Add a cheesy twist to an Italian classic with a family-friendly recipe for Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs with Garlic Bread Dippers.
How do you improve something as classic as the beloved meatball? Stuff it with cheese, of course! This recipe stars moist meatballs loaded with gooey mozzarella cheese that are simmered in tomato sauce and served with garlic bread dippers for dunking.
How to Make Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs
Any type of meat works well in this recipe. My go-to mix is a ½ pound ground beef and a ½ pound Italian sausage, preferably the sweet variety. The added fat in the sausage contributes moisture and flavor.
Got String Cheese? Make Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs!
Now it’s time to raid the snack drawer to get these meatballs stuffed. Each string cheese is cut into four pieces to make for easy stuffing inside the meatballs.
Should You Simmer Meatballs Covered or Uncovered?
The key to truly flavorful meatballs is to brown them first and then simmer them in marinara sauce. The key with browning is you don’t need to cook them all the way through, as they’ll continue cooking in the sauce, developing intense flavor and taking on the aromatics of the marinara.
When it comes to simmering, this recipe works best to keep the skillet uncovered. Doing so allows some steam to escape so that the sauce reduces slightly.
What’s the Best Garlic Bread Recipe?
Now it’s time to talk about how we’re going to soak up all that delicious sauce. And cue the garlic bread dippers!
Check out my recipe for Secret Ingredient Garlic Bread, which is loaded with flavor and the perfect crusty vehicle to usher all that sauce (and perhaps a cheesy bite of meatballs or two!) from the skillet to your mouth.Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 pound ground meat of choice (See Kelly’s Note)
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced Italian parsley, plus more for serving
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 string cheese, each cut into four 1-inch pieces
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups homemade or store-bought marinara sauce
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
- Garlic bread, for serving (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the milk and breadcrumbs. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumb mixture with the ground meat, garlic, parsley, egg, salt and pepper.
- Using your hands, mix together the ingredients just until combined. (Do not overmix or the meatballs will be tough.)
- Divide the meat mixture into eight portions and roll it into balls. Insert a piece of string cheese into the center of each meatball, pinching the meat mixture to seal the cheese inside. Repeat the stuffing process with the remaining meat mixture.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the meatballs on all sides in batches. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and wipe the skillet clean.
- Add the tomato sauce to the skillet. Return the meatballs to the skillet and toss to combine with the sauce. Cover the skillet and simmer the meatballs over low heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Top the meatballs with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley then serve with crusty bread for dipping.
- My go-to mix is ½ pound ground beef and ½ pound Italian sausage, however any ground meat (beef, pork, chicken or turkey) will work in this recipe.
- ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!