Cheesy and flavorful these Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs are saucy and tender with gooey cheese in every bite! Make them easily right in your CrockPot!
Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs are the essence of good comfort food. Filling, flavorful, and cheesy, these meatballs have it all. My kids have lovingly dubbed these "magic meatballs," and we never have leftovers.
Made with ground beef, sausage, fresh basil, and Italian seasoning then stuffed with gooey, melty mozzarella cheese and smothered in a simple homemade tomato sauce, these meatballs really couldn't get any better.
They're pretty easy to make, as far as homemade meatballs go, and you can even make a double batch and freeze!
Can I Use Store-Bought Sauce?
Yes. If you want to make these meatballs faster, go ahead and use your favorite store-bought sauce. You will need one or two 24-ounce jars, depending on how saucy you like your sauce.
Why is There Sugar in the Sauce?
There is a small amount of sugar in the tomato sauce to cut the acid from the tomatoes. With the acidic tomatoes and the spices from the sausage, your dish can end up tasting pretty acidic. The sweetness will just balance it out a bit.
You can omit the sugar, if you prefer. Or for a more natural option, you can finely grate one large carrot into the sauce. The carrot will basically melt into the sauce from the slow cooker and impart its sweetness into the sauce.
How to Add Cheese to the Center of the Meatballs
After combining all of the meatball ingredients, pick up a small amount, about the size of a golf ball. Flatten it slightly in your palm and press the cheese into the center. Shape the meat around it to create a meatball. Then repeat with the rest of the mixture until all of it has been turned into meatballs.
You can also watch the video below or on YouTube to see me do it!
What Should I Serve with Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
These meatballs make a pretty hearty meal as the main course. You can serve them over spaghetti or the pasta of your choosing with some garlic bread and a fresh green salad.
You can also take a lighter approach and serve it with zucchini or vegetable noodles or spaghetti squash.
For a fun option, serve these on hearty Italian rolls as meatball subs.
Can I Freeze Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs?
Yes you can! Prepare the meatballs as instructed in the recipe. Then place rolled meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freezer for 2 hours until solid, and then transfer to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Cook raw meatballs in the slow cooker with sauce. The cook time may increase slightly to account for the cold ingredients.
Cooked slow cooker mozzarella stuffed meatballs can also be frozen. Either add them, sauce and all to a freezer bag and freeze. Or place them on the baking sheet the same as the uncooked meatballs before transferring to a freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator before using. Warm cooked meatballs in a Dutch oven on the stove or use them in a baked pasta dish.
Be aware that re-cooking the meatballs increasing the likelihood that the cheese will ooze out, so I recommend freezing these before cooking.
More Meatball Recipes You'll Love
- Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs - everything in this recipe is cooked right in the slow cooker! Yes, even the noodles! Super easy recipe for a classic!
- Authentic Swedish Meatballs - my family's authentic recipe that has been passed down through the generations.
- Baked Bacon Cheddar Ranch Meatballs - simple baked meatballs loaded up with bacon, cheddar, and ranch seasoning for the ultimate savory experience.
- Slow Cooker Mongolian Meatballs - easy frozen meatballs are transformed into an Asian fusion recipe by incorporating the flavors of a Chinese restaurant favorite.
- Meatball Pizza - the only way to make meatballs better is to put them on a pizza!
Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs Video
Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef
- ½ pound Italian sausage (hot, mild, or sweet)
- ½ small sweet onion finely chopped
- ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 large eggs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 mozzarella cheese sticks cut into 4 to 5 even pieces each
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes undrained
- ½ small sweet onion chopped
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Fresh basil and grated Parmesan for serving
- Combine all meatball ingredients except mozzarella in a large mixing bowl. Mix together using clean hands until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Take a golf ball sized piece of the ground beef mixture and place a piece of mozzarella in the middle. Press meat around the piece of cheese, fully enclosing it. Place in the bottom of the slow cooker. Repeat until all meat is used.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, add all sauce ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Pour sauce over meatballs.
- Cover and cook on High for 2- 2.5 hours or Low for about 4 hours, until meat is cooked through and no longer pink.
- Serve immediately topped with fresh chopped basil and grated Parmesan.
- Cheese Sticks: The cheese sticks hold together better and are less likely to ooze out of the meatballs as they cook. This is why I recommend them over mozzarella balls or cut off of a block.
- Gluten Free: Use gluten free breadcrumbs.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: Before or after cooking, place rolled meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freezer for 2 hours until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Cook raw meatballs in the slow cooker with sauce. Warm cooked meatballs in a Dutch oven on the stove or use them in a baked pasta dish.
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