What To Serve With Meatballs for Dinner

Need ideas for what to serve with meatballs? If you’re like me, you love making (and eating) meatballs because you know that both homemade meatballs are easy to make and have infinite variety.

Do you love spaghetti and meatballs? Barbecue chicken meatballs? Baked chicken and apple meatballs? Asian pork meatballs? Or maybe you want a vegetarian quinoa ball instead of a meatball. What goes with meatballs will depend on your meatball. But, whichever your favorite, read more for tons of suggestions for side dishes for meatballs!

a cast iron pan filled with chicken meatballs and barbecue sauce.
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What to serve with Italian meatballs

A plate of spaghetti with three braised meatballs in tomato sauce.


When you hear “meatballs for dinner,” you probably think of these babies. Italian meatballs are braised in tomato sauce for tender and juicy meatballs that are packed with flavor. They make the perfect spaghetti and meatball dinner.

What to serve with Italian meatballs? Try simple vegetables and side dishes like steamed green beans or roasted broccoli. Or one of the Italian-inspired salads and salad dressings below will always go well. Don’t forget the garlic bread!

Peach Burrata Caprese Salad
This peach and burrata Caprese salad is made with ripe peaches, tomatoes, and basil and some creamy burrata. It's the perfect example to illustrate that food doesn't have to be fussy to be both beautiful and delicious.
Peach Burrata Caprese Salad
a peach and burrata caprese salad from above with sliced peaches, two different sliced tomatoes, whole basil leaves, and two balls of burrata.
Watermelon Panzanella with Sourdough Croutons
This watermelon panzanella combines sourdough croutons and fresh watermelon into a fresh summer salad. It's the perfect side to bring to a potluck or take on a summer picnic.
Watermelon Panzanella
a serving bowl containing watermelon panzanella made with sourdough croutons.
Creamy Pesto Dressing
This creamy pesto salad dressing is super simple to make with store-bought or homemade basil pesto. Reach for it when you want a tangy salad dressing or spread for your favorite sandwich.
Creamy Pesto Dressing
a small bowl of pesto dressing alongside a bowl of pesto, salad bowl, utensils, and two tomatoes.

Don’t forget bread or a dinner roll to sop up all that yummy marinara sauce. My semolina bread recipe is inspired by the Italian Pane Siciliano. Make it as a free-standing, rustic bread loaf for a crusty bread to serve with your Italian meatballs.

Semolina Bread Recipe
This semolina bread recipe makes a soft and nutty-flavored bread loaf with semolina flour that's perfect for your favorite sandwich. Or make it as a free-standing, rustic semolina loaf and serve it aside your favorite soup and salad.
Semolina Bread
a loaf of yellowish semolina bread, four slices, and a bread knife on a cutting board.

If we’re drinking, go Italian. You’d probably find a medium-bodied red table wine or an Aperol Negroni or Negroni spritz in my hand.

Sides for BBQ meatballs

a cast iron pan filled with chicken meatballs and barbecue sauce.

People swoon over these BBQ chicken meatballs, braised here in barbecue sauce. Make the BBQ sauce ahead of time or use your favorite store-bought bottle, and you’ve got dinner in 30 minutes.

Some sides for BBQ meatballs include mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans, or my cavatappi mac and cheese. One reader even had the great idea to use them in a meatball sub. These meatballs are comfort food that will forever be a family favorite in your household as it is in mine.

Cavatappi Mac and Cheese
This cavatappi mac and cheese recipe uses the broiler for a heavenly, gooey homemade mac and cheese with a crispy browned top. You'll never make macaroni and cheese any other way ever again.
Cavatappi Mac and Cheese
cavatappi mac and cheese in a bowl.
Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes and Banana
These mashed purple sweet potatoes make an easy side dish. If you like both mashed sweet potatoes and banana, this is the recipe for you.
Mashed Purple Sweet Potato
a bowl of purple mashed sweet potatoes garnished with banana next to a potato masher and cut purple sweet potato.
Apple Pie Baked Beans
These Apple Pie Baked Beans take baked beans to a whole new level. Yes, you read that right – this apple baked bean recipe is what happens when two classic American comfort foods get together and make a delicious baby.
Apple Pie Baked Beans
pan of apple pie baked beans topped with bacon on a wood background.
Purple Cabbage Slaw
This Purple Cabbage Slaw recipe makes a purple cabbage and carrot salad that will be your go-to mayo-free coleslaw for all your hot weather barbecues. It's in its happy place piled high atop a pulled chicken or pulled pork sandwich or served alongside all the burgers and hot dogs you can eat.
Purple Cabbage Slaw
bowl of purple cabbage slaw with shredded carrot, cilantro, and serving tongs in bright sunlight.

What are we drinking? These BBQ meatballs would go well with a beer, a dry martini, or this spicy margarita.

What goes with Mediterranean meatballs

lamb meatballs with pine nuts and raisins atop fried chickpeas and purple cabbage.

Here are three options for your Mediterranean meatball dinner: Greek chicken meatballs with feta and olives. And there’s one with lamb meatballs and a related Meatless Monday option with quinoa balls with pine nuts and raisins. The pine nuts, raisins, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, and cloves will make you dream of travel.

