Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash Marinara

/// November 16th, 2012

I moved to New York City almost 4 years ago. With an estimated population of 8,244,910 – I’ve learned a trick or two when it comes to dealing with people. More specifically, people I live with.

See, In the 4 years I’ve resided here, I’ve lived in 3 different apartments, had 10 different roommates, 2 “adopted kittens”, and only one living situation that ended poorly – and that wasn’t my fault; he was a total psycho. 

I should get some sort of super roommate award.

Did I mention that 9 of those 10 roommates were males…?  Living with dudes is a completely different ballgame than living with a lady – married women, mothers – I know you hear me (why can’t they just put the toilet seat down?!). And while living with boys can be tricky, you’d be surprised how quickly they change their tune towards things like cleaning charts and recycling duty when you place a giant plate of meatballs in front of them.

It’s like magic. Or maybe it’s science…? Boys + meat = happy little helpers.

Now when I say meatballs, I’m not just talking about any old ball of meat. No, no.

These babies are stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese, onion, garlic, and so much more!

Currently I’m obsessed with serving these gorgeous balls of meat and cheese over fresh spaghetti squash, which is in season here and a great alternative to the beloved noodle. A quick 15 minute marinara (red sauce) marries the meatballs and squash together – get ready for some ultimate comfort food.

I’ll be serving this to E before I hand him my Christmas list next week – hope Santa’s going to be good to me this year!

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Serves 3-4 (or two if you eat like E and I do!)

For the Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs -

1 pound ground beef (grass fed if you can get your hands on it!)

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon all seasons salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

a few shakes of tabasco

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 egg, beaten

1/2 grated parmesan cheese

8 fresh mini mozzarella balls (most grocery stores sell them in the dairy/deli section)

Preheat oven to 35o degrees (F). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil, set aside.

Place beef, egg, onion, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan, parsley, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, Worcestershire, tabasco, salt, pepper and all season salt into a large mixing bowl, stirring until just combined.  Take about a 1/4 cup of the beef mixture, make into a round ball, and then press your thumb deep in the middle, making room for the mozzarella ball, then place cheese in the middle and with hands pat the meatballs shut, making sure the cheese is completely covered. Place meatballs onto prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Once cooked all the way through, toss in marinara sauce and serve over spaghetti squash, or with your favorite noodle/ sauce combination.

* These make awesome meatballs sandwiches!

For the Spaghetti Squash

2 pound spaghetti squash

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

With a very shape knife, pierce spaghetti squash all over (about 8-10 times), then place on a plate and microwave for 11-12 minutes. Very carefully (the squash will be very, very hot, and possibly oozing juices – wear oven mitts!) remove the squash from microwave and slice in half. With a fork, scrape squash out, and quickly saute it with the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Cover it lightly with marinara sauce, or whatever sauce you want, and top with meatballs.

For the 15 Minute Marinara – 

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 – 6 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup yellow onion, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional

1 32 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, onion, and crushed red pepper. Saute for about 2-3 minutes, then add your crushed tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 7 – 10 minutes.

27 thoughts on “Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash Marinara

  1. Katie @ Blonde Ambition

    I lived with 4 guys and 1 girl my senior year of college…It was so great. Nothing like being able to just tell someone to pick their sh*t up, instead of thinking of the nicest way to ask them kindly without hurting their female feelings ;)

    These meatballs look OVER THE TOP delicious.

  2. Nicole @ Lapetitebaker

    I have lived with my boyfriend for 3 years now and the first month was a real adjustment. Eventually though, I learned to bribe him with food when I wanted something done. These meatballs would be perfect for hanging up curtain rods or doing the dishes. No man can resist the power of cheese and meat.

  3. amy @ fearless homemaker

    A few notes: 1) I love that we both had mozzarella-related recipes on our blogs today. That means we’re on the same rad wavelength. 2) Holy moly, these look amazing! 3) Now I want meatballs + pasta/or/spaghetti squash for dinner. 4) You definitely win the super roommate award!

  4. Julie @ Table for Two

    I love that these are stuffed with mozzarella. Seriously, that’s the best cheese to stuff a meatball with. It just makes it so perfect and oozy cheesy! So smart and healthy to use spaghetti squash instead of regular carbo pasta. I hate roommates, they’re always so awkward and turn out to be psycho and a friendship is ruined haha

  5. Liz

    Everyone needs a psycho roommate at least once…makes for a good story ;) I’m loving this dish…from the cheesy meatballs to the spaghetti squash…it’s all so tempting and delicious!!!

  6. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    SO FUNNY! I’ve lived in NY for 4 years too! I have awful roommate luck though, but only with girls. All of my boy roommates have been fine (a bit messy, but not the huge drama filled awfulness I had with the girls–and my boyfriend, my current roommate, is actually extremely neat so *phew*) I agree about men and food. It’s very true. And I want like 12 of these meatballs because OMG

  7. Deb

    Those are some stellar meatballs! I can’t imagine who wouldn’t like them! A delightfully comforting dinner for a dark fall evening!

  8. sally @ sallys baking addiction

    ok. i have GOT to make these for Kevin. He would go nuts if these cheesy meatballs were on the table for dinner one night. I don’t eat much beef, so i think they’d be just as tasty with ground turkey as well. ok. I’m now STARVING for some! Oh and i’m obsessed with spaghetti squash. :) :)

  9. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    We’re going to eat dim sum for lunch in 5 minutes… I’ve been eating Chinese food (and some Japanese food) all this week, and I really crave for comfort food like this. Well, maybe too hot to eat at 80F weather, but can’t wait to cook this once I get back… looks yummy Ashley!


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