Hearty meatballs topped with homemade tomato sauce and smothered in melted cheese.
Servings 4
Author 2Teaspoons



  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano*
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil*
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme*
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 4 ounces by weight fresh mozzarella thinly sliced
  • ½ cup 2 ounces by weight shredded provolone, gruyere, or muenster

Optional (but recommended) Add-ons

  • parmesan cheese grated or shredded
  • fresh or dried oregano basil, and/or thyme
  • pasta


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Grease a 9x13 baking dish or a cast iron skillet 10 or 12 inches in diameter
  3. Mix breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Crumble ground beef over milk and bread crumbs. Add egg, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Mix ingredients together with hands. Form into ~12 meatballs (~2 tablespoons each) and arrange on the prepared baking dish. Bake until the meatballs are crisp on the outside, about 20 minutes. The inside will not be fully cooked yet.
  5. In a medium bowl make sauce by combining tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Once meatballs are browned (end of previous step) pour sauce over meatballs, cover dish with aluminum foil and continue baking until meatballs are fully cooked, about 25 minutes.
  6. Remove foil and add the cheese, evenly distributing over the entire pan. Bake until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve over cooked spaghetti, top with herbs and parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*You can substitute 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning instead of oregano, basil, and thyme. Fresh oregano, basil, and thyme can also be used, just increase amount to ¼ cup chopped each.

**24 ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce can be substituted for the homemade sauce