This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

If you’re looking for meatball dinner ideas, your whole family will loves these! We love the versatility of meatballs, especially homemade meatballs, because there is more to them than mixing with marinara sauce.

6 meatball dinner ideas
Save this Recipe!
Enter your email & I’ll send it straight to your inbox.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Meatball Dinner Ideas

Whether you’re looking for an easy meatball recipe or just want to learn how long to bake your meatballs on a baking sheet, we’ve compiled our best meatball recipes and tips so that you’ll make juicy meatballs each and every time.

We have meatball recipes for the oven, slow cooker, instant pot, air fryer and stove top or skillet. Keep reading to find the best one for your dinner tonight! 

Tips & Tricks to make the Best Meatballs

No matter what meatballs recipe you are making, homemade meatballs may not turn out the same every single time. We compiled a list of our best tips & tricks to ensure consistently delicious meatballs each and every time!

  • You can use any ground meat to create your meatball mixture. The recipes below are organized by cooking method because ground meats are pretty universal to use. Ground chicken or ground turkey meatballs may have a slightly different texture than ground beef meatballs, but all ground meat options make good meatballs. You can even use ground pork or ground bison!
  • Different ground meats will cook differently. Whether you are using ground beef, ground turkey, or another type of ground meat, know that the meat mixture may cook slightly differently. Ground beef options have different fat ratios than other ground meat and final results can vary.
  • Different size meatballs have different baking time. A larger meatball will take longer to cook than a smaller meatball so keep this in mind when making your homemade meatballs. I like to use a large cookie scoop for our meatballs.
  • Dry meatballs may benefit from a little water. If you add too many breadcrumbs or you feel like your meatballs are drying out on the baking sheet, add a little water so that you can get some of the moisture back in!
  • Do not overmix them. Even though you want to make sure your mix your meatballs well, if you you overmix your meatballs, they may become too dry!
  • It’s easy to change the flavor profile of the meat mixture. Meatball mixtures can be taken from bland to grand because of the magic of seasonings. For example, to make Italian-style meatballs, you’ll need two key ingredients: Italian seasoning and Italian breadcrumbs. In order to make a heartier meatball mixture, add in some black pepper, onion powder and fresh garlic.
baked meatballs in tomato sauce

One final tip…

  • Keep them versatile for leftovers by not mixing all of the meatballs with sauce. Obviously, sometimes you have leftover meatballs. However, you may not want to eat two meals of meatballs covered in marinara sauce. If you only add the meatballs you are going to eat for that meal to your sauce then you allow yourself more meatball meal options for the leftovers!

Storing Leftover Meatballs

If you have leftover meatballs then you can store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator. 

We love making huge batches of homemade meatballs so that we can freeze them! To freeze your meatballs, store them in an airtight container or freezer bag and express the air from the bag. Put them in a freezer for the next time you need them.

Baked Meatball Recipes

Baked meatballs are the classic way to cook them (they’re the perfect meatball dinner idea). However, no matter which method of cooking you use, make sure that your meatballs reach the appropriate internal temperature for safe consumption. Check out our internal temperature guide for ground beef to make sure your ground beef meatballs are ready to consume!

a bowl of italian baked meatballs in marinara

Italian Baked Meatballs Recipe

These classic Italian baked meatballs feature are perfectly golden brown on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. They’re done in 30 minutes!

a bowl of Iitalian meatball soup with fresh basil

Italian Meatball Soup

This hearty Italian meatball soup is full of juicy meatballs, pasta, and tender vegetables simmered in a rich tomato broth. It’s a simple, healthy, and delicious soup for every night of the week.

firecracker meatballs with rice and green beans

Firecracker Meatballs

Learn how to make the Hello Fresh Firecracker Meatballs at home. The whole family will love these juicy meatballs packed with Asian flavors, drizzled in a homemade firecracker sauce. Serve them over a bed of warm coconut rice with a side of crisp green beans.

