Beef/ Popular/ Quick and Easy

Cheesy Meatball Skillet

There are so many ways to enjoy this cheesy meatball skillet. Pop them in a sub, mix them up with some pasta, or soak up the sauce with some crusty bread!

This cheesy meatball skillet has so many ways to be enjoyed! Pop them in a sub or mix them with pasta, or have them with some bread!

This recipe takes cues from some meatballs I used to make in HUGE batches which I called Parmesan meatballs. The problem was, whenever I made them, I always made an army of meatballs to justify the whole process. In other words, I mass-produced meatballs. Oh, say about 55 or so every time I made a batch?

And while an army of meatballs sounds like days of delicious meals, not everyone wants to stand by the kitchen counter rolling 55 meatballs in their hands. So today I’m gonna break down the batch a little and make it more single family-sized, or couple sized. And instead of giving you plain meatballs that really don’t look great all naked and stuff, I’m dressing these up with marinara sauce and cheese.

This cheesy meatball skillet has so many ways to be enjoyed! Pop them in a sub or mix them with pasta, or have them with some bread!

This is all done in one skillet, your meatball heaven awaits you. Taking cues from my Parmesan meatballs, these have finely grated Parmesan packed tightly in them and it really makes a difference.

Now you can use these meatballs with some demi baguettes to make a sub or toss it with some freshly cooked pasta. Or just munch on them straight from the pan if that’s the way you roll. I leave the eating how…up to you. The important thing is to enjoy it!

This cheesy meatball skillet has so many ways to be enjoyed! Pop them in a sub or mix them with pasta, or have them with some bread!


Meatballs: If you don’t feel like making meatballs from scratch, you can shortcut your way to this dish with some frozen Italian meatballs. But for those that wanna make it from scratch (and it makes a HUGE difference), use an ice cream scoop to get them similarly sized. One pound of beef ended up giving me about 16 meatballs so that’s about 4 meatballs per person.

Parmesan cheese: I used grated Parmesan cheese to mix with the meatballs. It’s easier to distribute evenly in the meatball mixture compared to shredded Parmesan cheese.

Pan-frying: Get the pan and oil nice and hot before you start pan-frying so they don’t stick. I have a 10″ skillet so I did this in two batches. You’ll want some space for them to roll around so you can brown them on all sides. I used just enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet so they wouldn’t stick, about a tablespoon.

Depending on how lean your ground beef was, some fat will render and you’ll end up with more oil than you started with. Use this additional rendered fat to brown your meatballs. When you’re rolling your meatballs around to brown, do it gently! Using a spoon to move them around the skillet instead of tongs is the best way to maintain their shape while they firm up and brown.

Close up shot of a meatball being lifted up with a spoon with lots of cheese strings.

Marinara sauce: There are three options for your marinara sauce. You can go for a recipe that’s already a staple if you have one or stick with some jarred marinara sauce from the grocery store if that makes you happy. Or you can dress it up the jarred marinara sauce from the store with some basic seasonings.

I like to add some Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon cubes, red pepper flakes and balance out the sourness of the marinara with a teeny tiny bit of sugar. If that sounds right up your alley, you can use this sweet roasted red pepper marinara sauce as a general guideline on what to toss in there.

Simmering: Once you add the meatballs back into the pan, simmer for a little to marry the flavors. You’ll want to reduce the heat around this stage because tomato sauce on the stovetop over high heat will SPLATTER. Reducing it to a gentle simmer helps keep it contained. If you have one, wear an apron!

Cheese: Once it’s done simmering, top the meatballs with some mozzarella cheese. Add some Parmesan cheese too for good measure if you want. Then broiling it for a few quick minutes in the oven to melt that layer of cheese. It won’t take too long so keep your eye on it.

And that’s that! Break out your baguettes or drain off your pasta. It’s eating time!


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A cheesy meatball lifted from a cast iron skillet with lots of cheese strings.

Cheesy Meatball Skillet

  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4


There’s so many ways to enjoy this cheesy meatball skillet. Pop them in a sub, mix them up with some pasta, or soak up the sauce with some crusty bread!


Units Scale
  • 1 jar (24 oz.) marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  2. Scoop out about 1 golf ball-sized meatball mixture and roll it in your hands to make meatballs. I used an ice cream scoop.
  3. Over medium-high heat in an oven-proof skillet, brown the meatballs in batches until evenly browned, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Remove meatballs and drain on paper towels. Drain any excess oil from the skillet.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour the marinara sauce in the skillet.
  6. Add the meatballs back to the skillet and roll them around to coat them in the marinara sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the internal temperature of meatballs are 165°F.
  7. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cover and simmer until cheese melts or broil at 450°F for 3-5 minutes for browned cheese.
  8. Dish and serve hot sprinkled with chopped fresh basil.
  9. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins

♡ Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases from You can learn more about it here.


  • Reply
    August 3, 2021 at 12:22 PM

    Is the Parmesan cheese fresh or in the green jar?

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      August 3, 2021 at 1:49 PM

      You can use either, just make sure it’s finely grated so it can distribute evenly with the meat mixture.

  • Reply
    April 13, 2020 at 10:08 AM

    My hubby is all about “full meals”… what would you serve on the side with these for a veggie?

  • Reply
    September 17, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    This looks delicious but I’m curious what kinda of sides you would make with this? Or would you pair it with pasta? Thanks for the help!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      September 19, 2019 at 10:45 AM

      I would either pair it with some pasta or make a meatball sub with it. Hope this helps!

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