The 40 Best Meatball Recipes

Meatballs and American culture are one and the same. Sure, it has roots in Italian cuisine, but spaghetti and meatballs is an essential Italian-American dish that was created in New York City by Italian migrants at the turn of the 20th century.

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Big hefty meatballs drenched in marinara atop a big bowl of spaghetti is one of those classic dishes that effortlessly hits heart and home. 

The 40 Best Meatball Recipes

However, did you know that many other cultures from around the world love their meatballs just as much as we do? Vietnam, Japan, Holland, Norway, Morocco, Mongolia and Sweden, all of these countries have one thing in common and that is meatballs.

This article is going to put forward 40 of the best meatballs recipes found online. From Philly Cheesesteak and Tex-Mex meatballs to the cuisines of the countries listed above, we are about to champion the juicy and delicious meatball in all its saucy glory. 

1. Meatball Casserole

This cheesy, meatball casserole is guaranteed to be well received by every member of the family. It is a from-scratch recipe that uses mashed potato, Italian-style meatballs, mozzarella, and fresh parsley to put you in a comfortable state of bliss.

The tomatoey meatball marinara offers an irresistible richness that adds to the feel-good sensibility of this crowd-pleasing, carb-loaded casserole. 

2. Beef-Ricotta Meatballs with Braised Beet Greens

If you’re looking to impress that special someone with a restaurant-worthy meatball dish, this is it. Oversized beef and ricotta meatballs with beet greens is as lush as it sounds.

The beet greens are braised in a rich, anchovy-infused sauce that leads with a powerful saltiness. The recipe calls for ground beef with 25% fat content, which makes for a tender, melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Throw the calorie counter at the winter and tuck into the decadence that is this dish. 

3. French Onion Soup with Meatballs

Ok, so this may not be the most traditional French onion soup recipe, but is that really such a crime? By putting meatballs, baguette, and cheese into a soupy ramekin, all this recipe is really doing is giving the people what they want.

Using from-frozen meatballs, the recipe is great for making on a whim, when the weather is closing in. Comfort-food that takes a classic and turns it on its head for everyone to enjoy – bon appétit!

4. Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Meatballs are often the secret reason why many of us make the trip to Ikea. Sure, buying furniture is pretty important, but if you aren’t leaving Ikea with some Swedish meatballs tucked under your arm – we beg the question; have you even been?

These homemade beef and pork meatballs are drenched in a heavy cream sauce that’s flavored with beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. The Swedes take their Köttbullar seriously, which is why you should take this recipe seriously. 

5. Meat Flatbread

Sometimes you just need your meatballs to work for you, and this flatbread idea is ready to get to work. This recipe that calls for pre-cooked meatballs, shredded cheese, Italian tomato sauce, and naan flatbreads is putting the ease back into mealtime.

Great for knocking up for lunch or dinner, the kids will be particularly enamored by these cheesy pizza look-a-likes, with carrot blended through the sauce to give it a sneaky veggie edge too. 

6. Slow Cooker Meatballs in Tomato Sauce 

If you’re a home cook who swears by their slow cooker then you’ll want to get involved with this recipe. Give your tomatoes time to break down and gain flavor by slow cooking them for three hours before adding the meatballs to cook for a further hour.

Serve them with sliced basil and freshly grated cheese on their own, with spaghetti or loaded up in a hoagie roll – whichever way you come at this recipe, you’re winning. 

7. Italian Wedding Soup

Usher in soup season with this Italian classic that skips on the cream but loads up on greens. A hearty soup that marries meat and greens (hence the name), to give the family a nutritious meal.

This is a seriously scorched soup recipe that calls on two types of meat, two broths, Acini de Pepe pasta, and vegetables like spinach and carrot to ensure no one goes hungry. Serve with warm buttered bread to really seal the deal on this soupy winter warmer. 

8. Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Offer these sweet and sour meatballs up as a party appetizer and they will be the first to leave. Using chili sauce and grape jelly, the Asian-style sauce is irresistibly sticky and seductively sweet, with a slight edge of spice.

The recipe leads you through how to prepare a stack of homemade meatballs that are destined for the slow cooker. Piled high beside some mashed potato and veggies, these meatballs can turn from appetizer to main course, effortlessly. 

9. Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Biting into a meatball that proceeds to ooze out mozzarella is a delightful dining experience. Meat and cheese have an uncanny knack of working well together, but when you stuff the meat with the cheese, well, that is just pure genius.

This recipe takes just 10 minutes to make, 20 to cook, and will leave you with a skillet full of marinara soaked, mozzarella stuffed meatballs – yes, please!

10. Italian Meatball Kabobs

When the weather is begging you to fire up the BBQ – this Italian meatball kabob recipe will be there. Fusing Italian flavors with Middle Eastern cooking methods, this recipe is eager to break down culinary preconceptions and appease you in the process.

Eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, chunky onion, and meatballs grilled on a skewer, ready to be picked up and gobbled down in an instant – Mom are we at summer yet? 

11. Sesame-Ginger Chicken Meatballs

Chicken meatballs are a leaner alternative to beef and pork meatballs, which have the lion’s share of the meatball arena. Flavored with fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil, these chicken meatballs taste of Asia.

Fresh and fiery, they are ideally served alongside a chili sauce with thinly sliced scallions to garnish. 

12. Tex-Mex Meatballs

Southerners don’t like to live their lives or cook their meals in halves, which is exactly why Tex-Mex cuisine is so big. Big on ingredients, big on flavors, big on proportions, these Tex-Mex meatballs are naughty, nice, and ever so spiced.

Loaded up with jalapeño, chipotle peppers, corn chips, Mexican cheese, cumin, and chopped cilantro, these mighty Mexican-inspired meatballs are like nothing that has come before them. 

13. Mongolian Meatballs 

Mongolian glazed meatballs really are as delicious as they sound. While your Shaoxing (Chinese wine) infused meatballs are baking away in the oven, you’ll want to be getting on with the sticky Mongolian glaze.

Hoisin, oyster, and soy sauce form the heavenly base for this glaze that also includes brown sugar, chili powder, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil. Straight out of the oven, pour the thick and sticky glaze onto the meatballs, and serve with toasted sesame seeds and scallions. 

14. Philly Cheesesteak Meatballs

Taking inspiration from the iconic Philly cheesesteak sandwich, this cheesy meatball recipe won’t look out of place on game day, not one bit. The meatballs are stacked with mushrooms, onions, red peppers, green peppers, gruyere cheese, and Worcestershire sauce, and that is a very good thing.

The cheese sauce has two types of cheese – Velveeta and more gruyere, which is about all you need to know on that subject. Load up your hoagie, serve over pasta, or as an appetizer, these cheesy meatballs can do no wrong.

15. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Everyone knows how good buffalo wings are but have you ever tried a buffalo meatball? This buffalo chicken meatball recipe is super quick to prepare and will give you that same fiery buffalo feeling but in a completely new way.

15 minutes to prepare and 20 to bake, this recipe will leave you with 2-dozen spicy meatballs to devour with friends or keep to yourself.

16. Slow Cooker Firecracker Chicken Meatballs 

Keeping with the spicy chicken meatball theme, this recipe will have you reaching for a glass of something cold in no time. Brown sugar, buffalo, and soy sauce are all you need to make the sweet and spicy firecracker sauce.

The meatballs will need to be baked and then placed in the slow cooker for two hours, along with the sauce. Serve with chopped parsley and crushed red pepper flakes to really give your guests a meatball to remember. 

17. Meatball Chili with Dumplings

There are things in life that just work, and this meatball chili is one of them. A from-scratch recipe that leads you through the meatball-making process and how to get the chili tasting just right.

Roll, dip, and soak the cornmeal dumplings in the thick and spicy chili, don’t be shy, the two were made for each other. 

18. Cheesy Italian Meatball Sliders

It would take some serious willpower to deny yourself a cheesy meatball slider. Perfect to serve at a party, on game day, or as a precursor to an Italian evening feast – these sliders have got you.

Hawaiian sweet rolls work best as sliders, and once hollowed out and slathered in garlic and parmesan butter, they will be ready for loading. Zesty marinara, juicy meatballs, crispy melted cheese, sliders don’t come much more certified delicious than these puppies. 

19. Spaghetti & Meatball Skillet Supper

Spaghetti and Meatballs need but no introduction and this one-skillet recipe will make meatball night, super easy and convenient.

Artichoke hearts, cannellini beans, and tomatoes have been included to give the dish a more complex, and well-rounded nutritional fact sheet. One pan, 30 minutes, the writing is on the wall with this one and it screams mid-week family pleaser. 

20. Sticky Sriracha Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Everyone has a bottle of sriracha in the fridge, and this meatball recipe uses this popular spicy Thai sauce to great effect. Right alongside sriracha you’ve got honey, soy, and BBQ sauce making a seductively sticky sauce to coat the meatballs in.

This is a fresh and fabulous lettuce wrap idea that turns the meatball into a healthier lunch or dinner idea. On account of its health-consciousness, the recipe calls for ground chicken or turkey to create a leaner meatball. 

21. Lamb Meatballs with Cumin, Mint and Tomato Sauce

In Middle Eastern cuisine, lamb reigns supreme and these spiced meatballs are intended for lamb, and lamb only. Mint, cumin, and chopped almonds offer the meatballs a unique flavor profile that could only be from the Middle East.

Be sure to serve them over some fluffy couscous to be super authentic, or whack them into a hoagie to be anything but – either way, these meatballs deliver, in a big way!

22. Meatball Sub

The infamous meatball sub from Subway has nothing on this thing. This recipe comes with a set of instructions that should not be ignored. Choose good bread, butter said good bread, sauce said good bread, cheese said good bread (twice), sandwich juicy meatballs between cheese and melt.

Simple instructions that, if done well, will produce the best meatball sub you ever had the pleasure of sitting down to. Another hot tip is to milk-soak the bread cubes before you work them through the meatball mix – this will produce extra-tender meatballs. 

23. Butter Chicken Meatballs

Knock your mid-week hump on the head with this butter chicken meatball recipe that is anything but ordinary. The chicken meatballs are, arguably, better than chicken chunks at soaking up the spiced and buttery cream sauce.

Butter chicken bangs at the best of times, but this fresh take on the Indian classic is destined to impress. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread to complete this mildly spiced Indian feast. 

24. Meatball Pizza

For those nights when dinner is supposed to be naughty, this meatball pizza will be there for you. Cooked in a cast-iron skillet, this mighty meatball pizza will feed the family in under 20 minutes flat.

There’s no making meatballs from scratch with this recipe. Totally just five minutes of prep time, it is all about grabbing this and slapping on that, to get it in the oven as quickly as possible – cheesy melted meatball glory will ensue. 

25. Supersize Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

There’s something about sitting down to devour a supersized meatball that just makes you smile. Ditching the idea that meatballs can only be small, this recipe makes four of the fattest and juiciest meatballs you ever did see.

All you need is one of these giant marinara-soaked meatballs sat on some spaghetti and you will be satisfied. 

26. Pineapple BBQ Meatballs

Ok, so these pineapple BBQ meatballs may not be the easiest ones to make, but by and gosh, that may just be the tastiest.

The sauce is a stacked concoction of pineapple juice, diced pineapple, molasses, honey, soy, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, we could keep going, but you get the picture.

However, although long, if you don’t mind fetching a few ingredients, these Asian-inspired meatballs will win you over first, and your family second. 

27. Pork Meatballs with Chimichurri Sauce

This recipe makes a whopping 5 dozen meatballs, which is a lot of meatballs! Who doesn’t love Chimichurri?

It’s that bitey Argentinian sauce that’s synonymous with steak but works just as well on other meats too. Flat-leaf parsley, fresh cilantro, oregano, cumin, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, are all tasked with bringing the chimichurri and this dish to life. 

28. Norwegian Meatballs

Ingredients like yogurt, nutmeg, allspice, sourdough bread, are all featured in these Norwegian meatballs that taste unique because they are unique.

Another rare ingredient sighting of this recipe comes in the form of cocoa powder which adds a bitter richness to the gravy. You’ll find some brandy and gjetost cheese have also been included in the gravy mix to give it a marvelous complexity of flavors. 

29. Greek Meatballs 

Flavored with fresh parsley, mint leaves, dried oregano, garlic, and red onion these meatballs taste fresh with a herby texture to boot (remember to pass around the toothpicks after).

A blend of beef and pork sees the meatballs take on a flavor that tastes distinctly Greek. Dish them up beside a big bowl of homemade tzatziki, and a bigger plate of toasted pitta, to really set the Greek seaside scene. 

30. Mushroom Barley Soup with Mini-Meatballs

Rapid-fire mini meatballs are drenched in a mushroom barley soup to offer a rustic meal for the whole family. Designed to be quick, the meatballs need just four ingredients to be rolled into existence.

As the recipe instructs, fetch a pound of wild and cultivated mushrooms. The variety of mushrooms will offer a unique and contrasting aesthetic as well as advance the flavor profile of the whole dish. 

31. Bun Cha (Vietnamese Meatballs)

Serve these caramelized pork meatballs over vermicelli noodles with spicy Vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce, and transport yourself to the lively streets of Hanoi.

Bun Cha is Vietnamese street food at its very best, and it can be all yours, from the comfort of your home, with this recipe. Serve with a fresh selection of bean sprouts, sliced red chilies, and julienned carrots, for a healthy bowl of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. 

32. Easy Tortellini Spinach Soup

Store this easy soup recipe in safekeeping for whenever you feel under the weather and are in need of a steaming hot bowl of goodness.

Fully-cooked Italian meatballs, chicken stock, cheese tortellini, diced tomatoes, baby spinach, shredded parmesan, a few aromatics, and 20 minutes is all you need to be tucked up on the sofa with a bowl of this on the go.

Easy, comforting, and healthy, this soup aims to get you out of an infectious bind. 

