Don't know what to serve with meatballs tonight for dinner? Not to worry, I've got you covered! Listed below are the 25 best sides dishes to pair with meatballs for an easy stress free meal the whole family will enjoy.
Always a simple and comforting meal, meatballs are common family favorite. However, sometimes it can be a struggle to come up with sides to pair with them besides traditional pasta. Too bad, because there's so many incredible meatball recipes out there that are worthy of much more than a simple bowl of noodles.
You could make Swedish meatballs, traditional Italian meatballs, or try something new with Asian or Greek inspired ones!
No matter what kind you choose to make, whether you opt for a classic recipe or something new and exciting, I've got the 25 best sides dishes you can make. These easy, healthy recipes will transform an ordinary meatball dinner into a delicious, exciting meal!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MEATBALLS
Spaghetti and meatballs is always a classic combination. This is a traditional comfort food that's made in many American homes.
Serve your meatballs on top of a nest of spaghetti with a delicious homemade tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for a warm, cozy, filling meal. If you want to make this meal even quicker, use frozen meatballs and a good quality store bought sauce and I guarantee it will still be a hit!
2. Gluten Free Pasta
If you're looking to go the comfort food route, but have a gluten sensitivity, just substitute the pasta with a gluten free variety. Nowadays there's tons of options out there, so be sure to try different ones to find a favorite.
I like to use brown rice pasta or Jovial cassava flour noodles because I've found them to be the best. It's also important to note that many meatballs are made with breadcrumbs, so be sure to use a gluten free meatball recipe as well.
3. Egg Noodles
Even though spaghetti is traditionally served with meatballs, why not change things up a bit and try making egg noodles as your base! You could go serve them with traditional, ground beef meatballs, but they're also really yummy topped with Swedish meatballs in a creamy brown sauce.
4. Spaghetti Squash
If you're looking for a healthy, low carb option to serve with meatballs, than I highly suggest using spaghetti squash. It's super healthy, packed with nutrients, and is relatively low in calories.
You can roast the spaghetti squash in the oven for 35-40 minutes, OR try making it in the air fryer for a quicker option. Both are easy and healthy, and once cooked, toss the strands in a little butter for even more flavor!
5. Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini noodles are another healthy, low carb choice for what to serve with meatballs. Just spiralize 1 or 2 zucchini and sauté with olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper.
I like to serve healthy turkey meatballs over zucchini noodles for a light, simple, yet delicious, dinner that the whole family loves.
A simple bowl of white or brown rice can make an exceptional base to serve meatballs over. This healthy grain pairs especially well with any type of thick, creamy sauce.
I like to serve rice with Honey Garlic Meatballs, Saucy Asian Meatballs, or Meatballs in a Garlic Butter Sauce. It's amazing how just a few simple ingredients can create a comforting meal that will have your family begging for more!
If you want to go full Italian when searching for a side dish to serve with meatballs, than look no further than risotto. Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish that's cooked in broth until it reaches a creamy, silky consistency.
This particular recipe is finished with a pat of butter, a sprinkle of cheese, and fresh herbs for a mouth watering side dish. I highly suggest serving classic meatballs in an Italian tomato sauce to keep up with the theme of tradition.
8. Meatball Subs
A meatball sub is a common Italian-American mashup that's every bit as delicious as it sounds. Tender, juicy meatballs are coated in a fresh marinara sauce, piled onto a hearty roll, and topped with gooey, melty mozzarella cheese.
There is some science when it comes to crafting the perfect meatball sub though. You want to use smaller meatballs so your bites aren't too big as well as a sturdy bread. Hoagie rolls or baguettes both work well because they're hearty enough to hold onto the sauce and cheese without becoming a soggy mess.
9. Dinner Rolls
If you prefer your meatballs not as a sandwich, but will want some bread, then make some fluffy dinner rolls as a side! The rolls serve a dual purpose because not only do you get necessary carbs, but they can also soak up all that yummy tomato sauce.
My favorites are Hawaiian Rolls, Parker House Rolls, or fluffy Crescent Rolls!
10. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a very classic pairing for meatballs. You can serve them plain, but I recommend adding in some roasted garlic and fresh herbs. There's something so special about the way that the simple flavors of the potatoes, garlic, and herbs come together to make a wonderful side dish.
Thick, hearty mashed potatoes are best when served with meatballs that are made with a creamy sauce or gravy such as Swedish Meatballs or Chicken Meatballs in a Cajun Cream Sauce.
11. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes are one of the best healthy sides you can make for meatballs. Not only are sweet potatoes high in fiber and antioxidants, but they're also filling and satisfying. I prefer to make mine in the air fryer because it's quick, easy, and there's minimal mess.
However, if you'd like to roast them in the oven, just chop them up and add to a large bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Spread onto a baking sheet and cook at 425 F for 30-35 minutes until fork tender. Leftovers also make a delicious breakfast hash with scrambled eggs!
12. French Fries
French fries are a fun, family friendly side dish that's especially great for picky eaters. In a hurry? Air fry a bag of frozen fries! Have a little extra time? Try making them from scratch.
Homemade fries are always a healthier option than fast food, and pair well with these Hidden Veggie Meatballs. You can't even tell they have vegetables in them, which is a great choice for families of fussy eaters.
