In this article, we will explore some of the most timeless and best spices for meatballs. So, grab your apron it’s going to get tasty!

Meatballs are a classic Italian-American dish that can be made with many different meats. They are usually seasoned with spices to give them a depth of flavor. If you are looking to make the best meatballs possible, then you should use spices! We will go over seven different spices that you can use to make delicious and tasty meatballs.

I will warn you that these spices are more on the classic side giving homage to Italy’s culinary herbs and spices. But don’t be afraid to experiment with spices you love. You never know you might come up with something delicious.

Just make sure to jot down what you put you in meatballs that way you can repeat the recipe when it’s a success!

Why Use Spices and Herbs in Your Meatballs?

It’s true you can make your meatballs plain, but why? Adding spices and herbs can really step up the flavor game of your meatballs.

Not only that, but spices and herbs can also add nutritional value to your dish. So, not only will your meatballs taste better with spices, but they will be healthier too!

Now that we’ve discussed why you should use spices in your meatballs, let’s get into which spices you should use.

The Best Spices for Meatballs

best Spices for Meatballs


Garlic is a key ingredient in many dishes, and meatballs are no different. Garlic cloves can be minced and added to the meatball mixture. When garlic is cooked, it releases a savory flavor that enhances other foods.

But you can also use powdered or granular garlic . This is a more potent form of garlic that can be used to great effect in meatballs. Just be careful not to use too much, as it can make the dish taste overwhelmingly garlicky.


Onion is another spice that can be used in meatballs. Onion powder can be added to the mixture or onions can be finely chopped and sauteed before being added. This would give a depth and and a level of sweetness to your meatballs. Either way, onions will enhance the flavor.


Parsley is often used as a garnish in the states, but it can also be used to season meatballs. In many Italian recipes you will see the use of parsley in meatballs or polpette. Parsley flakes or fresh parsley can be added to the mixture. This herb has a fresh taste that pairs well with many other herbs and spices.

ground meat with spices and herbs to make meatballs

Black Pepper

Another common spice, black pepper can be added to taste. This spice has a sharp flavor that can really liven up a dish. Be careful not to add too much, as it can easily overpower the other subtle flavors.

If you do not have black pepper or would like to intensify the heat while not adding more black pepper. Then red pepper flakes would work perfectly. Just add a pinch or two to the mixture and you’re good to go!


Oregano is another herb that is commonly used in Italian cuisine. This herb has a strong flavor, so you won’t need to use as much. A little goes a long way with oregano.

Italian Seasoning

This spice blend is composed of many spices that are common in Italian cooking, such as basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and garlic. It can be very aromatic and pungent. This is a great option if you want to add multiple spices at once. But keep in mind if there is a spice you don’t like in your blend this flavor will be in your meatballs as well.


Basil is another common spice in Italian cooking. It has a sweet slightly licorice flavor. This herb can be used fresh or dried. But if you really want that flavor to pop, go with fresh. Basil goes well with other common italian herbs and spices, such as oregano, parsley and garlic.

Our Final Thoughts on the Best Meatball Spices and Seasoning

These are just some spices that you can use to make your meatballs extra delicious. Be creative and experiment with different spices to find the perfect flavor combination for you. You might even find a new favorite spice!

For example if you want to create an asian style meatball, you might want to add, garlic, ginger, and scallions, as your spices. Once Upon a Chef has a wonderful recipe for Vietnamese-Style Meatballs with Chili Sauce if you need some more inspiration. But the key is to have fun and enjoy the cooking process.

This is how you learn what spices and herbs go well together!

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