Giant Mozzarella stuffed meatballs

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs: Tender, herby meatballs with gooey mozzarella cheese inside! These Giant Meatballs are perfect for sharing and make a great romantic appetizer or cozy dinner for two!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
Total Servings: 6


For the meatballs:

  • 2 cups bread crumbs (from about 1/4 loaf of stale Italian bread) 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 2 lbs ground beef 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/4 cup grated onion 
  • 3 cloves grated garlic 
  • 6 mini mozzarella balls

FOR the marinara sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 yellow onion 
  • 6 cloves garlic 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 2 - 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes 
  • 8 basil leaves 
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


For the Meatballs:
  1. Begin by placing the bread (torn into large chunks) in a food processor. Pulse until it's in fine crumbs. Mix the bread crumbs and milk together and allow to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 
  2. To a large bowl add the beef, eggs, salt, pepper flakes, parsley, Parmesan, onion, and garlic. Stir in the soaked crumbs and use your hands to gently mix all of the ingredients together. 
  3. Form the dough into 6 very large meatballs. Place the meatballs in a large baking dish. 
  4. Use your finger to make a deep indent in the center of each meatball. Stuff with the mozzarella then reshape the meat around it to seal. 
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the meatballs have a nice browned exterior. They do not have to be 100% cooked, since we'll be cooking them further in the sauce.
For the Sauce:

  1. While the meatballs bake, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  2. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, basil, sugar, and balsamic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the meatballs to the sauce for the last ten minutes of cooking, turning the meatballs occasionally and ensuring they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees before serving.