greek chicken meatballs with feta cheese and parsley

Greek Chicken Meatballs with Whipped Feta Cheese

Greek chicken meatballs feature a blend of fresh herbs and spices and seared to perfection on until tender. Top them with a fresh cucumber tahini sauce.

homemade gluten free meatballs on top of a bowl of spaghetti

Easy Gluten-Free Meatballs

These gluten-free meatballs feature tender meatballs, fresh basil and parsley, and a blend of Italian seasonings. They’re seared to golden brown and simmered in tomato sauce for the perfect dinner when you’re craving a hearty Italian meal.

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs are a unique twist to traditional Italian meatballs. They have a sweet and tangy Asian flair. Serve over rice with a steamed veggie on the side if you’d like. You’ll have dinner in about 30 minutes!

Grandma’s Meatballs

This meatball recipe is inspired by Grandma. It’s sure to be a family favorite and is so simple to make! You’ll love the molasses and chili sauce flavors of these baked meatballs. 

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs have classic chicken Parmesan flavors packed into healthy meatballs. Made gluten free and sugar free, this is one of the best meatball recipes for a high protein, healthy dinner.

Kung Pao Baked Chicken Meatballs

Add some zing to your chicken meatballs and make a homemade kung pao sauce with 100% clean eating ingredients! Everyone will love these Kung Pao Baked Chicken Meatballs either as an appetizer or served over white sticky rice and a vegetable.

Red Coconut Curry Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice

Add some flare to dinner this week with these Red Coconut Curry Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice. They are packed with protein and great for meal prep throughout the week!

Harissa Meatballs with Whipped Feta

These Harissa Meatballs with Whipped Feta are perfect for an easy SOS dinner! Store-bought meatballs, bell peppers, zucchini, harissa, and whipped feta all in one bowl. YUMMY!

Best Anytime Baked Chicken Meatballs

These Baked Chicken Meatballs are the BEST! The perfect addition to any meal or to eat right on their own. Bonus: they’re meal-prep friendly to stock up throughout the week!

Butter Chicken Meatballs

These butter chicken meatballs are covered in a rich and mildly spiced tomato gravy that is made luxurious with just a little bit of butter and cream. Serious weeknight magic!

Creamy Baked Orzo with Meatballs

Dinner is ready! Creamy baked orzo with bits of garlic butter peeking through, a luscious tomato-y base, and meatballs if you want. Silky, cozy, and a hit with everyone!

30 Minute Vegetarian Meatballs

These vegetarian meatballs are incredibly easy and super versatile! Packed with cauliflower, quinoa, brown rice, garlic, and spices. Stockpile these in your freezer and your future self will thank you.

Sheet Pan Meatballs with Green Sauce

Juicy little sheet pan meatballs that are salty, zesty, briney, and so so delicious. Pile them on tzatziki, spoon some punchy green sauce over top, and serve with a simple tomato salad and crusty bread.

Stove Top or Skillet Meatball Dinner Ideas

By using a skillet on your stove top, you’ll get a nice crispness on your meatballs that other methods of cooking don’t always provide. If you need meatball dinner ideas without the oven, try some of these recipes!

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

This homemade Swedish meatballs recipe will give Ikea Swedish meatballs a run for their money! The from-scratch pan gravy has a delicious creamy flavor. These are the beat meatballs for a classic comfort food dinner recipe.

Pepperoni Pizza Meatballs

This Pizza Meatballs recipe is a one of our favorite dinners! Mozzarella stuffed meatballs are smothered with and cooked in a pepperoni pizza sauce. It’s kid friendly and a great comfort food meal!

Ground Turkey Meatballs

We love whipping up a batch of these ground turkey meatballs for a protein-packed weeknight meal. They aren’t your average boring meatball; they’re super flavorful thanks to the combination of fresh and dried herbs and are NEVER dry thanks to the grated cold butter (the secret ingredient).

