Baked Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Discover the Ultimate Comfort Food: Baked Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

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Are you ready to elevate your meatball game? Get ready to indulge in the ultimate comfort food with our Baked Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs recipe. Bursting with flavor and oozing with gooey cheese, these meatballs are a delicious twist on a classic favorite. Whether you’re hosting a family dinner or simply craving some hearty Italian fare, these baked meatballs are sure to satisfy. Join us as we dive into the world of culinary delight and learn how to make these mouthwatering stuffed meatballs!

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  • 1 pound ground chicken, ground turkey, or lean ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 raw egg, beaten
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup plain breadcrumbs, plus more for later (or gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed)
  • 2 teaspoons dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 20 baby mozzarella balls, bocconcini (if you have more, you can use them in the sauce)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (California EVOO is a good option here)
  • Pasta sauce, homemade or 25 ounces store-bought marinara


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with olive oil.
  2. Prepare the Meatball Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, minced garlic, beaten egg, grated parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, dry oregano, sweet paprika, and chopped parsley. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Form the Meatballs: Take a small portion of the meatball mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Place a baby mozzarella ball in the center, then gently shape the meat mixture around it to form a meatball. Repeat this process until all the meat mixture and mozzarella balls are used up.
  4. Coat the Meatballs: Roll each meatball in additional breadcrumbs to coat the exterior evenly. This will help create a crispy outer layer when baked.
  5. Arrange on Baking Sheet: Place the coated meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each one to allow for even cooking.
  6. Drizzle with Olive Oil: Lightly drizzle the meatballs with extra virgin olive oil to help them brown and crisp up in the oven.
  7. Bake in the Oven: Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes, or until they are cooked through and golden brown on the outside.
  8. Serve with Pasta Sauce: While the meatballs are baking, heat the pasta sauce in a separate saucepan over medium heat until warmed through. Once the meatballs are done, serve them hot with a generous ladle of warm pasta sauce on top.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Make-Ahead Option: You can prepare the meatball mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before shaping and baking the meatballs.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different types of cheese fillings such as cheddar, provolone, or fontina for a unique flavor twist.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond meal instead of regular breadcrumbs to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • Spice It Up: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or chopped fresh chili peppers to the meatball mixture for a spicy kick.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use frozen meatballs instead of making them from scratch? A: Yes, you can use frozen meatballs if you’re short on time. Simply thaw them according to the package instructions and then stuff them with the mozzarella balls before baking.

Q: Can I use marinara sauce from a jar? A: Absolutely! Store-bought marinara sauce works perfectly fine for this recipe. However, if you have the time, homemade sauce can add an extra layer of flavor.

Q: Can I make these meatballs ahead of time and freeze them? A: Yes, you can freeze the baked meatballs for up to 3 months. Allow them to cool completely, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. When ready to eat, simply reheat them in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

For those following a keto or low-carb diet, here are some modifications:

  • Replace breadcrumbs with almond flour or crushed pork rinds.
  • Use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef for a leaner option.
  • Opt for a low-carb marinara sauce or make your own using fresh tomatoes and herbs.

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In conclusion, our Baked Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs recipe is a delicious and satisfying dish that is sure to please everyone at the dinner table. With its tender meatball exterior and gooey cheese center, each bite is a burst of flavor and comfort. Whether served as a main course with pasta or enjoyed as a savory appetizer, these meatballs are a true crowd-pleaser. So, gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to savor the irresistible goodness of homemade stuffed meatballs!

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