Homemade meatballs are high on my list of comfort foods and my family loves them! Serving meatballs with spaghetti can get old really quick which is why experimenting with different sides is a simple way to make them more exciting.
If you’re wondering what to serve with meatballs, wonder no more! There’s such an incredible variety of sides that go well with these.
Whether you are enjoying Swedish, Asian-flavored, Italian-style, Dutch or any other kind, there are plenty of mouthwatering side dishes that will make them shine.
💖 Why You’ll Love These Recipes
Creative Sides | These recipes will make you look at eating meatballs in a completely different way. There are so many creations to make outside of the Swedish and toppings for spaghetti.
Easy | These are quick and easy recipes that are ideal for busy families who need a hearty weeknight meal that the entire family will adore.
Meal Prep Friendly | These are great to prep a day or two ahead of time. Plan the meals out on your menu planner and make sure to note when you plan to make these ahead of time.
Always store leftovers in sealed containers in the refrigerator for no more than 3-4 days, according to Mayo Clinic.
🍝 Pasta & Rice Side
Pasta and rice are super versatile, so if you’re bored with eating plain spaghetti or rice, the recipes below are some of my favorite alternatives! All of these are delicious with your favorite Sloppy Joes recipe as well.
Orzo is an interesting type of pasta, that looks a lot like rice. It cooks fast and can be used for easy, flavorful recipes like this one that’s ready in 15 minutes.
It’s just perfect for a busy weeknight and suitable for various main courses besides meatballs. If you ever cooked rice, then you already know how to make orzo.
The cold season makes us want to eat hearty foods and pairing meatballs with mac and cheese seems like the natural choice.
Here’s an easy mac and cheese recipe that is pure creamy goodness! The secret to getting the perfect consistency and flavor is using a blend of cheeses and a few spices.
Heat your stovetop and let’s get to work!
Say what? Can Rice-A-Roni actually be healthy? It sure can if you make it from scratch. And trust me…it’s really easy.
Homemade rice pilaf is a combination of brown rice, angel hair pasta, butter, and chicken broth.
This is one recipe you can make gluten-free (by using gluten-free pasta) or dairy-free if you swap the butter with olive oil.
Colorful veggies, feta, olives, and garbanzo beans turn plain couscous into a star!
Couscous is a wonderful type of pasta for salads and will soak up any dressing like a champ, making your salad moist and flavorful.
🥔 Potato Side Dishes
Let’s face it. Who doesn’t love potatoes? Even the pickiest eaters are known to never refuse these. They also go really well with meatballs. I rest my case.
As much as I enjoy lightening up some recipes, grilled steakhouse potatoes need to be calorie-rich since that’s what gives them their amazing flavor.
Using just the right blend of cheeses and heavy cream, these potatoes are not only easy to make, but they also taste like heaven!
Thinly sliced potatoes drenched in butter, garlic and herbs make one of the most amazing casseroles ever!
While you’re busy cooking meatballs, it will crisp up in the oven, giving you the perfect side dish with very little effort.
Isn’t it amazing how versatile potatoes can be! Depending on how you cook them, you will get some unique flavors, but all are equally delicious.
Duchess potatoes are an interesting idea. They’re not mashed or baked potatoes, but rather it is a mix of the two.
The individual servings of pillowy potato clouds with a golden, crunchy exterior make this recipe perfect for entertaining.
Mashed potatoes are a classic recipe, but getting it right requires following a pretty strict set of rules. Avoiding the dreaded gooey consistency is totally possible as long as you use the proper technique and ingredients.
Since mashed potatoes work with so many types of meat, learning how to make them is a skill that will last you a lifetime.
Baked sweet potatoes don’t need many additions to taste great. Once they are fluffy and tender on the inside, you can give them a quick upgrade with various ingredients such as butter, sour cream, brown sugar, herbs, and spices.
You can even turn these into a stand-alone meal by loading them up with the combinations of your choice.
Baked or fried meatballs will go perfectly with an all-American potato salad. What’s wonderful about this dish is you can make it up to two days ahead.
In fact, the resting time will allow all the flavors to combine and become richer.
🥦 Vegetables & Legumes
Even if you’re pressed for time, step away from microwaving frozen veggies as there are better ways you can prep a nice plant-based side dish that goes well with meatballs.
Most of these recipes are easy to prep and plenty of them cook really fast too. You’ll find some make-ahead options as well. They can be life-saving, trust me!
If you’re looking for new side dish ideas, try this easy roasted broccoli rabe with garlic. This cruciferous vegetable is absolutely delicious when sautéed with garlic and oil.
Just don’t forget to blanch the rabe first, as that will remove most of its bitterness.
Zucchini noodles taste nothing like their carb-rich counterpart, although they are still scrumptious in their own way.
Even if you’re not a big fan of spinach, you will surely love it in this recipe. Truth be told, parmesan makes everything better, even for picky eaters!
Baked beans are a popular dish that’s highly customizable. Every cook will make this recipe their own, but I highly recommend trying this one as is.
You’ll get perfectly balanced flavors and the perfect companion for your meatballs.
What goes with meatballs? This creamed spinach sure will! For me, this is soul-soothing comfort food.
If I wouldn’t know better, it would tempt me to categorize this recipe as fast food. It’s ready in ten minutes, so who says you need to spend tons of time in the kitchen to make something delicious?
Whole roasted cauliflower may not impress your meat-loving family, although this recipe enriched with garlic and parmesan might change their minds.
As gorgeous as this dish looks, it’s equally easy to make. Just perfect for a low-carb day.
Roasted carrots are a classic recipe and will definitely up your family’s vitamin intake.
Even better, they make a great side dish for meatballs and the honey and brown sugar create a wonderful glaze to complement them.
As nice as mashed potatoes are, you may need to take a break from them once in a while. Well, it turns out you can skip the carbs and still have a fluffy and creamy recipe bursting with flavor.
Making mashed butternut squash doesn’t require peeling it (which can be a bit of a nightmare). You simply need to cut it in half, bake it, and scoop the flesh.
The friendship between corn and cream cheese produces a mouthwatering recipe which I think should be served more often, not just on Thanksgiving.
Next time you’re not sure what to pair your meatballs with, try this quick recipe. I’m positive there won’t be any leftovers!
🍞 Bread Side Dishes
Bread is the absolute universal side dish. And we can use it for such delicious recipes!
The recipes below won’t require you to bake an actual loaf of bread. They are far easier than that and guaranteed hits.
Cornbread is such a wonderful companion with almost anything. Making this recipe is a matter of measuring and mixing the ingredients, scooping the batter in a preheated cast-iron skillet and allowing it to bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
As you can see, this is a simple recipe that is just wonderful to have alongside a plate full of hot, steaming meatballs.
The Air Fryer lets you make amazing garlic bread. Crispy, flavorful and quite decadent, might I add.
The whole family is going to love this garlic bread. It makes an excellent side but also an appetizer, especially when paired with a tasty dip.
Whether you chose the Air Fryer Garlic Bread to soak up all the sauce on your plate or if you wanted to go lighter with a heaping salad, rest assured you won’t run out of side dish ideas for your family.
Ginny Collins is a passionate foodie and recipe creator of Savor and Savvy and Kitchenlaughter. Indoors she focuses on easy, quick recipes for busy families and kitchen basics. Outdoors, she focuses on backyard grilling and smoking to bring family and friends together. She is a lifelong learner who is always taking cooking classes on her travels overseas and stateside. Her work has been featured on MSN, Parade, Fox News, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and many local news outlets. She lives in Florida where you will find her outside on the water in her kayak, riding her bike on trails, and planning her next overseas adventure.