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Who doesn't love a good meatball? And a Cheese Stuffed Meatball has to be the ultimate pleasure. This recipe has lots of good flavors and works as an appetizer as well as a meatball with pasta and sauce.
How are Cheese Stuffed Meatballs flavored?
We're talking shallots, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, and a couple of cheeses. Mix all of this into the meat mixture and these meatballs are pretty well decked out!
You can use a food processor to make the shallots, sundried tomatoes, and basil really small, but I find that a little attention with a chef's knife is just fine. The amounts of the ingredients are a bit too small for a larger machine. They tend to get slung up onto the sides of the bowl rather than getting chopped up. If you have a small food processor attachment to your hand blender, it might just do the trick!
My choice is my chef's knife and a bit of thoughtful time chopping. I don't mind that at all.
Mix all the aromatics together with the meats. Then add some breadcrumbs and eggs to help bind everything together. You can use gluten-free or sourdough bread crumbs.
If you use gluten-free crumbs, use your food processor to process some stale bread. You can also use gluten-free panko, a Japanese style bread crumb.
The cheese cubes for stuffing
I like to use mozzarella that is cut into ½-inch cubes, but if you prefer romano or grana padano, feel free to use whatever you want.
How to form the Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
I find that making a ball from the meat mixture, then flattening it in my palm before putting the cheese cube in works really well. It allows me to bring the meat around the cheese fully so that the cheese doesn't leak out when it melts.
However ... if it DOES melt out, it gives beautiful charred cheese that is really delicious!
Brown the meatballs in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat, then put them in the oven to finish cooking them. It only takes 10-12 minutes.
How to serve Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
Marinara sauce is a must! You can buy store bought marinara sauce, for sure! I prefer to warm passata or crushed tomatoes over low heat with some chopped garlic and plenty of salt for seasoning. That pure crushed tomato flavor with minimal seasoning is perfect for showcasing these beautiful meatballs.
Serve Cheese Stuffed Meatballs bite-sized with picks for ease of eating, but also serve them with pasta and sauce for a full meal!
Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
- 8 ounces mozzarella cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 large shallots diced small
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes in oil chopped small
- ⅓ cup packed fresh basil
- ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- ½ cup bread crumbs Can use gluten free or sourdough
- 2 eggs
- Marinara Sauce See notes
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Be sure the shallots, sundried tomatoes, and basil are all chopped very finely. You can use a food processor if you prefer rather than a chef's knife, but I find the small amounts of the ingredients make that more difficult.
- Mix the shallots, sundried, tomatoes, and basil with the shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Add the ground beef and ground pork and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and eggs and mix well.
- Form the meat mixture into about 1½-inch balls. Flatten it a bit in your palm, place a cube of mozzarella in the middle, and form the meat around it. Be sure to fully enclose the cheese cube with the meat mixture.
- Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides to the darkness that you like, then transfer the skillet to the oven if it is oven-proof. If your skillet isn't oven-proof, transfer the meatballs to a baking dish and place them in the oven until they are cooked through, 10-12 minutes.
- Serve on a platter with marinara sauce. Use tall picks to serve as an appetizer. You can also serve the meatballs with pasta and sauce.