Move Beyond the Marinara: 10 Creative Meatball Recipe Ideas

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Forecast: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is all good, well, and fine, but there's a whole world of interesting, unique meatball recipes that blow the classics like marinara and Swedish meatballs out of the water. From teriyaki to buffalo chicken, check out these creative meatball recipes. 

French onion beef meatballs in iron cast pan.

1. Baked French Onion Meatballs

The savory, salty, cheesy structure of French onion soup lends itself beautifully to meatballs. The cheese pulls here are next-level, guys, and the ground chicken offers leaner protein to stand up against the remaining decadent ingredients.

Recipe: Chef Jar 

100% Lamb -Greek Meatball Platter
Lauri Patterson/istockphoto

2. Greek Meatballs

This meatball recipe is giving us gyro vibes, and we are 100% here for it. Served with tzatziki sauce and a Greek salad, we see these meatballs are top-tier. 

Recipe: Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

3. Coca-Cola Meatballs

There are tons of recipes made better by Coca-Cola, and these meatballs are no exception. Alongside tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce, the Coke creates a dynamic sauce that complements the texture of the meatballs perfectly.

Recipe: With a Blast

Related: The Best Frozen Meatballs To Buy Right Now

Teriyaki PORK Meatballs

4. Crock Pot Hawaiian Meatballs

Canned pineapple, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce join forces to infuse these meatballs with Hawaiian flavor. The slow cooker structure of the recipe is particularly easy, too, which we appreciate.

Recipe: A Southern Soul


5. Grape Jelly Meatballs

Grape jelly is an unsuspecting yet totally tasty sauce component for meatballs. Next to the subtle spice of the chili sauce, the grape jelly brings some sweet balance. With only three ingredients, this slow cooker recipe is about as simple and easy as they come. 

Recipe: Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons

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Mexican Inspired Meatballs

6. Tex-Mex Meatballs

We're not sure why we've never thought to give meatballs a Tex-Mex flair with jalapeño, shredded Mexican cheese, chopped chipotle peppers, and cumin, but this recipe is getting expedited to the top of our must-try list. 

Recipe: 100k Recipes

Swedish meatballs in creamy sauce

7. Chicken Ricotta Meatballs with Spinach Alfredo Sauce

Sorry, did you just say there's ricotta in these meatballs? In them. Mixed right in. Yes, please! We are salivating at the thought of how these must melt in your mouth. The creamy sauce is the obvious companion for these little guys. 

Recipe: Naomi's Recipes

Related: Where to Find the Best Meatballs Across America

skewers of raw and chopped chicken meatballs on a white background
frederique wacquier/istockphoto

8. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Chicken meatballs are the ideal vessel for buffalo sauce and a drizzle of ranch. Buffalo sauce makes just about any appetizer better, so these are solid. Top 'em with chives for the full effect.

Recipe: Taste and See

sweet and sour meatballs

9. Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Pineapple juice, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and ketchup blend together to create a sweet, sour, tangy sauce that makes these meatballs explode with unique flavors. Serve this on top of white rice for a well-rounded Asian-inspired dish.

Recipe: Jo Cooks

meatless vegan Asian meatballs in sweet and sour sauce with rice and stewed vegetables. balanced lunch or healthy dinner. street food

10. Sticky Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs

Trust us on this one: You'll want to try these. We've actually used this recipe before, and the sauce has the best consistency and flavor. These have to be the best meatballs we've ever had. Serve them with sticky rice and top them with green onions and a drizzle of sriracha. Thank us later.

Recipe: The Girl on Bloor