These juicy mozzarella-stuffed meatballs are filled with ooey-gooey melted cheese. The simple spice mix combines with fresh herbs to flavor them nicely. These crowd-pleasing meatballs are perfect for potlucks or family gatherings., June 2022


Credit: Jen Causey

Recipe Summary

40 mins
1 hr 25 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine ground beef, 1/2 cup onion, panko, eggs, broth, parsley, 1 teaspoon garlic, fennel and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until well combined (do not overmix).

  • Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture into the palm of your hand and flatten; top with a mozzarella cube. Wrap the mozzarella entirely in the beef mixture to seal; shape into a 2-inch ball. Place on a plate or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining beef mixture and mozzarella to make 24 meatballs; refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

  • Heat oil in a large high-sided nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, in batches if necessary; cook, occasionally turning gently to brown all sides, for 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate (do not wipe out the pan).

  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup onion and 2 teaspoons garlic to the pan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, thyme, basil and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Transfer the meatballs and any juices from the plate to the pan, stirring gently to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until a thermometer inserted in the center of the meatballs registers 160°F, about 15 minutes.

  • Serve the meatballs with the sauce; garnish with Parmesan and basil, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

3 meatballs & about 1/2 cup tomato sauce
317 calories; protein 26g; carbohydrates 10g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 4g; fat 18g; saturated fat 8g; mono fat 5g; poly fat 1g; trans fatty acid 1g; cholesterol 122mg; vitamin a iu 1014IU; vitamin b3 niacin 4mg; vitamin b12 2mcg; vitamin c 14mg; vitamin d iu 13IU; vitamin e iu 1IU; folate 18mg; vitamin k 33mg; sodium 386mg; calcium 191mg; iron 4mg; magnesium 23mg; phosphorus 191mg; potassium 551mg; zinc 4mg; omega 6 fatty acid 1g; niacin equivalents 6mg; selenium 18mcg.