22 Best Foods That Go With Meatballs You Must Try

foods that go with meatballs

Meatballs are a beloved dish that can be enjoyed in many ways, from family dinners to cozy weeknight meals. Finding the perfect sides to complement them can elevate your dining experience.

Whether you prefer classic comfort foods, healthy options, or something a bit more adventurous, there are plenty of foods that go with meatballs to create a delicious and satisfying meal. Dive into our list and discover new pairings that will make your meatball dishes even more enjoyable.

22 Foods That Go With Meatballs

1. Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce


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Spaghetti and meatballs is a timeless classic that never goes out of style. The rich marinara sauce perfectly complements the savory meatballs, creating a comforting and satisfying dish. To elevate this pairing, use high-quality tomatoes for your sauce, and add fresh basil, garlic, and a splash of red wine for extra depth of flavor. Don’t forget to top it off with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

2. Mashed Potatoes

Creamy mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food that pairs beautifully with meatballs. The smooth, buttery texture of the potatoes complements the tender meatballs, making every bite a delight. For the best results, use Yukon Gold potatoes for their rich flavor and creamy consistency. You can also enhance the dish with a rich gravy or a dollop of sour cream and chives.

3. Steamed Vegetables

Steamed vegetables are a simple and nutritious side that goes well with meatballs. Choose a variety of colorful veggies like broccoli, carrots, green beans, and bell peppers for a vibrant plate. Steaming retains the vegetables’ nutrients and natural flavors, making them a healthy addition to your meal. For extra flavor, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite herbs and spices.

4. Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

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Macaroni and cheese is a beloved comfort food that pairs wonderfully with meatballs. The rich, creamy cheese sauce clings to the pasta, creating a perfect backdrop for the savory meatballs. For a gourmet twist, try using a blend of cheeses like sharp cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmesan. You can also add a crispy breadcrumb topping for an extra layer of texture.

5. Garlic Bread

Crispy, buttery garlic bread is an ideal side for meatballs, especially when served with a rich tomato sauce. The garlicky flavor and crunchy texture complement the tender meatballs perfectly. To make your own garlic bread, simply spread a mixture of butter, minced garlic, and parsley on slices of French bread, then bake until golden and crispy. For an extra cheesy version, sprinkle with mozzarella or Parmesan before baking.

6. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a fantastic low-carb alternative to traditional rice that pairs well with meatballs. It’s light, fluffy, and takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with. To prepare, simply pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble rice grains, then sauté with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and onions. Add some fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for a burst of freshness.

7. Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

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Baked potatoes are another hearty side that pairs well with meatballs. Their fluffy interior and crispy skin make them a versatile accompaniment. Serve them with classic toppings like butter, sour cream, and chives, or get creative with options like cheese, bacon bits, and steamed broccoli. The possibilities are endless, and they add a satisfying element to your meal.

8. Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Jam

Swedish meatballs are a popular Scandinavian dish that pairs beautifully with lingonberry jam. The sweet and slightly tart jam contrasts perfectly with the savory, creamy meatballs. Serve them with a side of mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles to complete the meal. If you can’t find lingonberry jam, cranberry sauce makes an excellent substitute.

9. Rice Pilaf

Rice pilaf is a versatile and flavorful side dish that goes well with meatballs from various cuisines. The aromatic spices and fluffy texture of the rice enhance the flavor of the meatballs. You can customize your pilaf with ingredients like toasted nuts, dried fruits, and fresh herbs. Try adding saffron for a rich, golden hue and a touch of exotic flavor.

10. Couscous


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Couscous is a North African staple that pairs wonderfully with spiced meatballs. Its light, fluffy texture absorbs the flavors of the meatballs and any accompanying sauce. For a Mediterranean twist, add chopped vegetables, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon juice. This versatile grain can be served warm or as a chilled salad.

11. Greek Salad

A fresh Greek salad is an excellent pairing with meatballs, offering a burst of flavor and crunch. The combination of crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, red onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese complements the richness of meatballs. Dress it with a simple vinaigrette made from olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and a touch of garlic.

12. Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is a simple yet elegant Italian salad that pairs perfectly with meatballs. Made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, it adds a refreshing contrast to the savory meatballs. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper for a delightful side dish.

13. Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

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Caesar salad is a classic option that pairs well with meatballs, especially when served with a creamy dressing. The crunchy romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and croutons provide a satisfying texture contrast. For an extra touch, add grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a heartier side.

14. Crusty French Baguette

A crusty French baguette is a versatile side that complements meatballs beautifully. The crunchy exterior and soft, airy interior are perfect for mopping up sauces. Slice it and serve it warm with a bit of butter or olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

15. Garlic Knots

Garlic knots are a fun and flavorful side that pairs wonderfully with meatballs. These buttery, garlicky twists of dough are perfect for dipping in marinara sauce. They’re easy to make with store-bought pizza dough, brushed with a mixture of melted butter, garlic, and parsley before baking.

16. Hawaiian Rolls

Hawaiian Rolls

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Hawaiian rolls add a sweet and savory element to your meatball meal. Their soft, fluffy texture makes them perfect for mini meatball sliders. Simply slice the rolls, add a meatball with a bit of sauce, and top with cheese for a delightful bite-sized treat.

17. Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato basil soup is a rich, comforting option that pairs well with meatballs. The creamy, tangy tomato flavor complements the savory meatballs, creating a harmonious dish. To make it from scratch, simmer fresh tomatoes with garlic, onions, and basil, then blend until smooth and creamy.

18. Quinoa

Quinoa is a protein-packed grain that pairs well with meatballs, adding a nutritious and hearty element to your meal. Its slightly nutty flavor and fluffy texture make it an excellent base for meatballs and sauce. Cook the quinoa in vegetable or chicken broth for extra flavor, and mix in vegetables, herbs, or nuts for added texture and taste.

19. Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

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Minestrone soup is a hearty, vegetable-packed option that goes well with meatballs. This Italian classic is filled with vegetables, beans, and pasta in a savory broth. The meatballs add extra protein and flavor, making it a complete and satisfying meal. Customize your minestrone with seasonal vegetables and fresh herbs.

20. French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a flavorful, savory option that pairs well with meatballs. The rich, caramelized onions and beef broth are topped with a slice of toasted bread and melted cheese. The depth of flavor in the soup enhances the taste of the meatballs, making for a comforting and indulgent meal.

21. Polenta

Polenta is a creamy, comforting side that pairs wonderfully with meatballs. Made from cornmeal, it has a rich, smooth texture that complements the meatballs’ savory flavors. Serve it soft and creamy or let it cool and firm up, then slice and grill or bake for a delicious variation. Add cheese, herbs, or a drizzle of olive oil to enhance the flavor.

22. Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)

Zucchini Noodles

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Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, are a healthy, low-carb alternative to traditional pasta. They pair perfectly with meatballs and are easy to prepare with a spiralizer. Sauté the zoodles briefly in olive oil with garlic and a pinch of salt, then toss with your favorite sauce and meatballs for a light yet satisfying dish.

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