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low carb meatballs in skillet

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

MOZZARELLA STUFFED MEATBALLS have a melty, cheesy center and are nestled in my favorite low carb marinara sauce. Perfect for any night you’re craving Italian, but want to watch the carbs!

mozzarella stuffed meatballs on white plate

Low carb meatballs are a staple in our keto diet. We eat them often for a few reasons – they’re easy, they’re a crowd pleaser, and there are a million ways to change them up.

These mozzarella meatballs might be a new favorite version in my household.

The centers of these homemade meatballs are stuffed with a chunk of mozzarella cheese that gets all soft and melty in the oven. When you take a bite, that cheesy center is the BEST surprise you’ll have all day. πŸ˜‰

Best yet, baked meatballs are so easy and there’s way less mess.

baked meatball recipe in cast iron skillet

Keto meatballs:

There are a few options to use as a binder for keto meatballs.

I used to use almond flour regularly in my low carb meatballs, but I heard it through the grapevine that crushed pork rinds actually work better.

I was really hesitant, but now pork rinds are my FAVORITE meatball binder.

They add zero carbs and help hold the meatballs together without drying them out.

low carb meatballs in skillet

My family actually can’t tell the difference between low carb meatballs and traditional meatballs when I use pork rinds as a binder. True story.

How to:

To make the mozzarella meatballs, you’ll just add everything to a mixing bowl.

Ground beef, crushed pork rinds, egg, seasonings, and a little bit of heavy cream and water.

I use my hands to get in there and mix everything together, but you can use a spoon if you must. Just try not to overwork the meat too much or you’ll get a tough meatball. Nobody likes a tough meatball. πŸ˜‰

I form these into patties and stick a cube of mozzarella cheese in the center and then close the meat up around the cheese and make sure it’s all sealed in good.

mozzarella stuffed meatballs on plate

Bake these for about 15 minutes and then top with some marinara. Easy peasy.

Tools used for making low carb meatballs:

Pork Rinds: Pick these up on your next grocery run or order from Amazon. Either way, don’t skip out because pork rinds are a staple in these low carb meatballs.
Cast Iron Skillet: You’re welcome to bake these on any baking sheet, but I prefer cast iron because of how evenly it heats and how well it maintains it’s heat. I use cast iron for most everything.
Meat Baller: This isn’t strictly necessary for this recipe as you’ll be forming patties to place the cheese in and then smushing it all up into a ball. But! A meat baller is great for scooping up equal sized portions of meat each and every time so they all bake evenly.
Rao’s Marinara: You can certainly make your own marinara if you prefer, but Rao’s is THE BEST jarred sauce I’ve ever tried in my life. It’s a little spendier than other sauces, but worth every penny. And it’s the lowest sugar sauce I’ve ever seen. Highly recommend. I’ve used the Arrabbiata version this time around. Love the spicy kick!

I think you’ll see that my baked meatball recipe is super simple and I know that your family will love it if you give it a try!

Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!

More meatball recipes:

homemade mozzarella stuffed meatballs with marinara in cast iron skillet

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mozzarella stuffed meatballs on plate

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

These mozzarella stuffed meatballs are a hit with my kids! Serve them with a side of zucchini noodles or on their own alongside a green salad for a filling dinner.

Yield 4 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef,, 90% lean
  • 1 cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 6 ounces mozzarella,, cut into 12 small cubes
  • 1 cup marinara
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add the ground beef, pork rinds, egg, cream, water, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano to a medium mixing bowl and mix well with clean hands to combine.
  3. Separate the meatballs into 12 separate chunks and form each piece into a small patty.
  4. Place a piece of cheese in the center of each patty and carefully fold the edges up around the cheese to seal it in. Be sure to seal the meatball completely around the cheese so it does not leak out while baking.
  5. Place the meatballs in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or in a 9x13 baking dish that’s been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove meatballs from the oven and spoon the marinara evenly over each meatball. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.


Hate pork rinds? Try swapping them with 1/3 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 4 Serving Size: 3 meatballs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 562Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 826mgCarbohydrates: 7gNet Carbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 48g

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28 thoughts on “Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs”

    1. Karly Campbell

      Try 1/3 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Should do the trick nicely. πŸ™‚

  1. cecelia harris

    Just made them and came out great, half beef and half pork. Didn’t measure exactly but loved your recommendation for baking in my cast iron frypan. I may never fry a meatball again! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Karly Campbell

      No, I’m afraid not. You could enter it into any online calculator though. It’d be easy to figure out. πŸ™‚

  2. Miss Chris

    Hi! I don’t have heavy cream on hand. Can I substitute whole milk or can I use something else?

    1. Karly Campbell

      If you use whole milk, you’ll want to eliminate the water and instead use 1/4 cup of milk. This will change the carb count and nutrition info a bit, but the swap will work fine in the recipe.

  3. Hi Karly

    This recipe looks good will probably be after New Year before I get then chance to make it. I am not sure I understand how to figure out net carbs. Is the formula; carbs – fiber = net carbs OR carb – sugar – fiber = net carbs. I have it stuck in my head that: carbs- sugar – fiber = net carbs, but knowing my head that is probably wrong. Could you verify for me? Can you take regular recipes and make them Keto friendly? Merry Christmas Lan

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Lan!

      To calculate net carbs, you subtract fiber from the total carbs. You wouldn’t want to subtract sugar, BUT you can subtract sugar alochols. If a product contains sugar alcohols, it’ll say so in the nutrition info with the carbs/fiber/sugar. πŸ™‚

      As for converting recipes to keto, you certainly can do that! You’ll just want to be sure you know the products you’re using and how they work – for instance, coconut or almond flour won’t be a 1:1 swap for wheat flour.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Karly

    This recipe looks good will probably be after New Year before I get then chance to make it. I am not sure I understand how to figure out net carbs, is it carbs – fiber = net carbs or carb – sugar – fiber = net carbs. It’s stuck in my head carb – sugar -fiber = net carbs, knowing my head that is probably wrong. Could you verify for me? Can you take regular recipes and make them Keto friendly? Maybe? or not able to do this ever? Merry Christmas Lan

  5. Have you ever just cooked them in a skillet? We are on the road and do not have an oven at this moment. These sound absolutely wonderful. Do you put them on anything or just eat them as is?

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Sherry! I’ve never made these on the stove, but I imagine they’d work fine. We just top with marinara and serve as is. They’d be great as a meatball sub in a chaffle (cook the chaffle in a skillet too).

  6. I love your recipes which I like to print out for reference. It is extremely difficult to print a recipe because there are so many pages. Is it possible to isolate the recipe on a separate page so it can be printed by itself?

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Isabel! There is a print button located in the recipe card that will print just the recipe for you.

  7. Have you ever tried this with fresh mozzarella? I have a container of the little ones in my fridge. Do you think they would be too wet for the filling? Thanks for all your amazing recipes!

    1. Karly Campbell

      It’s hard to calculate because of the pork rinds. I come up with 73g of protein, but it’s skewed due to the pork rinds.

      1. Ok thanks! I just needed a ballpark figure to get close to my macros. Made it tonight & even my picky eater loved it!

  8. These look so good! Thanks for the recipe. Can you tell me how you made them with almond flour before? I’m sure they taste good with pork rinds and might try it if I didn’t know they were in there.

    1. Karly Campbell

      I don’t remember how much I used exactly. I would start with 1/3 of a cup and increase until the meat mixture holds together well. No more than a 1/2 cup, surely. πŸ™‚

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