Slow-Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Let’s talk about the best meatballs you will ever taste, which also happen to be filled with ooey, gooey melty mozzarella cheese, and are made in a slow-cooker. These meatballs alone are wonderfully tasty and seasoned perfectly, but they can be served with a side salad to make a complete meal. Juicy, flavorful Italian style meatballs stuffed with melty mozzarella cheese are perfect for dipping in your favorite marinara or alfredo sauce.
- 1-pound ground beef
- 1 cup bread crumbs, panko or regular, Italian seasoned or plain
- 1 whole egg, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 mozzarella cheese string cheese sticks
- 1 (23-ounce) jar of marinara or 1 (14.5-ounce) jar alfredo sauce, for dipping
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 280mins
Adapted from lecremedelacrumb.com
Chop each cheese stick into 1/2-inch pieces. There should be about 6-8 pieces for each cheese stick. Place on a plate and chill in the freezer until ready to use.
Add ground beef, bread crumbs, whole egg, egg yolk, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to a bowl. Mush the ingredients together with your hands until everything comes together.
Remove cheese from freezer. Scoop out about 4 tablespoons of meat mixture and roll into a ball. Gently push a piece of chilled mozzarella into the middle of the meatball. Roll the ball in your hands to cover the hole where the mozzarella cheese was pushed in. Place inside a greased slow cooker and repeat with remaining meat and cheese.
When all meatballs are in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours or on low 3 to 4 hours until meat is cooked through and no longer pink. The cheese may start melting out of the meatballs and that's okay.
If desired, sprinkle with a bit of fresh chopped parsley or dried Italian seasoning for garnish, and serve with your favorite marinara or alfredo sauce for dipping.
For a quicker method, the meatballs can be baked. Follow directions to make meatballs, but instead of placing them in the slow-cooker, place meatballs 1-inch apart on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes until browned and cheese is melty.
These can also be made ahead and frozen by preparing the meatballs as instructed in the recipe, but instead of putting them straight into the slow cooker or the oven to bake, just place them side by side in a zip lock bag, seal, and place in the freezer. When ready to cook them, follow recipe instructions and increase cooking time slightly to allow for thawing.
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