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
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
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!
My Secret Sauce-Stuffed Meatballs
- 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
- ⅓ 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
- 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.