I love meatballs. They’re easy to make, super versatile, and they keep well.

This dinner was born because we had leftover ingredients from pizza a few nights earlier, and I had a hankering for meatballs. Instead of doing just a baked pasta, I wanted something a little different (and lighter).

I had been eyeing some spinach tagliatelle at my local grocery store and decided this was the opportunity to break it out. It was really, really pretty and quite tasty!

To make the meatballs, I combined a pound of lean ground beef with an egg, chili powder, paprika, dried Italian herbs, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.

Then I tore fresh mozzarella into small chunks- about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. Roll some of the meat into your desired meatball size. Mine were about an inch and a half across. Then squish it into a patty.

Put some cheese in the center. Check out the gorgeous paint job on those nails. Oh, how I miss shellac manicures.

Then shape the meat around the cheese.

Then shape it into a ball with the cheese nice and tucked.

Do this with the rest of the meat until you have a nice little collection of meatballs. I made ten.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides, as best you can.

Then add pasta sauce. I used leftover pizza sauce, which was perfect. You could leave the pasta sauce on the side if you wanted to serve the meatballs a la carte!

These were so, so good. They would also be great in the form of a meatball sandwich! I loved them so much I’m going to experiment with different versions, like a chorizo meatball stuffed with pepper jack cheese.

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Get the Recipe:

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Yield: 3 -4 Servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pasta Sauce of choice


  • Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Combine the whisked egg, ground beef, chili powder, paprika, Italian herbs, salt, black pepper, and fresh mozzarella with your hands until well-incorporated.
  • Separate the meat into ten equally sized balls. Flatten to make a 1/2 inch thick patty.
  • Place a torn piece of mozzarella in the center of a meatball patty. Form the patty around it to make a ball shape. Repeat with the rest of the of the meatballs.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides.
  • When meatballs are browned, add the pasta sauce to the skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Serve over pasta or by themselves!
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Dinner
Author: Chelsea Cole
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