Home Recipe Roundup 20 Homemade Sauces for Meatballs

20 Homemade Sauces for Meatballs

Whether they’re on top of spaghetti or in a large Crockpot by themselves, meatballs are always a tasty treat.

Of course, it’s the sauces for meatballs that really make them so delicious.

Meatballs with Creamy Gravy
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Typical meatball sauces include marinara, lingonberry jam, grape jelly sauce, bolognese, and mushroom gravy. 

Those aren’t the only options you have, though. 

There are also sauces like honey garlic sauce, vodka cream sauce, and sage brown butter sauce (one of my all-time favorites). 

Whatever you’re in the mood for, this list of 20 sauces for meatballs probably has something that will suit your tastes.

Let’s check them out. 

20 Meatball Sauce Recipes

1. Marinara Sauce

The obvious choice for adding marinara sauce to your meatballs is to go to the store and buy a jar of Newman’s Own.

However, homemade marinara sauce is so much more flavorful. 

Plus, it’s not even that hard to make. It takes only 5 minutes to prepare, and then, you’ll let it simmer for about 45 minutes more until it’s ready to serve. 

Mix up your whole peeled tomatoes, yellow onions, garlic, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt. In less than an hour, you’re good to go! 

2. Swedish Meatball Sauce

Swedish meatball sauce requires a few more ingredients than homemade marinara, but it actually takes less time to make. 

It’s thick, creamy, buttery, and full of flavor.

The Worcestershire, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard give it a bit of a kick, while the beef and chicken broths provide a thick, rich base. 

And if you’re wondering what to serve with Swedish meatballs, you can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes!

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3. Honey Garlic Meatball Sauce

If you’re looking for something with a bit of an Asian flair, these sweet, spicy, and savory meatballs are an excellent option. 

The cup of honey, four cloves of garlic, and half-cup of soy sauce all complement one another flawlessly.

The Chinese 5-spice powder adds a delightfully spicy kick, as well. 

The sauce is thick and delicious on its own, but if you want to add some crunch to your meatballs, sprinkle sesame seeds over the top of them. 

4. Sweet and Sour Meatball Sauce

All you’ll need to make this simple sweet and sour meatball sauce is ketchup and grape jelly.

I know it seems impossible that something that tastes so good can be so simple, but it’s true.

5. Grape Jelly Sauce

This sauce, too, uses grape jelly, but instead of ketchup, you’ll add chili sauce. It makes it a thicker, richer sauce with just a bit of heat to back it up. 

Of course, the type of chili sauce you use will determine how much spice is in your sauce.

6. Garlic Butter Sauce

This four-ingredient sauce is perfect for anyone who truly loves garlic.

Although there’s also flour and chicken broth on the ingredients list, it tastes primarily of butter and garlic. 

It’s so creamy and herby and smothers your meatballs in a ton of umami flavor. If that’s your thing, then these meatballs will be the best you’ve ever had. 

7. Dipping Sauce

If you’re in a big hurry, meatball dipping sauce is the way to go. It takes only 6 minutes to make and uses only 6 ingredients. 

You can make it with cornflour, apple cider vinegar, dark soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and ketchup.

If you want to make it extra tangy, add a teaspoon of mustard, as well. 

8. Tomato Sauce

Sometimes, the best sauce for meatballs is one that’s simple and full of fresh garden flavor. That’s precisely what tomato sauce is. 

All you’ll need is garlic, a bay leaf, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and whole plum tomatoes. It’s simple but scrumptious. 

9. Vodka Cream Sauce

This recipe is for an entire dish, but if all you’re interested in is the sauce, stick to the first two steps in the instructions. 

Heat your olive oil; then, add your onions and garlic. Once those are soft and fragrant, pour in the vodka and stir in the beef broth and tomatoes. 

The result is a thick, creamy, tomatoey sauce that tastes great on meatballs, pasta, or anything else. 

10. Sunday Sauce

Sunday sauce might have a short, simple name, but the ingredients list is actually one of the longest of all the sauces on the list. 

There’s olive oil, pork neck bones, Italian sausage, diced onions, salt, garlic, red wine, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, water, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.

In other words, there’s a lot going on in this sauce, and you’ll taste its incredible complexity in every bite. 

11. Creamy Tomato Sauce

If tomato is your preferred sauce flavor, this heavy cream- and tomato-based sauce is the obvious choice. 

Top the sauce with a scattering of parmesan cheese, and you’ll have an authentic Italian treat on your hands. 

12. Tomato Basil Sauce

Tomato basil sauce is perfect for those looking for something tangy and herby, and it uses the freshest and most flavorful ingredients. 

The heavy whipping cream makes it thick and velvety smooth, and the garlic, parmesan, basil, and tomato paste give it its flavor. 

The sour cream adds an unbeatable bit of tanginess, as well. 

13. Greek Lemon Sauce

Greek lemon sauce is a seriously tart sauce that uses a mere three ingredients: eggs, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a dash of salt. 

It’s not for everyone, but for those who love things a little sour, it’ll be a real hit.

14. Yogurt Sauce

Yogurt sauce may look like a dollop of Greek yogurt on your meatballs, but there’s a little more to it than that. 

You’ll start with Greek yogurt, true, but to that, you’ll add cucumbers, fresh lemon juice, fresh dill, Kosher salt, and black pepper. 

It retains the zestiness of yogurt and has a bit of freshness from the cucumbers and pure tartness from the lemon.

It’s an interesting, unique sauce that’s unlike any other you’ve tried.

15. Mustard Dill Sauce

This tangy, herb sauce tastes strongly of dill, with just a hint of mustard underneath.

The garlic comes through, as well, but not as strong as it does in some of the other options on the list.

16. Bolognese

Bolognese sauce is a classic, and most everyone knows and loves it. However, not everyone knows how to make it. 

That’s partly because a good bolognese sauce takes a bit of time, effort, and several ingredients.

It has butter, bacon, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and eight other components!

Still, if you get it right, you won’t believe how phenomenal it tastes, and it’ll definitely be the star of the show no matter what else is on the table. 

17. Guajillo Sauce

Guajillo sauce is tomato and garlic-flavored and just a little bit spicy.

If you’re looking for a meatball sauce that gives you a somewhat Mexican flavor, this is the one for you. 

18. Mushroom Gravy

On the other hand, mushroom gravy is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something with a more down-home southern comfort-type flavor. 

Mushroom gravy tastes great on everything – potatoes, steak, rolls, and especially meatballs.

It’s also pretty straightforward in terms of cooking, making it great for beginner cooks. 

19. Sour Cream Sauce

Sour cream sauce is buttery, somewhat tangy, and insanely herby. It has plenty of umami flavor, and the nutmeg adds a dash of woodsy nuttiness. 

It takes only a bit of time and effort to make, and it makes a wonderful addition to your Swedish meatballs. 

20. Sage Brown Butter Sauce

As I’ve already mentioned, I love this sage brown butter sauce. It is so insanely good, and I could eat it on practically anything – not just meatballs. 

And best of all, it’s so easy to make that even someone who’s never cooked a single meal could do it.

All you’ll need are sage leaves, butter, and minced garlic. 

It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, and its flavor is somewhere between Thanksgiving dinner and a buttery croissant. Heavenly!

20 Homemade Sauces for Meatballs

These homemade sauces for meatballs can’t be beat! From marinara to Swedish meatball sauce to grape jelly and mushroom gravy, you’ll love these easy meatball meals.


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Sauces for Meatballs

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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