Beef/ Popular/ Quick and Easy

Cheesy Meatball Skillet

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!

Okay. I know there’s been a huge influx of cheese-related food here lately. And I’m gonna be just as guilty about it this week. So bear with me a little while more? And for those that just can’t get enough of cheese, hooray! More cheese infused food!

Now I’ve made some meatballs way, way, way back before this blog was well known. I called them Parmesan meatballs. The problem was, whenever I made them, I always made an army of meatballs to justify the whole process. I mass produced meatballs. Oh say, about 55 or so every time I made a batch?

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!

And while an army of meatballs sounds like days of delicious meals, not everyone wants so 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.

All done in one skillet, your meatball heaven awaits you. Taking cues from my Parmesan meatballs, these have dried 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!

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, you can make them the size I suggested or go bigger, but you will have less meatballs to go around. I used an ice cream scoop to get them sized. They’re about the size of golf balls. I ended up with 16 meatballs. That’s about 4 meatballs per person. Then it’s pan-frying them in the skillet until they are well browned.

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 oil to brown your meatballs.

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!

When you’re rolling your meatballs around to brown, do it gently! The same goes for when you’re reintroducing them back into the skillet and marinara sauce. Easy does it!

Remove any excess oil before you add in the marinara sauce. And for the marinara sauce there are also options. Go for a recipe that’s already a staple if you have one. Stick with a jarred one if that makes you happy. Or dress it up with some 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 recipe as a general guideline on what to toss in there. I really should update that picture.

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!

Add the meatballs one at a time and roll them around in the sauce to get them fully coated as you add them back to the skillet. Then simmer for a little to marry the flavors. You’ll want to reduce the heat around this stage because anything tomato sauce related means a huge mess. Reducing it to a gentle simmer helps keep it contained. Wear an apron!

Once it’s done simmering, top with some mozzarella cheese. Add some Parmesan cheese too for good measure if you want. Now I don’t have any covers for my cast iron skillets so instead of covering it and melting the cheese that way, I’ll be broiling it for a few quick minutes to melt that layer of cheese. If you have a cover, go for it. If you want a nice browned cheesy layer, broil 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!

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

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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!

Cheesy Meatball Skillet


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4

Ingredients

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

Meatballs:

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

Instructions

  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, roll it in your hands to make meatballs. I used an ice cream scoop
  3. Over medium high heat, 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 internal temperature of meatballs are 165 degrees F
  7. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cover and simmer until cheese melts or broil at 450 degrees F for 3-5 minutes for browned cheese
  8. Dish and serve hot sprinkled with chopped fresh basil

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 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!

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Y2
    March 5, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    Hi Farah

    Amazing blog with inviting photos and smart looking recipes. Well done.
    I can see where you got your talent 🙂
    I am a colleague of your sweet mom and she has amazing palate

    Keep on writing !

    Best

    Yusuf

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 6, 2015 at 1:31 PM

      Thanks so much! That means a lot coming from an executive chef! 🙂

  • Reply
    Dorothy Dunton
    March 5, 2015 at 3:47 PM

    Farah! Just pass me the skillet! And a large spoon! These are coming to my kitchen soon and won’t be there long!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 6, 2015 at 1:33 PM

      Coming right up! <3

  • Reply
    Thao @ In Good Flavor
    March 7, 2015 at 11:28 PM

    Your photos are stunning! The meatballs are to die for…and all that gooey cheese…YUM!!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 11, 2015 at 2:20 PM

      Gooey cheese is the best! Thanks, Thao!

  • Reply
    april
    March 8, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    Omg! This looks so good! Your pics looks totally amazing. Gosh, I gotta try this out. Yum!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 11, 2015 at 2:21 PM

      I may or may have not overdone the cheese string shots but they are so much fun to look at! Thanks, April!

