25 Versatile Side Dishes to Serve with Meatballs for Any Occasion

Meatballs appeal to many because it is simple and affordable to most families. But sometimes, we find ourselves looking for a dish that would complement this round, juicy meat. Fortunately, there is a myriad of side dish recipes inspired by different cuisines like Italian and Asian style fusion. 

Do you have a go-to side dish to pair with meatballs? Meatballs are usually drenched in red aromatic sauce or over a plate of pasta. Others are deep-fried and enjoyed with melted and stretchy cheese. And some are paired with heart-healthy side dishes. If you think you haven’t found the perfect side dish yet, the search is finally over. 

Check out the 25 side dishes recipes listed down below. It ranges from fried to baked and even grilled! So roll some meatballs and channel your inner chef because we’re here share some of the best with you.

1. Ultra Creamy Mashed Potatoes

This creamy and velvety mashed potato recipe is perfect for meatballs and gravy. You only need four ingredients and a trusty stand mixer for that smooth texture. Then topped with butter and parsley, it’s an elevated side dish perfect for dinner.


2. Garlic Rice

Garlic Rice

Sometimes, the less complicated dish provides the flavors we’re craving. Garlic rice is easy to prepare and pairs well with a meatball. Are you up against time? This recipe is quick and can be done before the meat finishes cooking. Here’s a tip: meatballs with sauce go well with garlic rice.


3. Buttery Boiled Potatoes with Fresh Herbs

Potatoes are a perfect canvas for juicy meats like meatballs. And we reckon one potato recipe would not be enough, so here’s another one that would complement your meatball dish. Boiled butter potatoes are a fragrant side dish coated with butter and fresh herbs that will leave you wanting more. 


4. Cacio E Pepe Egg Noodles

Cacio E Pepe Egg Noodles

If you love the traditional meatball and pasta combo, this is another way to enjoy it. Cacio E Pepe is beginner friendly and only requires simple ingredients like egg, salt, and butter. Sprinkle it with parmesan for that tangy flavor, then serve it with tender and juicy meatballs to complete the whole meal. 


5. Creamed Cabbage

Creamed cabbage has a sour taste yet has a thick and rich creaminess. The bacon grease used to make a quick roux adds depth to the palate. And the sour cream topped with bacon completes the whole dish. Try pairing it with a Swedish meatball for a full dining experience.


6. Swedish Beet Salad

Swedish Beet Salad 

There are various meatball dishes available across Europe and Asia. In Finland, they call meatballs lihapullat. And one side dish they commonly serve with it is pickled cucumber or pickled beetroot. Pickled beets have balanced tanginess and sweetness, adding flavor to the meal. Also, it’s easy to make. You won’t even sweat making it.


7. Very Simple Garlic-Parmesan Bread

Subway’s Meatball Marinara, served with tender meatballs, is one of the most iconic recipes of the brand. Aside from the rich-tasting sauce and meat, the bread you pair it with contributes to the overall flavor of the sub.

Try this garlic parmesan bread to make the perfect sub sandwich. Serve it during tailgate season, or enjoy it as a go-to breakfast meal.  


8. Vietnamese Bún chả

Vietnamese Bún chả

Bún chả is a grilled meatball served with rice noodles and herbs. The fresh vegetables create a crunchy texture, while the meatball offers a meaty and juicy flavor. The characteristic of each element forms a delectable and balanced taste that makes it easy to enjoy. 


9. Crunchy Garlic Green Beans

Green beans are one of the most versatile vegetables you can pair with most meat. They take very little time to make yet still offer great taste. And this is for you if you like the seasoning combination of chili flakes, butter, salt, peppercorn, and loads of garlic. 


10. Perfect Roasted Asparagus

Perfect Roasted Asparagus

Aside from green beans, asparagus also makes a great pair with meatballs. This recipe can guide you in making crispy roasted asparagus while concealing the flavors. You can choose between following the basic roasted recipe; or adding seasonings like lemon wedges, parmesan, and mint for added flavor.


11. Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

Salad is a classic when it comes to serving meat. But have you tried a hot dressing? Made with pecans, bacon, apple cider vinegar, seeded mustard, and brown sugar, this hot bacon dressing has a balance of sweet and salty tastes. Plated over well-cooked spinach, it creates a robust flavor that is pleasing to the palate. 


12. Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled Corn on the Cob

What pairs well with a barbeque meatball rather than grilled corn on a cob? If you’re planning an outdoor party, try this four-ingredient corn recipe. Rolled up in a foil, the corn would cook evenly and would not lose much of the seasonings. The butter also adds flavor and saltiness to the cob, complimenting the juicy grilled meatball. 


