Pan of meatballs with various sauces on the side
The Very Best Sauces For Meatballs That Aren't Marinara
Meatballs and spaghetti are a classic combination, but even without spaghetti, meatballs deserve a place on your menu, especially when paired with pesto.
Made of basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and pine nuts, pesto adds a bright, herbaceous dimension that cuts through the rich fattiness of meatballs for a well-balanced bite.
Cacio E Pepe
Cacio e pepe may seem like an already perfect dish, but when paired with meatballs, it gets a hearty, meaty upgrade, creating an even richer meal.
Made of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly ground pepper, and pasta water, the sauce pairs well with meatballs, even without pasta, for a simple yet rich dish.
Barbecue Sauce
Barbecue sauce is perfect for pulled pork and ribs, so it’s a no-brainer atop meatballs. Use a sauce with hickory or mesquite notes and pair it with pork meatballs.
Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce deserves a spot at your table on more than just Thanksgiving, so pair it with some meatballs to make a deliciously sweet and savory treat.
The cranberries add a tart sweetness that balances pairs with beef or pork meatballs. Just make sure to buy or make a jammier sauce so it properly coats the meatballs.
Arrabbiata Sauce
Similar to marinara but with a bit of spice thanks to red pepper flakes, arrabbiata is perfect for pairing with meatballs if you want an added kick of flavor.
You can tailor the spice level to your taste preferences or tailor the sauce with cream for a thicker consistency or red wine to complement beef-based meatballs.