My Secret Sauce-Stuffed Meatballs

My Secret Sauce-Stuffed Meatballs

I haven’t shared this recipe with a single soul until now, but these are, without a doubt, the best meatballs ever. My family asks for these weekly, they freeze well, and are every mom’s dream – a quick and easy dinner that’s mess-free. 

The secret to these delicious meatballs is that instead of putting sauce on top, the sauce is actually stuffed right into the meatballs themselves. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, you barely need to pick up a knife – everything goes straight into the food processor or blender. I often reach for leftover gluten-free bread, and you really can can use whatever you have on hand – I’ve used celery tops instead of parsley before!

I originally developed this recipe out of frustration when my kids were young and would make a mess with tomato sauce every time they ate traditional meatballs, but the moment I tasted these, I knew I had stumbled onto something amazing.

Baking them on a sheet pan means they have lots of surface area for browning and leave behind any excess grease which is a total win, and they’re extremely versatile: serve them with bread and salad, pasta, or even as appetizers with sauce for dipping. 

It’s time to upgrade your meatballs. Ready? 

Watch Me Make My Secret Sauce-Stuffed Meatballs

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How To Make My Secret Sauce-Stuffed Meatballs

Step 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line the bottom of a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

Step 2. In a food processor or blender, combine the cheese, bread, onion, garlic, parsley, egg, and sauce.  Blend for 30 seconds, scraping the sides as needed, or until an orange color with only small flecks of bread and cheese.  

Step 3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, oregano, salt and pepper.

Step 4. Add the cheese/breadcrumb/sauce mixture and gently but thoroughly combine.

Step 5. Using a small ice cream scoop, measure out the meatballs and roll gently in hands to shape into a ball.  Place onto prepared sheet pan and drizzle lightly with oil.

Step 6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and just cooked through.  

Step 7. Serve with or without additional sauce.

Step 8. Enjoy!

What Else Can I Use?

  • You can use all beef, a combination of beef and turkey, pork and beef, or whatever meat you like.  Just stay away from very lean ground meat as it’ll result in a dry meatball.
  • I use either leftover gluten-free bread from the loaf I bake every week, or sourdough, but any stale bread works.
  • You can also use breadcrumbs instead of bread.
  • I like using either homemade sauce or Rao’s which is my favorite jarred sauce.  Use any you enjoy.
  • If you don’t do dairy, you can omit the cheese and add ¼ cup more breadcrumbs.

My Secret Sauce-Stuffed Meatballs is special because:

They’re mess-free making them the perfect meal for young children

They freeze beautifully so save your extras for a later date!

They’re fast and filling, and you can use whatever is already on hand

Quick, Easy, Delicious Dinners

Slow Cooker Braised Pork with Parsley Vinegar Sauce (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

The Perfect Pot Roast with Lots of Vegetables

The Creamiest Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (Vegan)

No-Fuss Crispy Chicken Thighs (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo)

If you make my Secret Sauce-Stuffed Meatballs, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here and rate the recipe. Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!

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My Secret Sauce-Stuffed Meatballs

Kat Ashmore
I haven't shared this recipe with a single soul until now, but these are, without a doubt, the best meatballs ever. 
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 40 Meatballs
Calories 88 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese diced
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 cup stale gluten free bread sourdough, or bread of choice, torn
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs
  • cup prepared tomato sauce store bought or homemade
  • 2 lb. ground beef 85% lean
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • Olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Line the bottom of a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine the cheese, bread, onion, garlic, parsley, egg, and sauce. Blend for 30 seconds, scraping the sides as needed, or until an orange color with only small flecks of bread and cheese.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground beef, oregano, salt and pepper.
  • Add the cheese/breadcrumb/sauce mixture and gently but thoroughly combine. I do this with my hands so as not to overwork.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, measure out the meatballs and roll gently in hands to shape into a ball. Place onto prepared sheet pan. Drizzle tops lightly with oil.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and just cooked through.
  • Serve with or without additional sauce.

Notes

 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 189mgPotassium: 79mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 79IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
Keyword dinner, easy dinner, Meatballs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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9 thoughts on “My Secret Sauce-Stuffed Meatballs”

  • 5 stars
    Hi Kat,
    Could i use oatmeal in place of gluten free breadcrumbs? Thank you for all of your great recipes!

    Kristen Berry

  • 5 stars
    So thankful for this recipe and that I had everything aside from fresh parsley as my little tested positive for strep yesterday abruptly canceling our Easter plans.

    • Oh I’m so glad this came in handy for your derailed Easter, Jenn! And I hope your little is on the mend!
      Kat.

  • 5 stars
    The 2 step technique for these meatballs is so smart and makes all the difference. All of the flavors are incorporated throughly without over working the meat. The result is light, meaty, flavor bomb. Thanks!

  • Hi Kathleen,
    Loved this recipe!! Have made them and they are delicious! Made a meatball sub with them, cold, with lettuce and tomato.
    FYI
    Step 3 does not have the bread listed as an ingredient going into the food processor…though it is mentioned in the appearance.

    • I’m so glad you loved it Andrew! Sounds delicious!
      I’ve updated the recipe now – good catch!
      Enjoy,
      Kat.

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