Cheesy Skillet Meatballs with Garlic Toast

Meatballs smothered in cheese

Cheesy Skillet Meatballs with Garlic Toast ~ this easy hot appetizer or light dinner with tender meatballs baked up in an ooey gooey cheese sauce comes with crisp slices of garlic bread for scooping ~ yum!

Cheesy Skillet Meatball appetizer

Everyone has their own definition of comfort food, it’s such a personal thing. For me it’s food that helps erase the stresses of the day, temporarily stops all conversation, and envelopes me in a cozy embrace.

It’s often cheesy, usually warm, and always satisfying. True comfort food shouldn’t stir up  guilt or regret. It’s food that inspires what my husband calls my ‘dinner dance’, an embarrassing little jig I do when an especially tempting meal is coming together 🙂  These cheesy skillet meatballs with garlic toast pretty much tick all the boxes for me.

Meatballs topped with cheese

Meatballs of all kinds are on my top ten list of favorite foods. I’m super happy with these because they came out so soft and pillowy — just perfect for scooping up with a crisp piece of garlic toast.

Meatballs in tomato sauce topped with cheese

I don’t usually follow a recipe with meatballs, I improvise off a basic formula of 1/2 cup bread crumbs and 1 egg to every pound of ground meat. Finely chopped onions are almost always included. I vary the flavorings widely, including some herbs and spices and some kind of sauce. Sometimes I’ll use ketchup, steak sauce or barbecue sauce. Depending on the flavor profile I might use soy sauce, jam, or even milk. These meatballs came out especially soft, which works well for scooping and eating dip-style.

TIP: If you want that classic ‘cheese pull’ (see photo above) be sure to use mozzarella cheese, and don’t skimp!

Skillet meatballs nestled in a rich tomato sauce

If you like you can make the meatballs ahead of time. You can freeze them, too, so you can whip this up on a moment’s notice. Put the raw meatballs on a tray in a single layer in the freezer and freeze until frozen solid. Then put them in a sturdy zip lock freezer bag and label them with a date. Use within the year.

Skillet Meatballs with Mozzarella cheese

Tender meatballs baked up in tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella

A cast iron skillet is perfect for this rustic cheesy meatball dish ~ every kitchen should have one, they’re inexpensive and wear like…iron!

Cheesy Skillet Meatball appetizer
3.22 from 41 votes

Cheesy Skillet Meatballs with Garlic Toast

Author Sue Moran


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • a small red onion finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 heaping Tbsp ketchup I used my favorite Jalapeno Ketchup
  • 1 heaping Tbsp A1 sauce
  • 16 oz jar of your favorite marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese a little more if you like things really cheesy

garlic toasts

  • 1 baguette
  • olive oil for brushing
  • several garlic cloves sliced lengthwise (don't peel)


  • Set the oven to 350F
  • Crack the egg into a large mixing bowl and beat well with a fork. Add the meat, breaking it apart as you add it to the bowl Add in the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the tomato sauce and the mozzarella cheese. Mix to combine everything well, using your fingertips. Don't compact the meat, and don't over mix it, you want these meatballs to be fluffy and light.
  • Scoop out the meat into approximately 22 balls and roll the balls round with your hands. I used my 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop.
  • Set the meatballs on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes.
  • After you put the meatballs in the oven, pour the sauce into a 10 inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven along with the meatballs for the last 10 minutes of cooking, to heat up the sauce.
  • Remove both pans from the oven and transfer the meatballs to the skillet, nestling them into the sauce. Return the skillet to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, If you made your meatballs smaller or larger, the cooking time may vary.
  • Remove the skillet again and top with the cheese. Return to the oven to melt the cheese. Set under the broiler if you want it to brown, but watch carefully.
  • Serve immediately with garlic toasts.
  • To make the toasts, thinly slice a baguette and brush one side with olive oil. Set the toasts oil side down on a very hot grill pan for a few minutes until toasted. Rub the cut side of garlic along the toasted surface of the hot bread.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own~

  • Make these skillet meatballs even easier by using little balls of sausage instead of the meatballs, just buy the bulk package of country sausage, and roll small balls, then cook as above. These will cook quickly, so watch them.
  • You can mix in different kinds of cheese along with the mozzarella, such as sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or pepper jack!
  • Arrange this in small size skillets before baking for individual servings.


Don’t forget to pin these Cheesy Skillet Meatballs with Garlic Toast!

Cheesy Skillet Meatballs with Garlic Toast ~ this easy appetizer or light dinner with tender meatballs baked up in an ooey gooey cheese sauce comes with crisp slices of garlic bread for scooping ~ yum! #meatballs #appetizer #groundbeef #hotappetizer #dip #cheesedip #dinner #comfortfood #bestmeatballs #hotdip #homemade #groundbeef



more meatball inspiration~

Moroccan Lemon and Cardamom Meatballs 3

Moroccan Lemon and Cardamom Meatballs


Bourbon Cocktail Meatballs

Bourbon Cocktail Meatballs


spaghetti with giant meatball

Spaghetti with Giant Meatballs



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Judy Noorda
    October 6, 2016 at 11:37 am

    i noticed Amanda was using pre made meatballs, Have you ever tried that? If so, would you change the recipe in any way?

  • Reply
    July 8, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    How far in advance can I make this? I’m thinking of baking the meatballs and then finishing the next day with the baking in sauce step……looks amazing!! I can’t wait to make it for guests!

    • Reply
      July 8, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      You can make the meatballs in advance, for sure. I’d say up to a couple of days ahead, as long as you keep them well wrapped in the refrigerator so they don’t dry out.

      • Reply
        July 9, 2016 at 6:04 am

        Thanks so much for the reply! Can’t wait to make them!!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I’m trying this tonight. unfortunately i couldn’t muster myself to make the meatballs. i bought the publix pre-made ones. and I’m gonna add in some ricotta cheese but I’m SO looking forward to the end result! they are in the oven now

    • Reply
      March 8, 2020 at 11:13 am

      Hi Amanda, how much ricotta cheese did you use? Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2015 at 8:40 am

    5 stars
    OMG!!!!! this….

    This will be made this weekend….
    This just might be as close as I ever get my husband to eating fondue

    • Reply
      October 26, 2015 at 9:38 am

      I think he’ll be happy, Armymum!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    1st. for the people that are getting pounded by the ads. I use the Opera browser with the GHOSTERY addon. It stops most of that foolishness and just lets the YUM through…

    2nd. Made this tonite and it is as Awesome as it appears. Made mine with 1 1/2lbs. and baked for 20 the 1st time and 15 the 2nd time. Turned out Great. Thanks for posting this addition the regular rotation..

    • Reply
      October 20, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks Thomas, I sure wish I had some right now 🙂

  • Reply
    Veronica @ Big Blue House
    October 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Oh my goodness, these look DELICIOUS!!! Meatballs drowning in cheese – count me in!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Wow, that looks amazing, my tummy is grumbling looking at your scrumptious pictures!!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Hi, I love you blog so much but maaaaan the ads are getting really annoying! It doesn’t actually work on my iPad now, let alone my phone… I just hope that a book is on the cards! You’d deserve it!

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    September 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    These are calling my name! So delicious and cheesy!

  • Reply
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps
    September 11, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Ummm whoa. Literally stopped in my tracks when I saw this!! Hello football season!

    • Reply
      September 11, 2015 at 9:12 am

      Thanks Nicole, I can vouch for it — bring on the games!

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