Header image: Turkey Ricotta Meatballs from CHOW
The Italian meatball doesn’t need to be invited to the party. It is the party, bestowing good vibes wherever it goes. Got a plate of boring, plain old pasta? Add some meatballs and gravy for a fun time. Is your pizza slice in need of some sprucing up? Take it to the limits of excess by topping it with meatballs. Have a hoagie roll just crying out to get sauced? Put a meatball on it!
Any time you come across a dish that just seems to be missing something, ask yourself, “Would this be better with an Italian meatball on it?” Because chances are the answer is yes. I mean, it worked out quite well for these nine recipes. They’re definitive proof that meatballs and red sauce possess a pretty magical touch.
1. Basic Italian Meatballs
Three parts beef, two parts pork, and one hundred percent guaranteed to make you a pro at shaping things into little round patties. We’ll show you how to put them together. What you do with them is up to your meatballer instincts. Get our Basic Italian Meatballs recipe.
2. Spaghetti and Meatballs
If you grew up eating spaghetti and meatballs, a recipe like this one is sure to get feelings of nostalgia running high. Make sure you have plenty of parmesan at the ready. Get our Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe.
3. Turkey Meatballs with Ricotta
These cheesy turkey meatballs may be a bit unorthodox, but does that really matter when they’re coated in sauce and wedged between the two sides of a hoagie? I think not. Get our Turkey Meatballs with Ricotta recipe.
4. Meatball Pizza (on a Naan Crust)
Forget sharing. Here’s a pizza that you can call your own. These pies on naan bread are the perfect size for keeping all the meatball goodness to yourself. Get the recipe here.
5. Meatball Muffins
These muffin tin nibbles condense all the charms of a meatball sub into one nifty bite. Now if only all of life’s pleasures could fit into the palm of your hand. Get the recipe here.
6. Meatball Casserole
If you were a meatball, you’d want to end up in a dish like this. Swimming in a pool of tomato sauce, surrounded by pools of melty mozzarella—what a life! Get the recipe here.
7. White Bean and Mushroom “Meatball” Subs
White beans bring creamy heft and mushrooms are full of big flavor—of course they’d make for a killer faux-meatball. Pair them up with some garlicky chard leaves for a welcome bit of green. Get the recipe here.
8. Cheesy Stuffed Meatball Sliders
This is why meatballs have got it better than burgers in the ground meat game: a meatball is the perfect size for dousing in sauce and topping with cheese and it still looks good perched inside of an itty bitty slider bun. Try getting saucy like that, quarter pounder. Get the recipe here.
9. Ricotta and Sage Fried Meatballs
What’s better than a plump and tender meatball? One that’s been rolled in a crispy, fried panko coating. With some marinara sauce for dunking, this is the ultimate way to satisfy both the meatball and the deep fried finger food lover in you. Get the recipe here.