18 Side Dishes For Meatball-Based Mains

Delicious meatballs are ideal for a casual lunch with the family or a merry feast with guests. No matter what type of meat is used to make them, these little dumplings made of meat are extraordinary.

Nevertheless, despite how fantastic meatballs taste, it can be challenging to come up with a different dish to serve them with than the typical pasta.

Roasted Red Potatoes

It’s unfortunate considering meatballs may, and should, be used for much more than just a pasta dish garnish.

Meatballs are more than just small snacks and hors d’oeuvres. These flavor-packed small nuggets may shine on their own as a dish’s main ingredient when cooked and seasoned correctly.

However, to fill up your plate, you should serve them with some appropriate side dishes.

In this article, we have listed 18 delectable side dishes that will compliment meatballs perfectly, no matter how you decide to cook them.

They are so much more than just tiny balls of goodness to be stirred in with spaghetti and marinara sauce!

So, let’s get started. Here are 18 side dishes for meatball-based mains.

1. Asparagus

We’re going to look at a healthy alternative to go with your meatballs to kick off this list. Asparagus is a delicious vegetable with a lot of health advantages and little calories.

One of the simplest ways to prepare asparagus is oven-roasted. Roast the asparagus until tender and gently browned by brushing it with olive oil, seasoning it with salt, pepper, and sometimes some chopped garlic.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is another tasty yet nutritious side dish that many of us have a love/hate relationship with. When cooked and seasoned thoroughly, this can be one tasty side dish!

This recipe steams broccoli with some lemon and garlic, creating refreshing, zingy flavors that are to die for. It’s so easy to pull together, and will taste amazing alongside the meatballs.

3. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is one of those dishes that works both as a side and a sauce, perfect for dipping if you’re a fan of mayonnaise. 

This coleslaw dish is bursting with flavor, including some delicious meatballs, and will liven up anything you serve it with. Additionally, it isn’t too unhealthy, despite the fact that it does not have the fewest calories on our list.

4. Corn On The Cob

Is there anything better than a hot, salted butter-covered corn husk? We are doubtful. Corn on the cob is one of the most popular side dishes in the world for a reason.

If you make this recipe and have any leftover corn on the cob, you can refrigerate it and reheat it within three to four days.

5. Egg Noodles

Egg noodles are so wonderful that you’ll want to prepare them repeatedly! In addition to being delicious, these noodles have a soft, tender feel that makes them the ideal side dish for your favorite meaty dishes.

To fully complement the meatballs and the side dish, you may even add a remarkable sauce. However, if we’re being honest, we’d eat these egg noodles plain. They’re just so tasty!

6. French Fries

Fries, chips, fried potatoes… no matter what you call them, there is no denying the impact that these long, thin, crispy snacks have had on the world. Try to name something that wouldn’t be improved with a side of fries!

In IKEA, you can replace the mashed potatoes with a side of fries to accompany your meatballs. Add some special Swedish gravy and a little veg, and you’re on your way!

7. Garlic Bread

Garlic bread works as a side dish and a starter, depending on what mood you’re in. Or, you could always have a double serving, and have them as both. We wouldn’t blame you!

It is such a simple dish, yet a satisfying one nonetheless. All you need is some bread, garlic, butter, and herbs… and, of course, a whole load of Parmesan if you prefer your garlic bread cheesy.

8. Gravy

Depending on where you live in the world, you may have a different perception of gravy. It can be different colors, different textures, and can even contain different flavors.

This recipe is for the famous IKEA gravy that is served with their Swedish meatballs. It is a light-colored savory cream sauce that we will never be able to get enough of. Pour it all over your meatballs and other sides.

9. Green Beans

Next up, we have another healthy side of green veggies. This time, we’ve got a recipe for some crispy green beans.

The good thing about the recipe is that it only calls for one skillet, and the simple and exquisite French green beans go with practically anything. To bake these green beans, little to no work is required.

10. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish for so many meals, and for good reason. Homemade mashed potatoes are usually a popular favorite since they are delightfully thick and creamy, flavorful, and simple to make.

Add some butter, garlic, milk, and cream cheese, then mash the ingredients with the potatoes to create the creamiest, tastiest mashed potatoes ever.

11. Ratatouille

The traditional end-of-summer French casserole ratatouille is both entertaining to pronounce and entertaining to prepare. Additionally, it is the title of the beloved Pixar film!

It is among the healthiest choices on this list because it is loaded with fresh veggies. It’s colorful, vibrant, and tastes amazing alongside some juicy meatballs.

