Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
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.
Why You Must Make
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.
- If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your spaghetti and meatballs, give this stuffed meatballs recipe a try.
- Meatballs are yummy on their own, but filled with gooey mozzarella makes them even better.
- This is a delicious family-friendly dinner recipe!
Fast forward to last week. I had some leftover mini fresh mozzarella balls in my fridge, and I decided to develop my own recipe.
- Kitchen Staples – Onion, Garlic, Sugar, Milk, Salt, Pepper, Eggs, Olive Oil
- Plum Tomatoes – 1 large can (28 ounces) of plum tomatoes
- Dried Basil and Dried Oregano – Spices lose their potency over time. If yours have been in your pantry for years, consider replacing them for more flavorful results.
- Bread – I use white bread, but whole wheat or even a leftover hamburger bun works, too. Process into crumbs. I used my food processor.
- Small Fresh Mozzarella Balls – Also known as ciliegine. Use an 8-ounce container packed in water and drain well before using. If you cannot find these, you can use a larger ball of fresh mozzarella and cut it into small pieces.
How to Make
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.
- Scoop out about a quarter cup of the meatball mixture. The meatballs need to be large enough to completely enclose the mozzarella.
- Pat the meat into a flat circle and place a small ball or piece of mozzarella in the center.
- Fold the meat up and around the cheese, making sure it’s covered completely. If there’s any break in the casing, the mozzarella will ooze out as it melts.
- Place the cheese-stuffed meatballs into a baking dish, then cover with marinara.
- Bake until the meatballs are cooked through. You can check by cutting into one of them to make sure the meat is no longer pink.
- I promise, these stuffed meatballs are worth the wait! Feel free to cook them 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!
- Use a good brand of jarred marinara sauce to shorten the prep time.
- Make all your meatballs the same size to ensure they’re all done cooking at the same time. I like using a quarter cup scoop (cookie disher).
- Serve with a loaf of crusty bread or even garlic bread.
- Serve over pasta. It can be spaghetti, penne or any favorite shape.
- Use ground beef for your meatballs, but I also like the combination of ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal for more flavor and a lovely texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
To stuff meatballs, take a quarter cup of homemade meatball mixture and flatten into a disk. Place a small ball of cheese in the middle and fold the meat up and around the cheese. Make sure the cheese is completely encased to avoid cheese oozing out while these cook.
This recipe takes about an hour to bake in the oven. If your marinara is freshly made and hot, it may take less time. You can use a meat thermometer to make sure the meatballs are done. They should reach 160° to ensure they’re safe to eat.
Yes, you can freeze stuffed meatballs for at least a month if kept airtight. I freeze cheese-filled ravioli and tortellini, so it makes sense that these meatballs will also freeze well.
Yes, any gooey cheese will work well. Fontina would be delicious, but you can even veer from the Italian cheeses and try sharp Cheddar instead.
You May Also Like:
- Easy Cocktail Meatballs from Spend with Pennies
- Crock Pot Marinara from Life Currents
- Cordon Bleu Meatballs from The Cookie Rookie
- Sesame Ginger Meatballs from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chicken Parmesan Meatballs from Barefeet in the Kitchen
- Bacon Topped Meatloaf from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Teriyaki Meatballs from Mom on Time Out
- More Entree Recipes
- More Pasta Recipes
Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs Recipe
Tender meatballs filled with gooey mozzarella were a hit with my family!
For marinara sauce:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste (I used ½ teaspoon salt and a few grates of freshly ground black pepper)
- 2 slices of bread, processed into crumbs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon)
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 8-ounce container of small fresh Mozzarella balls packed in water (ciliegine)
- ¼Make marinara by heating oil in a 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.
- Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 2-quart oven-safe dish and set aside.
- Combine bread crumbs and milk in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together using your hands. Be careful not to compact the mixture.
- Drain mozzarella balls and set them 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 the meat by folding the sides up and over the cheese. Reshape into balls.
- Add meatballs to the bottom of the prepared dish. Pour marinara sauce over the meatballs. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 1-1½ hours or till meatballs are completely cooked through.
- Serve warm with pasta, if desired.
You can use a jar of good quality marinara if you don't want to make your own.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 690mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 40g
46 Comments on “Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs”
This is totally new to me and I have to say it looks fabulous. Such a great Italian dish. Visiting from Gluten Free A-Z Blog.
I am planning on making this again tonight with spaghetti and garlic bread for my daughter’s birthday!
These look so good I bet I could eat them every day for the rest of my life!
These meatballs look fantastic, Liz! My kids would go nuts for that cheesy center. Thanks for including mine here too!
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. 🙂
YUM! I will try more garlic with my next batch!
What a fabulous, fun idea. I’ll have to give it a try.
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. 🙂 I like them too.
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.
Oh those mozzarella centers look too good, what a great twist on the classic meatball!
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. 🙂
Garlic and mozzarella… I’m not surprised they were a hit!
I could eat these everyday and twice on Sunday!
I find meatballs completely irresistible. And stuffed with cheese? Oh. My.
Whoa… I think I need to make this. I mean, I haven’t ever tried making my own meatballs! This needs to change!
Oh good gawsh – look at that gooey mozzarella peeking out! YUM!
Your meatballs look amazing. I think my family would adore these! This is one recipe that was worth waiting for.
oh my gawd, Liz!!! that first shot is killing me!!! looks incredible!!! Pinned and making this!!!!
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.
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
Love cheese stuffed meatballs! What a great idea! I would it all by myself! Not sharing!