13. Homemade Layered Ratatouille

Sometimes we get inspired by the fascinating dishes we see in movies. Ratatouille, made with summer vegetables, is one side dish you can serve with meatballs. It is layered with colorful slices of vegetables and filled with a flavorful sauce. Perfectly baked, this recipe makes a tasty side dish to enjoy. 


14. Baked French Fries

Baked French Fries

Meatball is one of the many recipes that kids love. And serving it with crispy french fries makes it more inviting. Baking the fries is a better way to avoid using too much oil. This recipe features tips on how to make crispy fries after baking. It is so simple that you only need three ingredients to finish this side dish.


15. Minestrone Soup

Serving meatballs with thick tomato soup is just about what we need on cold days. This dish is brimming with vegetables, potato, beans, pasta, and, of course, tomato broth flavors. You can soak the meatball in the soup for that elevated flavor. 


16. Homemade Slider Buns

Homemade Slider Buns

Let the store bough buns pass for now, and start to create homemade slider buns. These little slider buns can be made by hand (if you’re adventurous) or with the help of a mixer. It has a soft and toasty finish fit to serve with fried meatballs. 


17. Broccoli in Garlic Sauce

Take inspiration from the beef and broccoli dish. You can certainly replace the beef with bite-size meatballs! This recipe features a garlicky and mild spicy-tasting sauce poured all over the broccoli. You can level it up with fried meatballs and let it soak to absorb all the flavors. 


18. Easy Fried Rice

Easy Fried Rice

Do you have a day-old rice waiting in the fridge? If yes, transform it into a flavorsome fried rice to serve with meatballs. It has vegetables like peas and carrots, but you can add bell pepper and cabbage for flavor. Seasoning like soy sauce and sesame oil adds saltiness and depth to the dish.


19. Zucchini Noodles

Tired of the traditional meatball and pasta combo, try replacing it with zucchini noodles instead. It is way healthier and lower in calories. Though, this dish requires a spiralizer to create the same thickness as noodles. For the taste, expect a balanced taste of spices like red pepper flakes and savory garlic.


20. Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad

This caesar salad features a briny, creamy dressing and craggy, freshly made croutons. Drizzled over a cold and crunchy Romanina lettuce, this recipe is perfect for a bowl of meatballs. If you think it’s good already, wait till you add shaved parmesan cheese all over it.


21. Cheesy Bread Sticks

Cheesy breadsticks paired with grilled meatballs remind us of a meaty cheeseburger. Yeast, sugar, water, egg, vinegar, and flour form the base of this bread. And don’t forget the star of the show! The garlic butter and hefty shredded mozzarella cheese.


22. Lemon Garlic Roasted Artichokes

Lemon Garlic Roasted Artichokes 

The tender leaves and delicious, meaty heart of an artichoke are great to serve with meatballs. This recipe requires only six ingredients, but it is enough to season it well. Also, prepare the meatballs first because artichokes are best enjoyed right out of the oven.


23. Vegetable Lasagna

Tomato sauce is always a good pairing with meatballs. Gladly, there is a light vegetable lasagna filled with flavorful tomato sauce to enjoy. The ingredients are simple and adaptable depending on the availability. And if you love overflowing layers of cheese, then you’ll enjoy this as much as you enjoy a meatball.


24. Manicotti


Manicotti is somehow similar to a lasagna. The Manicotti noodles contain a hefty amount of cheese. Then it is topped with a homemade marinara sauce where you can dip a meatball. Don’t forget to scoop some cheese for a flavorful taste!


25. Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

The list would not be complete without the classic spaghetti and meatball dish. So here it is! Gone are the days when you used a store-bought sauce for your spaghetti. This recipe features making marinara sauce from scratch and the secret ingredient to good-tasting meatballs. Here’s a clue: it’s a type of cheese!


There are heaps of side dishes you can pair with meatballs. If you want it simple yet flavorful, try fried rice. If you love dipping your meatballs in marinara sauce, bake a Manicotti. However you enjoy eating meatballs, there are plenty of side dishes you can choose from the list that can cater to your preference. 

25 Versatile Side Dishes to Serve with Meatballs for Any Occasion

Course: Side Dishes

From creamy mashed potatoes to garlicky rice, crunchy green beans to roasted asparagus, and even classic spaghetti and meatballs, there’s something here for everyone.


  • Choose your preferred recipe.
  • Gather all the necessary ingredients.
  • Prepare in 25 minutes or less!
  • Enjoy these delicacies with meatballs.


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Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.