Stuffed Meatball Sandwich

How to make Stuffed Meatball Sandwich

Chef Tom prepares Italian meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese, smoked on the Yoder Smokers YS640s Pellet Grill and finished in a scratch-made San Marzano tomato sauce. It’s all loaded up on ciabatta buns with provolone and pesto for a mouth-watering Stuffed Meatball Sandwich!

Stuffed Meatball Sandwich Recipe

Yield: 6 servings


For the meatballs: Yield 18 (2 oz) meatballs

  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • 6 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Cattleman’s Grill Italiano Seasoning
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 oz low-moisture mozzarella cheese, 1/2” cubes

For the red sauce: Yield 8 (1/3 cup) servings

For the Sandwich:



To make the meatballs, combine the ground beef, Italian sausage, Parmigiano-Reggiano, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, Cattleman’s Grill Italiano Seasoning and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture over medium speed until the mixture becomes tacky and holds together, about 1 minute. Remove from the bowl.

Divide the sausage into 18 (2 oz) portions.

One at a time, flatten each ball in the palm of your hand. Place a cube of mozzarella in the center, then close the sausage around the cheese. Form into a ball, fully encasing the mozzarella. Place the stuffed meatballs on a tray and transfer to the refrigerator to chill.

Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS640s Pellet Grill to 225ºF, set up for indirect grilling (diffuser/diffuser door in place). Install GrillGrate grilling panels in place over the fire box on the left side of the grill.

Preheat a Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Dutch Oven over medium-high heat (we use an induction burner). Add the Olitalia Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the red sauce to the dutch oven. Working in batches of 6, sear the meatballs on multiple sides, then remove. The meatballs should not be cooked though, just seared on the surface.

When all meatballs are seared, transfer them to the second shelf of the Yoder Smokers YS640s Pellet Grill and smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160ºF in the center. Note: Be careful not to temp the cheese, but rather the innermost part of the meat wrapped around the cheese.

Continue building the red sauce using the rendered fat from the meatballs and the fond created in the dutch oven. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Season with the Cattleman’s Grill Italiano Seasoning and red pepper flakes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and break them up with a wooden spoon.

Transfer the dutch oven to the smoker. Place on the main cooking grate directly underneath the smoking meatballs and allow the sauce to warm until the meatballs are cooked through. Mix in the parsley and basil.

Transfer the meatballs from the second shelf of the grill to the dutch oven and toss in the red sauce.

You might also enjoy: Grilled Lasagna

Remove the second shelf from the grill. Remove the diffuser/diffuser door from the grill and increase heat to 400ºF. Leave the dutch oven on the main cooking grate.

Brush your halved ciabatta buns with the Olitalia Meat Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the cut surfaces. Transfer the ciabatta to the GrillGrates and grill until browned. Flip the ciabatta buns and place the sliced provolone on the bottom buns. Cook just until the cheese begins to melt.

Remove the ciabatta and the dutch oven from the grill.

To build the Smoked Stuffed Meatball Sandwich, top the cheesy bottom bun of the ciabatta roll with meatballs, then red sauce. Spread the top bun with pesto and place over the meatballs.


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