Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake

I have no words. Let me rephrase that. I almost have no words.

Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake / Bev Cooks

If there’s anything on this site that I would rightly beg you to make, it’s THIS. GLORY BE, IT IS THIS.

First of all, it’s another one-pan dish, lover. As in, you place dry spaghetti in a baking dish and fugget about it. You pour crushed San Marzano tomatoes with a pinch of salt on top of the spaghetti and that’s your flippin’ sauce. San Marzanos are so pure and perfect on their own, only the tiniest pinch of salt is needed. Isn’t that wonderful? I love life.

But check it, it’s the meatballs that may and will rock your entire face off.

First of all, they’re extremely huge. Four giant meatballs filled with a mix of beef, pork, herbs, garlic, panko, milk, parmesan, yadda yadda.

Annnnnd they’re stuffed with fresh mozzeralla, so we can all just give up and retire now.

Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake / Bev Cooks  Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake / Bev Cooks

I can’t remember if it’s cool or not to show you raw meat on a food blog, so I’m just doing it. Because I want you to see the nestle! Ya gotta see the nestle.

See how those enorno balls are nestled on that sauce and spaghetti? Obviously you can’t see the noodles. I get that. But once baked, they’re like a delicious sunken treasure ship at the bottom of the red sea. Like the Goonies! Sort of.

Just look at that nestle.

Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake / Bev Cooks

I swear, when you pull this out of the oven, it’s one of those moments where you hope no one is around, and your windows are closed, and the local news isn’t down the street, and no one knows where you live, because you will squeal. And it will be loud and piercing and pretty obnoxious and awesome.

Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake / Bev Cooks

And THEN you cut into a meatball and see all that insane cheese oozing out all over your life?

Just stop. Stop.

THEN you take your fork and pull up the beautifully cooked spaghetti noodles as the dish becomes one majestic glory hole for your face?


Never stop.

Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake / Bev Cooks

Like, I am begging you.

Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake:

What it took for 4:

* 1 pound lean ground beef (actually, I used 85/15)
* 1/2 pound ground pork
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup chopped parsley
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
* 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
* 1 pinch salt and pepper
* 4 balls bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella. if you can’t find these, you can cut up bigger balls of fresh mozz and use that!)
* 1 (28 oz) can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
* 1/2 pound spaghetti

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, garlic, parsley, milk, panko, parmesan and a good pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix with your hands to combine. I’m weird but I really like mixing meat. Are we still friends?

So then, divide the meat into four enormous meatballs. Using your thumbs, press a hole in the center of each mound, and place the small mozzarella ball right in the center. Fold and press the meat around the cheese, covering the hole completely.

Pour a little of the tomatoes into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. (8×10 works, too!) Place the dried spaghetti right on top and pour the rest of the sauce over the noodles, covering every noodles.

Nestle the four meatballs on top of the noodles and sauce. Get super excited because seriously, these babes are stuffed with cheese. Place in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the meatballs are cooked through and beautifully browned on top. The pasta will be all good. Totally cooked.

Serve family style, garnished with extra parmesan cheese and parsley. Loosen the spaghetti with a fork and watch the entire dish just come to life!

Oh but wait, be sure and cut into one of the meatballs and watch that glorious goodness just oooooooze right on out. Hallelujah.

Gets no better.

Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake / Bev Cooks

Are you kidding me with this?

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45 Responses to Giant Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball and Pasta Bake

