Cures for the Common Meatball

Basic Meatballs on parchment paper
Who knew meatballs could be so much more than spaghetti's sidekick? These mouthwatering meatball recipes prove they are so much more, whether baked, on a stick (honest), in a sandwich, as Swedish meatballs, or smothered in sauce.

Vietnamese Pork Meatballs

Italian-Vietnamese fusion, here we come. Although it may not sound like the most traditional of combinations, this recipe sure is tasty. Ginger and lemongrass push these meatballs to the next flavor level. They’re great with shredded cabbage and carrots or in a banh mi-inspired meatball sandwich.

Meatball Subs on a Stick

Meatball subs are almost as popular as spaghetti meatball recipes, but we’re willing to bet you’ve never had one on a stick before. (A breadstick that is.) Weave breadstick dough between homemade meatballs, then top it off with melty Italian cheese. Of course, we wouldn’t leave out the marinara sauce. Serve it on the side for dipping.

Swedish Meatballs

If you want to dress up plain meatballs without getting wild, a Swedish meatball recipe is a tasty variation. Rather than tomato sauce, whip up a creamy sauce made with milk and beef bouillon then serve it all with bowtie noodles.

Meatballs and Stuffed Zucchini

Beef meatballs hide inside zucchini in this recipe. How? The trick is to core your zucchini then stuff it with meatball filling. If you have extra meatballs, serve them on the side with a tasty tomato meatball sauce.

Meatball Lasagna

Serve two Italian favorites in one with this easy casserole recipe. Like any good lasagna recipe, it has layers upon layers of noodles, mozzarella, ricotta, and sauce, but instead of plain ground beef, we used Mediterranean meatballs. This meatball recipe will definitely make your lasagna extra special. And meat-lovers will be happy with the super-size layer of beef.

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs with Mango Salsa

A meatball recipe gone tropical. It has crushed red pepper to make the meatballs spicy, but spooning a fruity mango salsa on top gives it a little sweetness, too. We recommend mixing a double batch of the fresh mango and red pepper salsa to scoop up with tortilla chips alongside your meatballs.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

Want another way to make your spaghetti meatball recipe more interesting? Swap out the noodles for spaghetti squash. Subbing in spaghetti squash makes this meatball-friendly recipe a little healthier and lower in carbs.

Meatball Frittata

With this recipe, it’s totally acceptable to eat meatballs for breakfast. Baked into a cheesy egg frittata, the meatballs are surrounded by fresh red sweet peppers and basil. We’re not saying you should make this meatball frittata every morning. But it only takes 20 minutes, so you certainly could.

Turkey Meatball Shepherd's Pie

To give dishes that call for ground beef or turkey more pizzazz, sub in homemade meatballs. That switch makes this turkey meatball shepherd’s pie recipe oh, so good. Start with an easy turkey meatball recipe, then top it off with Alfredo sauce, sweet peas, and sweet potato slices.

Pork Meatball & Escarole Soup

A simple flavor changer is to make a regular meatball recipe using pork instead. Take it one step further and skip the pasta in favor of this cozy escarole soup. This yummy recipe is so good, you’ll think it was simmering all day. But it takes only 45 minutes.

Molasses-Lime Meatballs

This sausage and beef meatball recipe also has a few secret ingredients. For one thing, the sauce is made with a tasty sweet and savory combination of molasses, soy sauce, and lime juice. For another, rolled oats are inside the meatballs: They make a great binding agent.

Meatball and Vegetable Kabobs

Give your meatballs the grill treatment. Start with purchased meatballs or your favorite recipe, then skewer them along with cubed zucchini and juicy cherry tomatoes. Grill this meatball recipe alongside your other barbecue favorites at a summer barbecue or broil them for a tasty weeknight entrée.

Spicy Italian Meatballs

Don’t worry, we'll never suggest giving up classic Italian meatballs. But if you want to take the classic outside the box, add a dash of crushed red pepper to give them some kick. As a bonus, this Italian meatball recipe cooks in your slow cooker for an easy appetizer or entrée.

Meatball Pie

This is another twist on a classic spaghetti meatball recipe, and it’s great for feeding a crowd. Rather than mixing your spaghetti and meatballs together, bake them into an impressive pie that serves eight, meaning you might have leftovers.

Mexican Meatball Stew

Like your meatballs with a hint of heat? Serve them Mexican style. This meatball slow cooker recipe includes lots of favorite ingredients from Mexican cooking, including black beans, corn, and Mexican-style stewed tomatoes. If you want this soup to really knock your socks off with spice, try adding a few dashes of chili pepper or serving with fresh jalapeño peppers as a garnish.

Gnocchi and Meatball Bake

You don’t have to ditch pasta in an effort to make meatballs interesting. Instead of spaghetti, try serving your homemade meatballs with gnocchi for a twist on classic pasta and meatballs. Some other goodies are hiding in this easy meatball recipe, too, like mushrooms and green sweet peppers.

Ricotta Meatball Hoagies

For even more decadent, delicious meatballs, add a dollop of ricotta cheese to the mix. These baked meatballs are good enough to eat all on their own, but they’re at their best when drenched in homemade marina sauce. To make it a meal, serve them over your favorite pasta or on hoagie rolls. Yum!  

Meatball and Vegetable Soup with Pasta

Meatballs are a great way to make soups heartier, as this dressed up minestrone recipe proves. Loaded with meatballs, pasta, mixed veggies, and cannellini beans, you won’t go to bed hungry after a bowl of this soup. Start with your favorite meatball recipe if you want or speed dinner up by using frozen meatballs instead.

Orzo, Pancetta, and Provolone Bake with Turkey Meatballs

Baked meatballs are good, but baked turkey meatballs with orzo, crispy pancetta, and melted provolone cheese are out of this world! To get dinner on the table faster, use refrigerated turkey meatballs instead of a homemade recipe. Either way, this recipe will have everyone scooping up seconds.

Spicy Apple-Glazed Meatballs

If you ask us, meatballs are best when they’re a little sweet and a little spicy. This quick meatball recipe starts out spicy thanks to cayenne pepper but gets a touch of sweetness from an apple glaze. Ready in less than an hour, these meatballs are a great party appetizer even if you're pinched for time.

Mini Meatball Pizza

Why use sausage or pepperoni when you make meatball pizza instead? In fact, we might start making meatball pizza even more often than classic spaghetti and meatballs. Start with a homemade pizza dough and sauce, then top it off with mini meatballs, red onion, yellow sweet peppers, and lots and lots of cheese.

Basic Meatballs

Still learning how to make meatballs? Start with this simple recipe, then choose one of our seven variations once you’ve mastered the basics. No matter what meat you use as the  base of your meatballs, we have a recipe for it. Lamb, bratwurst, ham, shrimp, you name it!

Share the gallery



Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.