13. Garlic Bread
If there anything better than biting into a crispy piece of garlic bread right after you had a bite of your sauce meatball? I really don't think so!
I think that making garlic bread in the air fryer is the way to go because it always turns out delicious. Simply mix up your garlic butter, spread on crostini, and air fry at 350 F until golden brown and toasted. It's the perfect quick and easy recipe that everyone will enjoy.
14. Garden Salad
If you ever get really stuck about not knowing what to serve with meatballs, you can always fall back on a garden salad. There really isn't any meal out there that a fresh salad won't pair well with. It's a great option to lighten up a traditionally heavy meal and also add some healthy nutrients into your dinner.
I like to use crunchy romaine, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers in mine. However, if you're serving Asian inspired meatballs a crunchy chopped salad would be good. Or if you're doing Greek meatballs, try making a Greek style salad with feta cheese, olives, and cucumbers.
15. Kale Salad
Like I said, a fresh salad goes with just about any type of meal. If you have some extra time and want to make a more involved salad try this kale one!
It has chopped kale that's massaged with a yummy apple cider vinaigrette and finished with shredded cabbage, dried berries, and chopped almonds. This healthy salad would make a great side to Creamy Chicken Meatballs.
16. Caesar Salad
Sticking with fresh salads, a Caesar salad is another healthy recipe that pairs so well with meatballs. While typically thought of as a traditional Italian side, it actually originated in Mexico!
You can easily make your own Caesar salad at home by chopping up some romaine lettuce and topping it with croutons, shredded parmesan cheese, and homemade Caesar dressing. It's quick and easy and would make the perfect accompaniment to some Spicy Italian Meatballs.
17. Caprese Salad
Last up on the list of salads is a fresh and vibrant caprese salad. Caprese salad IS a traditional Italian side dish and is believed to have originated in Campania.
It's made up of ripe, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese and olive oil, though in America it's usually served with balsamic vinegar. Personally, I like to put a little twist on my caprese salad and serve it with burrata instead because the creaminess of the cheese pairs SO well with the firm tomatoes.
Cauliflower is such an underrated side dish, especially when it comes to meatballs! It's extremely versatile, and since cauliflower has a very neutral flavor, it's easy to impart just about any type of seasoning onto it depending on the type of meatball you're making.
You can roast it with Cajun seasoning if you're making southwest inspired meatballs, or turn it into a garlic cauliflower mash for traditional Italian meatballs, or even low carb cauliflower rice for a big bowl of sticky Asian meatballs!
19. Corn On The Cob
If you're making BBQ meatballs, than you absolutely have to serve it with corn on the cob. I suggest grilling it and slathering it with a smoky, spicy Cajun butter for optimal flavor. This recipe is one of my favorites for sure!
20. Green Beans
While green beans are common in American households, they're exceptionally common in Chinese cuisine! I suggest pairing these fresh, crunchy beans with some Saucy Sesame Meatballs for a one of a kind meal. Since you can cook them in just 10 minutes, they make a perfect quick and healthy side dish.
21. Brussels Sprouts
When I say brussels sprouts are you immediately filled with dread at the thought of mushy little sprouts? If that's you, than I really think I can change you mind by introducing you to the air fryer roasted brussels sprouts!
No more soggy, steamed brussels sprouts, now we're elevating them to these crisp, spicy air fryer brussels sprouts that are seasoned to perfection. Pair them with these Firecracker Meatballs and I'm almost certain there will be none leftover.
22. Creamed Spinach
Growing up, creamed spinach was always my mom's go-to side dish. She'd buy the frozen packs and heat them up any time we needed a quick and healthy dish that she knew the whole family would eat.
Since starting a food blog, I've become more interested in preparing everything from scratch and absolutely LOVE this recipe. It's a knock off of Morton's Steakhouse and is just so, so yummy. Since the creamed spinach recipe is a bit more involved, I like to pair it with quick and easy air fryer meatballs that are ready in under 20 minutes.
I absolutely love broccoli and would choose it as my dinner veggie almost every night of the week. It's extremely easy to prepare and takes under 10 minutes if you cook it in the air fryer.
Just toss frozen broccoli with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and air fry for about 8 minutes. You can serve it as is, or add a lemon garlic sauce for a little extra flavor. Broccoli is best with classic flavors, so pair it with Italian, Swedish, or BBQ meatballs.
Simple green peas with butter make a delicious easy and healthy side dish. Frozen peas are sauteed with chopped shallot, butter, salt, and pepper for a simple, yet yummy side.
You can pair these with air fryer turkey meatballs for a super healthy, filling meal that will have your family asking for more.
If you don't want to spiralize your zucchini for zucchini noodles, you can also just chop it up and air fry with yellow squash. This way makes an incredibly healthy, yet easy side dish that pairs great with any meatball recipe, but especially these Baked Chicken Meatballs.
There you go, you now know what to serve with meatballs! Any of these 25 amazing sides would be a perfect accompaniment to those juicy, succulent little bites. Be sure to pin this recipe to your dinner board so you can come back and look at it anytime!
If you make any of these recipes be sure to leave a rating and comment on it. Food bloggers work extremely hard to give you their very best and a little comment will go a long way.