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For our sheet pan episode, culinary team member Ben Perez shared his genius recipe for sheet pan meatball Parm that doesn't require any rolling! It's so much easier and quicker to make than individual meatballs and SO tasty. Pile portions of the cheese-topped "meatballs" on our cheater focaccia—made with store-bought focaccia mix in...another sheet pan!—or your favorite rolls. The meatballs are also great served with pasta.  

For dessert, check out this sheet pan Rainbow Cookie Cake by another show staffer, Kate Bennert. And for more recipes from our sheet pan episode, check out Rach's Kielbasa and Pierogi Tray Bake, Francis Garcia's Sheet Pan Pizza with Pepperoni, Olives and Peppers, Kristen Kish's Sheet Pan Hash Browns With Eggs and Chorizo, and Keri Glassman's Sheet Pan Salmon With Dijon-Walnut Crust, Purple Potatoes & String Beans.


For the Cheater Focaccia:
  • 1 package store-bought focaccia mix (with the yeast packet included)
  • EVOO
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Flaky sea salt
For the Sheet Pan Meatballs:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ pounds meatball mix or any combination of ground beef, pork and veal
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup finely ground Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 ½ cups marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
  • 6 to 8 ounces shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil, to garnish


Serves: 4 to 6


Preheat the oven to 425°F.  

For the cheater focaccia, follow the package directions to prepare the dough. Generously grease a 9-by-13-inch sheet pan with EVOO. Put the dough in the pan and press it into an even layer that covers the bottom. Oil your fingers and gently press into the dough to dimple it. Drizzle the top with a little more EVOO. 

Bake until the focaccia is golden brown and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes, or follow the package instructions. 

When the focaccia is almost ready, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, then grate in the garlic. Brush the baked focaccia with the garlic butter and sprinkle with flaky seas salt. 

While the focaccia bakes, make the meatballs. Line a 9-by-13-inch sheet pan with aluminum foil and set aside.  

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and when it shimmers, add the onions and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and allow the onion mixture to cool.  

In a large bowl, add the meatball mix, cooled onion mixture, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, ¾ cup of the Parmigiano and the parsley. Season with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined, but be careful not to overmix. 

Transfer the meat mixture to the prepared sheet pan and spread it in an even layer that covers the bottom. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn on the broiler. Carefully tip one corner of the sheet pan over a heatproof dish and allow any rendered fat or liquid to drain off. 

Spread the marinara sauce evenly over the meatball mixture, then top with the mozzarella and remaining ¼ cup Parmigiano. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, then garnish with basil. 

To serve, cut the focaccia into slices as desired and then cut each slice crosswise into top and bottom pieces. Cut the meatball Parm into similarly sized portions and sandwich between the top and bottom pieces of bread.