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Food & Recipes

How To Make Party-Perfect Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs for the Super Bowl (Plus 2 Recipes)

There's a cheesy surprise in the center.


A Super Bowl Sunday party is never complete without appetizers and dips to snack on during the game. Chicken wings, chili, and queso are guaranteed crowd pleasers — but have you ever considered adding stuffed meatballs to your menu? This satisfying, cheese-filled snack has a gooey center and a sharp taste, and it can be served on a toothpick (with tomato sauce dip) or in a bun as a slider. Here are tips for making incredibly moist stuffed meatballs, along with two recipes to whip up for this Sunday’s game.

How To Make the Juiciest Stuffed Meatballs

What’s better than tender and delicious stuffed meatballs? Here are three tips from that will prevent yours from drying out while cooking:

  • Use a variety of ground meats. A blend of ground cuts like beef, pork, and veal provide meatballs with enough fat and protein to stay moist while baking. This ground meat trio is usually sold as “meatball” or “meatloaf mix” at the store. More meat equals more flavor!
  • Keep all of the ingredients chilled. Don’t allow the meat or other ingredients to come to room temperature before mixing. This causes the fat in the meat to melt prematurely, which results in tough meatballs. Keep the ingredients in the fridge until you’re ready to start cooking.
  • Don’t overwork the meat mixture. Another method that results in dry meatballs is overmixing the ground meat. Instead, gently combine the ingredients in a large bowl. This will help the meatballs retain their light texture during baking.

Additionally, stuffing your meatballs with a low-moisture cheese — cheddar and gouda work well — makes it less likely that the cheese oozes out of the center. Follow these easy tips, and you’ll become a meatball master just in time for game day.

Recipes for Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Tony Sudak, professional chef and butcher for Walden Local Meat, has shared two of his recipes — for cheese-stuffed meatballs and meatball sliders — with FIRST for Women. If you’re feeding more than five people, consider double or tripling the ingredient measurements for each recipe. This yields plenty of stuffed meatballs to serve, and — if you’re lucky — leftovers to enjoy the next day.

Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs


  • 2 pounds ground meatball mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons  onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  •  ½ teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • ½ to ¾ pound of cheese (cheddar or gouda), cut into small chunks


  • Prep: 20 to 25 mins
  • Cook: 20 to 25 mins
  • Total time: 50 mins
  • Yield: approx. 10 to 12 golf ball-sized meatballs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients, except cheese. Hand mix until homogeneous mixture forms. To check that meatballs are ready for cooking, place small amount of mixture in your palm and flatten it. Flip your hand upside down. If mixture sticks in your hand, it’s ready to cook.
  2. Scoop small amount meatball mix and flatten into palm. Put small piece of cheese in middle of meat and gently close meat around cheese, sealing it shut. 
  3. Place completed meatball on greased cookie sheet, seal side down. Repeat until all meatballs are formed, or until you run out of cheese. (If you run out of cheese before finishing meatballs, make rest without cheese.)
  4. Bake meatballs 20 to 25 minutes. Once cooked, let cool 5 minutes. Pierce cooled meatballs with toothpicks and serve on platter with tomato sauce.

Stuffed Meatball Sliders With Basil Aioli


  • See meatball recipe above
  • Slider buns (enough to fill one meatball in each bun)

For Basil Aioli:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 2 big bunches fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  • Prep: 29 mins
  • Cook: 20 to 25 mins (for meatballs)
  • Total time: 54 mins
  • Yield: approx. 10 to 12 sliders
  1. Follow recipe for cheese-stuffed meatballs and while cooking in oven, make basil aioli. 
  2. Add basil to food processor with lemon juice and touch of olive oil. Pulse until basil is macerated, but not destroyed. Then, add mayo and pulse to combine, until homogeneous.
  3. Toast rolls until golden brown. To make each slider: Spread layer of basil aioli on both halves of bread, add one meatball, sprinkle parmesan cheese, and cover with top bun. Enjoy.

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