Try something new for pasta night with these mozzarella-stuffed turkey meatballs. With minimal effort, you can upgrade your dinner and surprise your family.
These stuffed meatballs are like a dress with pockets. Your family will think "oh wow, these meatballs look so good, are they really turkey?"
Then they will take a bite out of a juicy meatball and realize there is cheese in the middle! 😲
🧀 Ingredient & Substitutions
Ground Turkey: The 94% lean ground turkey will give you a juicer meatball, but 99% lean will work too.
Little Mozzarella Balls: I think most stores carry BelGioioso pearl-sized mozzarella balls. That's what I used in this recipe. If you can’t find them, cut up a regular-sized mozzarella ball into ½” cubes.
Olive Oil: You just need enough to cover the bottom of your pan and to keep the meatballs from sticking while searing them. Any excess oil will be poured out before baking the meatballs in the oven.
🔪 How to Make Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs
1. Mix: In a large bowl mix together the ground turkey, parmesan, panko, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper with your hands.
2. Stuff: Form 16 balls. Make a well in the center of the meatballs, place two mozzarella balls in the middle, and reform the meatball.
3. Sear: Add enough olive oil to a large oven-proof pan to coat the bottom. Cook the meatballs over medium-high heat until brown, flip, and cook until that side has browned.
4. Prep: Transfer the meatballs to a plate and drain the excess oil. Add marinara sauce to the pan, then nestle the meatballs in the sauce.
5. Bake: Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
I used an oven-proof skillet in this recipe (like a cast iron skillet). If you don’t have one, you can use a regular skillet to sear the meatballs and then use a casserole dish to bake the meatballs in the oven.
Depending on the day you can either pair this with a simple Caesar salad kit from the grocery store or pair it with pasta. Some other options:
❓ Recipe Questions
You can cut a regular ball of mozzarella into ½” square pieces
That’s fine, Mozzarella is a very stringy cheese, so it won’t go too far. Your meatballs will still have plenty of cheese in them.
Want to add more fun twists to your dinners?
Craveable Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb. ground turkey 94% lean
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 32 mozzarella ball pearls I used BelGioioso pearl sized mozzarella balls – you will use most of the container
- 2-4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 24-oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, parmesan, panko, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper with your hands.
- Form 16 balls, about the size of a golf ball. Make a well in the center of the meatballs, place two mozzarella balls in the middle, and reform the meatball. Make sure the mozzarella is completely covered.
- Add enough olive oil to a large oven-safe skillet to coat the bottom. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the meatballs. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until brown, then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes or until brown.
- Transfer the meatballs to a plate and drain the excess oil from the skillet. Add marinara sauce to the skillet, then nestle the meatballs in the sauce,
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve immediately with pasta or a salad.
This recipe was inspired by the chicken parmesan meatball recipe in What's Gaby Cooking - Take It Easy cookbook.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165F.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove.
- See more guidelines at USDA.gov.