Easy and flavorful Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs are made with lean ground beef or turkey and stuffed with cheese. Served over zoodles, or your favorite noodle, this is a healthy and delicious recipe made right in your crockpot!
Bob came up with this recipe and as much as I love baking, he loves meat. So, you can rest assured that these meatballs are juicy, perfectly seasoned, and full of flavor.
Not to mention cheese. They’re also full of cheese.
At the center of each meatball is a piece of a mozzarella string cheese, which we always have on hand for the girls.
Why you’ll love these Cheesy Slow Cooker Meatballs
Cheesy Center – The best part of cutting into a large meatball is finding a gooey, cheesy center!
Good for the whole family – Even the pickiest eaters should be impressed with this one. Who doesn’t like cheese?!
Slow Cooker Recipe – Because this meatballs recipe is made in the crock pot, meatball night can be prepping while you’re at work or out & about.
Hearty Dish – These meatballs can be eaten alone, over pasta, over zoodles, in a sub, or simply with a piece of garlic bread!
Shortcuts – Use a jar of your favorite pasta sauce to save time, or make your favorite from scratch.
How to make zoodles
If you’ve never made zoodles (zucchini noodles), don’t be intimidated. They’re a great way to replace carbs and get in a serving of veggies.
Cheese Stuffed Meatball Ingredients
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- Ground Turkey or Beef – shown here is turkey but 1 lb lean ground beef works just as well. I prefer sirloin.
- Eggs – to bind the meat together.
- Onion – A white or yellow onion, diced.
- Parmesan Cheese
- Panko Breadcrumbs – we like panko but you can also use Italian style bread crumbs
- Seasoned salt & pepper
- Mozzarella Sticks – cut into small pieces, or you can cut up a small mozzarella ball, or even use mozzarella pearls. We just always have string cheese readily available. Save some to make some air fryer cheese sticks!
- Marinara Sauce – your favorite jarred tomato sauce or make your own
- Zucchini – optional, but you’ll need zucchini if you want to make zoodles.
- Garlic – 2 cloves garlic, minced, or you can use minced garlic that is packed in oil.
- Olive Oil
Equipment you’ll need
- Mixing Bowls – I love the grippy bottoms.
- Spatulas – I love one-piece silicone spatulas. They’re great for so many things & easy to clean.
- Veggie Chopper – To easily chop onions & garlic.
- Slow Cooker – My slow cooker of choice has been the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget for years.
How to make the crockpot meatballs & sauce (AKA the best meatballs!)
- STEP ONE: To a large mixing bowl, add the ground meat, beaten eggs, chopped onion, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, seasoned salt & pepper. Use a spatula, or your clean hands, to bring it together, but don’t overmix.
- STEP TWO: Spray the bottom of your slow cooker with cooking spray and then pour half the marinara sauce into the bottom. Use your hands to portion out golf ball sized balls, flatten in your hands, add a piece of mozzarella to the center, then form back into a ball. Place it into the slow cooker and repeat until you’re out of meat mixture.
- STEP THREE: Pour the rest of the sauce over the top, cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 3 hours.
To make Zoodles: Use a slicer to form “noodles” out of your zucchini. Place them in a bowl lined with paper towel to drain excess moisture for approximately 30 minutes. Once ready, heat a skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add the zoodles and season with garlic, salt & pepper and saute until tender.
How to serve them
Do you need to brown the meat before you add it to the crockpot?
No. The beauty of crockpot meatballs is not having to cook them before you put them into the slow cooker. Prep them then let the slow cooker do the work.
No need to brown the meat – you put the raw meatballs directly into the crockpot and a few hours later, get to enjoy a juicy & flavorful dinner.
How to store leftovers
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze them?
Yes you can! Follow the recipe as written but instead of putting them straight into the slow cooker, place them in a freezer bag with parchment paper between layers, squeeze out any excess air, seal, and put in the freezer.
They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.
When ready to cook them, you can move them to the fridge the night before to thaw them, or start from frozen increasing the cooking time a bit.
Need more slow cooker recipes? Try these:
- Crockpot Honey Bourbon Chicken
- Creamy Ranch Crockpot Chicken
- Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- Crockpot Mississippi Pot Roast
- Crockpot Chicken Alfredo
- Slow Cooker Chicken Potatoes & Green Beans
- Crockpot King Ranch Chicken
- Crockpot Turkey Stuffing Casserole
Click here to view my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.
Connect with Persnickety Plates!
Follow along on my social media so you never miss a post!
Also, sign up to receive an email in your inbox for each new recipe:
This recipe first appeared on Love Bakes Good Cakes and was originally published here January 20, 2016.