Mozzarella stuffed Italian meatballs are a savory, perfectly seasoned blend of meat wrapped around luscious, melted mozzarella! Scrumptious!
If you like meatballs, you’re sure to LOVE these! Although the above photo doesn’t show it, each meatball is stuffed with a small piece of mozzarella that is a yummy surprise with every bite.
The photo below is how these look fresh from the oven. They have a browned, rustic exterior, with some oozing mozzarella and others staying sealed. I ate at least five of these just standing at the kitchen counter; they were so delicious!
I love these cooked with “Best Marinara Sauce” and piled atop a bed of spaghetti pasta. I often pull them from the freezer and add to already simmered marinara sauce the last half hour of cooking. Since the meatballs are already cooked, they only need to be heated throughout. If cooked too long, they will fall apart in the sauce. Still yummy, but not so pretty:-)
The Meat: I love using ground pork and ground beef, as the combination gives interest and great texture. I have used ground veal in the mix before, but I actually prefer the beef/pork only combo.
The Mozzarella: For convenience’ sake, I cut string cheese into small nibs, but fresh mozzarella would take these over the top. Cutting soft, fresh mozzarella into small cubes would take more time and effort than slicing string cheese, but it would have to be 100 times tastier! If anyone tries it, let me hear from you!
The Panade: The secret to keeping ground meat tender for meatballs, meatloaf, burgers and more, is a panade~a milk soaked bread mixture. Soaking the crumbs while prepping the rest of the ingredients will make a panade that will yield tender meatballs.
The egg & seasonings: Whisking the eggs with all seasonings cuts the time needed to maniupulate the meat (which makes it tough). Adding the Parmesan to the egg mixture before mixing with the meat also helps blend flavors more evenly.
The mixing: The key to tender meatballs is to mix the meat until just combined~and no longer. This is why mixing the other ingredients together before adding to the meat is a good idea. I wear gloves and use my hands to mix, but for the squeamish, a firm spatula or spoon will work fine.