Tikka Masala Meatballs

This recipes uses two favorites (meatballs and tikka masala) to get a flavorful dinner that will have you making meatballs every week for the next year! Enjoy a bowl of these tikka masala meatballs over a bed of rice, quinoa, or roasted vegetables. You can make it for dinner or use for weekly meal prep!

Rosemary Thyme Meatballs

Serve this delicious meatball appetizer recipe for the holidays or use it as a general savory beef meatball recipe. Made with fresh rosemary and thyme and simmered in balsamic vinegar, these meatballs are full of wonderful savory flavor.

Green Curry Chicken Meatballs

These Green Curry Chicken Meatballs are the ultimate flavorful meal-prep recipe. They are high-protein, low-carb, and full of amazing Thai-inspired curry flavor!

Tuscan Chicken Meatballs

This Tuscan chicken meatballs recipe is one of those easy weeknight dinners that makes you feel like you’re dining out at a 5-star restaurant. Made primarily in one pot, these Italian chicken meatballs cooked in a creamy Tuscan sauce are something special the whole family will love.

One-Pot Za’atar Meatballs and Quinoa

This delicious one-pot za’atar meatball and quinoa dish is flavorful, packed with veggies, and has a whopping 26 grams of protein per serving. Don’t skip the lemony yogurt topping, it is to die for!

Ginger Meatball Sandos

Golden brown chicken meatballs cozied up next to fixings like cucumbers, shallots, kewpie mayo, mint, a bit of chili crunch, and some fresh cilantro to make the ultimate chicken sando!

Chicken Meatballs with Peppers and Orzo

Chicken Meatballs with Peppers and Orzo! The BEST combo. Quick chicken meatballs, tangy tomato sauce with garlic and peppers, and a silky-creamy pile of hot orzo on the side.

Slow Cooker Meatball Dinner Ideas

The most popular way to serve meatballs is topped with a delicious sauce. While we most commonly serve it with marinara sauce for spaghetti, there are so many other sauce mixtures that make meatballs a great appetizer or entrée! Here are some meatball dinner ideas to make in the crock pot!

cranberry meatballs

Healthy Crock Pot Cranberry Meatballs [Gluten Free]

Set your crock pot for these homemade healthy cranberry meatballs! These make a great fall dinner or the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. This version is healthier and gluten free so everyone can enjoy them!

a plate of buffalo chicken meatballs with ranch dressing drizzled on top

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Easy buffalo chicken meatballs whipped up in the slow cooker and smothered in a spicy buffalo sauce! It's a recipe worthy of any weeknight dinner or appetizer spread for game day.

Turkey Vegetable Low Carb Soup

This  turkey vegetable low carb soup is a healthy and easy dinner recipe. It’s a great way to add extra veggies and good protein into your diet. Plus it’s low carb, Whole 30, gluten free, dairy free and delicious! If you love meatballs, try Italian meatball soup, firecracker meatballs, or Greek chicken meatballs! I’ve heard from

Crockpot Meatballs

Set-it-and-forget-it, no browning required, Nonna-approved Crockpot Meatballs have me so excited for your dinner tonight! These juicy, zesty meatballs package traditional Italian flavor with the hands-off convenience of the slow cooker.

Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs

Party food recipes like these Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs are great for game days, holidays, and pretty much any gathering.  Party guests love finger foods and dips! These crowd-pleasing tender crockpot meatballs are smothered in a super flavorful honey garlic BBQ sauce.  

Crockpot Bourbon BBQ Meatballs

These crockpot bourbon bbq meatballs take just 5 minutes to prep and are the best appetizer for game day, football season or a fun night at home with the family! Sweet, savory and tangy, these meatballs will be the hit of your next party!

Slow Cooker Italian Meatball Soup

Looking for a great weeknight dinner idea?  Give this Italian meatball soup a try!  Full of vegetables, hearty meatballs and pasta, this hearty and rich Italian meatball soup is made easily in the slow cooker. It’s a delicious dinner or lunch idea!

