Meatball Parmesan Bites on a plate ready to serve.

Meatball Parmesan Bites

Meatball Parmesan Bites are the perfect appetizer for any party.  Tender beef meatballs, infused with garlic, breadcrumbs, and parmesan, smothered in Italian red sauce and topped with melted mozzarella and fresh basil.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 meatballs
Calories 160kcal
Author Erin Henry


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 cup marinara sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan divided
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5-6 mozzarella slices cut into small squares
  • Fresh basil leaves for topping
  • toothpicks for serving


  • Mince 2 cloves of garlic and then thinly slice the remaining 2 cloves.
  • In a large bowl, add ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, basil, minced garlic and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Use your hands to roll into golfball-sized balls.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place meatballs in skillet and brown on all sides. When the meatballs have developed a nice crispy crust, remove from the skillet and set aside. Now, over medium heat, pour marinara into the skillet. Stir in sliced garlic and remaining Parmesan. Once it's simmering, place your cooked meatballs back in the sauce.  Making sure to spoon some sauce over the meatballs so they're nice and covered. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer meatballs for another 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Top each meatball with slice of mozzarella. Cover pan with lid again and heat until the cheese is melted.
  • Top each meatball with a folded basil leaf and insert a toothpick to serve.


For ease when entertaining, the meatballs can be made ahead of time and cooked just before you want to serve.
Whole wheat or regular breadcrumbs will work in this recipe.
Since the recipe makes 12 meatballs, double if serving a large crowd.
Nutritional information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.
★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 344mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 3.4mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1.8mg