Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs - The Bearded Hiker | The Bearded Hiker

Stuffed Meatballs

So here’s the situation…you gotta go home and feed the fam and you don’t know what to cook, they won’t tell you what they want except “whatever”, and you’re dead tired. But you gotta eat, right? This could be your savior and I’ll tell you a few reasons why.

First, these meatballs are delicious with very little work. Yes, the time can vary from 20 minutes to one hour, but it just depends on your meatball size. If you don’t have an hour, make those little badgers smaller and they cook up in no time.

Second, this is a prep that your kids will love to get involved with. For some reason, pressing the mozzarella into the meatball is some kind of kid entertainer. On top of that, they love the idea of cheese tucked in the middle (who can explain kids?). And we all know, getting your kids involved in cooking is golden.


Third, these freeze like a dream. It doesn’t take much effort to double the recipe. You’re there knee deep in ground beef anyway, might as well. You can just make these bad boys up, lay them out on a platter with parchment paper and freeze. When they’re done, toss them into a zip top bag and call it a day. I like to make them up, brown them, THEN freeze them. That way, I can just take them out, put them in the sauce and simmer. Either way, they are great to have around.

If you’re into meal prep, these are really great for that as well. I like to grill or roast zucchini and add the meatballs and sauce on top of that. Keeps it a bit more healthy and light for lunch.

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SMOKED MOZZARELLA MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS

1 slice of bread, torn into pieces and soaked in milk
12 ounces lean ground beef or turkey
1 32 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cut into 1/2″ cubes, or buy a bag of regular old cubed mozzarella or the little balls
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 eggs
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Mix the beef or turkey with the soaked bread, eggs, parsley, half of the onion and garlic, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Without overworking the meat, form meatballs. Any size you prefer.

Hold each meatball in the palm of your hand and using your thumb of the other hand, make an indention in the meatball. Drop in the cheese cube/ball and carefully fold the meat back over to cover.

Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat and sear each meatball until brown all over. Remove to a plate. Pour off the bulk of the grease, if there is any, or you can keep it all if you like. Add the onion, saute until light brown, add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if using. Stir, then add the meatballs back to the pan.

Cook over low for 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of your meatballs. Serve over pasta, mashed potatoes, polenta, spaghetti squash, on a hoagie, whatever!

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41 thoughts on “Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs”

    1. Love smoked mozaarella but it’s sometimes hard to find here. If I can’t find it or I’m too lazy to search for it I just stuff it with regular mozzarella. If you have an electric smoker that you set to a low temp, about 110-124° you can smoke your own.

    1. It’s one of my favorite things about this recipe is it’s freezability and meal prep ease. These can simmer while I’m prepping other foods and I can make extra to freeze while I’m at it.

      1. I love recipes that kids can help prepare – it’s a great way to help them be confident in the kitchen. Your Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs sound so cheesy and delicious! Thank you for sharing them, and for being a part of The Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope you will visit again this week!

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful post with us at Full Plate Thursday this week. Please keep our great state of Texas in your thoughts and prayers as we are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Hope you have a good week.
    Miz Helen

  2. Oh wow. These look awesome. I love stocking my freezer with guest-friendly dishes. And thanks so much for linking up to Weekend Cooking. Hope to see you again!

    1. Thanks Beth! These are really perfect for freezer! Thanks for coming take a look and I shall see you again at Weekend Cooking!

  3. They look good and sound delicious! Perfect solution for “what’s for dinner” if you are not a vegetarian like me.. I’m thinking about trying something like it with vegetarian meatballs..Instead of ground turkey, I could use cooked lentils..

    1. My wife does a really great vegetarian meatball with …. let me think … walnuts, eggs…
      Here’s the recipe she uses: http://www.food.com/recipe/vegetarian-quot-meatballs-quot-11028

      And after the first bake, you can freeze from there. Believe me, she has fooled many, many a people with these balls. They are good in a red sauce, but my favorite thing she does with them is she makes a pot of white beans and after they’re done fully, she tossed them in the pot of beans and slow simmers them with the beans.
      Not what you would typically do with meatballs, but it’s good!

  4. I made this for Dinner today and it was fantastic. I was not disappointed. Your recipe was to die for. I can’t wait to try more of your delicious recipes.
    Sincerely,
    Theodore Frost,
    Of,
    http;//www.piecesoffrost.com

  5. Yum! I love anything related to pasta, meatballs, and spaghetti sauce. And so do my kids. Love the idea of getting them involved in pressing the mozzarella into the meatballs. They would love to be involved and I would love the help! Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  6. I’ve been telling my husband for years that there’s no “whatever” isle in the grocery store. These will be my go to meal whenever he says that. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story and we hope you will join us again next week.

    1. The dangers of looking through recipes…I find myself in a constant state of hunger!
      Glad you found me Kelly, on my way to check you out now!

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