Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs (in Homemade Tomato Sauce)

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs make spaghetti and meatballs extra delicious. Ground beef meatballs are stuffed with mozzarella and are especially luscious smothered in a homemade spaghetti sauce with a side of garlic bread.

Close up of a mozzarella stuffed meatballs with homemade tomato sauce on top. A bite is taken out of it.

How to Make Stuffed Meatballs

While there is a little more prepping involved in this recipe than with regular Italian meatballs, it is still super easy!  The rave reviews these meatballs earn will be well worth the effort.

How to Prepare Stuffed Meatballs: For this recipe, the stuffed meatballs are prepared separately from the sauce.

SAUCE

  1. Sauté diced onion in olive oil, and when softened, add the minced garlic.
  2. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and seasonings.
  3. Simmer uncovered or partially covered to thicken.

Four images showing the steps to prepare stuffed meatballs.

MEATBALLS

While the sauce simmers, the meatballs can be prepared and baked.

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all meatball ingredients except the mozzarella.
  2. Cut the block of mozzarella into small cubes.
  3. Wrap each cube with the meat mixture. Compress a couple of tablespoons of meat in one hand, press a cube into the center and shape tightly into a ball ensuring the cheese is fully enclosed.
  4. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake.

Close up of mozzarella stuffed meatballs, garnished with parsley, and served with a homemade tomato sauce on the side.

How to Cook Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

You can bake mozzarella stuffed meatballs for 15-20 minutes at 350°F. They meatballs will cook in the sauce a bit as well.

You’ll want to make sure the cheese is sealed in as best as you can however, you can expect a little cheese to ooze out.

You can serve cheese stuffed meatballs over spaghetti noodles, zucchini noodles or inside a sandwich roll for a fabulous meatball sub. Stuffed meatballs also make terrific party appetizers. Bacon wrapped cheese stuffed meatballs are especially suited for such occasions, with or without a marinara dipping sauce.

Mozzarella stuffed meatballs topped with a homemade tomato sauce, garnished with parsley.

Can You Freeze Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

While the prep work may take time, this is one dish that’s practically made for cooking in advance, so make lots. You’ll love the convenience! You can either bake and freeze them, or shape them into meatballs and freeze them raw (provided the meat was not frozen initially).

Either raw or cooked, place the meatballs on a cookie sheet inside the freezer. When hardened, place in freezer bags and store for up to four months. Thaw inside the refrigerator before baking or broiling.

More Meatball Favorites

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs in Homemade Tomato Sauce

Juicy ground turkey is wrapped around a cube of mozzarella and baked until ooey-gooey!

Meatballs

  • 2 pounds ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ((if using turkey))
  • 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil ((or 1 teaspoon dried basil))
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella (cut into small cubes)

Sauce

  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 28 oz canned whole tomatoes with juice
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon ((for zest only))

Sauce

  1. Using a veggie peeler, peel off two very thin pieces of lemon zest making sure only to get the yellow part (not the white).

  2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & garlic and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer 1 hour.

Meatballs

  1. Preheat oven to 375.

  2. Cut mozzarella into 24 small squares, set aside.

  3. Mix together turkey or beef, olive oil (if using turkey) onion, egg, panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, and pepper. Mix just until combined (over mixing will create tough meatballs).

  4. Divide meat into 24 even pieces. Wrap each piece around a piece of cheese. Roll into a ball ensuring all of the cheese is completely covered by the turkey mixture.

  5. Place on a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake 30 minutes (a little of the cheese may leak out of some of the meatballs, that's ok, there will still be more inside!)

  6. Remove meatballs from the oven, stir into the sauce and let simmer an additional 20 minutes.

  7. Serve on pasta.

Nutrition information calculated using ground turkey. 

This recipe was inspired by Allrecipes.com.

This mozzarella stuffed meatballs recipe is one of the best! It packs so much flavor into every bite. A ground turkey or beef mixture is wrapped around a cube of mozzarella cheese and baked until ooey-gooey! Then simmered in a homemade tomato sauce before being served over a bed of your favorite pasta.  #spendwithpennies #mozzarellastuffedmeatballs #homemadetomatosauce #pasta #Italian #appetizer
This mozzarella stuffed meatballs recipe is one of the best! It packs so much flavor into every bite. A ground turkey or beef mixture is wrapped around a cube of mozzarella cheese and baked until ooey-gooey! Then simmered in a homemade tomato sauce before being served over a bed of your favorite pasta.  #spendwithpennies #mozzarellastuffedmeatballs #homemadetomatosauce #pasta #Italian #appetizer