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25 Sauces for Meatballs That Will Blow Your Taste Buds Away

I’ve attached a video for every recipe below from my favorite home cooks. Meatballs are such a versatile dish, and what really makes them shine are the sauces.

Sauces for Meatballs

Whether you prefer sweet, sour, spicy, or creamy, there’s a perfect sauce for you. From classic marinara to adventurous flavors like guajillo or grape jelly, exploring different sauces can elevate your meatballs to new heights.

Imagine serving Swedish meatballs smothered in creamy, rich gravy or enjoying a tangy teriyaki glaze that brings a burst of umami to every bite. Trying out new sauces not only diversifies your meals but also makes dinner time more exciting and delicious.

Each recipe below comes with a blend of flavors that cater to every palate. You’ll find straightforward recipes that ensure your meatballs are always a hit, whether for a family gathering or a cozy dinner at home. Dive in and discover how the right sauce can make all the difference for your meatballs!

Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped onions and cook until they become translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine.
  5. Add sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes if using.
  6. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
  7. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving if desired.

Your marinara sauce is ready to serve with meatballs or your favorite pasta dishes.

Swedish Meatball Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary

Instructions

  1. Melt the Butter: Start by melting the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Make the Roux: Whisk in the flour to create a paste. Keep whisking until it turns golden brown.
  3. Add Broth: Slowly add the beef broth while whisking to keep it smooth.
  4. Incorporate Cream: Whisk in the heavy cream or sour cream until the sauce is smooth.
  5. Season: Add soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and rosemary. Keep stirring.
  6. Cook Until Thickened: Continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add Meatballs: If you are serving with meatballs, add them to the sauce and cook until heated through, around 5 minutes.

Honey Garlic Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves minced garlic

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, and minced garlic until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture over the meatballs in a slow cooker.
  3. Stir to coat the meatballs evenly with the sauce.
  4. Place the lid on the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2 hours until the meatballs are hot and the sauce is thick and bubbling.
  6. Stir before serving to evenly distribute the sauce.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

To make a delicious Sweet and Sour Sauce for your meatballs, you will need a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps. Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions


  1. Mix the Sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and pineapple juice until smooth.



  2. Prepare Cornstarch Mixture: In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Stir until cornstarch is fully dissolved.



  3. Cook the Sauce: Pour the sauce mixture into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.



  4. Thicken the Sauce: Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan. Continue to cook and stir for about 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens.



  5. Combine with Meatballs: Pour the thickened sauce over your cooked meatballs and toss to coat them evenly.


This sweet and tangy sauce perfectly complements meatballs, creating a delightful flavor that’s sure to please.

Grape Jelly Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grape jelly
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 pounds frozen meatballs

Instructions

  1. Mix the Sauce: In a bowl, combine the grape jelly, chili sauce, and cayenne pepper if using.
  2. Heat the Sauce: Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm, about 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add the Meatballs: Place the frozen meatballs in a slow cooker.
  4. Combine and Cook: Pour the warmed sauce over the meatballs, stirring to coat them evenly.
  5. Slow Cook: Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve: Serve the meatballs warm and enjoy!

Garlic Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter.
  2. Sauté garlic: Add the minced garlic to the melted butter. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add flour: Stir in the 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Add broth: Gradually add the 1 cup chicken broth, stirring constantly.
  5. Season: Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Thicken: Bring the sauce to a gentle boil and cook until it thickens, stirring occasionally.

This sauce pairs deliciously with any meatballs you make.

Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Instructions:

  1. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan.
  2. On low heat, bring to a simmer while whisking the ingredients together.
  3. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until it thickens.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve in a bowl for dipping or drizzle over your meatballs before serving.

Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
  4. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, sugar, basil, salt, and bay leaf.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flavors blend well.
  6. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs (optional, such as dill or cilantro)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the plain yogurt, minced garlic, and fresh lemon juice.
  2. Add the olive oil and ground cumin, then mix well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. If desired, stir in some chopped fresh herbs like dill or cilantro.
  5. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.



  2. Add finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until tender.



  3. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Break up the meat with a spoon as it cooks.



  4. If using, pour in red wine. Cook until the wine has mostly evaporated.



  5. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and beef broth. Stir to combine.



  6. Sprinkle in dried oregano and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



  7. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.



  8. Serve over your favorite meatballs and enjoy!


Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley or dill for garnish

Instructions:


  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over high heat.



  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they start to soften, about 2 minutes.



  3. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, until the garlic is golden and the mushrooms are soft.



  4. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute to make a roux.



  5. Slowly whisk in the white wine, continuing to stir until smooth.



  6. Add the chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring well to combine.



  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



  8. Let the mixture simmer until it thickens into a gravy, about 5 minutes.



  9. Garnish with fresh parsley or dill before serving.


Enjoy your delicious mushroom gravy with your favorite meatballs!

Lingonberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen lingonberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Combine lingonberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until berries are soft.
  4. Add lemon juice and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  5. Let the jam cool before serving with your meatballs.

Vodka Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion, diced
  • Garlic, minced
  • Vodka
  • Beef broth
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the diced onion and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Pour in the vodka and cook until reduced by half, around 5 minutes.
  5. Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes.
  6. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream and cook until the sauce thickens.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy your delightful vodka cream sauce with your favorite meatballs!

Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of organic salted butter
  • 14 fresh sage leaves (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cut the butter into large pieces.
  2. Add the butter to a light-colored pan over medium-low heat.
  3. When the butter starts to foam, add the dry sage leaves.
  4. Cook together for about 3-5 minutes until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice immediately to stop the browning.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.

Thai Red Curry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Instructions:


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.



  2. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes.



  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.



  4. Mix in the red curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, until deeply browned and aromatic.



  5. Pour in the coconut milk and stir to combine.



  6. Add the fish sauce and grated ginger, stirring well.



  7. Let the sauce simmer over low heat for 3-4 minutes to meld the flavors.



  8. Squeeze the lime juice into the sauce and stir.



  9. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.


Moroccan Meatball Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Ras el Hanout
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • Chili peppers (optional)

Instructions:


  1. Heat the Olive Oil:
    In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.



  2. Sauté the Onion and Garlic:
    Add the chopped onion and garlic to the skillet. Sauté until softened.



  3. Add Tomatoes and Spices:
    Stir in the chopped tomatoes, Ras el Hanout, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer.



  4. Simmer the Sauce:
    Cover the skillet and cook for about 15-30 minutes, until the tomatoes soften and the sauce thickens.



  5. Add Broth and Raisins:
    Pour in the chicken broth and add raisins, if using. Simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes.



  6. Crush Tomatoes:
    Use the back of a spoon to crush the tomatoes for a smoother sauce.



  7. Optional – Add Chili Peppers:
    If you like it spicy, add chopped chili peppers to the sauce and stir.


Enjoy this flavorful sauce with your Moroccan meatballs!

Butter Chicken Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 cup tomato passata
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and sugar, to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic and ginger. Cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the tomato passata and tomato paste.
  4. Add garam masala, smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Mix well.
  5. Pour in the chicken broth, stirring to combine.
  6. Season with salt and sugar to taste.
  7. Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Use an immersion blender to mix the sauce until smooth or transfer to a blender.
  9. Return the sauce to the skillet and stir in heavy cream.
  10. Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer until heated through.

Creamy Paprika Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Stir in the paprika until well combined.
  5. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the double cream and mix well.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Harissa Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2-3 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup water (optional, to adjust consistency)

Instructions


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.



  2. Sauté onion until it’s translucent and soft, around 4-6 minutes.



  3. Add garlic and cook for another minute.



  4. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, harissa paste, and cumin.



  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



  6. Simmer for 15 minutes. If needed, add water to achieve your desired consistency.



  7. Serve hot over your meatballs.


Honey Bourbon Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together honey, bourbon, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the sauce mixture to the pan.
  4. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly.
  5. Pour the sauce over cooked or frozen meatballs and stir to coat evenly.

Enjoy your delicious honey bourbon meatballs!

Indian Meatball Curry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped or 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (optional for creaminess)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions


  1. Heat the cooking oil in a large pan over medium heat.



  2. Add chopped onions to the pan and sauté until they turn translucent.



  3. Mix in the minced garlic and ginger, cooking for about 1 minute.



  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce, and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.



  5. Add ground cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook for another minute to release the spices’ aroma.



  6. Pour in the water and bring the mixture to a simmer.



  7. Optionally, add coconut milk for a creamier texture.



  8. Add your prepared meatballs to the sauce, ensuring they are well-coated.



  9. Cover the pan and cook on medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.



  10. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.


General Tso Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, whisk together the oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, water, Sriracha, and cornstarch until fully combined.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Stir in the chopped green onion.
  4. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
  5. Your General Tso sauce is now ready to be poured over your meatballs. Enjoy!

Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley or dill (optional for garnish)

Instructions


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.



  2. Add 1 cup of sliced mushrooms and sauté until they are browned and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.



  3. Stir in 1/4 cup of flour and cook for 1 minute.



  4. Pour in 1/2 cup of white wine, 1 cup of heavy cream, and 1 cup of chicken broth.



  5. Add 1/2 cup of sliced onions and cook until they are soft.



  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



  7. Optional: Garnish with fresh parsley or dill before serving over meatballs.


Tomato Parmesan Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until it becomes soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  4. Pour in the diced tomatoes and stir well.
  5. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and honey.
  6. Let the sauce simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in Parmesan cheese until melted and well combined.
  8. Serve over meatballs.

Creamy Curry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in minced garlic and ginger, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add red curry paste and mix well.
  5. Pour in coconut milk and stir until combined.
  6. Add chopped bell peppers and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Season with salt to taste.
  8. Serve warm over meatballs.
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.