Every March, college basketball fans revel in the cutthroat excitement that is the March Madness tournament. Sixty-eight teams enter, and, through a series of high-intensity single-elimination games, one team emerges victorious. But we’re not here to talk about basketball. We’re here to talk about something else that’s equally thrilling (and round): meatballs.
To celebrate all things meatballs and have some fun with sports brackets, Simply Recipes brings you Meatball Madness. While we don’t have 68 meatballs for you to vote on, we’ve upped the ante with a tight sweet sixteen. That’s 16 delectable meatballs that are all winners in their own right—they’re fun to make, fun to eat, and delicious.
— Laurel Randolph, Food Editor
Meatball Madness: The Bracket
While I’ve blindly filled out my fair share of March Madness brackets in hopes of winning big, I’m no expert. I do, however, have thoughts and feelings about meatballs. Meatballs are a perfect food: they come in all shapes and sizes featuring different meats, flavorings, sauces, and more. Some make a crowd-pleasing appetizer (for a March Madness game, perhaps?) while others are satisfying main dish fare.
We’ve grouped our brackets into four fun meatball categories: Appetizer, Main, Saucy, and Soupy. You’ll find recipes for the meatballs in each category below, and you can play along and vote for the ultimate meatball champion on Instagram.
No one can resist a platter of meatballs on game day, at a potluck, before a dinner party, or anything in between. With dipping sauces and glazes, they’re fun to eat and sure to be a slam dunk.
- Cranberry Glazed Meatballs
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs
- Pesto Chicken Meatballs
Main Dish Meatballs
Move over appetizers, these hearty, substantial meatballs are enough to make a meal. Whether served as a sandwich or atop pasta, they’re the star players. Pair them with a side or two and serve for lunch or dinner to a cheering crowd.
- Meatball Sub
- Swedish Meatballs
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Lamb Meatball Pitas
These meatballs leave everything on the court. Bathed in a delicious sauce, they’re best served with toasty bread, pasta, or rice.
- Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- French Onion Meatballs
- Coconut Adobo Chicken Meatballs
- Vegan Meatballs
Swimming in a bowl of broth, these meatballs are a winning combination of comfort and ease. Serve these soupy mains on a cold night and congratulate yourself on a winning dinner.
- Lion’s Head Meatballs
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)
- Turkey Meatball Soup with Spinach and Orzo