Food

Bocconcini stuffed meatballs with veggie tomato sauce

For a while now, I’ve had a tub of mini bocconcinis sitting in my fridge…and I figured it was time to put them to use!

Inside meatballs.

I adapted my regular meatballs recipe to include a cheesy filling, while also creating a more veggie-packed sauce (in an attempt to sneak more vegetables into my hubby’s diet haha!)

Starting with the meatballs… aside from the standard mince + breadcrumbs + egg combo, I also include Dijon mustard, chopped onion, minced garlic, dried parsley, dried oregano, onion powder, garlic powder and a dash of chilli flakes.

Mix all the ingredients together, then weigh out about ~30g of the meatball mixture. Into this portion, press a cherry bocconcini in the middle, then mould the meat around it to create a meatball with a sneaky cheese centre!

You want your meatballs to be the same size so they cook evenly, which is why I find it easiest to weigh out the portions as I go. Approximately 30 gram pre-cheese portions should give you a total of 12 meatballs.

Leave the raw meatballs in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to help them set.

Afterwards, you want to sear the meatballs to give them some colour and to get the cooking started. I found it easiest to cook them in batches of 4, keeping them moving around the pan to get an even browning going.

Set the seared meatballs aside on plate and let them rest while you get going with the veggie tomato sauce.

For the sauce, first add the grated carrot and zucchini to a hot pan, followed by the 2 cans of diced tomatoes and more herbs, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer.

Then add the meatballs!

I can literally see the steam in the photo below. Just imagine the mouthwatering fragrances coming from the pan… *drools*

Cover with a lid, and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes.

In the last couple of minutes, stir in some freshly chopped parsley. Remove from the heat, leave to rest for about 5 minutes, then serve!

These. Are. Delicious.

I opted to eat the meatballs over a bed of fluffy jasmine rice, but they would’ve gone well over any type of pasta or even zoodles!

Look at that cheese! Yuuuuum!

They’re little pockets of delight.

Seriously.

These bocconcini stuffed meatballs are chunky and packed with flavour – I was full after 3 of them.

They were a hit with hubby too, so they’ll definitely be staying on the menu!

Print Recipe
Bocconcini stuffed meatballs in a veggie tomato sauce
Chunky meatballs packed with flavour, with a cheesy surprise at their centres! Perfectly paired with a rich, tomato sauce with sneaky veggies, this is a healthy and delicious dinner recipe.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Bocconcini stuffed meatballs
  • 12 cherry bocconcinis
  • 500 grams beef mince
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 large brown onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
Veggie tomato sauce
  • 2 400g diced tomato cans
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 zucchini (grated)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh parlsey (roughly chopped)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Bocconcini stuffed meatballs
  • 12 cherry bocconcinis
  • 500 grams beef mince
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 large brown onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
Veggie tomato sauce
  • 2 400g diced tomato cans
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 zucchini (grated)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh parlsey (roughly chopped)
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients except for the bocconcini. Knead until well combined.
  2. Weigh out a 30g portion of the mixture, press a bocconcini into its centre and mould the meat around it to enclose the cheese. Roll into a ball shape. Set aside on a plate and repeat until there's no more meatball mixture left.
  3. Leave the raw meatballs in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to help them set.
  4. Add some oil to a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Sear the meatballs (4 at a time), turning for about 3 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate, and repeat with the remaining meatballs.
  5. Drain the fat and oil from the pan, then return it to the stove. Add the grated carrot and zucchini, the diced tomatoes and the spices, mix well and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the meatballs to the sauce, stirring to make sure they're well coated.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. In the last couple of minutes, stir in some freshly chopped parsley.
  8. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for about 5 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle some of the chopped parsley for garnish. Serve with pasta, zoodles, steamed veggies or rice and enjoy!
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Isabelle xx

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