Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs and Gravy

Look at the mozzarella peeking out of that savory roasted meatball! This dish will blow you away. The seasoned meatballs are browned to perfection, the cheesy middle is soft and gooey (and a delightful surprise), and that gravy... it's satiny and beyond delicious! Pantry-staple friendly and ready in less than 30 minutes!

This is such a fun dinner! And it's not just for the kiddos - teens, tweens, adults, and seniors all LOVE that cheesy surprise! And the cool thing is, you can use any cheese you have on hand. I actually cut up 2 mozzarella cheese sticks (to get 16 little pieces)! You can also use cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack, American, Swiss, provolone, blue cheese, and feta. And if there's a favorite of yours that I'm overlooking, you can use that too!
I also love that the meatballs roast while you make the gravy. Roasting meatballs is my favorite way to cook them - they get perfectly browned on all sides without splattering up my cooktop. And, while they cook, I can tend to other elements of the meal. Multitasking baby.

I served my meatballs and gravy with mashed potatoes, so we could soak up every drop of that sumptuous sauce. You can also serve everything over pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa, or alongside a nice loaf of artisan bread. You'll want something to mop of the gravy... just know that.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs and Gravy 

For the meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon onion powder, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
Salt and ground black pepper
16 small pieces mozzarella cheese (I cut up 2 cheese sticks)
For the gravy: 
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Chopped green onions for serving, optional
Chopped fresh parsley for serving, optional

To make the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. In a large bowl, combine the beef, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, 1/2 teaspoon of the onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well and shape the mixture into 16 meatballs. Press one piece of mozzarella into center of each meatball and shape the beef mixture around the cheese (to conceal it). Transfer the meatballs to the prepared pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned and cooked through.
Meanwhile, to make the gravy, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter is bubbly, whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add the meatballs to the simmering gravy and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through (the meatballs can simmer in the sauce for up to 20 minutes while you grab everything else you need for dinner). Season the gravy with salt and pepper. Top with green onions and parsley and serve.
Serves 4