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What to Make with Leftover Meatballs: 12 Creative Ways to Up Your Meatball Game

What to Make with Leftover Meatballs: 12 Creative Ways to Up Your Meatball Game

Meatballs are a classic staple for any family dinner. 

They go great with spaghetti and marinara sauce. 

They can be made with a sweet and sour Asian sauce too. 

And of course, who could forget Swedish meatballs?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve gone to all the trouble to make your meatballs from scratch. Or if you simply opened a bag of ready-to-heat frozen meatballs. 

You don’t want to bore yourself or your family.

Thankfully, breathing new life into leftover meatballs is simple as can be.

You can pop them back in the freezer for another day or take them right out of your fridge and turn them into something new for dinner tonight. 

With these 12 recipes, you’re going to see how simple it is to make meatballs in many different ways. 

So many in fact that your family might keep requesting you make these recipes again and again!

Leftover Meatballs Recipes: 12 Ways to Use Up Those Leftovers

Homemade meatballs or store-bought ones can be used in any of these recipes. 

If you have meatball leftovers, here’s what to do with them!

1. Meatball Sliders

Meatball Sliders for leftover meatballs

Let’s start with a simple, no-fuss way to make your meatballs shine on the next night. Meatball sliders are a fun favorite for kids and adults alike. 

You can even make them for parties. 

Simply get slider buns and put a meatball, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese in each one. 

Make it fancier with a fresh basil leaf too, or jazz it up with other toppings. 

It’s so much fun to get creative with meatball sliders. 

You may just have more fun making them than you do eating them!

2. Meatball Pizza

Meatball Pizza for leftover meatballs

Is it pizza night? 

Well, it SHOULD be. 

And it CAN be if you take your meatballs and make meatball pizza. 

You can make your pizza completely from scratch by making your own dough. 

But if you don’t have that kind of time as we suspect you don’t, that’s ok. 

You can buy a ready-made pizza crust and top it with sauce, cheese, and meatballs. Don’t be shy about adding veggies on top too. 

Make your meatball pizza fit your dreams. 

Even if you have a frozen pizza, adding meatballs on top will totally elevate the experience and keep it from tasting like pizza that came from the freezer. 

3. Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole


Now here’s an idea for a crazy night when you don’t even feel like boiling pasta. 

This simple dump and bake meatball casserole only requires 5 ingredients, letting you make use of those meatballs again. 

It’s the kind of casserole that presents well too so if friends are dropping by or you need to make it for a meal train, this will soon be your go-to recipe. 

Even with leftover meatballs, it’s going to taste amazing and satisfy everyone’s soul. 

Blair from The Seasoned Mom shares her recipe for success with this delish dish!

4. Mexican Meatball Salad


Now here’s something a bit different that will have everyone gobbling up their veggies. You can make Mexican meatball salad for lunch the next day or make it the main or starter for dinner. 

Flanked with some other foods to round out the meal or even a nice soup, this way to use up meatballs is full of bold and tasty flavors. 

There’s a lot you can do to customize the salad to your liking though combining romaine, black olives, scallions, pepper jack cheese, avocado, queso fresco, salsa, and sour cream among other things with those meatballs are sure to bring true bliss. 

5. Meatball Bombs

Meatball Bombs for leftover meatballs

Here’s one kind of bomb you’re going to want to drop on your dinner table – the meatball bomb! 

Simply take pre-made pizza dough and stuff it with meatballs, cheese, and sauce, then bake it until it’s all golden brown and delicious. 

It helps to roll the dough into circles and depending on the size, put one or two meatballs in there. 

Seal up the dough by pinching the ends together and voila! 

No pizza dough? 

Use that canned biscuit dough and it will still come out perfect!

6. Meatball Gyros

Meatball Gyros for leftover meatballs

If you love gyros, meatballs can help you make them in a pinch. 

Your leftover meatballs stuffed into pitas with shredded lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad, red onion, parsley, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice are all you need to whip up this hand-held meal. 

Don’t forget the tzatziki sauce too! 

Serve it with some stuffed grape leaves on the size and Greek lemon chicken soup for a fabulous Mediterranean meal!

7. Cranberry Sauce Meatballs  


For a delicious, sweet, and savory meal tonight or something to take to a party anytime, make cranberry sauce meatballs. 

It’s perfect for cooked meatballs, going into the crockpot with barbecue sauce and jellied cranberry sauce. 

You barely have to lift a finger, and who doesn’t love that? 

Get the details on this amazing recipe!

8. Baked Spaghetti and Meatball Cups


Tired of serving spaghetti and meatballs the same old way? 

Make this dish into clever cups and no one will complain. 

In fact, this fun format for serving up a traditional dish is great for parties or simply keeping portions in control. 

Your muffin pan makes it a snap. 

All you do is toss your leftover cooked spaghetti with an egg, marinara sauce, and cheese. 

Then stuff it into the muffin pan and pop a meatball in the middle. 

Add more sauce and top with cheese, then bake it up. 

Maria at Kitchen at Hoskins has a simple recipe you can follow to make it just right! 

9. French Onion Soup with Meatballs

French Onion Soup with Meatballs for leftover meatballs

Make this sublime soup to start off any meal or pair it with a salad or sandwich for lighter lunchtime fare. 

Whatever you choose to do, it’s got to be on your table. 

With fully cooked meatballs, you can make French onion soup with a spectacular twist.

You’ll add the meatballs, sliced sweet onions, minced garlic, beef bouillon granules, dried thyme, beef broth, and a bottle of pale ale (or more beef broth if you prefer), plus some salt and pepper to taste. 

Let it cook in your slow cooker on low for 8 hours. 

Then you’ll add the soup to your ramekins, top with slices of French baguette and cheese, and broil to perfection!

10. Thai Meatball Lettuce Cups


If you’re tired of having meatballs in the usual Italian sauces, why not shake things up a bit with an Asian style? 

These Thai meatball lettuce cups are perfect for dinner or for parties (or even dinner parties!). 

It’s very versatile too allowing you to add mango, mint, cilantro, cucumber, and whatever is fresh and seasonally available. 

Kim and Lauren from Something New for Dinner have teamed up to create this fun and fresh recipe so grab the details there and get cooking!

11. Meatball Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Meatball Grilled Cheese Sandwich for leftover meatballs

Grilled cheese is pretty much perfect the way it is. 

That said though, it becomes even more amazing when you get creative with it. 

Those meatballs you have there are perfect to slip in between the bread with cheese. 

Add marinara sauce and mozzarella, or simply use American cheese and the meatballs.

Really, there are countless ways you can let this play out. 

Why not make a meatball grilled cheese tasting board? 

You can try out different ways to combine the meatballs with cheese and fillings in your grilled cheese sandwiches and create the next big thing!

You can also check out our list of meatball sub sandwich toppers to really go outside the box.

12. Vegetable Meatball Soup


And finally, if you need some soup to warm you through to your heart and soul, make vegetable meatball soup. 

It’s great for using those meatballs and frozen veggies. 

A little white rice with this makes for a filling meal, or it can be the way to start your lunch or dinner out with soothing, warming nutrition in every bowl. 

Plus, it’s fun to customize it your way so put it in a pot and get started! 

You’ll find more details about how to make it by clicking the photo.

Now that you’ve got plenty of ideas for those leftover meatballs, it’s time to put them into action. Feel free to make more than one of them at once too and check out our yummy meatball side dish list.

Some soup and a meatball grilled cheese sound like the perfect meal right about now!

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