Flavorful homemade meatballs oozing with cheese put these Jumbo Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs at the top of your family-friendly dinner options; simple and quick to make yet impressive to serve.
Growing up, we had spaghetti on a near weekly dinner rotation. You know, the jarred sauce, combined with ground meat and served with pasta noodles. Easy breezy. As an adult, I’m always trying to avoid falling into the same trap and looking for ways to jazz up that traditional meal as proven with this recipe for Cheesy Skillet Spaghetti.
These Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs are inevitably what ends up happening when I want something family-friendly and fast, but that differs from typical spaghetti with meat sauce. The meatballs are tender, juicy and delicious on their own, but stuffed with mozzarella, pan fried then baked in the oven sends them straight to flavor town.
Meatballs stuffed with mozzarella instantly add some pizazz to the meal, while making them large and in charge keeps things exciting and reminds me of being in an Italian restaurant.
Paired with a side salad and some garlic bread, you have a complete meal that leaves boring ole spaghetti and meat sauce far behind.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. black pepper
- 8 small (1-in.) mozzarella balls, or 1-in. chunks mozzarella cheese
- Pasta sauce, to serve
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an oven-safe skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine ground beef with minced garlic, egg and seasonings in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix and then tightly form ground beef mixture into 4 giant meatballs. Poke a hole in center of each meatball with your thumb, and insert 2 mozzarella balls, then form meat around the cheese to seal it, reshaping into a ball.
Place meatballs in prepared skillet over medium-high heat. Brown well on all sides.
Transfer skillet to preheated oven and bake meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Meatballs are done when a meat thermometer inserted in center registers 155 degrees.
Toss in pasta sauce before serving.
Serve over pasta or, for a low-carb option, atop zucchini noodles.
Makes 4 servings.
- I typically use 80% lean ground beef to ensure a juicy meatball, but you can also use turkey.
- As learned when demonstrating these Honey Garlic Meatballs with the Taste of Home Cooking School, do not over mix your meatball mixture. Mixing until just combined ensures the meat stays tender and juicy.
- Browning the edges of the meatballs in a skillet prior to baking is my preferred method with the meatballs. It’s an extra step, but it gives the meatballs the crispy on the outside while staying juicy on the inside desired texture. If you’re skipping this step, add an additional 8-10 minutes in the oven to fully cook. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness as ovens vary.
- Make the stuffed meatballs regular sized or even serve them as appetizers! I’ve provided instructions for making 4 jumbo meatballs, but if big ole meatballs are not your thing, make them smaller. The ingredients remain the same, but reduce the cooking time by about 5 minutes. Check the meatballs with a meat thermometer at about the 15 min mark. Also reduce the amount of mozzarella you stuff into each. You should get about 20-24 meatballs.
- Keep things low-carb by simply swapping zucchini noodles aka zoodles in lieu of the pasta.