Italian Wedding Soup

This classic Italian Wedding Soup recipe has juicy meatballs in a flavorful broth with spinach and pasta! It’s easy to make on the stove top, Crock Pot, or the Instant Pot!

Chicken Meatball and Vegetable Soup

This slow-cooker meatball soup only requires 25 minutes of hands-on time. It’s filling, delicious, and a recipe you will make over and over again! Add some red pepper flakes for a dash of spice.

Instant Pot Meatball Recipes

Busy weeknights call for tasty yet easy recipe. Enter: our Instant Pot. We LOVE Instant Pot recipes because of how they cut down on baking time.

Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Meatballs

Instant Pot meatballs are so easy to make, you won’t want to make them any other way. Perfect for meal prep, this is a freezer-friendly recipe, too!

Pasta and Meatballs with Lemon Herb Ricotta

The most SOS recipe there ever was – Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs! Bites of pasta, tender meatballs, caramelized tomato sauce, and some herbed lemon ricotta on top.

Swedish Meatballs and Noodles

These Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs and Noodles are an easy one pot meal made in the pressure cooker! Made in 30 minutes or less.

Vegan Meatball Soup

This delicious vegan Instant Pot meatball soup is hearty and very easy to make with frozen meat-free meatballs. You can have this Italian-style veggie meatball soup on the table in just 40 minutes!

Wonton-Style Meatball Soup

What’s wonderful about this light but filling soup is that you use many of the same ingredients in the meatballs as you do in the soup, which makes it quite efficient.

Air Fryer Meatball Recipes

air fryer meatballs on a plate

Air Fryer Meatballs

These juicy air fryer meatballs are full of tender ground beef, Italian seasonings, fresh herbs, and parmesan cheese The best part is that they take 10 minutes to make. View the recipe post for serving suggestions, ingredient swaps, expert tips, and more.

Parmesan Air Fryer Meatballs

These Air Fryer Meatballs are made with lean ground turkey or chicken, Parmesan, and Italian spices. With lightly crispy outsides and juicy interiors, they’re the best of the meatball world!

Buffalo Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs

Made with just a few ingredients, these Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs are tossed in buffalo hot sauce for a quick and easy party appetizer. Both keto and gluten-free, these air fryer meatballs can also be used in soups, salads, sandwiches and more.

Ground Pork Air Fryer Meatballs

Air fryer pork meatballs are much juicier and quicker to make than meatballs any other way! You’ll love them with your favorite pasta sauce.

Bison Meatballs

Looking to try something new? Make Bison Meatballs for dinner! This easy ground bison recipe takes about 15 minutes of prep time, and then you can air fry or bake the meatballs—your choice! The meatballs are flavorful and meaty, and can be paired with your favorite sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use ground beef to make meatballs?

You can use any ground meat to make meatballs! We love ground chicken meatballs in addition to regular ground beef meatballs.

What can I serve with meatballs instead of pasta?

The options are endless! Some of the more popular options include veggies, like green beans, or soup, like a French onion soup! If you make meatball subs, serve them with these air fryer zucchini chips or fried goat cheese.

Can I grill meatballs?

You can cook meatballs several ways, including on the grill. No matter what cooking method you use, make sure the meatballs reach a safe internal temperature. You can use this internal temperature of beef guide to help.

Is it better to cook or bake meatballs?

Baking will result in meatballs with a crunchy exterior; however, the caramelization achieved from frying will be superior than baking. Baked meatballs take the least amount of effort, as you’ll only need to turn them once or twice throughout the cook and you can make a larger batch at once, which is great if you are making a batch to freeze!

What’s the difference between cooking and baking meatballs?

Baked meatballs will be placed on a baking sheet and in the oven. Cooked meatballs will be cooked in a large skillet or or cast iron pan on your stove top. If you use a cast iron pan, you can always finish off your meatballs in the oven!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *