One Pot Dinner Marinara Meatballs

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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! I’m calling this One Pot Marinara Meatballs.

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.

One tip I have is to double the meatball mixture and freeze half. Flash freeze them on a tray or paper plate, then place them in a freezer bag for later. Then you have a once and eat twice dinner. That’s a real win-win for you busy moms and dads.

Let’s make some Marinara Meatballs!

Marinara 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.

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.

Preheat your broiler to 400 degrees.

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.

Place the basil on top, and you have your delicious one pot meal!

Serve with a green salad and some garlic bread to round out your dinner.

Marinara Meatball Recipe

One Pot Marinara Meatballs


  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup grated romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk (can sub water)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Basil pesto
  • 28 oz marinara sauce
  • 1 lb fresh, sliced mozzarella


  1. In a large bowl, add ground beef and pork, 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. 

  2. 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). 

  3. In a large skillet, add the olive oil, and heat over medium high heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet, making sure not to crowd the pan. This step might take 2-3 rounds. Cook the meatball on each side for a total of about 6 minutes. Remove the meatballs and repeat the process if needed.
  4. 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 20 minutes until they are completely cooked, no pink in the center, and the marinara sauce is warmed. 

  5. Allow broiled to preheat (to 400 degrees). Add the mozzarella cheese between the meatballs and allow to melt partially (3-5 minutes). Place pan under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until lightly bubbling on top. 

Round out the meal with a salad or pasta.

Try this amazing one pot meal tonight! It’s a real comforting dish and sure to please everyone.

Do you do social media? Post your dinner pics on Facebook and Instagram and tag me #thefeatherednester or @thefeatherednester so I can see them!

Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out some of my other recipes:

I'd love hear what you think!

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