The Cheesy Tip For Tender Meatballs That Are Full Of Flavor

It's quite easy for any home cook to elevate homemade meatballs with hacks like finishing them off under a broiler for the perfect crust. Then there are the upgrades that take a little more effort, such as adding cream cheese in the middle of each one. Cream cheese is the secret ingredient in many sweet and savory recipes, but the reason to add it to the middle of each meatball in your next batch is twofold.

Cream cheese is high in fat content and moisture, which will prevent the meatballs from drying out during the cooking process — and make them even more juicy. Secondly, cream cheese will add a mildly tangy and cheesy flavor to balance out the rich acidity, saltiness, or spiciness from the other ingredients in the meatball mixture as well as the other components of your dish. While those are two of the main perks, the creamy ingredient will add a little extra protein and vitamin A to the meatballs. Plus, it'll help use up that opened container of cream cheese in the back of your fridge to eliminate potential food waste.

Add herbs and spices to cream cheese to elevate meatballs even more

You can stick with plain cream cheese or use a flavored variety like veggie or garlic for more flavor. But why not add your own spice blend to the spread? Mix the cream cheese with roasted garlic for deep umami, spinach for a touch of greens, or dried herbs to keep it simple. Try the addition of cream cheese with Tasting Table's BBQ meatballs or give a creamy, cheesy essence to these special Italian meatballs to balance the rich, tomato sauce. For a unique approach, cook our cranberry meatballs with added cream cheese; the tangy, creamy flavor is sure to pair well with the tart cranberries.

It's best to make homemade meatballs for this trick, because you need to add the cream cheese to the center. However, if you want to use pre-made meatballs stick with fresh ones rather than frozen so you can manipulate the shape, add the cream cheese, and put everything back together. For homemade meatballs, make two separate patties, add the cream cheese to the middle of one patty, place the other on top, then carefully form into a ball. Another technique is to add the cream cheese to the center of a patty, then pinch around the edges to form a meatball. The essential part is to not use too much cream cheese or it will be difficult to seal the meatball and it might leak out when it cooks.