Cheese-stuffed pizza meatballs smothered and cooked in a pepperoni pizza sauce.
Pepperoni Pizza Meatballs
Italian food is a true comfort food in our family. It never fails that after one of us in the family is sick, a pasta dish smothered in a meaty sauce is usually first on the “to eat” list. Sound strange? Well..we’re a strange family. 🙂 Two of my favorite Italian foods are homemade Italian meatballs and pizza. And if I can combine the two? I figure I’m golden.
And guess what? These Pepperoni Pizza Meatballs combine two of my favorite things.
Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
At first glance, these pizza meatballs look like normal, every day meatballs. But…as soon as you cut inside one you’ll see that wonderful melted mozzarella peeking out. Combine that cheese with some sliced pepperoni in the homemade pizza sauce and I’m pretty sure you’re going to decide this is one of your new favorite meals.
How to Cook Meatballs
For this specific recipe, we browned the meatballs in the olive oil and they browned so easily and nicely. Then we added two tablespoons of the olive oil to our pizza sauce to enhance the flavor. The kids gobbled the pizza meatballs and asked for more. You know that is the sign of a good recipe!
Cheese-stuffed meatballs smothered and cooked in a pepperoni pizza sauce.
- 1 pound lean ground sirloin
- 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounce block of mozzarella cheese cut into 12 bite-size cubes
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 28 oz can tomato puree
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
- In a bowl, combine the ground sirloin, bread crumbs, milk, onion powder, garlic salt and pepper. Mix well. Separate the mixture into 12 large meatballs. For each meatball, slightly flatten the meat in the palm of your hand. Place 1 cube of cheese in the center of the flattened meatball and then form the meat around the cheese cube. Make sure the cheese is completely covered with the meat mixture.
- Place the flour in a small bowl. Roll each meatball in the flour to lightly coat the outside. Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown them on all sides.
- While the meatballs are browning, combine all of the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a bowl and stir to mix in the spices.
- If there is excess fat in the pan after the meatballs have browned, drain the fat. (We used lean meat and didn't have any fat in the bottom of the pan.) Add the pizza sauce to the meatballs and heat it until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan. Simmer the meatballs for 20-25 minutes. The time depends on how brown they got initially and how big the meatballs are, so be sure to check inside the meatballs to check if they are browned through.
- Serve over rice, pasta or on a hoagie bun.
This recipe can easily be doubled. This is a good crockpot meal, too. After the meatballs are cooked, place them in a slow cooker and cover them with sauce. Set the temperature to low.