March 9 is National Meatball Day! Meatball Day is celebrated every year on March 9th in the United States. This holiday honors a dish that has become deeply rooted in the American culinary culture.
The Italian people are credited with introducing meatballs and spaghetti to American culture. However, meatballs have been around since ancient Rome, where cooks added herbs and spices to create more flavorful dishes. Today, meatballs are served in a variety ways.
Meatballs are created by combining a mix of ingredients such as ground or minced meat (beef, pork, veal, or lamb), spices, breadcrumbs, eggs or other components. The meat mixture is rolled into desired sized shapes and can be cooked. Cooking methods can vary and include frying, braising or baking. Meatballs can be made ahead time and are easily frozen cooked or uncooked.
National Meatball Day is an unofficial holiday, however it is well known and celebrated.
March 9 is National Meatball Day - History of the Day
Meatballs have a long history that can be traced back to 221 BC in Chinese cuisine. Perhaps even further back to Ancient Rome, where a variety of meatball recipes have been preserved in a cookbook.
Historians believe that the earliest creation of meatballs occurred during the 2nd century B.C. in the Chinese region of Shandong. These savory treats spread across the world, with different cultures in Rome, Persia, Iran, and Europe. Interestingly, each culture developing their own unique variations of the meatball.
This tasty treat has been enjoyed for centuries and is still a popular dish today!
Popularity of Meatballs
Today, the world is full of different recipes, giving meatball fans the opportunity to explore a wide range of flavors. A particularly popular version of the meatball is the Swedish meatball. Swedish Meatballs are typically made with a combination of ground beef, pork, onions, white pepper, and salt. Swedish meatballs are generally served with potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry jam.
Spaghetti and meatballs is an iconic dish that is widely associated with Italian cuisine. However, it actually originated from Italian-American immigrants in the United States before it was brought back to Italy. This beloved dish is versatile and can be served with spaghetti, rice, pizza, and even sandwiches. Traditionally, meatballs in America are made with pork, beef, or a combination of the two.
However, in recent years, there has been an increasing demand for leaner meats such as turkey or chicken. Vegan and vegetarian meatballs alternatives are also in high demand to the classic dish.
25 Sides to Serve with Meatballs
Meatballs are perfect on their own or with just a serving dipping sauce or red tomato sauce. Accordingly, we have some side dishes that we think are a great accompaniment to the classic meatballs. Serve one or more of these side dishes with your meatballs as you celebrate national meatball day.
- Spaghetti or any other Pasta
- Noodles with Butter
- Plain or Vegetable Rice
- Roasted Potatoes
- Caesar Salad
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Toasted Garlic Bread
- Cole Slaw
- Cauliflower Rice
- Glazed Carrots
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Bread and Butter
- Sautéed Broccoli Rabe
- Sautéed Mixed Vegetables
- Pasta with Garlic and Oil
- Corn Bread
- Baked Beans
- Roasted Asparagus
- Meatball Sub
- Eggplant Caponata
- Mashed Potatoes
- Seasoned Chickpeas
- Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms
- Roasted Beets
How to Celebrate National Meatball Day
- Visit your local pizzeria or restaurant that serves meatballs and eat-in or order a take-out. Don’t forget a shout-out and tag them on social media.
- Enjoy a meatball sub for lunch.
- Make some homemade meatballs. View our 12 Satisfying Homemade Meatballs Recipes collection.
- Post a picture on social media eating or making meatballs and use #NationalMeatballDay
- Post a fun meatball meme or quote on your favorite social media.
Use These Meatball Hashtags on Social Media
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"My mom said the two most important kitchen utensils are attached to your arms… you cannot mix up meatballs with a wooden spoon, get in there, get your fingers dirty!"Rachael Ray
"I wanted to be a skinny little ballerina, but I was a voluptuous little Italian girl whose dad had meatballs on the table every night."Lady Gaga
"I love spaghetti and meatballs… I eat a lot."Susan Lucci
"I feel like today should be a perfect Meatball Day…"Nicole Polizzi