Cheesesteak Meatballs with Garlic Cheese Sauce
A new twist on the tradition Philly cheesesteak! These cheesesteak meatballs are made with ground beef and nuzzled in a homemade garlic cheese sauce that is so good you’ll want to sip on it with a spoon! Serve it over pasta, quinoa, mashed potatoes, or inside a baguette!
Philly cheesesteak meatballs all rolled around in a creamy garlic cheese sauce. Never have I ever fallen so head over heels for a meal like this. Just think about this: tender, seared meatballs, mingling with garlic cream sauce that is loaded with umami flavor and sprinkled with a kick of red pepper flakes and a bit of fresh parsley to brighten things up! It’s the kind of comfort food that I dream of when the weather starts to turn the way it has today.
It’s no secret that I was born ready for comfort food season. Like, I sit around and wait all year for the clock to strike late September, and then I can’t take it anymore! I’m back in the kitchen testing batches of biscuit pot pie, making pots of soup, and turning classics into meatball versions. I think this is a thing that I’m into?
Why are classic dishes so good when they’re turned into mini meatball versions of themselves?
Like I said, I love making meatballs! I’ve shared my take on Swedish meatballs, chicken piccata meatballs, General Tso’s meatballs, cajun chicken meatballs, greek meatballs, honey-chipotle meatballs, chipotle butter chicken meatballs, cheese-stuffed meatballs, and firecracker chicken meatballs. Someone stop me now – I hadn’t realized the problem was this bad.
I think what makes this recipe is boatloads of umami flavor that a couple of ingredients add to this recipe. I’ll talk about them here in just a second. But really, I just love serving these cheesesteak meatballs over a bed of garlic laden mashed potatoes that I whip up super quick in the instant pot. But also, cheesesteak meatballs are delicious on a bed of egg noodles or even zoodles if you’re going low carb these days before we jump into the holiday season.
What do you need to make cheesesteak meatballs?
- ground beef
- panko breadcrumbs
- an egg
- soy sauce
- parmesan cheese
How to make cheesesteak meatballs:
My favorite tip to share when I share a new meatball recipe is how to mix the meat mixture. Combine everything but the meat in a bowl first so you can ensure that seasonings are evenly dispersed without overworking the meat. Once you add the ground beef, mix until it is just combined. This way, you always end up with tender meatballs. When you overwork the meat, you almost always end up with dry meatballs. The texture is so much better when you take the time to combine everything but the meat first, then add it the meat and stir until *just* mixed. Then it’s as simple as rolling the meatballs into portions. I use about 1 1/2 tablespoons of meat mixture and ended up with 25 meatballs.
Tips to keep the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands
If you find the meat mixture is sticking to your hands a lot, I like to wash my hands, pat them dry, then spray or drizzle about a 1/2 teaspoon of oil in the palm of my hands and rub them together. Then, when you go to grab the meat mixture, it should only stick to itself. To be honest, I didn’t find this to be a problem with this recipe; however, the solution is there if you need it 🙂
What do you need to make the garlic cheese sauce for cheesesteak meatballs?
- chopped onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms
- all-purpose flour
- garlic powder
- beef stock
- soy sauce
- sour cream
- shredded cheese
How to make the garlic cheese sauce for cheesesteak meatballs:
- Heat a skillet with a glug of oil and cook the meatballs in a single layer. If they do not all fit in the frying pan at once, do this in batches. Overcrowding the pan won’t allow the meatballs to from that brown crust. Remove them to a plate when done.
- In the same skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil. If you leftover oil in the pan, add just enough to where you’ve got about two tablespoons in the pan. Then, add the onions and give them a couple of minutes head start, then add the bell peppers and mushrooms. Once the bell peppers and the mushrooms have a chance to cook, sprinkle them with the garlic powder and the flour.
- Cook the raw flavor of the flour out for about a minute. Then, slowly drizzle in the chicken stock as you whisk. Add 1/4 cup of water along with the soy sauce and to the pan and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth. Then, add the sour cream, stir or whisk it in, and add the cheese. Using a wooden spoon stir in the cheese until it becomes a smooth sauce. Then, allow the sauce to continue to bubble and thicken for a few additional minutes.
- When the sauce is thickened, add the meatballs back into the skillet, cover them in the sauce using a spoon and sprinkle with parsley!
Why do you add soy sauce to this recipe?
Over the years, I’ve learned that adding soy sauce to certain recipes can really amp the flavors. Here, we’re using chopped mushrooms in the sauce which already gives it some of that umami flavor. So when you add soy sauce into the mix, you find that it boosts the flavor profile ten folds. Especially when there is cheese involved. I know, I sound insane, but trust me on this, the soy sauce is what makes this recipe one-thousand times better.
How do you suggest serving these?
There is no right or wrong way to serve these cheesesteak meatballs. Starting with the obvious, you can place them inside a baguette and drizzle with the garlic cheese sauce for a real cheesesteak experience. I assure you, Joey Tribbiani would be proud!
But you could also:
- serve them over mashed potatoes
- over egg noodles
- over zoodles
- on a bed of quinoa
- on a bed of rice
- with a salad and garlic rolls on the side
What it all boils down to is that cheesesteak meatballs are the new way to eat Philly cheesesteak subs! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sub, but in the cooler months, I want a bowl of mashed potatoes or a generous serving of egg noodles laced with garlic cream sauce.
Cheesesteak meatballs are going to make your mouth so so happy.
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder AND onion powder
- ½ teaspoon EACH: red pepper flakes, salt AND black pepper
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 ¼ pound ground beef
- olive oil, for cooking
- ½ cup EACH: chopped onions, chopped green bell peppers, AND chopped mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons EACH: all-purpose flour AND chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup low sodium beef stock (or chicken)
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
- PREP: In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, soy sauce, parmesan, and parsley. The mixture will resemble a coarse breading. Add the ground beef and mix until *just* combined. You don’t want to overwork the meat. Roll into 23-27 meatballs. Mine were about 1 ½ tablespoon each.
- MEATBALLS: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet but do not overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches if they don’t all fit. Sear the meatballs for 5-6 minutes, flipping to brown all sides evenly and cook the meatballs all the way through. Remove the meatballs to a plate. Repeat until all the meatballs are cooked.
- SAUCE: Depending on how much oil is left in your skillet, you’ll want to have 2 tablespoons worth before adding the onions and sautéing for 2 minutes or until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the peppers and mushrooms and continue to cook until everything softens a bit, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and garlic powder over the veggies and push the veggies around the pan to coat evenly and cook for about 1 minute to cook out the raw taste of flour. Gradually whisk in the stock and cook. Add 1/4 cup of water and soy sauce, and continue to whisk. You want to whisk continuously so you don’t have lumps, about 2-3 minutes. When the sauce begins to thicken just a bit, add the sour cream, whisking it in if necessary. Add in the cheese and stir continuously using a wooden spoon until it melts. Allow the sauce to start bubbling and allow for it to thicken; about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the stove, add the meatballs and cover them in the sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and serve in baguettes, over pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice.