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What To Serve With Meatballs: 13 Tasty Side Dishes

Meatballs are a staple in many households. These delicious balls of meat contain plenty of flavors and are a decent source of protein.

Meatballs are also full of flavor and can be made from a number of different meats. 

It can be difficult to know what side dishes you should serve meatballs with. If you are not careful, you may end up in a rut of serving them with the same food.

What To Serve With Meatballs

In fact, many people will merely serve their meatballs with pasta or spaghetti. Though this is a delicious pairing, it may become somewhat boring over time. 

However, there are actually a lot of dishes that will complement meatballs. Thankfully, we have selected thirteen different side dishes for you to try with your meatballs. 

Pasta / Spaghetti

As mentioned before, pasta or spaghetti is often the default when it comes to meatball side dishes. Many people will combine meatballs with spaghetti and a tomato pasta sauce.

There is a reason why this meal is a classic: the ingredients go together really well to create a delectable fusion.

This combination works well as a dinnertime meal or for a more sophisticated occasion, such as a date or dinner party. 

You can either buy a shop-bought sauce or you can make your own. Though this takes longer, it is worth putting the effort in to ensure that your sauce tastes delicious.

If you do not already have a spaghetti and meatballs recipe, you should give this BBC version a shot. The sauce is not very complicated to make and has plenty of flavors, thanks to the inclusion of garlic and herbs. 

Mashed Potatoes

Next, the second most obvious meatball accompaniment is mashed potato. Mashed potatoes are creamy and delicious, providing a soft texture that contrasts with the meatballs.

It is a dish that can be infused with different flavors. 

Mashed potato and meatballs work even better when they are covered in gravy or another scrumptious sauce. Simply serve with vegetables, such as mushrooms and onions for an effective meal.

This meal would also go with boiled vegetables. If you are looking for a helpful recipe, this one from A Food Lover’s Kitchen guides you through each step of the meal, including making homemade meatballs.

You can also give barbecue sauce a try with meatballs and mashed potatoes. 

Fried Potatoes

When it comes to potatoes, you have more options than merely mashing them. Potatoes are a great side dish because they are cheap, filling, and tasty.

One cooking method is to fry them. You should hold off using too much oil when frying the potatoes.

This will especially be the case if you have fried the meatballs. The salty taste of fried potatoes will match the taste of meatballs excellently. 

These potatoes taste luscious and can be flavored with a number of seasonings. One of our favorite fried potato recipes is this version from Delish.

This recipe recommends using either garlic or chili powder to enrich the flavor of these fried potatoes.

Both options will taste sensational, allowing you to select the option that appeals to you. Because of this, fried potatoes are quite a customizable side dish.

The garlic powder option will be a great substitute for people who usually eat their meatballs with garlicky pasta. 

Roasted Potatoes

The third and final potato option you can combine with meatballs is the roast potato. Like mashed potatoes, roast potatoes will accompany meatballs brilliantly when they are paired with a sauce.

Gravy or mushroom sauce will be quite good accompaniments. Though roast potatoes are a little more time-consuming than some of the other side dishes in this list, they are worth it if you have the time.

Alongside potatoes, you can roast other vegetables if you are looking to make your meal a little healthier. This will also be a good option if you desire to make the meal more sophisticated.

If you want to make perfect roast potatoes, we suggest using Jamie Oliver’s recipe. They manage to be soft and fluffy on the inside while having a crisper exterior.

Plus, the use of garlic and sage infuses them with delectable flavors. You can also try making roasted red or sweet potatoes. 


Next, if you are in search of a healthy side dish for meatballs, you may want to give a salad a try. This versatile dish complements a lot of foods.

There are lots of different types of salads that will work in harmony with meatballs.

The salad that best pairs with your meatballs will depend on what sauce you are using and the type of meatballs that have been cooked. 

Greek meatballs, also known as keftedes, go particularly well with a salad. The obvious salad choice to pair with these meatballs is a Greek salad.

However, there are other salads that will work well. For instance, this Greek meatball salad recipe from the Food Network is extremely useful.

It is easy to make and filled with delicious fresh fruits and vegetables. Other salads you may want to try with your metaballs include Caesar salad, potato salad, and pasta salad. 

Corn On The Cob

Do you love corn on the cob? This side dish is popular because it pairs with a lot of food and they taste very buttery.

The corn is quite healthy, being rich in vitamin C. This will be beneficial to people who want a healthy alternative.

Corn on the cob will also be an exemplary accompaniment to your meatballs. This will be especially true if your meatballs are topped in a BBQ sauce or have been barbecued. 

If you desire a fairly standard recipe, this oven-roasted version from Southern Living is standard yet super effective.

On the other hand, if you want more complex and rich corn on the cob, you may want to give this smoked parmesan recipe from The Endless Meal a whirl.

Ideal for the summertime, this inventive take on the corn on the cob will work harmoniously with your metaballs. 


If you are looking for a starchy and filling side dish, bread will be a good option. Though it may sound a little bland, bread can be made more exciting through the addition of delicious butter or some cheese.

Bread will also be a great way of soaking up any sauces, such as barbecue or pasta sauce. 

If you have a baguette handy, you can even make a meatball sub. This Italian-American classic is iconic.

It can be made by putting meatballs in a baguette or bread roll and covering them with a marinara sauce and cheese.

This is a great way of enhancing your meal, transforming it from a bland meatballs meal to a tasty sub.

If this sounds like an exciting idea to you, here is a stunning meatball sub recipe from Spend with Pennies. 

Garlic Bread

Instead of merely having standard bread, you can enhance the flavor by using garlic bread. Like typical bread, this will absorb any sauce that you may use.

Plus, it will provide a garlic taste that compliments the flavor of meatballs. 

There are also lots of different types of garlic bread available to you. There are several types of bread that you can use for garlic bread, such as a baguette, rolls, or ciabatta.

If you want to infuse the garlic bread with extra flavor, you can also top it with cheese. You can either get shop-bought garlic bread or make your own.

Homemade garlic bread tends to be superior, though it is understandable that you may lack the time or energy to make this side dish.

We have found an amazing garlic bread recipe from Budget Bytes for you to try out. As this recipe states, it is a great combination for marinara sauce.

If you like using this sauce with meatballs, you may want to consider making garlic bread. 


Though the combination of meatballs and rice may sound a little unusual to some, we promise that it works well.

While it may not be as classic as pasta and meatballs, it is nonetheless enjoyable.

You can pretty much use whatever type of flavor of your rice you want, though certain flavors will compliment certain sauces better. 

If you are cooking meatballs in a barbeque sauce, you should consider making barbecue rice. This lovely recipe from Where is My Spoon will be great for those who love a spicy kick to their meals.

Beef may not be the best type of meatball to pair with rice. Though it will still be tasty, chicken or turkey meatballs are better when combined with rice. 


If you require a healthy side dish but do not want to make a salad, you can instead go down the root of cooking broccoli.

Broccoli is a brilliant source of several key vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, calcium, and fiber.

Because of this, boiled broccoli will make for a nutritional side dish for your meatballs. 

Another advantage of broccoli is that it is very straightforward to prepare. Though you may think that it is a little bland, it can also be given more flavor.

This gorgeous recipe created by Erren’s Kitchen makes roast broccoli that has been flavored with garlic, parmesan, and lemon.

If you want to liven up your broccoli, consider making this side the next time you have meatballs. 


No, we are not referring to the film “Ratatouille.” Instead, we are talking about an iconic French dish. This nutritional dish is filled with vegetables, such as tomato, onion, and zucchini.

If you are a lover of these vegetables, ratatouille will be an incredible dish to try. 

Ratatouille goes well with metaballs because it contains some of the ingredients that are often paired with them. For instance, it contains both tomato and garlic, both of which are normally used in meatball pasta sauces.

If you are unfamiliar with how to make this French classic, we suggest making Chef de Home’s amazing recipe


Penultimately, you can either use udon or egg noodles as a meatball side.

Both of these noodles will make for a great substitute for pasta. If your meatballs are served in a creamy sauce, noodles will work especially well. 

Udon noodles are thicker than the average noodle. If this sounds appealing, you may want to make your own udon noodles.

Though it can take some time, they will be delicious when served with meatballs.

This recipe from Just One Cookbook will teach you how to make them. If not, you can buy both udon and egg noodles from most big supermarkets. 


Finally, zucchini is another healthy meatball side dish. Zucchini is rich in lots of antioxidants and nutrients.

Making zucchini noodles is an excellent alternative to pasta or noodles. There are different styles of zucchini noodles for you to try out.

Consequently, it is a customizable dish that you can adapt. Here is a nifty set of instructions from Love & Lemons for making zucchini noodles. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Pasta Should You Serve With Meatballs?

You can use most varieties of pasta to make meatballs. Though spaghetti and other long varieties of pasta are a popular accompaniment to meatballs, they can be a little difficult and messy to eat.

Therefore, if you are making meatballs for a formal occasion, you may want to consider using pasta that is simpler to eat, such as penne. 

If you have the time, you may want to consider making homemade pasta. If not, you can either use shop-bought fresh or dried pasta. 

How Do Swedish Meatballs Differ From Traditional Meatballs?

Swedish meatballs are fairly similar to the more dominantly known metaball, the Italian meatball. You can distinguish them by the fact that Swedish meatballs are typically smaller than the Italian version. 

Other differences include the way in which they are served. While Italian meatballs are often accompanied by garlic and cheese, these flavors are not as common with Swedish meatballs.

Nutmeg, white pepper, and allspice are more common flavorings used for Swedish meatballs. It is also rare for Swedish meatballs to be served in a tomato sauce. 

If you are hoping to make Swedish meatballs, here is a superb recipe for you. 

What Should You Eat With Swedish Meatballs?

Swedish meatballs will work nicely with most of the foods featured in this list.

Perhaps the best way of eating Swedish meatballs is with mashed potatoes, gravy or mushroom sauce, and vegetables. 

Final Thoughts

Though pasta may be your default side dish to meatballs, this list demonstrates that there are plenty of other recipes to try.

Please give some of our suggestions a shot if you are bored of eating the same meals over and over. 

What To Serve With Meatballs: 13 Tasty Side Dishes

If you are fed up with always pairing your meatballs with spaghetti, here are some suggestions for different meatball side dishes.


  • 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

Recipe Video

Jess Smith

Mois Pasta

Tuesday 29th of November 2022

A very good article. Congratulations

Mois Pasta

Tuesday 29th of November 2022

A very good article. Congratulations


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