  • Reply
    Andrea @ Deglazing Delicious
    March 8, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    This looks INSANELY delicious. I think meatballs are my second favorite food behind cheese so basically you made this just for me 😉
    I will be trying this!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 11, 2015 at 2:22 PM

      Grinning! I totally made this one just for you 😉

  • Reply
    Chi Chi
    June 10, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    Hello-

    So it looks like the only chance the meatballs get to cook is when you brown them and when the cheese melts. Is this really enough time to cook them thoroughly? I fail at meatballs all the time–they are either too dry or not cooked enough.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 10, 2015 at 8:18 PM

      Heya! Don’t forget the simmering it does in the marinara sauce in between the stages you mentioned! I’ll update the directions a little so it’s not too ambiguous during the browning part, that should take about at least 5 minutes.

      A good way to check if the meatballs are cooked is to use a meat thermometer. It should read about 165 degrees F. Hope this helps you on your meatball journey!

      • Reply
        Chi Chi
        June 11, 2015 at 2:33 PM

        Great, thank you!

  • Reply
    Joyce
    June 28, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    love your website and recipe. Doo not like ads that load and take you from recipe to the ad. very distracting and not needed.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 29, 2015 at 10:53 PM

      Thank you, Joyce! I’m sorry about the ad that did that, I try to filter those kinds of ads out because I personally find that kind of advertising annoying but sometimes it slips through the filter.

  • Reply
    Korrie Dempsey
    August 8, 2015 at 8:19 PM

    I made your Cheesy Meatball Skillet for lunch today – awesome. It was hard to do; but, I save a little to have for dinner tomorrow. I ended up having it tonight on a toasted wheat hoagie bun. YUM! Now I am off to subscribe to your emails. Thanks a bunch.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      August 9, 2015 at 2:10 PM

      Happy you liked it, Korrie! I love making meatball subs with these kind of meatballs myself. It’s very comforting 🙂

  • Reply
    Megan
    October 14, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    I cannot wait to try these! I’m doing the whole low carb thing.. so I will be swapping the breadcrumbs for ground porkrinds and serving spegetti squash on the side but these seem amazing can’t wait!!!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 15, 2015 at 8:58 PM

      Hey thanks, Megan! Hope you love it and good luck with your new low-carb diet!

  • Reply
    Stacy
    October 21, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    Hi! I just wanted let you know I made this recipe last night for dinner and it was very tasty and great for a weeknight meal (not too laborious) with some roasted broccoli. I subbed panko for the breadcrumbs to cut carbs, though I accidentally threw the basil in with the meatballs (it actually worked out!).

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve shared it on my Facebook. 🙂

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 23, 2015 at 10:15 AM

      Yum, basil meatballs. That’ll work too! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the love and letting me know how it worked out for you, Stacy!

  • Reply
    Jacqueline
    November 18, 2015 at 8:23 PM

    These meatballs are to die for !! this is my go to recipe ! Thank you so much for sharing, they are a favorite in my family and I recommend them to everyone !!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 30, 2015 at 2:31 PM

      Love hearing that, Jacqueline! These are my staple meatballs in the house. Just love the Parmesan in them! Thanks for spreading the word 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    January 31, 2016 at 1:29 AM

    What kind of marinara sauce did you use? Store bought, or home made?

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      February 1, 2016 at 1:55 PM

      I use Bertolli’s tomato and basil sauce as a base and build off that with this recipe. I sub the tomato puree/sauce in that recipe with the tomato and basil sauce and toss in the rest of the ingredients for a homemade marinara sauce. I just like the flavor better than the stuff straight out the jar. But if you don’t mind it and want to save time, you can just use the basic jarred stuff!

  • Reply
    Taylor
    April 6, 2016 at 4:51 PM

    Really looking forward to trying these tonight! I wanted a made-from-scratch meatball recipe that wasn’t too laborious (or too hard for a young husband who’s still figuring out to cook), and this looks like just the thing!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      April 13, 2016 at 4:25 PM

      I hope it worked out well for you, Taylor! These are my favorite meatballs, the Parmesan and Worcestershire sauce just makes it so good. Also hope the instructions were easy to follow for someone new to cooking!

  • Reply
    Marisa
    August 25, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    Can you cook the meatballs in the oven

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      August 25, 2018 at 3:11 PM

      Sure you can. Try 425 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.

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