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Meatballs a la Pizzaiola

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 44 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 19 min
  • Yield: 36 meatballs
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Vegetable oil cooking spray

2 large shallots, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (5 or 6)

1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 pounds 20-percent fat ground beef

1 pound ground pork

6 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 36 (1/2-inch) cubes

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cups marinara sauce, warmed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and salt. Process until blended. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the beef and pork and, using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Form the mixture into 36 equal-size meatballs (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter).
  3. Insert 1 cube smoked mozzarella cheese into the center of each meatball and form the meat around it, completely enclosing the cheese.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat half the oil over medium heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining oil and meatballs.
  5. Place the browned meatballs onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes for medium doneness. Set aside to cool slightly, and serve with warm marinara sauce.
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