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.

Mozzarella stuffed meatballs with sauce on top and parsley

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.


  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.

Steps to show how to stuff meatballs with mozza


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.

Mozzarella stuffed meatballs on a plate with marinara 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 on a plate garnish 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 with sauce on top and parsley
4.96 from 23 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs in Homemade Tomato Sauce

Juicy ground turkey is wrapped around a cube of mozzarella and baked until ooey-gooey!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 24 meatballs
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  • 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (if using turkey)
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • ¾ pound fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes


  • 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
  • ½ teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon (for zest only)



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


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Cut mozzarella into 24 small squares, set aside.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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!)
  • Remove meatballs from the oven, stir into the sauce and let simmer an additional 20 minutes.
  • Serve on pasta.


Nutrition information calculated using ground turkey. 
4.96 from 23 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 128 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine Italian

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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.96 from 23 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. The recipe was great except for the lack of salt. We halved the amount of pepper and it was perfect. Next time we make them we’re doing 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.

    Substituting the spices for ~tbsp of Italian seasoning and using whole wheat breadcrumbs worked out great. It’s the best dinner we’ve had in a while!4 stars

  2. Okay, Holly! The meatballs are cooked. The sauce is ready. Now how do you freeze? Meatballs and sauce frozen together or separately?5 stars

    1. Sorry for the delay Barbara! I would suggest freezing them together. They can be thawed and baked together as well. Enjoy!

  3. Easy and SO delicious! My kiddos loved helping with the meatball prep! I have always added sugar to my tomato sauce and happy to see it included in this recipe!5 stars

  4. I want to make these tonight! Would it be a good idea to put the cheese cubes in the freezer to make them really cold so they dont ooze out?

    1. I haven’t tried freezing the cheese first so I can’t say for sure how that would work. Let us know how it goes if you try it.