  1. Laura @ Raise Your Garden April 16, 2015 at 7:57 am #
    Can I just be really honest on this blog? I have TOTALLY bombed all meatballs in the past. Mine are like, dense, slabs of, um, bleh meat. They are not good! The frozen ones from the grocery store are better. I'm not sure if hubby is going to give me another chance (and quite honestly, he could try making meatballs himself if he doesn't like mine =) But I do want to make this pronto!!! I live in an area with lots of nice, real Italian restaurants, and they always stuff them with fresh mozz!
  2. Erin@WellPlated April 16, 2015 at 8:06 am #
    The nestle is a must. Give me all the ooey gooey, please and thank you!
  3. Sharana @ Living The Sweet Life Blog April 16, 2015 at 8:52 am #
    Ummm .. YES! I'm so making this for dinner next week -- DELICIOUS!
  4. Heidi @foodiecrush April 16, 2015 at 8:56 am #
    There's only one word for this dish. Gooey. Just happens to be my favorite word for food. Bring me the balls!
  5. Tanah April 16, 2015 at 11:40 am #
    WOW!!!! this looks amazing! Adding this to my dinner menu!
  6. Andrea @ Recipes For Divine Living April 16, 2015 at 1:29 pm #
    This looks totally amazing. Love that the pasta is baked.
  7. Emily @ Life on Food April 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm #
    So I want this bad. Meatballs are one of my favorite dinners. And the cheese. Oh my!
  8. Heather April 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm #
    These look great, need to pick up a couple things to make them but looking forward to it! Also--how did you not crack any jokes about big balls?! I was waiting for it and I got to the end and thought I had skipped a part!
    • Bev Weidner April 16, 2015 at 2:53 pm #
      Hahaha! I'm trying to be super grown uppy. But it was haaaaard. Hard balls? Ugh.
  9. Jillian @ Yoga Pants Kitchen April 16, 2015 at 5:29 pm #
    This dish is diviiiiine! I am all about sauce and (meat)balls, but mozzarella stuffed meatballs is something I need to do more often. Jillian
  10. Susan April 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm #
    I am a bit confused. How does the crushed tomatos get seasoned? The meatballs have great seasonings in them, does it seep into sauce?
    • Bev Weidner April 16, 2015 at 5:39 pm #
      You're right! The San Marzanos are so tangy and bright on their own, just a little salt is all I added. You'll be surprised just how seasoned it all is together!
  11. Aisha April 16, 2015 at 5:37 pm #
    This looks ammmmazing!!! Could I use a different type of pasta like rigatoni?
  12. Amber April 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm #
    Glory hole..... For your face... Glory hole.
  13. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough April 16, 2015 at 9:03 pm #
    Ummmm I'm squealing already.
  14. Amy @Very Culinary April 17, 2015 at 4:10 pm #
    Those are some gorgeous big balls! *laughs like a 7 year old*
  15. Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday April 18, 2015 at 11:22 am #
    This looks insane in the best possible way - and so easy! Dying over the awesomeness.
  16. Nicole April 18, 2015 at 8:15 pm #
  17. Brie April 19, 2015 at 6:31 pm #
    Made this tonight Bev and I can't shut up about how unbelievable it was. The meatballs and cheese were ridic, but holy crap - the pasta? Perfect. I'll be making this again and again!
  18. Chelsea Capurro April 20, 2015 at 11:48 pm #
    I love pasta, I love meatballs, I love mozzarella so this just looks right up my alley. This will definitely be on my list to try soon. Thanks so much for posting and sharing!
  19. Chandra April 21, 2015 at 9:06 am #
    Just wanted to say I made this recipe the same day you posted this and it was uh-mah-zing. And even better the next day. I've been forcing myself to wait to make it again so I didn't seem all fan-girl-groupie. Thank you for adding another "win" to my arsenal!
  20. Joyce April 23, 2015 at 11:37 am #
    You know....I looooove your recipes! But even more than that...I want to learn to talk like you. It's so insane...and sooooo fun! I think the food could be rotten (which it never is) and I would still have fun making and eating it. You're 'awesomeness' is superbulous!
  21. Mariane April 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm #
    Hello! This is one of my favorite foods ever but they're originally italian, called polpetones. Amazing :)
  22. Renee @ Awesome on $20 April 24, 2015 at 1:43 am #
    This looks amazing! I think I'm going to try subbing the ground pork for hot Italian sausage. Fingers crossed.
  23. Kate April 24, 2015 at 8:31 pm #
    Geeeeezzzz, you gotta be kidding me. This looks so ridiculously good I could melt. Those meatballs are to.die.for.
  24. wendy April 26, 2015 at 8:18 pm #
    I was so excited for this ... I saved it as my birthday meal. I made it per instructions. I felt the pasta was a little dry.. but it was really good. Had to go to the full hour for the meatballs to be done. I will do this again.. but add a tad bit of chicken stock to the 9x13 as it goes into the oven.
    • Bev Weidner April 27, 2015 at 10:43 am #
      Oh I'm so bummed! I'm glad it still tasted good. If you do try it again with chicken stock, please let me know how it was! And happy birthday!
  25. Heena April 30, 2015 at 5:21 pm #
    I can't wait to try this! Do you think I could use quinoa pasta instead?
  26. Kim April 30, 2015 at 8:57 pm #
    I made this tonight and it was SO GOOD! Thank you for these tasty balls!
  27. Maureen May 3, 2015 at 10:48 pm #
    I fell in love with these! They look so lovely. They are pretty appetizing too. I will definitely try this and will put a lot of cheese.
  28. Mackenzie May 4, 2015 at 10:26 am #
    I made this last night and it was delicious and so easy to throw together. I made 12 meatballs (slightly larger than a traditional meatball but smaller than yours) and used a full pound of pasta with the addition of one cup of chicken stock. Baked one hour and came out perfectly.
  29. Zoey Jordyn June 5, 2015 at 2:26 am #
    It looks so simple and it`s so genius! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I`ll try it tomorrow for dinner.
  30. M. Reeves April 24, 2016 at 9:19 am #
    Can you make this without the pasta?
  31. Kay September 7, 2016 at 7:58 pm #
    This didn't really turn out for me... don't get me wrong, it still tasted good! But next time I will add broth to the pasta mix, make probably 8 meatballs, flip the meatballs and raise the temp to at least 400. I bake this for an hour and a half and pasta was stuck to bottom and burnt at that point but the dang meatballs wouldn't cook! So just a few suggestions. Great meatball recipe though!
  32. Jeff d January 8, 2024 at 2:10 pm #
    Would never make a recipe whose writer had all her friends make comments even though none of them made it.April 2015 was a very special response year for this "Author".Has deceit written all over it


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