- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 (29 ounce) can pasta sauce
- 1 pound bowtie pasta, cooked according to package directions
- In a large bowl combine the beef, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, milk 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Use your hands to fully mix the seasonings with the meat. Form the meat into 1 1/2 – 2 inch meatballs.
- In a medium bowl combine the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into a large zip-top bag and cut off the corner of the bag.
- Form a well in each meatball, careful not to push all the way through. Squeeze about a teaspoon of the cheese mixture into the meatball and pinch the meatball closed so non of the cheese is exposed.
- Pour half of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the meatballs on top of the sauce and top the meatballs with the remaining sauce.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
You will have leftover Ricotta cheese mixture…Shawn says to use this to add a dot to the cooked meatballs for pretty presentation.
You could also save this for another meal and stir it into pasta sauce to make a creamy sauce.
Alternately I have made this recipe twice and made it once in the oven. If you choose to not use the slow cooker method, follow all the instructions as written, but use a 9×13 baking dish to cook the meatballs at 400°F for 30 minutes.