What to Serve with Meatballs: 25+ BEST Sides

Wondering what to serve with meatballs for dinner? This handy guide covers all of the best sides for meatballs – from veggies, to potatoes, and more!

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I’m sharing 25+ of the most popular and best sides for meatballs. Creamy mashed potatoes, salads, and the most delicious veggies.

These side dishes pair with all your favorite meatball recipes, from simple sauteed meatballs, to Curry Meatballs, Turkey Swedish Meatballs, Mexican Meatballs, and more!

Be sure to check out these 30+ yummy sauces for meatballs too!

🍽 What to Serve with Meatballs

Overhead shot of bowl of sunday gravy.
This Authentic Italian Sunday Gravy is what I grew up eating every week. Nana’s tomato meat sauce holds a fond place in my heart, and her recipe lives on to this day in my recipe box. It’s my most requested recipe and today I’m sharing it with you.
Sunday Gravy
Overhead shot of bowl of mashed potatoes topped with a pat of butter, next to bowl of sour cream.
These Easy Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream are especially delicious with Swedish Meatballs. They're light, creamy, buttery and tangy and easy to make with the help of your stand mixer – No hand mashing required!
Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream
Overhead shot of bowl of pasta with roasted tomato sauce.
This Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce comes together easily, with no chopping or constant stove monitoring. Just pop it in the oven and let the roasting process intensify the flavor of canned tomatoes.
Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce
Two hands holding bowl of cooked polenta.
This Creamy Polenta recipe makes a delicious side dish. Irresistibly delicious with parmesan cheese, but simple to make with just 5-ingredients: polenta, parmesan, milk, chicken broth and butter. It's delicious with Meatballs in Marinara Sauce!
Creamy Polenta
Overhead shot of penne alla vodka in white bowl next to glass of red wine.
This Pasta Alla Vodka recipe will be a definite keeper. Pasta is tossed in a tomato vodka sauce that’s deliciously creamy and kicked up with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
Pasta Alla Vodka
Risotto in grey bowl next to shards of parmesan cheese.
Instant Pot Risotto is hands-down the best way to make risotto! It has the signature creamy, rich goodness you expect without all the stirring and fuss of making it on the stove. Plus there are 6 add-in options to make your risotto extra flavorful.
Instant Pot Risotto
Roasted brussel sprouts in bowl drizzled with balsamic glaze and sprinkled with cranberries.
These Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction & Cranberries make a simple and elegant side dish that both kids and adults love!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction
Overhead shot of bowl of mashed cauliflower in grey bowl with swirls of butter.
Mashed Cauliflower is a delicious, low carb & keto friendly side dish. With 5 flavor variations and instructions for making Stovetop Mashed Cauliflower or Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower.
Mashed Cauliflower
These copycat Din Tai Fung Green Beans are deliciously crispy and coated with lots of savory garlic and a spicy chili crisp. It’s the best umami-forward side dish to pair with all of your takeout-inspired favorites!
Din Tai Fung Green Beans
Italian wedding soup in small grey bowl with parmesan.
This Italian Wedding Soup marries delicious Italian flavors together in one pot! Made with homemade meatballs, vegetables, kale, and pasta, this classic soup is easy to make in less than an hour on the stove top.
Italian Wedding Soup
Close up of garlic rice in serving bowl.
Ordinary white rice is transformed into the best savory side dish in this Garlic Rice recipe! Super fluffy and loaded with garlic and butter, one taste and you’ll never settle for blah rice again.
Garlic Rice
Bowl of rice and small bowl of soy sauce next to instant pot.
With these tips you’ll see it's simple to learn how to cook perfect rice using the Instant Pot rice setting. The result is fluffy & flavorful rice that’s easy to prepare with minimal measuring.
Instant Pot Rice
Sauteed spinach in white bowl.
Add a healthy boost of nutrients to your dinner with this easy Sauteed Spinach. Baby spinach is added to a skillet along with garlic and olive oil, then sauteed gently to create a simple side dish that pairs with any meal!
Sauteed Spinach
Bowl of tortellini in broth with spoon.
Tortellini en Brodo is an incredibly simple yet super satisfying appetizer made by simmering cheese-filled tortellini in rich chicken broth. The recipe puts a semi-homemade spin on a traditional Italian soup.
Tortellini en Brodo
Sauteed zucchini and squash in skillet.
You can serve Sauteed Zucchini and Squash with practically anything! It’s a simple side dish that showcases sliced and seared summer squash and savory Italian flavors.
Sauteed Zucchini and Squash
Overhead close up of spinach rice in skillet with serving spoon.
This quick and easy Spinach Rice recipe is a tasty way to sneak more greens onto your plate! A green spinach paste is stirred into fluffy and flavorful white rice, instantly upgrading this simple side dish with deliciously savory flavors.
Spinach Rice
Overhead shot of bowl of cooked tomato couscous with spoon.
Israeli couscous with tomatoes is an amazing side dish full of flavor. Toasted pearl couscous is tossed with a burst tomato sauce and finished with a squeeze of lime for a delightful tang. Yum!
Tomato Couscous
Overhead close up of bowl of kale caesar salad in white bowl with serving spoon.
This Kale Caesar Salad is topped with crispy homemade croutons and parmesan cheese. Massaging the creamy garlic dressing into the kale makes it extra tender and delicious.
Kale Caesar Salad
Overhead close up of tomato risotto on black plate garnished with fresh basil and balsamic glaze.
This creamy risotto caprese features all the flavors of your favorite caprese salad. Fresh tomatoes, basil and melty mozzarella cheese combine with the creamy risotto. Finished off with a balsamic glaze drizzle. 
Tomato Risotto
Hands holding bowl of pasta topped with slow cooker bolognese.
This Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce would make my Nana Lamancuso proud. It’s silky and luscious with super tender meat and so much flavor. Crockpot bolognese is where it’s at! 
Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Overhead shot of bowl of udon soup with soup spoon.
Add some meatballs to Udon Soup (Kake Udon). It’s a traditional Japanese appetizer made with tender udon noodles and a rich, dashi-based broth. This classic soup is warm, cozy, and the perfect umami-forward canvas for flavorful toppings.
Udon Soup
Eggplant parmesan stacked on plate and topped with basil leaves.
Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan is the vegetarian version of a classic Italian dish. Crispy breaded eggplant is quickly cooked in the air fryer before being topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella. It’s crispy, cheesy, and delicious over pasta or rice!
Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan
Ears of corn on the cob in a grey serving dish with a pat of butter and sprinkling of parsley.
Learn how to make the BEST Instant Pot Corn on the Cob. This pressure cooker corn on the cob recipe uses a simple, secret ingredient to guarantee that your corn is sweet, tender and delicious! 
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Arugula Salad ready to be served.
This Arugula Salad recipe with red wine vinaigrette is my go-to green salad. The arugula has a peppery bite to it which pairs wonderfully with the acid in the vinaigrette. It’s the perfect salad for pairing with rich dishes.
Arugula Salad
Overhead close up of mushroom parmesan on baking sheet topped with basil leaves.
Sheet Pan Portobello Mushroom Parmigiana is a must-try for Meatless Monday. Portobello mushrooms are stuffed with marinara and mozzarella cheese before being roasted in the oven with grape tomatoes. Top each mushroom with a scoop of garlicky breadcrumbs for an exceptional crunch!
Sheet Pan Mushroom Parmigiana
Spears of asparagus cooked sous vide topped with parmesan shavings.
How to cook perfect asparagus sous vide. Bright green, perfectly cooked spears. With three options for flavoring – garlic, parmesan or lemon.
Asparagus
Scoop taken out of spaghetti squash casserole.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole made with tomatoes, Italian spices, creamy ricotta cheese and parmesan is a delicious and hearty vegetarian-friendly dinner option or delicious side dish.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Platter of grilled broccolini
This grilled broccolini is topped with a tangy apple cider vinaigrette and marcona almonds for a delicious crunch. It’s a perfect side dish for autumnal menus or Thanksgiving. 
Grilled Broccolini

