9 Best Meatball Recipes (Polpette Recipes)

Meatballs are versatile because they are just as good in a stand-alone entrée, a sub sandwich, or a pasta dish. Whether you’re vegetarian, on the keto diet, or 100% carnivore, we have found a meatball recipe just for you.


This list includes our top favorite homemade meatballs, many of which also include a complementary sauce that goes with them. We hope you enjoy making and sharing some of these recipes with your friends and family.

1. Meatball Recipe without Breadcrumbs (Best Gluten-Free Meatball)

Meatball Recipe without Breadcrumbs
Meatball Recipe Without Breadcrumbs

Grab your cast iron skillet and get ready to make these mouthwatering meatballs. The main ingredients are ground beef, ground pork, parmesan cheese, heavy cream, an egg, and seasonings.

The recipe gives you enough to create 12 individual meatballs, but you are welcome to adjust it and make even more meatballs to freeze and save for later.

Once the meatballs are formed, sear them on a skillet, pour your favorite marinara sauce on top, then add a lid and let them cook the rest of the way through in an oven. Done and done, we’d make these meatballs any day.


Get the full recipe and directions here.

2. Polpette di Ricotta Recipe (Best Vegetarian Meatball)

Polpette di Ricotta
Polpette di Ricotta

Vegetarians will certainly enjoy this “meatball” recipe, which calls for ricotta cheese as the base instead of ground meat. 

All you have to do is combine ricotta cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, grana padano cheese, almond milk, and parsley in a mixing bowl and form walnut-sized balls – so simple!

This recipe also calls for a homemade tomato sauce, so be sure to warm that up before you start forming the meatless balls.


Get the full recipe and directions here.

3. Chicken Meatballs in Garlic Parmesan Sauce Recipe (Most Unique Meatball Award)

Chicken Meatballs in Garlic Parmesan Sauce
Chicken Meatballs in Garlic Parmesan Sauce

Step aside beef because chicken and mushrooms are the stars of this meatball recipe. Much like the previous recipe, everything is baked in a cast iron skillet.

These meatballs are paired with a creamy sauce instead of a tomato sauce. The main components of the sauce include chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, cornstarch (to thicken it), and parmesan cheese.

This creamy chicken meatball recipe is sure to jazz up any regular old weeknight menu.


Get the full recipe and directions here.

4. Meatball Marinara Sub Recipe (Easiest Meatball Award)

Meatball Marinara Sub
Meatball Marinara Sub

Hot, fresh, and mouthwatering are the words we would use to describe this meatball marinara sub. The best part is, it takes less than 10 ingredients to make the meatballs from scratch. 

Once the sauce and meatballs are cooked through, assemble your meatball sub with thinly sliced cheese on top (keeping the sandwich open-faced). Quickly broil it until the cheese is nice and melty, then savor every last bite of this decadent sandwich. 


Get the full recipe and directions here.

5. Traditional Italian Polpette al Forno (Most Traditional Meatball)

Traditional Italian Polpette al Forno
Traditional Italian Polpette al Forno

This traditional version of meatballs is simple and easy to make. While you can use different meat ratios, this recipe recommends a 50/50 beef and pork mixture with an 80% lean, 20% fat ratio. 

We love that this recipe is al forno (in the oven), which makes cleaning up much easier. These meatballs taste great with pasta and almost any sauce of your choosing.


Get the full recipe and directions from Allrecipes.

6. Polpette Neopaletana (Best Stuffed Meatball Award)

Polpette Neopaletana
Polpette Neopaletana

Look no further for the perfect cheese-stuffed meatball. This recipe calls for a 50/50 beef and pork mix, much like the previous recipe. The little piece of mozzarella in the middle of each meatball adds that extra bit of moisture and flavor. 

All you have to do is shape the meatballs by hand, make a hole in the top of each one, and stuff a piece of cheese in the middle. Next, cover up the hole and reshape the meatballs before rolling them in breadcrumbs.

Pan-fry the meatballs until a crust forms on the outside, then cook them in a tomato sauce over low heat until the sauce is reduced by half.


Get the full recipe and direction from Food Network.

7. Grandma’s Italian Meatballs (Overall Best Tasting Meatball)

Grandma's Italian Meatballs
Grandma’s Italian Meatballs

We think the best recipes come from a place of love, and this recipe epitomizes almost everyone’s love of meatballs. Seriously, if you have been searching for a recipe that blends tradition and food science, this is the one to beat.

One of the best tips they share is to broil the meatballs in the oven before simmering them in the sauce to give them more depth of flavor.


Get the full recipe and direction from Jessica Gavin.

8. Cheesy Keto Meatball Casserole (Keto-Friendly Meatball Award)

Cheesy Keto Meatball Casserole
Cheesy Keto Meatball Casserole

Lastly, this keto-friendly meatball casserole is ready to eat in under an hour. The author of this recipe suggests using a cookie scoop to help you form the meatballs – what a brilliant idea!

Bake the meatballs on their own until cooked through, then drain the grease. Assemble the casserole by arranging the cooked meatballs in a baking dish in a single layer.

Finish it off with ricotta and mozzarella cheese on top, and bake until the cheese is nice and bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil before serving, then dig in!

Get the full recipe and directions from Eat Yourself Skinny.

9. Spicy Italian Meatballs (Spiciest Meatball Award)

Spicy Italian Meatballs
Spicy Italian Meatballs

If you enjoy hot and spicy things, you should definitely try these meatballs. You only need 10 ingredients to make the recipe, the most crucial one being hot Italian sausage.

Form the meatballs and spread them two inches apart on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake them for about 25 minutes in a 350-degree oven and add them to a sub sandwich or pasta dish.


Get the full recipe and directions from The Carefree Kitchen.

Meatballs are delicious no matter how you decide to prepare them. Whether you want a traditional meatball with tomato sauce, a gluten-free meatball, or a vegetarian “meatball”, there is something on this list that can please everyone. Let us know what your favorite meatball recipe is!


If you like this post, we think you’ll really like our Best Marinara Sauce Recipes post.

Meatball Recipes
Meatball Recipes

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