Tender and flavorful homemade meatballs stuffed with gooey mozzarella cheese. These mozzarella stuffed meatballs are what dreams are made of!
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Fun Twist on Meatballs
Anything that’s stuffed with cheese is an immediate win in my book. Then pair that with delicious Italian flavors and you’re guaranteed a success. This recipe is one of my Italian stuffed favorites, as well as cheesy stuffed garlic bread and pizza chicken roll ups.
These mozzarella meatballs are a delicious twist on my favorite meatball recipe. Plain homemade meatballs are fantastic, but add mozzarella in the center and you’re in for a real treat. The meatballs are tender, juicy, flavorful and full of gooey mozzarella.
These are the perfect addition to pasta just like my baked chicken parmesan! You could also serve them alongside roasted vegetables or even as an appetizer. Our favorite way to enjoy them is to simmer in marinara and then serve over spaghetti noodles. Sometimes we’ll make garlic bread as well.
With most of the ingredients on hand, these mozzarella stuffed meatballs can be made almost any night of the week.
Find the full printable recipe with measurements below.
- Ground beef: I typically use 80% lean ground beef. It’s not overly greasy, while still containing enough fat to make the meatballs moist and juicy. You could also use a mix of half beef and half Italian sausage.
- Egg: This is used as a binder to hold the meat mixture together. Whisk the egg first before combining with the beef.
- Breadcrumbs: These help absorb the juices in the meat, so that your meatballs stay juicy and flavorful on the interior.
- Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated parmesan cheese will give you the best flavor.
- Onion: Fresh chopped onion is my preference, but onion powder is also a great substitute if you don’t have any on hand.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic adds a robust flavor. You may also swap with garlic powder if you’d like.
- Salt and pepper: Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper are a simple way to elevate the flavor.
- Parsley: This is optional, however I love to add fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley to my homemade meatballs. It adds a slightly peppery taste and makes the flavor more vibrant.
- Mozzarella: The hidden and fun twist is a cheesy gooey center thanks to this easily meltable cheese.
I typically use marinara sauce to go over top, but you could certainly serve plain or with a homemade tomato sauce. Below are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy these mozzarella meatballs.
- Serve with marinara sauce and cooked pasta
- As a main dish with roasted veggies
- Use them to make a meatball casserole
- As an appetizer
- In a meatball sub
- Make meatball sliders
How to Make Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
These homemade meatballs come together quickly and only require a little bit of extra work to shape and enclose the mozzarella.
- Mix. Combine all of the ingredients (except the mozzarella) in a bowl. Mix together just until combined. Be sure not to over mix. If the mixture is too dry, add in a Tablespoon or two of water.
- Stuff. Cut the mozzarella into 1/2″ cubes. You’ll want 24 cubes total. Scoop the meat with a spoon, then place a piece of cheese in the center and wrap the meat around the cheese. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and repeat until all meatballs are formed.
- Bake. Bake at 400°F for 17 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Make sure to flip at the halfway mark.
- Tip: Make sure the cheese is sealed in the center, or else it will melt out while baking
- I prefer using 80% lean ground beef for juicy meatballs, but you can also make turkey meatballs or chicken meatballs.
- Don’t over mix. Mix just until combined, so the meat stays tender and juicy.
- When forming your meatballs, try using a bit of oil on your hands to help form the balls.
- If you want a little kick, feel free to add some red pepper flakes into the meat mixture.
- Flip halfway through so that the bottoms don’t burn and all sides get brown.
- Scoop the meatballs with a medium cookie scoop so they are all the same size.
- If serving as an appetizer, add toothpicks on top for easy access.
- Top with more fresh chopped parsley before serving for extra flavor.
The easiest way I have found to keep meatballs together is by adding an egg to help bind it together. Breadcrumbs and parmesan also act as binders, but you want to make sure you have more meat than anything to really keep it together.
Great question! I can’t guarantee that this won’t happen, but the best way to avoid it is to make sure the cheese is wrapped really well within the meat mixture when forming the meatball. If you can see any of it, it will definitely melt out of the meatball.
Storing + Freezing
Storage: These meatballs can be kept in the fridge up to 1 week in an airtight container.
Freeze: Store in a freezer-friendly bag up to 3 months. To avoid having them freeze in a clump, flash freeze them on the baking tray first before transferring them to the bag.
Love easy meatball recipes? You’ll also want to try my crockpot meatballs, cranberry meatballs and Teriyaki meatballs.
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Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
- 1 pound 80% lean ground beef (or half ground pork and half ground beef)
- 1 large egg , beaten
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4-6 ounces mozzarella , cut into 24 1/2" cubes
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped fresh Italian Flat leaf parsley
For serving: Marinara sauce and cooked spaghetti noodles
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, mix the beef, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and parsley using a wooden spoon or with your hands just until combined, being careful not to overmix. Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons water, if needed to keep a wet mixture.
- Using a medium cookie scoop or a spoon, portion the mixture onto the baking sheet, Place 1 cheese cube in the center of each portion. Using your hands, wrap the meat mixture around the cheese and shape into 1 1/2-inch balls. Return to the baking sheet.
- Bake uncovered, turning halfway through, 17 to 20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. Use in any recipe that calls for meatballs, like the spaghetti and meatballs in notes.
- You can use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and onion powder if you do not have fresh garlic and onions.
- If you’d like to add a little kick, feel free to add in some red pepper flakes in the meat mixture.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Absolutely delicious. Used the string cheese cut in 4’s. So darn tasty. Will never make meatballs any other way!!!
So glad that you enjoyed these mozzarella-stuffed meatballs! Thanks for your review!
I used this recipe to make meatball sliders, a HUGE HIT. Thanks lady!
I used cheese sticks; cut into 1” pieces. Excellent!
I like to put basil pesto on my noodles ( in jar). Guys love it
Texas cheese toast / didn’t have bread for other choice!
My major complaints
Thanks for awesome recipe!!!!
Love that, such a great tip! So glad you enjoyed the mozzarella stuffed meatballs!
These meatballs are delicious. Followed the receipe exactly and they were a hit for an appetizer. Also great in red sauce or as a meatball sandwich.
Okay…MY MIND IS BLOWN! Why didn’t I think of this deliciousness! So yummy and perfect for spaghetti or meatball sandwiches.
YUM!! Didn’t think meatballs could get any better!! The more cheese the better, according to my family!
We loved these! Seriously, so good.
So glad you enjoyed the mozzarella stuffed meatballs!
Can you prepare and freeze and use a crockpot?
Yes you can make the meatballs and freeze. This recipe wouldn’t work as well in a crockpot.
My husband loved these. They were very flavorful, moist & juicy. I did half ground beef & half ground italian sausage. Next time I will omit the salt since the parm & italian sausage have plenty.
Happy to hear they were a hit with your husband! Thanks for your comment and review :)