Top 10 All Time Favorite Meatball Recipes

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With so many Meatball Recipes to choose from, we’ve narrowed down our top 10 all-time favorites! Food doesn’t get much more fun than meatballs. Whether you’re craving a classic recipe for Italian meatballs or some unique meatball recipes stuffed with cheese or bacon, you’ll find them all here!

titled: Top 10 Favorite Meatball Recipes


Meatball Recipes

With simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can make a delicious dish with so many uses.

Game day, weeknight meals, party appetizers, or a make-ahead snack… The possibilities and flavor combinations are endless.

Search through our top 10 recipes with meatballs and find your favorite — or make them all!

We also have 10 Quick and Easy Bite Size Meals that can be made ahead and frozen. They’re perfect for toddler lunches or appetizers, and you can also serve them for dinner with your favorite sides. 

Best Tips for Different Meatball Recipes

  • Avoid tough, dry meatballs.

This starts from the very beginning of the recipe! Use ground meat (or a combination of two kinds) with a good fat ratio and consider adding extra moisture with milk or broth.

It’s also extremely important that you don’t overwork the meat mixture! Combine ingredients by hand just until incorporated, then let everything rest before scooping.

  • Create evenly-sized and perfectly round balls.

Portion out the mixture with cookie scoops. It’s faster and easier than doing it by hand, and it guarantees that each batch will be done at the same time.

Gently roll each portion between your hands and avoid packing them tightly. For a smooth surface, wet hands with a little water first.

  • Make ahead and freeze.

Once portioned and formed, arrange meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid — about 1 hour.

Transfer frozen meatballs to a freezer-safe storage bag or airtight container and use within 2 to 3 months.

For recipes with meatballs that include a sauce, simply make the sauce fresh while reheating instead of freezing them together.

Recipe for Italian Meatballs

If you’re wondering what is the difference between Italian meatballs and regular meatballs, the answer is simple: size and seasonings.

Italian-style meatballs are smaller than American meatballs — about 2 to 3 inches across — and slightly bigger than Swedish meatballs.

Also, grated parmesan and oregano are staples in any recipe for Italian meatballs, but they can include other seasonings as well.

italian herb oven baked meatballs on platter

Italian Herb Baked Meatballs are always a winner, featuring classic Italian flavors you know and love. These are so delicious they don’t need anything else — not sauce, not pasta, not even a fork!


Transform your favorite cheesy Italian dish into moist, flavorful Chicken Parmesan Meatballs — ready in just 30 minutes! Serve with extra marinara, garlic butter, or creamy alfredo.

italian meatballs in white crockpot -wide

Baked Italian Chicken Meatballs have all the flavors you love, packed into scrumptious bite-sized form. It’s so easy to make a big batch in the oven, and they freeze beautifully!

pan of meatballs and marinara

Packed with 3 Italian cheeses, these Cheesy Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs are deliciously fun to eat! Enjoy alone or on top of a big pile of spaghetti.

Unique Meatball Recipes

If you’re tired of the same ol’ combinations found in classic meatball recipes, try one of these twists!

Whether it’s a delicious combo of ingredients or a drool-worthy sauce, these unique meatball recipes will have everyone asking for seconds.

bite sized meatball appetizers in bowl

Balsamic Meatloaf Meatballs are incredibly tender and ready in a fraction of the time as a traditional loaf. It’s a kid-friendly, poppable form of our famous meatloaf recipe.

appetizer meatballs in serving dish

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs capture all the flavors of your favorite wings, but in mess-free poppable form! Have extra wing sauce available for dipping, plus some blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

close up: beef and bacon meatballs on toothpicks

Bacon Jalapeño Meatballs are incredibly moist and flavorful — and even better than the well-known popper appetizer. Have your favorite sauces and plenty of toothpicks ready!

bowl of hawaiian meatballs

Hawaiian Meatball Poppers are scrumptious alone or served with rice and vegetables. Even kids love the sweet and sour sauce! Make a big batch and freeze some for another meal.

nacho cheese sauce inside beef meatball

Cheesy Tex Mex Meatballs are stuffed with gooey Colby Jack cheese and loads of taco flavor. Serve with your favorite Mexican side dishes or set out a platter for game day!

Asian meatballs in skillet

Bring an Asian flair to your dinner table with this Saucy Teriyaki Meatballs Recipe! Sweetened with pineapple juice and ready in 30 minutes, it’s an easy weeknight meal you can pair with rice.

Recipes with Meatballs FAQ

What are meatballs made of?

There are many different meatball recipes, but they are typically made with ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, chicken, etc,) plus egg, breadcrumbs, and seasonings.

I often like to add milk to my meatball recipes for extra moisture. The breadcrumbs soak up the liquid so it doesn’t evaporate when cooked.

Can you make meatballs without breadcrumbs?

Yes! Whether you need a gluten-free version or simply ran out, you can substitute oats, crushed crackers, or grated vegetables in most recipes with meatballs.

What can I have with meatballs besides pasta?

There are so many different meatball recipes, which means there are so many different side dish options!

Rice is perfect for soaking up extra sauce, while potatoes — mashed, smashed, or roasted — go well with both sweet and savory flavors.

You can also serve so many meatball recipes as appetizers, so pair them with your favorite party snacks!

When all else fails, toss together a quick salad or drop a handful into your favorite soup. Meatballs are a simple, protein-packed addition to any meal.

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Originally published October 2013, updated and republished December 2023

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  1. Sign me up for a copy of the meatball cookbook when it comes out 🙂 These all sound great – it's so hard to decide but I am partial to traditional with marinara. All beautiful Donna!

    1. If I were going to sub something for meat I think I would use big, meaty portobello mushrooms buzzed up a little bit in my food processor into the consistency of ground meat.

  2. Years ago a friend made meatballs out of zucchini (no meat). He moved away and we lost touch so I never got his recipe. Can you help?

    1. Dear Anonymous go to and search Kolokythokeftedes ( Zucchini and feta balls)
      if you want they have vegan feta cheese like substance you can use hope this helps.

  3. Dear Anonymous go to and search Kolokythokeftedes ( Zucchini and feta balls)
    if you want they have vegan feta cheese like substance you can use hope this helps.

  4. I have Parkinson's Disease and have lost my senses of smell & taste. What a pleasure it is to see the delicious recipes you provide. I love to cook and now with your list of ingredients will know exactly how much to use & imagine the tastes. Been a real bummer for the past 5 years… my husband was my taste tester but died 2 years ago. Please continue to share your recipes & pictures.I really appreciate it. Love them.

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