Center these meatballs in a bowl meal with Middle Eastern sides like a cucumber tomato salad, hummus, feta, and olives. Serve with rice or couscous. And a creamy lemon tahini dressing or sour cream sumac sauce would go well here. Don’t skip the homemade pita!

Mediterranean Lamb Bowl
This Mediterranean bowl with spiced lamb meatballs is a bowl dinner with a variety of tastes and textures inspired by Mediterranean flavors.
Mediterranean Lamb Bowl
bowl with lamb meatballs, Israeli couscous, hummus, vegetables, and pine nuts.
Pumpkin Couscous Salad
This Pumpkin Couscous Salad is a Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad made with Israeli couscous, roasted pumpkin, dried apricot, pine nuts, and feta. It's an easy, colorful, and slightly sweet side dish to bring to a potluck or to accompany your next Mediterranean meal.
Pumpkin Couscous Salad
bowl of pumpkin cubes, Israeli couscous, pine nuts, feta, and sprinkled parsley over a green napkin.
Creamy Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce
Spoon this creamy lemon herb tahini sauce over your favorite Mediterranean meal. Whether dinner is lamb meatballs with pine nuts and raisins and a side of pita, or you've discovered the joy that is fawaffle, this sauce is a quick and easy flavor-matched accompaniment.
Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce
a small bowl of lemon herb tahini sauce on a green napkin with three pita, parsley, and a lemon.
Homemade pita pockets are easy to make. Serve them with your next Middle Eastern or Mediterranean-inspired meal to stuff meatballs or dip into hummus.
Homemade Pita Pockets
eight pita in a wire bread basket.
four quinoa balls on a pita with feta, lemon herb tahini sauce, and parsley on a plate.

What are we drinking? Big flavors call for big reds, and I love a Syrah (Shiraz) to go well with the lamb meatballs. Or try either one of these with the Cinnamon Toast from Shake, Strain, Done.

What to serve with chicken meatballs

a plate of chicken and apple meatbals with quinoa, cooked mushrooms, and chopped parsley.

Meat and fruit complement each other in these chicken and apple meatballs just like in those lamb meatballs or my pork tenderloin with bourbon apples. For sides for chicken meatballs, serve with wild rice and mushrooms and some spicy pickled onions for contrast. These meatballs would also go well added to cavatappi alfredo or to soups!

Spicy Pickled Onions
These spicy pickled onions are easy to make and provide heat and crunch in your favorite tacos and sandwiches. Once you make them once, you'll be adding these pretty pink pickled onions to anything and everything!
Spicy Pickled Onions
a glass jar of spicy pickled onions with sliced jalapeno peppers.
Strawberry Applesauce
Fresh strawberries add natural sweetness to unsweetened strawberry applesauce. Enjoy it with yogurt or waffles or just eat it with a spoon!
Strawberry Applesauce
a glass bowl of unsweetened strawberry applesauce surrounded by apples and strawberries.
Cavatappi Alfredo
This cavatappi alfredo recipe makes an easy, creamy, warm pasta dish in just 15 minutes. Add peas or pumpkin or crisp bacon for variation!
Cavatappi Alfredo
a bowl of cavatappi alfredo with peas
4 Ingredient Potato and Leek Soup
This 4-ingredient potato and leek soup recipe is perfect for a weeknight. It's silky smooth and richer than you'd expect with just 4 ingredients. Add garnishes or try out some of the suggested variations.
Potato Soup
creamy potato soup topped with purple and green onions with a spoon and biscuit.

What are we drinking? For wines, pick a crisp white wine, like a Pinot Grigio or a dry Riesling. Or go with a perfect brandy Manhattan if you’re in a cocktail kind of mood.

What to serve with Asian pork meatballs

a plate shrimp and pork meatballs made with a minced pork recipe over noodles and vegetables next to a flute of purple cocktail

These shrimp and pork meatballs bring back memories of Sunday dim sum with my family, a large cavernous dining room, and carts of goodies being wheeled between tables. For sides, serve your pork meatballs with rice or noodles, steamed green beans, and some chopped cabbage. Or drop them into a noodle soup.

What are we drinking? Asian flavors are often a challenge to pair with wines, but you will never go wrong with a glass of bubbly or a French 75.

Meatball side dish FAQs

Are there any specific tools for making meatballs?

I love my medium cookie scoop for most meatballs to get them all about the same size.

What can I make with leftover meatballs?

If you have leftovers after your meatball dinner, grab a tortilla and make a meatball wrap for lunch. Or make a batch of pizza dough and use your leftover meatballs to inspire all sorts of pizza recipes your next pizza night!

Can I freeze meatballs?

Yes, meatballs freeze perfectly. Freeze braised meatballs in their sauce in a Tupperware type container or use a freezer bag for baked meatballs.

What’s next

If you make any of these meatball dinner ideas or you want more ideas for what goes well with meatballs, please leave a comment and rating. Pretty please.

I’ve started a new Facebook group for Meatball and Meatloaf lovers. Please join the conversation!

Looking for dinner inspiration, classic recipes and new seasonal favorites?

This collection of recipe ideas for what goes with meatballs for dinner was first posted on January 7, 2023. It was last updated on June 24, 2023.

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