Celebrate National Meatball Day With These 14 Healthy(ish) Meatball Recipes

Meatballs can be made from more than traditional meats

Garlic Dill Meatballs? With pork and chicken? Meat-lovers rejoice! (And don't worry, vegans: We have more recipes for you below.)

There are many places to order a damned good meatball. You may not know exactly what’s going into the meatball that you order, but you can rest assured that it will probably include some sort of delicious meat (probably beef) and a sauce (odds are it will be marinara). Making your own tasty meatballs, however, allows you to control the quality and type of ingredients used.

Celebrate National Meatball Day With These 14 Healthy(ish) Meatball Recipes.

Learning how to make a great meatball isn’t the hardest thing to do, but many meatball recipes are steeped in generations-old tradition and lore. We’d hate to mess with Grandma’s 100-year-old spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but we do want to suggest some new twists on this classic dish.

Spaghetti and meatballs isn’t the worst food nutritionally. A traditional recipe is packed with protein and carbs. Plus, choosing to use a whole-grain pasta is smart and possible in spaghetti and meatballs as in almost any pasta dish you cook. But, we digress: Let's focus on the meatballs.

While you’ll see some meaty recipes here, you'll also find plenty that are meat-free and thus perfect for anyone practicing animal-food abstinence. Experimenting with different sauces, meats, and even bread types will allow you to make any of the following recipes fit into your nutritional plan.