🕕 How to Make Ahead and Store

Many of these meatball side dish recipes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a few days or even in the freezer. Simply check the individual recipes for full storing instructions and details on how to make ahead. 

🍽 More Side Dish Recipes

🍝 Favorite Meatball Recipes

Did you Make Any of These Meatball Side Dishes?

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What to Serve with Meatballs: 25+ BEST Sides

Wondering what to serve with meatballs for dinner? This handy guide covers all of the best sides – veggies, pasta, potatoes & more! Try this Authentic Italian Sunday Gravy. A rich, tomato meat sauce that's served with your favorite pasta.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. pork spareribs
  • 1 lb. beef stew meat
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage ( spicy or mild, based on personal preference)
  • 6 cloves garlic (peeled and left whole)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 3 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 leaves fresh basil (torn into small pieces)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste )
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar (more or less based on the flavor of your tomatoes)
  • Parmesan (shaved, for topping)
  • Pasta

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
  • Pat the pork dry and put the pieces in the pot.
  • Cook turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned on all sides.
  • Transfer pork to a plate.
  • Brown the beef in the same way and add it to the plate.
  • Place the sausages in the pot and brown on all sides.
  • Set the sausages aside with the pork and beef.
  • Drain off most of the fat from the pot.
  • Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden.
  • Remove and discard the garlic.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pot.
  • Add the water; season with a pinch salt and pepper. 
  • Return the pork, beef, and sausages to the pot and bring sauce to a simmer.
  • Partially cover the pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for at least 2 hours.
  • If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little more water.
  • At the end, add sugar, to taste, and adjust your seasonings one more time with salt and pepper. Add basil leaves and serve over your favorite pasta, topped with shaved Parmesan.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Nutrition

Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 502mg | Potassium: 361mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 3.6mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2.3mg

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