What could make meatballs better than stuffing them with a chunk of mozzarella? This crock pot recipe is so easy and results in hearty & flavorful meatballs oozing with melty, cheesy goodness. You could make these as just an appetizer with marinara for dipping or serve on top of spaghetti with tomato sauce.
1 pound ground beef
1 cup panko bread crumbs (I used the Italian flavor)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 mozzarella string cheese sticks
Chop each cheese stick into half inch pieces (about 6-8 for each stick). Place on a plate and chill in the freezer until ready to use.
In a large bowl, add ground beef, bread crumbs, egg and egg yolk, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper. Mush the ingredients together with your hands until thoroughly combined.
Remove cheese from freezer. Scoop out about 4 tablespoons of the meat mixture and roll into a ball. Gently push a piece of the chilled mozzarella into the middle of the meatball. Roll the ball in your hands to completely cover the hole completely. Place inside a greased crock pot and repeat with remaining meat and cheese.
When all meatballs are made and in the crock pot, cover and cook for 1-2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low until the meat is cooked through. Enjoy as an appetizer with toothpicks & marinara or piled on top of a plate of spaghetti and tomato sauce.