Tasty Spanish meatballs stuffed with Manchego cheese in an easy homemade 30 – minute sauce.
Similar to Mom’s Italian meatballs with a little twist.
The meatballs use a meatloaf mix – ground beef, veal, and pork, seasoned with smoked paprika, onion, garlic, fresh parsley, seasoned bread crumbs and egg to hold them together.
Cubes of Manchego cheese are tucked inside each one for a delicious, melted surprise.
The meatballs are baked first then cooked in the savory sauce. The sauce is made from crushed tomatoes, roasted red peppers, onions, garlic, more smoked paprika and parsley, thyme, oregano and a little bit of sugar to counteract the acidic tomatoes.
The meatballs simmer for 30 minutes until the cheese inside is hot and gooey and the flavors of the sauce develop. You can serve them over rice, pasta, and even mashed potatoes.
Shake up your usual meatball routine and try these cheese-stuffed meatballs instead! No one will be disappointed.
- 1 + ½ pounds meatloaf mix (ground beef, pork & veal)
- ½ cup seasoned
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- ⅓ pound Manchego cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (you need about 20)
- olive oil, for greasing the pan
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 jarred roasted red pepper, diced
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed between fingers
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed between fingers
- 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
- 2 (28
ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- cooked rice, pasta or mashed potatoes, for serving
- Make the Meatballs:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
- In a large bowl using a fork or your hands combine the meat, bread crumbs, eggs, onion, garlic, parsley, paprika and red pepper flakes. Mix until just combined.
- Scoop up ¼ cups of the meat and form into a ball pressing a cube of cheese into the center of each one and then patting the ball together.
- Place on the cookie sheet and repeat until all the meatballs are made.
- Bake 10 minutes.
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, red
- pepper, garlic and bay leaf plus a dash or two of salt and pepper.
- Cook until tender 5 - 6 minutes, stirring often.
- Mix in the oregano,
thymeand paprika - if the pan is dry add another glug of olive oil. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, water, parsley, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Once the sauce is simmering gently drop in the meatballs.
- Cook 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so gently with a wooden spoon so the meatballs don't break.
- Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. If the sauce becomes too thick stir in a little water.
- Fish out the bay leaf and discard.
- Serve over cooked rice, pasta or mashed potatoes. If you have Manchego cheese leftover chop it up and use it for garnish.
SERVING SIZE: 2 Meatballs with 2/3 Cup Sauce