Dinner

Easy Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs (crockpot or baked)

These Italian Meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese are a new favorite at my house!! My kids love to sneak pieces of string cheese and my husband said these meatballs are a new favorite of his, so I would say they are a win for everyone!  These simple, cheesy meatballs only take 5 ingredients plus seasoning and marinara sauce of your choice! I like to prep these in the forenoon and have them cooking in my crockpot in the afternoon for a quick dinner with spaghetti or spaghetti squash. See below the recipe for photos and notes.

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Mozzarella stuffed meatballs made in the crockpot.

Easy Mozzarella Meatballs (crockpot or baked)

marilynpeight
Only 6 ingredients plus seasonings come together to make these easy cheesy meatballs with the option of being baked or slow cooked to perfection in your slow cooker! These Mozzarella Meat Balls are a quick and easy dinner loved by all who tried them!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs Fine (I prefer Italian Style)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2-3 string cheese sticks *see substitutions below
  • 24 oz. Marinara or pasta sauce ( 3 cups)
  • fresh parsley for topping (optional)

Instructions
 

Baked Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    Combine ground beef, egg, milk, bread crumbs and seasonings in a medium sized bowl. Massage the meat mixture gently until the ingredients are combined.
  • Cube the mozzarella cheese (string or fresh) into 1 inch cubes (roughly). Roll 12-14 walnut sized meatballs and poke a cube of cheese into the center of each meatball, rolling again to ensure the cheese is well covered in meatball.
  • Spread one cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish and then place the meatballs on top of the sauce and cover evenly with the remainder of the sauce.
  • Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the meatballs reads 160. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly then garnish with fresh parsley (optional) and Enjoy!

Crock pot Method:

  • Combine ground beef, egg, milk, bread crumbs and seasonings in a medium sized bowl. Massage the meat gently until the ingredients are combined.
  • Cube the mozzarella cheese (string or fresh) into 1 inch cubes (roughly). Roll 12-14 walnut sized meatballs and poke a cube of cheese into the center of each meatball, rolling again to ensure the cheese is well covered in meatball.
  • Spread one cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 3-4 quart crockpot and place the meatballs on top. Cover the meatballs evenly with the remainder of the sauce.
  • Cover the crockpot with the lid and cook on Low for 4-5 hours or on High for 3-4 hours, until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the meatballs reads 160 degrees. Allow to cool slightly then garnish with fresh parsley (optional) and Enjoy! Keep scrolling for photos and notes.
Keyword Mozzarella Meatballs, Slow cooker, Tomato sauce,
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you would like to add a savory biscuit to your meal try Copycat Red Lobster biscuits or you could try adding these delicious Homemade Pretzel Garlic Knots!

Gather Ingredients as listed.

Substitutions*

I found string cheese to work the best for myself (being on a budget and often having string cheese on hand as snacks for my toddlers). I have also use shredded mozzarella in these meatballs, which worked well flavor wise, but was a bit unhandy as far as stuffing the meatballs goes. Cubed, Fresh Mozzarella would be my top choice for making these meatballs even more fresh and special, such as for serving guests or for a special occasion meal.

The baked version is a good option if you have time to prep dinner and/or don’t use a crockpot regularly. I don’t find much of a difference in texture between the slow cooker and baked meatballs. Feel free to use the method that works best for you and yours! 

Crockpot Method:

I don’t bother adding water to the crockpot. As long as you have plenty of sauce surrounding the meatballs they will cook well in the crockpot. Be sure not to overcook the meatballs or they will become slightly gummy in texture. The crockpot shown is a 2.5 quart and I do recommend using a 3 or 4 quart as I had to stack a few meatballs on top of the others (which worked fine, but I did find the top meatballs to take a bit longer to cook than the bottom layer).

Note*

If using lean ground beef and the meatball mixture seems dry, you can add another tablespoon or so of milk. I discovered-too late-that the cheap beef I found at a local grocery was also pretty fatty and didn’t have the nice pink color I prefer in ground beef. The flavor in the meatballs was still great, but I did find the meatballs released a lot of grease while cooking. Note to self: not all ground beef is equal, even if I’m on a budget!

My Daily Musings:

Peace is something that is rare in this chaotic, noisy world we love in. Social media makes us feel as if we are less than, because of the beautiful images that are often portrayed while the realities of life are hidden. Homes that are messy and lived in are rarely seen and we don’t see the busy mamas and the crazy messes they often encounter while taking care of little ones. We are often told to take care of ourselves first and that dressing ourselves in expensive clothes and makeup should be our first priority, while little ones are left unattended to get into more of Mommy and Daddy’s things, with their innocent minds full of curiosity and child-like wonder at the cool things they are finding. I personally have given into extreme levels of stress and frustration, feeling like I could never measure up as the mother who always had a clean home and the perfect outward image of beauty and independence. Until I was able to release my ideas of what my home and mothering should look like, I was too uptight and stressed to really be able to experience true peace and child-like wonder with my children. Today you may pop in and my floor is a mess, or you may see me in town with messy hair and my clothes dirty from taking care of toddlers and cooking. But, I’m ok with that because I know this is a short season and I want to take every moment to embrace the season of life I am in, to truly embrace the chaos of homemaking and raising two toddlers and all the busyness that entails!

John 14:27

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5 Comments

  1. Lynda Leddington says:

    Love the recipe and can relate so much to your daily musings even though now I’m a grandmother I had youngsters and a home I thought needed to be kept “ just so” also my clothes ironed my hair done and make up applied it’s so rubbish just get on and enjoy your young children and no one is going to get ill from a bit of dirt my rule was toilet clean kitchen work tops clean …no worries 👍 thanks for sharing have a great day 😊

    1. Thank you! That’s a great motto to love by! 😊 I find having a schedule and letting go of what isn’t as important helps so much!

  2. Juli-Ann says:

    Can i make this with turkey instead ?

    1. marilynpeight says:

      Yes, I would recommend adding a little more seasoning as ground turkey tends to be more bland than ground beef. You may also need to add more egg or milk to get the meatballs to hold their shape, because ground turkey is a leaner meat than ground beef.

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