mozzarella makes them all the better. I can just imagine these on a nice meatball hero oozing mozzarella every time I take a bite! heaven I tell ya, lol…

    Thanks for sharing, Liz…I always brought a book with me too unless I was coaching then it was the hand book, lol…

  8. I have this ricotta-stuffed meatball recipe but I think mozzarella will be a great sub ! Your homemade marinara sauce looks delicious on its own ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Liz, these sound amazing. My husband will thank me (and you) for these mozzarella stuffed meatballs. Looking so delicious and this is a must make recipe.

  10. Liz, your meatballs look wonderful! I love your homemade sauce!

  11. Love the idea of this! So much fun to cut into a meat ball and find a cheesy surprise. ๐Ÿ™‚ Really good recipe — ones we develop ourselves often are so much better, don’t you think? Anyway, good stuff — thanks.

  12. Love this plate Lizzy! Look absolutely perfect and delciious!!

  13. Dear Lizzy, what a wonderful meal. This looks perfect! xo, Catherine

  14. What a nice recipe Liz ! It’s the first time I saw meatballs with a filling of mozarella. It’s a terrific idea ! My children will love it.

  15. Put the mozzarella in side or outside. Just don’t forget the mozzarella. There nothing better than gooey mozzarella. Except maybe the aroma of a garlic laden dish simmering away in the oven. I think I can smell this one from here! GREG

  16. these photos are beeeautiful! and the meatballs look suuuuper irresistible!

  17. Yum…who doesn’t love a stuffed meatball!! I hear you on the sports watching…my boys were swimmers and Matt particularly swam 16 years year-round competitively so we logged a lot of bleacher time and books were in my tote always. I liked watching all the swimmers, but there is plenty of down-time. I miss those days…what am I saying, he is still swimming meets here and there to keep in shape. I’m still logging bleacher time. lol

  18. Wow! These meatballs look glorious! Im going to bookmark it so I can try it for dinner soon !

  19. I love the melting mozzarella inside the meatballs…what a delicious and hearty meal.
    Hope you are enjoying your week Liz ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Hi Liz, this is a meal my whole family would love, love the cheesy surprise in the meatballs.

  21. Love cheese stuffed meatballs! What a great idea! I would it all by myself! Not sharing!

  22. Oh wow, Liz. This is such a pretty dish and I love how you twirled the pasta. I’m definitely going to have to make this. I love those little mozzarella balls and I love meatballs and I love pasta! I take my lap top and phone with me to the kids sporting events – some of these events go on and on and on and I just need a bit of a break xx

  23. What a great idea Liz, these stuffed meat balls are over the top! Instead of cutting into one, why not use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness? To help these gems cook faster, you can sear them in a frying pan and finish baking them in the oven.
    I love the pic with the meatballs on the spaghetti, you’ve rolled the pasta perfectly! I also love that the meatballs are oversized, it’s so decadent to have two large meat balls instead of several smaller ones. I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe for future.

  24. oh my gawd, Liz!!! that first shot is killing me!!! looks incredible!!! Pinned and making this!!!!

  25. Your meatballs look amazing. I think my family would adore these! This is one recipe that was worth waiting for.

  26. Oh good gawsh – look at that gooey mozzarella peeking out! YUM!

  27. Whoa… I think I need to make this. I mean, I haven’t ever tried making my own meatballs! This needs to change!

  28. I find meatballs completely irresistible. And stuffed with cheese? Oh. My.

  29. I could eat these everyday and twice on Sunday!

  30. Garlic and mozzarella… I’m not surprised they were a hit!

  31. The meatballs by themselves would be delicious, but stuffing that little surprise inside takes them over the top! This looks like a “go to” comfort food. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Oh those mozzarella centers look too good, what a great twist on the classic meatball!

  33. Lizzy,
    I’m with you on the sporting events – snore. Luckily I’ve only been to a few. Now these meatballs would be a hit at any tailgate or get together.

  34. I showed this recipe to my son (via Skype) and said that when I saw it, I thought of him,. He LOVED this idea and he’s going to make them tomorrow. I knew he would. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like them too.

  35. What a fabulous, fun idea. I’ll have to give it a try.

  36. Hi Liz. I have the same recipe, but my recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of minced garlic. I must say, they are a great hit at my house. Been making them for years now. Can’t get any to save for leftovers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. These meatballs look fantastic, Liz! My kids would go nuts for that cheesy center. Thanks for including mine here too!

  38. These look so good I bet I could eat them every day for the rest of my life!

  39. I am planning on making this again tonight with spaghetti and garlic bread for my daughter’s birthday!

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