12. Rice

You’d be surprised at how well your meatballs, particularly meatballs with a buttery sauce, go with a plain bowl of steaming white rice.

Plus, depending on how you make it, rice is actually extremely healthy. Simple items can be used to make some delicious traditional comfort cuisine.

As they ask for seconds, watch as your family eats this meal combination to the gills!

13. Roasted Red Potatoes

Next up, we have some more potatoes to fill your bellies alongside the meatballs. Roasted red potatoes are just as tasty as mashed potatoes, and just as hearty.

If you prefer your potatoes crispier, rather than creamier, then these are the taters for you. Chop them up, roast them for a little while, and serve them alongside some meatballs and veg.

14. Salad

We have added salad as an option, as salads are a popular side dish for many main meals, but the truth is, there are so many salads to choose from!

There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ salad, as there are so many veggies and fruits that you can add to personalize your own. Maybe you prefer leafy greens, or some chopped apples to add a little sweetness.

15. Spaghetti

Did you really think we were going to finish this list without mentioning the ultimate side dish for meatballs?

Spaghetti and meatballs go together like birds of a feather. Add a little marinara or bolognese sauce, and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal that the whole family will love.

16. Sub Sandwich

Another favorite across the world is the famous meatball sub, smothered in marinara sauce and all your favorite veggies and cheese. 

While this may not be the healthiest opinion on this list, it is definitely one of the tastiest.

And, you don’t need to go all the way to Subway to grab one – just make it yourself at home! You’ll save money, and besides, everything tastes better homemade.

17. Sweet Potato Fries

We already mentioned french fries further up in this list, but who could forget their trendy younger brother, the sweet potato fry?

These are much sweeter and more tender than your typical french fry, and taste great as a side dish for many mains, including meatballs. Plus, they are a little more nutritious than your typical french fries.

18. Udon Noodles

Last, but certainly not least, we have another batch of noodles to make for your meatballs. This time, we’re looking at udon noodles!

A flavorful five-ingredient yaki udon noodle sauce is stir-fried with udon noodles in this simple Japanese recipe for yaki udon, which is prepared and cooked within 20 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Popular Side Dishes?

No matter whether you are out at a restaurant, or enjoying a meal at home, there are a handful of side dishes that never seem to go out of style.

Dishes, such as fries, mashed potatoes, onion rings, and garlic bread, are staple sides that are offered on pretty much every menu in the world. Fries are probably the most popular side dish in the US, and other areas of the world.

How Many Meatballs Do You Serve Per Person?

Typically, you should make around 4 meatballs per person, depending on the size of the meatballs and what kind of dish you are serving.

Each individual could have around 5 or 6 1-inch meatballs, or 2 to 3 2-inch meatballs. It also depends on whether the meatballs are plain, or have been stuffed with another food – e.g., cheese – which would make them more filling.

Can You Overcook Meatballs In Sauce?

Meatballs should be cooked until they have reached the acceptable interior temperature.

If you leave them simmering or sitting in the sauce for too long, you risk overcooking them, which will cause them to initially turn crunchy before eventually becoming gooey and sloppy.

The easiest way to cook them is to cook them separately until they are almost done, add them to your sauce, and simmer them for a couple more minutes.

Why Do My Meatballs Come Out Dry?

Using a particularly lean cut of beef is one of the most frequent causes of dry meatballs. Although this is advantageous for your health, the recipe will need to be changed to account for the lower fat content.

A moist outcome can be achieved by substituting other ingredients.  To soften the mixture before cooking, try adding some egg or perhaps a little milk.

Final Thoughts

So, there we have it. Those were our top picks for side dishes to be served alongside some yummy meatballs.

If you’re stuck on deciding on a single side for your meatball-based main dish, why not think about adding a couple to the plate? 

For example, you wouldn’t visit IKEA and settle for a plate of meatballs with a slice of garlic bread.

You would enjoy a side of fries, veg, and a helping of gravy! As long as they’re added in moderation, you can add as many side dishes as you please.

Another example: you would serve some garlic bread alongside spaghetti and meatballs, and sometimes even a salad!

If you can’t decide, go ahead and create a couple of side dishes. No matter which you choose, however, they will never outshine the true star: the magical meatball.

We hope you enjoyed this article, and found it helpful. Happy cooking!

18 Side Dishes For Meatball-Based Mains

18 Side Dishes For Meatball-Based Mains

Recipe by Jenna

Sides are a great way to add flavor to your main course. From mashed potatoes to macaroni and cheese, these side dishes are perfect for meatball-based mains.

Course: Appetizers
5 from 1 vote


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

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