Are you planning to make meatballs but wondering if you can substitute Mozzarella cheese for Parmesan cheese? While both cheeses are delicious in their own way, they have different characteristics that can affect the overall taste and texture of your meatballs.

What’s the Difference Between Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese?

Mozzarella cheese is a mild, creamy cheese with a stringy texture. It’s commonly used in Italian dishes such as pizza and lasagna.

On the other hand, Parmesan cheese is a hard, aged cheese with a nutty and salty flavor. It’s often grated over pasta dishes and used as a topping for soups.

Can You Substitute Mozzarella Cheese for Parmesan Cheese in Meatballs?

Yes, you can substitute Mozzarella cheese for Parmesan cheese in meatballs. However, it’s important to note that the difference in texture and flavor will be noticeable in the final product.

Mozzarella cheese has a high moisture content which can make your meatballs more tender but also more likely to fall apart during cooking. Additionally, its mild flavor may not provide the same depth of flavor as Parmesan cheese.

To achieve a similar texture and flavor profile as Parmesan cheese, consider using a blend of Mozzarella and another hard, aged cheese such as Asiago or Pecorino Romano. This will provide the desired nutty flavor and slightly grainy texture that is characteristic of Parmesan.

How to Make Meatballs with Mozzarella Cheese

If you decide to use Mozzarella cheese in your meatballs, here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, Mozzarella cheese, egg, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix until well combined.
  2. Scoop out portions of the mixture and roll into balls about the size of a golf ball.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through (about 10-15 minutes).

The Bottom Line:

While Parmesan cheese is the traditional choice for meatballs, Mozzarella cheese can be used as a substitute with some adjustments in texture and flavor. Experiment with different cheeses to find the perfect combination for your taste buds.