Meatballs are delicious balls of ecstasy perfect for a simple meal with the family or a fun feast with friends.
But, no matter how amazing meatballs taste, it’s sometimes a struggle to think of something to pair them with aside from the usual spaghetti. It’s a shame because meatballs are capable of so much more than just a topping for your pasta dish.
Meatballs aren’t just finger foods and appetizers. When cooked and seasoned properly, these little balls of flavor can be the star of the meal.
But most likely, you’ll want to pair them with some complimentary side dishes.
Don’t worry though, you don’t have to wrack your brain for ideas because I’ve taken care of that for you! Whether you’re making Swedish, Italian, or barbecue meatballs, I’ve got you covered.
Transform your meatball dish into a sumptuous feast with these incredible side dishes.
Mashed potatoes make a classic pairing with meatballs. To make things more interesting, add some roast garlic to the potatoes. That distinct garlic flavor together with the soft, buttery, creamy, and cheesy components of the dish makes a wonderful combination.
Mashed potatoes taste great with creamy meatballs, such as Salisbury and Swedish meatballs, and meatballs with gravy or mushroom sauce. The flavors also work well with barbecue and cranberry meatballs.
Potatoes make such a fantastic side dish because they are starchy and filling. Aside from making mashed potatoes, another great way to cook them is by roasting them. Roasting brings out the natural flavors of the potatoes, making them taste even more wonderful than they already do.
I especially enjoy red roasted potatoes. Simply chop them up, place in a casserole dish and drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with minced garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Then bake at 450 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknights and oh so delicious.
You’d be surprised how a simple bowl of steamed white rice pairs perfectly with your meatballs. Especially meatballs with a creamy or savory sauce.
With just a few simple ingredients you’ve now created classic comfort food. Watch as your family devours this meal combination and ask for seconds!
Asian-inspired meatballs, such as sweet and sour, Korean, honey garlic, and turkey meatballs also taste fantastic with rice.
4. Egg Noodles
I know meatballs are usually served over spaghetti. But why not shake things up a bit!
One of my favorite combos is Swedish meatballs in a creamy sauce over egg noodles. It’s a simple meal that the whole family can agree on.
Udon is a Japanese noodle made with wheat flour. Give it a nice Thai flair by tossing it in peanut butter sauce – what a wonderful fusion of Asian flavors. These peanut butter noodles taste exceptionally great with Thai-inspired meatballs.
6. Meatball Sub
In a world where we’ve turned almost everything into a sandwich, this is probably one of my favorites. Juicy meatballs covered in cheese and marinara sauce. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Just be sure to use a thick, crispy bread that can stand up to these meatballs. Otherwise you can end up with a soggy mess. French baguettes and Hoagie rolls both work well.
If you’re serving Greek meatballs, get some pita bread and make pita pockets. For Buffalo meatballs, toasted French bread is your best bet. If you’re making meatballs in tomato sauce and cheese, use that to make a sub. Barbeque meatballs may be turned into sliders. Add some honey mustard sauce and pickles and you’ve got yourself a drool-worthy burger.
Not just any regular corn on the cob, though. Slather your corn with butter and season them with various spices, then into the grill they go. This side is perfect with barbecue meatballs.
If you’re craving some veggies, this is the dish for you. This stewed vegetable dish combines zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, bell pepper, and mascarpone cheese. I’m telling you, this nutritious dish is so good, even your kids will enjoy it. Ratatouille is best served with, as you may have guessed, Italian meatballs.
9. Green Beans
Green beans are a classic dish in Chinese cuisine, so Asian-inspired meatballs, such as sweet and sour meatballs, are perfect with them. This healthy and crunchy veggie is very easy to prepare, perfect for any busy day.
Speaking of long, thin, green veggies, asparagus also works well with meatballs: Swedish meatballs, that is. Swedish meatballs are rich and creamy, and that sauce combined with the crunchy veggie works wonders.
To prepare, toss the asparagus with butter and lemon. And then, instead of going through the trouble of sauteing or baking, you can microwave it!
This side dish is one of the easiest ones to prepare on this list. Flavor your broccoli with garlic and lemon and that’s it! Garlic and lemon help turn the rather bland veggie into a tangy and flavorful dish. Pair it with Hawaiian meatballs for a vibrant tropical dinner.
You may also turn this side dish into a medley of vegetables by adding cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. These veggies taste fantastic with traditional flavors, so serve them with barbecue, Salisbury, or Swedish meatballs.
There is arguably no dish that does not go well with a salad. Salads give a lighter vibe to any heavy dish and turn it into a nutritious meal. And whatever type of meatball you are serving, there is at least one salad that goes perfectly well with it.
If you’re making Asian-inspired meatballs, a nice green salad with an Asian dressing, such as a Thai chopped salad, would make an excellent side.
If you prefer the classic Spaghetti and meatballs or a flavorful Italian-inspired meatball, go for a mixed green salad loaded with various leaves.
Going Greek? Serve a chopped Greek salad on the side.
A tangy coleslaw is great with Buffalo meatballs.
Having a barbecue meatball dinner? Pair it with a spicy black bean salsa!
You can never go wrong with a classic. I encourage you to explore all the wonderful side dishes on this list. But I would be remiss, if I left out the classic meatballs and spaghetti.
Plus, it always makes me think of one of my favorite movies: Lady and the Tramp.
Whether you’re fixing a romantic dinner or simply a weeknight meal with the kids, spaghetti is always a hit.
Make some extra and you’ll have delicious leftovers so you can take the next night off. Spaghetti lasts for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
I also love storing some in the freezer. That way, when I need a break for cooking, I just pull it out of the freezer in the morning. Leave it on the counter top and it’s ready to go by dinner time!
A Medley of Sides
While serving meatballs with a side dish is awesome, I often like to mix and match a variety of side dishes! Especially if I’m serving a group of hungry guests. For a barbecue meatball feast, serve some avocado slices, coleslaw, and sweet potato fries on the side.
If you’re going for a German theme, you can make barbeque meatballs and serve them with sauerkraut and potato salad. These sides have a nice tanginess to them that goes well with smoky meatballs.
Here’s an interesting idea: turn regular meatball night into a campfire party! Serve your meatballs with a trio of sides that your guests won’t be able to resist: baked beans, coleslaw, and baked potatoes. Yum!
If it’s just a simple dinner with friends you’re after, then a combination of mashed potatoes and green beans with your meatballs is more than enough to feed and satisfy your guests.
If you’re badly in need of some comfort food, meatballs with mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and a side of garlic bread will definitely do the trick.
Want to give your dinner an Asian flair? Go make (or buy) some noodles and top them with Korean barbecue meatballs and serve some stir-fry vegetables on the side.
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