Easy Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

These Easy Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs are the perfect appetizer or dinner. They simmer is an easy tomato sauce and are packed with flavor!

mozzarella stuffed meatballs sitting on a white place

Elevate a standard Italian meatball recipe by stuffing them with mozzarella cheese. This easy cheesy meatball recipe is great for dinner. The meatballs are baked and then simmer in an easy homemade tomato sauce. The recipe is easy to make and creates meatballs that are packed with flavor.

Serve them with pasta or with a side of vegetables. They also make the perfect appetizer for dinner parties and events.

Ingredient You Need:

ingredients for stuffed meatballs

For the meatballs:

  • Ground Beef: You can substitute with ground turkey, if desired.
  • Cheese: The combination of Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese is the best. Cut a large ball of mozzarella cheese into small cubes.
  • Seasonings: Onion, garlic, basic, parsley, salt and pepper add flavor to the meatballs. While fresh herbs are preferred, you can substitute with dried parsley and basil, if needed. Use 1 tablespoon each of dried parsley and basil.
  • Egg: This helps bind the meatballs.
  • Breadcrumbs: The breadcrumbs add bulk and help to bind the meatballs. You can use gluten free breadcrumbs or omit, if needed.

For the sauce:

  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Seasonings: Onion, garlic, basil, parsley and salt. You can substitute the fresh basil and parsley for dried, if needed. Use one tablespoon of dried herbs instead of 2 tablespoons of fresh.
  • Cooking oil: Extra virgin olive oil is preferred, but you can substitute with avocado oil.
  • Optional Add-ins: To add more flavor to the meatballs, add a dark red wine. Also, to thicken the sauce, you can use a small amount of cornstarch. Or omit both wine and cornstarch, if desired.
mixing together meatball ingredients in a bowl

Steps to Make Stuffed Meatballs

  • MIX: Add all of the ingredients for the meatballs to a large bowl. Mix together with a fork.
  • STUFF: Roll meat into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. Make an indent in the middle of each ball and place a piece of cheese in the center.
  • SHAPE: Roll the meat into a ball to cover the cheese.
  • BAKE: Place the meatballs on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • MAKE THE SAUCE: Simmer the ingredients for the sauce in a skillet on the stove.
  • COMBINE: Once the meatballs are baked, add them to the skillet with the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
cooking ingredients for sauce in a saucepan

Expert Tips

  • Use a spoon or cookie scoop to divide the meat into even portions.
  • Use additional meat to completely cover the cheese, if needed. If you don’t cover the cheese, it may melt out while baking.
  • You can save time by using a store bought marinara sauce instead of the homemade sauce.
  • Serve on toothpicks for an easy appetizer.
  • Garnish with additional fresh basil for serving.
cooked mozzarella stuffed meatballs in a skillet

Make Ahead: You can prep and bake the meatballs in advance. You can make the entire recipe and then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Or you can prepare this recipe in two parts, by baking the meatballs in advance and then preparing the sauce at a later time.

To Reheat: Heat the meatballs in the sauce in a skillet on a stove. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce until heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

cheese oozing out of a meatball

These easy stuffed mozzarella meatballs are too good to resist. Enjoy them for dinner with pasta and garlic bread, or serve them as an appetizer. No matter how you serve them, both kids and adults will love them!

Other Meatball Recipes

mozzarella stuffed meatballs sitting on a white place

Easy Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Yield: 15 meatballs
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Cheesy mozzarella stuffed meatballs are simmered in a homemade tomato sauce to create a delicious dish worth sharing!
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients 

For the meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese ball, cut into 1/2 inch square pieces

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup dark red wine, (optional)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • To prepare the meatballs, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with cooking spray or oil.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, onion, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork until combined.
  • Using a spoon or scoop, roll meat into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. Using your thumb, press into the center to create an indent, place a piece of cheese in the center of the dough ball and then re-roll ball to cover the cheese. Don’t be afraid to use a little extra meat mixture if you need to cover the cheese. Repeat with remaining meat and arrange on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  • While the meatballs are baking, prepare sauce. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in the cornstarch and optional wine, if desired. Let simmer for 2 additional minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, parsley, basil and salt. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Once baked meatballs are done, carefully add them to the sauce. On low heat, simmer uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Serve as an appetizer or with pasta. Enjoy!

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS
  • Ground beef: You can substitute with ground turkey, if desired.
  • Fresh herbs: You can substitute 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs with 1 tablespoon of dried. 
  • Breadcrumbs: Use gluten free, if needed.
  • Dark red wine: This adds flavor, but you can omit if desired.
  • Cornstarch: Helps to thicken the sauce, but you can omit, if desired. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1meatball, Calories: 151kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 265mg, Potassium: 206mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 0g, Vitamin A: 170IU, Vitamin C: 2.6mg, Calcium: 99mg, Iron: 1.5mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

This recipe was originally published in 2014. It was updated in March 2021 with new process photos and tips.

3 comments on “Easy Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs”

  1. I made these for my family but did not tell them about the surprise in the middle. They were blown away.

  2. These are amazing! My kids love homemade meatballs so these were gobbled up in no time! Yum!

  3. ok, these were incredible! My family loves cheese and not only were these easy, but they were also delicious too. Thanks for another great recipe!

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