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I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about meatballs. I like to construct totally ridiculous arguments judging which of two similar (but not exactly the same) items are better than the other. Meatball rankings are not a completely random subject choice. The price of meat has risen considerably lately. I’ve found that I’ve often been cooking with chicken mince or ground beef on a more regular basis to keep shopping costs down for a family of five.

Traditionally, I’ve cooked with ground beef. The kids are familiar with it, I’ve grown up cooking it myself, and some of my most reliable dishes are made using beef meatballs. Recently, however, I’ve been working on more chicken meatball dishes to level up my mealtime, and because this site has great recipes I’ve enjoyed making. So, to try and answer the question of which meatball stands victorious, I’ve paired up three similar recipes using minced beef or chicken. My testing wouldn’t satisfy the scientific community (or my friend’s Nonna), but it does provide a gauge of their versatility and flavor.

Rustic Chicken Meatballs vs. Granny’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

Rustic Chicken Meatballs

If they were served on their own, the chicken meatballs would be hard to topple. They have oodles of flavor, and our Rustic Chicken Meatballs with Tomato Sauce works well in tandem with pasta, rice, or a creamy mash. I like to add a bit of heat to create a bit more verve in the sauce.

But, a legitimate Granny’s Spaghetti and Meatballs is almost bombproof as meals go, you know what you’re going to get, how it will taste, and how much you need to cook to ensure leftovers the next day. Even small children have a hard time finding fault.

Advantage: Beef Meatballs

Granny’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs vs. Chicken Meatballs with Sour Cream Sauce


I’m sure millions of people love the Ikea furniture decorating their home, but let’s face it, the famous homemaker’s Swedish Meatballs are the true drawcard. They’re just different enough to be interesting, and tasty enough to be notable in a store teeming with shoppers from open to close. This Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs recipe is delicious!

But, as good as our Scandinavian meat treats are, they are no match for a well crafted lot of Chicken Meatballs with Sour Cream Sauce. The flavor of the chicken – that you can jazz up with some well placed herbs and spices – meshes beautifully with the sauce that tastes indulgently rich.

Advantage: Chicken Meatballs


Firecracker Chicken Meatball vs. Slow Cooker Chipotle Meatballs


This Firecracker Chicken Meatball recipe is outstanding, however I get the feeling that you could put any protein option in place of chicken, and you’d still get an enjoyably spicy and tasty dish.

Once recipe in particular, Slow Cooker Chipotle Meatballs put to rest to any doubts I had about beef meatballs not being able to show taste variation. There’s great flavor built up in the pot, and the ground beef really works well to capitalize on the chipotle’s warmth. As far as tiebreakers go, this is a fantastic one!

Advantage: Beef Meatballs


Conclusion: Beef Meatballs Win

I understand it’s a small sample size and not particularly scientific, but beef meatballs come out on top… for now. I’m really enjoying cooking with chicken mince, so will be keen to do this test again with the benefit of more top quality recipes under my belt.

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