Hearty Meatball Recipes That'll Have Everyone Coming Back for Seconds
Let's face it. On a cold winter's eve or rainy weekend afternoon, nothing quite hits the spot like comfort food. Hallmarks of some favorites? Gooey, cheesy, saucy, and definitely served piping hot. For some, it's a steaming bowl of soup. Others may go to bat for the fried green tomato (or fried okra, we'd go for both). And, a cheesy lasagna never failed to disappoint. But, enter the humble meatball. Though it appears to be simple, it packs a punch in the convenience and taste departments, especially when all it really needs is the right sauce. Here are 22 excellent meatball recipes that will wow for a weeknight dinner, cookout, potluck, and dinner party. Serve them as the appetizer or main dish, and save the leftovers for a meal of their own. (The only real question you need to ask is if there will be leftovers.) From sliders to pastas, bakes to skewers, these meatball recipes will find their way into your meal rotation—and trust us, no one's complaining.
Instant Pot Meatballs
Recipe: Instant Pot Meatballs
Billed as the life-saving appetizer of any busy hostess, these Instant Pot Meatballs come together with just 10 minutes of prep work. Plus, the unique combination of currant jelly and sweet chili sauce provide just the right amount of spice, sweetness, and tanginess. Easily double or triple this recipe—believe us, these will fly right off the plate.
Recipe: Chipotle-Barbecue Meatballs
Start with a package of frozen meatballs and cook in the slow cooker with bottled barbecue sauce and cherry preserves for this easy, five-ingredient appetizer.
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
Get this classic dish in no time at all (and with minimal effort) thanks to the Instant Pot. Thanks to the sauté setting, you can cook your meatballs and pasta in the same dish. We'll never complain about less clean-up after dinner.
Baked Ziti With Meatballs
Recipe: Baked Ziti With Meatballs
This hearty Baked Ziti With Meatballs gets a lift from mushrooms, spinach, and pepperoni, plus a little citrus. The fresh orange juice adds a zesty flavor to the marinara and will have everyone asking about the secret.
My Grandmother's Meatballs
Recipe: My Grandmother's Meatballs
The key to a super tender meatball? Potatoes and cream. Try this recipe and see why we're never going back to our old ways.
Grilled Pork Meatball Kebabs Recipe
These meatballs get their heat and dab of sweetness from Gochujang, a Korean chile sauce. Can't find it? Sub for sriracha instead.
Meatball Pasta Bake
Recipe: Meatball Pasta Bake
Fennel and orange juice brighten and lighten this hearty, comforting dish. Creamy, cheesy, and packed with juicy meatballs, it's a dinner that you can prep in 30 minutes.
Meatball Sliders with Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce
The winning secret to these sliders is the Coca-Cola barbecue sauce. Drizzle it over the sliders—and anything, really—for a little pizzazz.
Recipe: Sweet-and-Spicy Meatballs
Hoisin sauce, chile-garlic sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar make these meatballs incredibly savory and flavorful, with just a hint of sweetness and tang. Side sauce optional, but encouraged.
Greek Meatballs with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce and Rice
Hearty chuck meatballs. Lots of crumbled feta. Fresh mint. Crunchy cucumber. Add a little basmati rice and a creamy yogurt sauce and dinner is served.
Breakfast Sausage Meatballs with Apple Butter Dipping Sauce
Barbecue Spaghetti & Meatballs
Recipe: Barbecue Spaghetti & Meatballs
Spaghetti with meatballs is always a sure suppertime winner, but with barbecue sauce? Unbeatable. Try this recipe by beloved barbecue master Ray Lampe and prepare to be amazed.
Crispy Pork Meatballs
Recipe: Crispy Pork Meatballs
Meatballs? Delicious. Crispy meatballs? Unbeatable. Dunk in spicy mayo and it becomes irresistible.
Cranberry Sauce Meatballs
Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Meatballs
Swap the run-of-the-mill grape jelly for cranberry sauce and hot jalapeño pepper jelly for something delightfully spicy, sweet, and savory all at the same time. Turn it into a main dish by serving with rice, mashed potatoes, or grits.
Shortcut Baked Rigatoni with Meatballs
Another easy meal for you: Shortcut Baked Rigatoni with Meatballs. Throw the uncooked pasta into the pan with the sauce and meatballs, and bake until tender.
Slow-Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs
Perhaps one of—if not the—original saucy meatball, the grape jelly meatball brings us straight back to the time of bouffants, princess phones, and avocado-green kitchens. The signature sweetness comes with a little heat thanks to the chili and barbecue sauces. Make a batch and watch them all disappear.
Meatball Sliders with Tomato Sauce
This fun dish is two recipes in one: delicious, easy meatballs and a slow-simmered tangy tomato sauce. If you have any extra sauce, toss it with your favorite green vegetable, spoon it over a bowl of creamy grits, or pair it with pork chops or other meats.
Recipe: Cocktail Meatballs
Cocktail meatballs hold a special place in the canon of Southern party appetizers, in part because they are a study in ground-beef perfection and simplicity. While we love the ones our mamas made with chili sauce and grape jelly, this recipe is the one we still pull out for company. This recipe mixes ground beef with the sweet, the tart, and the unexpected: brown sugar, lemon juice, and horseradish, to make a cocktail-fork temptation that should grace every Southern party table or tray. So grab a bottle of wine—for the recipe—get ready to party, and enjoy making these delicious cocktail meatballs.
Chimichurri Beef Meatball Hoagies
These deliciously flavored meatballs served on hoagie rolls or French baguette rolls will be the new favorite at your weeknight dinner table or your neighborhood football party. The sauce makes plenty for cooking the meatballs, and there's even enough to spoon over the sandwiches for a boost of flavor.
Recipe: Party-Perfect Meatballs
These meatballs can be your ground beef go-to finger food at any time of year. That's the reason we call them our Party-Perfect Meatballs. To make ahead, prepare meatballs through Step 2, and freeze in zip-top plastic freezer bags for up to 1 month. To reheat from frozen, pick up with Step 3 and warm the meatballs in the sauce over low heat. The sauce can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days if making ahead. For serving, keep them warm in your slow cooker, in a Dutch oven over low heat, or in a fondue pot.
Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce
These zesty meatballs are a true taste of the Southwest, with poblano peppers, corn chips, lime juice, and red chile enchilada sauce. Prepared with ground chuck, these are a rich, delicious way to fill a tortilla full of flavor. Let guests doctor their own plates with crunchy, colorful toppings including Cotija cheese, radishes, and avocado. If you prefer to prepare early, these also freeze beautifully, so you can always have some on hand. Savor the sensations of Southwest flavors with these Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce.
Italian-Style Turkey Meatball Soup
Try our easy take on traditional Italian wedding soup. Stir baby spinach into the hot soup; it wilts in just about a minute and adds color. Or, sub any herbs or baby greens you have on hand and add more or less red pepper to vary the level of heat.