Recipe

10 Unconventional Meatball Recipes You Need to Make Right Now

Buffalo chicken meatballs
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Your mama's homemade meatballs are delicious, sure, but sometimes the balls just need to speak for themselves, without the support of a bowl of spaghetti and red sauce. From IKEA's Swedish spheres to sweet-and-sour meatballs that challenge Chinese takeout, these 10 atypical meatball recipes do just that.

Swedish meatballs
<a href="http://damndelicious.net/2014/02/21/swedish-meatballs/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Damn Delicious</a>

Swedish meatballs

Enjoy your IKEA meatballs without the risk of impulse-buying cheap shelves. This recipe is way easier to put together, too.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Ground pork
  • Allspice
  • Beef broth
  • Sour cream
Turkey and zucchini meatballs
<a href="http://bakerbynature.com/baked-turkey-zucchini-meatballs/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Baker by Nature</a>

Turkey and zucchini meatballs

For those that need to be tricked into eating vegetables. You’d never know these things were packed with fiber unless I told you! Oh. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground turkey
  • Zucchini
  • Marinara sauce
Mozzarella stuffed meatballs
<a href="http://bevcooks.com/2015/04/giant-mozzarella-stuffed-meatball-and-pasta-bake/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Bev Cooks</a>

Giant mozzarella-stuffed meatballs

These monsters are for those that need to be tricked into eating cheese (really?). Get the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Ground pork
  • Mozzarella balls
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Spaghetti
Sweet and sour meatballs
<a href="http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2015/02/slow-cooker-sweet-sour-meatballs.html" target="_blank">Courtesy of Le Creme de la Crumb</a>

Sweet-and-sour meatballs

These Asian-inspired meatballs are made in your slow cooker while you do literally anything else. Recipe right this way!

Key ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Red pepper
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Soy sauce
Chicken meatball soup
<a href="http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/02/mini-chicken-meatball-soup/" target="_blank">Courtesy of How Sweet Eats</a>

Chicken meatball soup

Like Italian wedding soup but without the commitment. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground chicken
  • Pasta
  • Romano cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
Roasted garlic meatballs
<a href="http://gimmedelicious.com/2014/04/12/easy-creamy-roasted-garlic-meatballs/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Gimme Delicious</a>

Creamy roasted garlic meatballs

All the flavor of Italian meatballs, but without marinara. Garlic breath for days here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Progresso creamy roasted garlic recipe starter
Buffalo chicken meatballs
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Buffalo chicken meatballs

Take all the work (and mess) out of eating hot wings. Get the game-day recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground chicken
  • Hot sauce
  • Butter
  • Blue cheese dip
Vietnamese meatballs
<a href="http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/vietnamese-meatball-lettuce-wraps-mango-salad-cilantro-basil-cashew-sauce/" target="_blank">Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest</a>

Vietnamese meatballs

These tangy pork meatballs can be eaten inside lettuce wraps with the accompanying mango salad recipe, but they're just as good on their own. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Pork sausage
  • Sesame oil
  • Fish sauce
  • Sweet Thai chili sauce
Meatball pasta salad
<a href="http://thechicsite.com/2014/05/14/turkey-meatball-caprese-pasta/" target="_blank">Courtesy of The Chic Site</a>

Meatball Caprese salad

Meatball salad. Why didn't you already think of this? Why didn't I already think of this?! Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground turkey
  • Pasta shells
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil
Spaghetti stuffed meatballs
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Spaghetti-stuffed meatballs

Forget everything you thought you knew. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Ground pork
  • Spaghetti
  • Marinara sauce


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Perry Santanachote is Thrillist's recipes editor. Follow her at @perrysant.