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Our best meatball recipes using beef, turkey, chicken, mushrooms and more

Chicken and Rice Meatballs With Roasted Carrots and Labne. (Rey Lopez for The Washington Post/Food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Want a food that can be fun, comforting, elegant and just as happy on a toothpick as it is in pasta or tucked into a sandwich? That would be the crowd-pleasing meatball, of course.

There’s so much to like about this staple that can span many cuisines and ingredients. They can be made with just about any meat you want — chicken, pork, turkey, beef, lamb. Prefer plant-based? Look to recipes that make use of mushrooms, nuts, bread and eggplant. You’ll find all that and more in these recipes from our archives.

Chicken and Rice Meatballs With Roasted Carrots and Labne, above. Here’s a great recipe from G. Daniela Galarza’s Eat Voraciously newsletter in which leftover rice helps just a pound of ground chicken (or turkey) go a bit farther. The meatballs are enlivened with an aromatic baharat spice blend and glazed with date syrup, and the roasting takes place on the same sheet pan as the carrots.

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Pomegranate-Glazed Meatballs. This beef meatball recipe (you can use lamb, veal or a combo) also gets a delightfully sticky glaze made with pomegranate molasses, citrus, sugar and spices.


Baked Meatball Sub. Baking meatballs is a wonderful way to streamline the process, and here the beef morsels are cooked on a wire rack to help drain excess fat. While they roast, pull together a quick sauce made from canned tomato puree.


Mushroom-Walnut ‘Meatballs.’ “Many egg-free, meat-free balls fall apart as they cook, but these don’t,” says Food editor Joe Yonan. Rice flour and chia seeds help keep this vegan recipe together. For another meatless take, see Eggplant 'Meatballs’ in Tomato Sauce.


Greek Chicken Meatballs With Squash. Feta, yogurt and herbs brighten these chicken meatballs, which go splendidly, of course, with a Greek salad.


Un-Stuffed Cabbage Meatballs in Sweet-and-Sour Tomato Sauce. Ellie Krieger deconstructs stuffed cabbage and turns it into a one-pot meal featuring beef meatballs simmered with cabbage leaves and a sauce made from canned tomato sauce. When fresh tomatoes are in season, be sure to look to her Turkey Meatballs and Grated Fresh Tomato Sauce With Harissa.


Algerian-Style Meatballs With Chickpeas. Here’s another one-pan meal well-suited for weeknights. Turkey meatballs are simmered in a tomato-paste-based sauce with a can of chickpeas and topped with a showering of sliced almonds. Serve on its own, with couscous or in pitas. Chickpea flour, or besan, plays an important roll in Chickpea Meatballs in Aromatic Tomato Sauce, made with lamb.


Tapas-Style Turkey Meatballs. Serve these Spanish-inspired meatballs in a smoky, tangy tomato sauce as an appetizer or dinner. Be sure to use some, if not all, dark ground turkey to keep them tender.


30-Minute Spaghetti & Meatballs. If you thought spaghetti and meatballs take a long time to make, let this recipe starring ground turkey and canned, peeled tomatoes, disabuse you of that notion. DePino’s DePasquale Red Sauce and Meatballs are a bit more of a production, featuring a sauce cooked for two hours by itself before the ground sirloin meatballs are simmered in it for another two hours.


Swedish Turkey Meatballs. Don’t worry, these meatballs inspired by a certain worldwide chain are much easier to assemble than some of its infamous furniture. For an actual recipe from the store, see Ikea Swedish Meatballs With Cream Sauce.


Pallotte Cacio e Uova (Cheese and Egg ‘Meatballs’ in Tomato Sauce). In this vegetarian-friendly recipe, eggs, cheese and breadcrumbs are formed into balls, fried, then simmered in a rich, meatless tomato sauce.

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