33. Kefta Mkaouara (Moroccan Meatball and Egg Tagine)

Eat it for brunch, eat it for dinner, Kefta Mkaouara will deliver. This is a traditional dish of Morocco, where small beef or lamb meatballs are slow-cooked in a thick tomatoey sauce with egg and typical Moroccan spices like cumin and paprika.

Serve with loads of bread and dip until your heart is content and your stomach full. If you don’t own a tagine, a skillet on a low-heat stove will work, almost as well. 

34. Bitterballen (Dutch Meatballs)

Challenge the game-day snacking table status quo, with these tasty and traditional Dutch bar snacks. In Holland, Croquettes are king, and these bite-sized beef and gravy croquettes are everyone’s favorite snack when they’ve got a drink in hand.

Be the cultured one in front of your friends and whip these meaty Dutch classics out on game day. They will laugh at first, and scoff them down soon after. 

35. Tsukune (Japanese Chicken Meatballs)

Take just one glance at these sticky and glistening Japanese-style chicken meatballs and you just know they are going to be good. Soft, and juicy chicken meatballs are coated in yakitori tare which is a thick and sweet Japanese soy sauce variation.

Yakitori tare has a great depth of flavor that is irresistibly sweet and salty. Grated shallot and ginger juice are added to the meatball mix to offer a pungent freshness that perfectly complements the dish. 

36. Meatball Hash Brown Bake

Never mind if this recipe seems a little simple because that is the point. By bringing meatballs and a mashed-up hashbrown mix into the one casserole, this recipe does away with the need for a side dish.

An all-in recipe that will get the kids, and the big kids at heart, just as excited. Condensed cream of soup, crushed saltines, shredded cheddar cheese, every component of this recipe has been carefully selected to save its maker time, and that is more than fine by us. 

37. Banh Mi (Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich)

We’re going back to the streets of downtown Hanoi with this iconic Vietnamese meatball sandwich. Banh Mi is a typical sandwich of Vietnam that is known to feature many types of protein.

However, this recipe calls for pork, and by all reports, pork is best when it comes to Banh Mi. Topped with pickled veggies, jalapeño, and cilantro, these meatball sandwiches are bursting with freshness. 

38. Meatball Pizza

By having pizza bases and meatballs in the freezer at all times, you will always have this quick dinner trick up your sleeve.

Even if you don’t have the pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese, you could always just sub in a blended can of chopped tomatoes and whatever cheese you’ve got going in the fridge at the time – this pizza will still be a winner, winner, meatball dinner. 

39. Meatball Parmesan

Meatball parmesan is surely the reason why so many of us are such suckers for meatballs in the first place?. A classic Italian-American meatball dish that leans on parmesan, mozzarella cheese, and a thick marinara for its comforting flavor.

Sure, there’s herbs and spices, there’s fresh basil, and you can lay it over your favorite pasta, but the real reason why people sign themselves up for meatball parmesan is the perfect harmony of meat, cheese, and sauce. 

40. Olive-Mint Pesto Meatballs with Fettuccine

Sure, you’ve tried basil pesto, sure you’ve tried tomato pesto, but have you ever tried olive-mint pesto? These salty, minty-fresh meatballs are perfectly served on top of some al dente fettuccine pasta – simply sublime.

The meatballs are a turkey/ beef blend that suits the lighter style of the dish supremely. Skip the heavy side of American-Italian food and keep pasta night simple, with this pesto meatball pasta. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are meatballs Italian or American?

Spaghetti and meatballs is an Italian-American dish that, through Italian migrants, was invented in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Sure, they do meatballs (known as polpettes) in Italy, and they certainly do spaghetti, but rarely are they served together on the same plate. 

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

While there is no right or wrong when cooking meatballs if you’re seeking out the healthier and easier option, baked meatballs are best. They will be less fatty on account of needing less oil to cook. Baking meatballs in the oven is also easier because you don’t have to be on stove-watch, turning them frequently. 

What does milk do for meatballs?

On the contrary to popular belief, it is milk that adds moisture to meatballs, not egg, which is in the mix to bind. By dipping bread in milk prior to mixing it through the meat, your meatballs will stay moist, with less chance of drying out.

Summary

As you can see from this far-reaching selection of recipes, meatballs feature in many significant cultural meals of the world. From Moroccan Tagine to Swedish Köttbullar and Japanese Tsukune, meatballs are adored the world over for their economy, ease, and above all taste.

So whether you fancy trying a more exotic style of meatball, or stick to an Italian-American classic, we hope this article has got you excited for the next meatball night. 

The 40 Best Meatball Recipes

5 from 3 votes

Come and discover just how versatile and globally adored meatballs are through 40 of the best meatball recipes found online.

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review
Jess Smith
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