Give Spaghetti and Meatballs A New Twist with Surprise Meatballs! Easy Kid- Approved Cheese Stuffed Meatballs Recipe

This is another family recipe that has been passed down from D.J.’s grandma, to his Mom, and then to D.J., and finally, D.J. taught me this recipe.  I love these family recipes, I like to channel D.J.’s Mom when I make anything that uses her Spaghetti Sauce, or really anything Italian.  

Surprise Meatballs are simply our traditional meatballs, with a piece of string cheese stuck right in the middle, and simmered all day in spaghetti sauce.  D.J.’s family – my family, calls them surprise meatballs because as a kid, D.J. said he never knew if all the meatballs would have cheese in the middle, or just some, or even none at all, so it was always a surprise!

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

Before you begin, you have two options to make the meatballs; baked, as I’ve shown in this recipe, or pan-fried.  If you fry your meatballs, be sure to cook them in the same pot that you are making your spaghetti sauce in.  It will add a TON of flavor to your sauce.

Cheese Stuffed Meatballs Recipe a.k.a. Surprise Meatballs

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
2 eggs
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/8 cup panko bread crumbs
3-4 mozzarella string cheese

Sneak in some vegetables to these meatballs by pureeing; 1/2 zucchini, 1/4 yellow onion, 1 clove garlic, and 1 rib celery.  If you add in the vegetables, add an additional 1/8 cup each of panko and regular bread crumbs.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Start by cutting string cheese into 1/2″ or so pieces, and set aside.

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

In a large bowl mix eggs, basil and spices, until thoroughly combined.

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

Add ground beef, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese (and pureed veggies, if using).  Mix with your hands until everything is well combined.

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

Scoop out about 1 tbsp of meatball mixture, and start to form a ball in your hand, using your finger, poke an indent in the middle, and add a piece of string cheese.

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

Add a little more ground beef to the top – about 1/2 tbsp and roll into a ball in your hand.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Repeat with remaining meat and string cheese, placing meatballs about 1″ apart.  If you are frying your meatballs, cook them in a pan over medium-high heat in about 1″ of olive oil, cooking on each side in batches, and placing on a metal rack to cool while preparing spaghetti sauce.

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

Bake for 20 minutes, turning the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking.

While meatballs are cooking, prepare spaghetti sauce.  Click on the picture below for step-by step directions on how to make the BEST spaghetti sauce you’ll ever taste.

This Spaghetti Sauce will make you famous! Easy Kid-Friendly Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
This Spaghetti Sauce will make you famous! Easy Kid-Friendly Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Remove from oven and add to sauce.  Go ahead and eat one now – you know you want to!

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

Simmer in spaghetti sauce for at least 1 hour, but if you can, simmer all day on low heat.

When you’re ready to eat, cook 1 lb of spaghetti in salted water according to package directions – usually about 11-13 minutes for al dente and drain.  We like to use Barilla Spaghetti Rigati when we have spaghetti, it has these little ridges in the pasta, and the sauce really sticks to it.

To make PERFECT spaghetti:  Add 2 tbsp butter to the same pan you cooked the spaghetti in, and return it to the stove, over low heat until melted.  Add cooked spaghetti to pan, and carefully toss in melted butter with tongs.  Add 2 ladle fulls of sauce to spaghetti, and toss again with tongs to coat the spaghetti in sauce.  Remove from heat, and transfer to a large bowl to serve.

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

cheese stuffed meatballs surprise meatballs italian meatball recipe spaghetti and meatballs moms bistro

Cut your meatballs open, and dig right into all that melty cheese!

Got leftover pasta?  Make these easy 20 Minute Mini-Spaghetti Pies!

mini spaghetti pie recipe
Easy 30-Minute Mini-Spaghetti Pie Recipe

 

 

 


Related Posts

Grandma’s Spaghetti Sauce | Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Grandma’s Spaghetti Sauce | Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

I love this recipe.  I cook it at least once a week, and it was the first thing that D.J. made for me when we started dating.  I always knew that I’d marry an Italian boy, but this recipe really sealed the deal.  There is […]

Easy Dinner Idea – 20 Minute Mini Spaghetti Pie Recipe

Easy Dinner Idea – 20 Minute Mini Spaghetti Pie Recipe

Does your family have that one recipe that they always end up turning to in a dinner crunch, or when you just can’t think of what the heck to make for dinner?  For our family, that is our spaghetti sauce (why I haven’t written a better […]



14 thoughts on “Give Spaghetti and Meatballs A New Twist with Surprise Meatballs! Easy Kid- Approved Cheese Stuffed Meatballs Recipe”

Leave a Reply: