Meatball Mozzarella Skillet Bake is divine in every bite. Tender meatballs, bold marinara sauce, and gooey cheese are a perfect combination. Make your own meatballs for this one-pot recipe that is easy enough for a weeknight family dinner
I never learned to cook until I was in my early 20s, and moving into an apartment. I started by learning a few of my mom’s staple recipes, like Baked Homemade Mac and Cheese and Curry Chicken and Chickpeas. As I expanded my collection, I kept it very simple, and relied on recipes with a lot of premade ingredients. One of the main reasons I began the blog was to get out of my rut of constantly making the same recipes.
Over time I jumped out of my comfort zone. I learned to make a few sauces, several soup recipes, and even learned to love venison. I do still have a few premade sauces in my pantry, but I’m on a mission to learn as many of them as I can. Most are easy to make, and use ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
Oh, this Meatball Mozzarella Skillet Bake is fabulous. The meatballs are so flavorful, the marinara takes it over the top, and the gooey mozzarella cheese is to die for. Plus, it’s easy to make and perfect for a weeknight dinner.
INGREDIENTS FOR MEATBALL MOZZARELLA SKILLET BAKE
- Marinara sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
MAKE YOUR OWN MEATBALLS!
I used to always buy frozen meatballs, but the quality between brands is so distinct. So I learned to make my own. If you use meatballs regularly, make a big batch and freeze them. Or, make them as needed, because they only take about 10 minutes to prep. Of course, you could also use store-bought meatballs if you prefer.
Meatballs are simple to make and require just a few ingredients.
- I use a combination of 85/15 ground beef plus ground pork. The pork adds great flavor and helps retain moisture.
- I use a 1 5/8″ cookie scoop to form the meatballs and finish rolling them in my hands. This creates a good-sized meatball that holds up well in the oven. The first time I made Meatball Mozzarella Skillet Bake I used a smaller meatball and all ground beef, and they got a little overcooked for my liking.
- Season the meatballs well with Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, minced onion, salt & pepper, and fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. Italian Bread Crumbs and egg as the binder to keep the meatballs together. Worchestershire Sauce is another key ingredient. I don’t know exactly what’s in it, but I do know it adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the meatballs.
I do not pre-cook the meatballs for Meatball Mozzarella Skillet Bake. To me, that results in a more tender and juicy meatball.
MEATBALL MOZZARELLA SKILLET BAKE IN 5 EASY STEPS
I use a cast iron skillet for Meatball Mozzarella Skillet Bake but you could also use a baking dish.
- Layer the skillet with half of the marinara sauce
- Place meatballs in skillet, and top with remaining marinara sauce
- Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
- Top with shredded cheese, and return to oven for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly
The cheese is the only indulgent part of this dish, so make it count! I use part-skim mozzarella, but you could use whole milk or even buffalo mozzarella for a more luxurious finish. I use 4 ounces of mozzarella for 12 meatballs but if you’re feeling it, add more. The amount is up to you.
SERVING OPTIONS FOR MEATBALL MOZZARELLA SKILLET BAKE
When it’s just me I’ll eat them straight out of the skillet…with no shame. I’ll also serve them with a nice green salad, with a hearty green vegetable, over pasta, or as meatball subs or sliders. The options are endless.
The serving size depends on how hungry you are, and whether you serve them alone or with a side. When I made these for pictures the other day I fit 12 meatballs in the 8″ cast iron skillet. I ate half of them myself and then took the rest for April. She loved them, so it worked out perfectly for both of us.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
MEATBALL MOZZARELLA SKILLET BAKE
- 12 meatballs (ingredients below)
- 16 ounces marinara sauce
- 4 ounces Mozzarella, shredded
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, for garnish
MEATBALLS (MAKES 20-24 TOTAL MEATBALLS)
- In a medium bowl, combine Italian seasoning, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper and onion, and mix well.
- Crumble ground beef and ground pork into a large bowl. Sprinkle seasoning mixture over meat mixture.
- Whisk egg and Worchestershire sauce together, and add to meat mixture. Use your hands and mix together until just combined.
- Add bread crumbs and continue to mix with your hands until just combined. You don't want to overmix, just get it to the point where the mixture isn't sticky
- Use a cookie scoop to form equal-sized meatballs. I use a 1 5/8" scoop. Release scoop into your hands, and roll balls between your palms to shape.
MEATBALL MOZZARELLA SKILLET BAKE
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Add half of the Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce in a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Top with meatballs. It's okay if the meatballs touch because they will reduce a little as they cook. Cover with remaining marinara
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and evenly spread with mozzarella cheese. Return skillet to top rack of oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is bubbly
- Remove from oven, garnish with parsley, and serve
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