9 Best Ways to Simmer, Sandwich and Serve Meatballs (That Don't Involve Spaghetti)


Think beyond spaghetti and reimagine the classic meatballs with Asian flavors, inside a taco, atop a pizza and in more next-level presentations from Food Network.

Sure, spaghetti and meatballs go together like bread and butter, but these beefy rounds don’t have to be confined to Italian cooking — or even to beef. The beauty of the meatball is that (almost) anything goes: Pork, chicken, turkey and vegetables? They’re are all go-to fillings, too, and when it comes to flavors and serving options, you’re limited only by creativity, from Asian-inspired and barbecue sauce toppings to gooey cheese fillings and taco stuffings. Read on below for the best-ever takes on meatball madness beyond the traditional pasta pairing.


When Pepperoni Won’t Cut It

Rachael Ray crumbles ground sirloin into large chunks that resemble meatballs in her quick-fix recipe for Mega Meatball Pizza. Since she starts with store-bought pizza dough, this family-friendly pie, blanketed in stretchy mozzarella cheese, can be on the table in just over 30 minutes.


When You Don’t Want to Choose

Who says you can’t have it all? Food Network Magazine’s Chipotle Chicken Meatball Tacos prove that you can indeed enjoy the best of a culinary mash-up. Here meatballs take on a Mexican flavor after simmering in a hearty sauce of smoky chipotle peppers and jalapeno.

When You Need the Work of a Sandwich King

Leave it to Jeff Mauro to put the ultimate spin on a classic meatball sandwich. In his recipe for Fried Meatball Sandwich with with Giardiniera, he fries three-meat balls until they’re golden brown, then piles on marinara sauce and pickled vegetables before finishing with toasted cheesy buns.


When You Need a Salty-Sweet Hero

For its Asian Meatball Subs with Hoisin Mayonnaise, Food Network Magazine starts with bold meatball add-ins like garlic, ginger and soy sauce-soaked bread for flavor and moisture, while a generous smear of creamy mayo spiked with hoisin and chili-garlic sauces adds cooling taste and texture.


When You Want to Impress Your Guests

Don’t be fooled by the elegant-looking Swedish Meatballs from Food Network Magazine. These breaded, deep-fried beauties are a cinch to prepare. Just serve them on toothpicks with a pickled cucumber topping and the classic sour cream-berry mixture on the side for a deceptively easy appetizer.


When You’re Feeling Cheesy

Similar to a juicy-lucy burger, Giada De Laurentiis’ Meatballs a la Pizzaiola are stuffed with a gooey surprise inside: smoked mozzarella cheese that melts into a pool of oozy decadence when you bite into it. Serve the meatballs alongside warm marinara sauce for easy dunking.

When Game Day Beckons

It doesn’t matter what the sport of the season is, as The Pioneer Woman’s fan-favorite Mini Meatball Sliders will fill the tailgating bill every time. She cooks the meatballs in a skillet, guaranteeing a golden-brown crust on the outside, before topping them with sauce.

When You Want to Slurp Your Meatballs

Think of this as Italian wedding soup’s dressed-up cousin: Instead of little noodles dotting the soup, Food Network Magazine’s Meatball Tortellini Soup is made with cheese-filled tortellini for added richness alongside the herbed meatballs and fresh spinach.

When You’re Craving Culinary Comfort

The name says it all in Ree Drummond’s Comfort Meatballs. Baked with a barbecue-style sauce of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, these moist stick-to-your-ribs rounds are a potluck staple on the ranch.