Cheese Stuffed Meatballs are a delicious and hearty dish that combines the savory flavors of ground beef and Italian sausage with the gooey delight of melted mozzare
lla cheese at the center. This dish is perfect for those who love traditional meatballs but are looking for something a little more indulgent and flavorful. It’s a versatile recipe that can be served with pasta, on a sub, or as an appetizer.
1 pound lean ground beef (93%-7% fat)
½ pound ground mild Italian sausage
1 large egg
⅓ cup breadcrumbs
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus additional 1-2 tablespoons for garnish)
⅓ cup yellow onion, very finely diced
2 tablespoons half & half
2 teaspoons grated garlic
1½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning blend
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
15 cubes (¾-inch) mozzarella cheese (from an 8-ounce block)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lean ground beef, ground mild Italian sausage, one large egg, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, finely diced yellow onion, half & half, grated garlic, dried Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Mix these ingredients thoroughly but gently to avoid overworking the meat, which can make the meatballs tough.
Form the meat mixture into 15 evenly sized balls. To do this, divide the mixture into 15 portions. Flatten each portion slightly and place a cube of mozzarella cheese in the center. Carefully enclose the cheese with the meat, rolling it into a ball shape, ensuring the cheese is completely covered by the meat mixture.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). This temperature will cook the meatballs thoroughly while melting the cheese inside.
Place the formed meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased to prevent sticking. Ensure they are spaced out evenly.
Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they are cooked through and browned on the outside. The internal temperature of the meatballs should reach at least 160°F (71°C) to ensure they are fully cooked.
While the meatballs are baking, warm the tomato & basil marinara sauce in a saucepan over medium heat.
Once the meatballs are cooked, you can either add them to the saucepan with the marinara sauce and gently coat them with the sauce or serve the sauce on the side, depending on your preference.
Be sure not to overbake the meatballs as they can become dry. The cheese inside will keep them moist and add a rich flavor.
Serve these Cheese Stuffed Meatballs over a bed of spaghetti or your favorite pasta, garnished with additional grated Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley. They also make great subs when placed in a hoagie roll and topped with extra marinara sauce and melted cheese.
Meat Selection: Using a mix of beef and Italian sausage adds depth to the flavor, but you can use all beef or all sausage if preferred.
Cheese Varieties: Experiment with different types of cheese for stuffing, like cheddar or gouda.
Sauce Variations: Feel free to use your favorite homemade or store-bought marinara sauce. A spicy arrabbiata sauce can also add a nice kick.
Preparation Time: Approximately 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 35-40 minutes
Calories: Approximately 300-350 per serving (3 meatballs)
Protein: 20-25g per serving
Sodium: Varies based on the ingredients used, especially the cheese and marinara sauce
Cheese Stuffed Meatballs are a delightful twist on a classic dish, offering an explosion of flavors and textures with each bite. The combination of juicy meat, rich cheese, and savory marinara sauce makes it a favorite for both kids and adults alike. Whether you’re looking to impress guests at a dinner party or just want to enjoy a comforting meal at home, these meatballs are sure to satisfy. They’re not just a dish; they’re an experience – a cheesy, savory, and utterly delicious one!