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Some of my favorite meals are made in one pot. I mean, who doesn’t love having less dishes to deal with at the end of the day? And, when that one pot meal includes the three M’s: marinara, meatballs, and mozzarella then you have a real winner on you hands! Plus, the meatballs are low carb. I’m calling this recipe One Pot Marinara Meatballs dinner.
These rich, robust meals and soups are my go-to dinners during the fall and winter. There’s something comforting about having a tasty, hot meal at the end of a cold day.
In my house, we have marinara-based meals at least four times a month. I just love a rich tomato dish, whether it’s fire-roasted tomato soup, spaghetti, or baked rigatoni.
This one pot meal has the best of everything: beefy meatballs in a rich marinara sauce.
Ingredients for Easy Meatballs
- ground pork (or ground beef, turkey, chicken)
- ground beef
- bread crumbs
- parsley (optional)
- romano cheese (or parmesan)
- milk (or water)
- ground black pepper
- Pesto sauce
- marinara sauce
A serving of this meatball dinner has only 10 net carbs. You can substitute the bread crumbs for a low carb or keto substitute.
I’ve used pork panko successfully to make these meatballs more low carb or keto friendly.
For restaurant-style meatballs using ground chicken, check out this chicken marsala meatballs recipe.
How to Make Marinara Meatballs
Assembling the Meatballs
Add the ground meats, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper to a large bowl.
Slowly add the milk, over the breadcrumbs. Mix well with a potato masher or your hands.
Using a melon baller or large spoon, measure out the mixture and roll into balls.
They should be about the size of a golf ball. If not, adjust the amount you’re scooping out.
Browning the Meatballs
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or cast iron pot, and brown the meatballs in batches.
Add marinara sauce and heat until sauce has heated, then place the mozzarella cheese between the meatballs.
Once the cheese is partially melted, add the skillet/pot to the oven to broil for about 5 minutes, or until lightly bubbling on top.
Broiling is optional
If you want a nicely browned top, broil these in the oven for a few minutes.
Before serving, sprinkle ribboned basil on top, and you have your delicious, easy one pot meatball dinner!
Serve with a green salad and some garlic bread to round out your easy meatball dinner.
Frequently asked Questions
Yes, follow the directions through step 4. Then, either freeze or refrigerate the casserole. To prepare, follow steps 5 and bake for 20-25 minutes as 350º or until the meatballs register an internal temperature of 165º.
You can! I often double the meatball mixture and freeze half. Flash freeze them on a tray or paper plate, then place them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Then you have a once and eat twice dinner. That’s a real win-win for you busy moms and dads.
No problem. Use parmesan cheese as a substitute.
No, regular mozzarella (the kind you use on pizza) is fine. If it’s grated, sprinkle it over the top. If it’s solid, then just cut it into 1″ cubes and follow the directions for fresh mozzarella.
Get the Easy Marinara Meatball Recipe Below
One Pot Marinara Meatballs
- 1/2 pound ground pork (can sub ground beef, turkey, chicken)
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 1/3 cup grated romano cheese (can sub parmesan)
- 1/4 cup milk (any type of milk or water)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup Pesto sauce
- 1 jar (28 oz.) marinara sauce
- 1 lb fresh, sliced mozzarella
- In a large bowl, add ground meat, dry bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, garlic, egg, salt and pepper. Slowly add milk (or water). Combine the ingredients with your hands until everything is mixed through.
- Use a melon baller or large spoon to scoop out the mixture, and use your hands to roll it into golf-sized meatballs. If needed, place them on a tray and put them in the fridge (and proceed to heating the oil below).
- In a large skillet, add the olive oil, and heat over medium high heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. This step might take 2 rounds. Cook the meatball on each side for a total of about 6 minutes. Remove the meatballs and repeat the process, if needed.
- Drain the excess olive oil from the pan and place back over the flame. Add the marinara sauce and pesto sauce, and then return the meatballs to the sauce. Continue to cook the meatballs for about 15 minutes until they are completely cooked, no pink in the center, and the marinara sauce is warmed.
- Turn down heat to simmer/low, add the mozzarella cheese between the meatballs and allow to melt partially (3-5 minutes).
- Optional: Allow broiler to preheat (to 400 degrees). Place pan under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until lightly bubbling on top.
Round out the easy meatball dinner with a beautiful salad or pasta.