Home » mains » The Best (& Juiciest!) Meatballs 🍝 gluten free & keto

The Best (& Juiciest!) Meatballs 🍝 gluten free & keto

Expect ultra juicy, incredibly tender and totally delicious keto meatballs! So whether you enjoy them fried, baked, solo or with marinara sauce, these gluten free meatballs are bound to please… guaranteed!

Gluten Free & Keto Meatballs With Marinara Sauce
The Best Gluten Free & Keto Meatballs

Gluten Free & Keto Meatballs

The Best (& Juiciest!)

I’ve been playing around for a bit with different variants to give you guys some properly juicy keto meatballs… and this is it! Just be sure to read through the post for tips and tricks on different ingredients.

Always a plus is that they’re easy-peasy to whip up and they make epic leftovers… so great for meal prepping! I like to whip up a large batch and simply freeze in portions for lazy meals.

And while totally scrumptious solo, feel free to serve them up with zoodles, our (actually good!) mashed cauliflower or whip up some garlic bread with our 90 second bread.

‘The Breadcrumbs’

As you know, meatballs traditionally employ breadcrumbs for the binder (i.e. panade). It’s purpose is to add moisture and keep the proteins in the meat from shrinking and becoming tough. So to keto-fy meatballs you’ve got a few options:

  • crushed pork rinds! these work surprisingly well in lieu of bread crumbs… as in very little discernible difference! And they really play up the flavors. In terms of brands (a very frequent qs), I like the Epic pink Himalayan salt  or the salt & pepper ones (I don’t know why they have such horrible reviews on Amazon… I’m Mexican and like them quite a bit!).
  • if keeping it kosher, simply throw in some almond flour! I find the almond flour to add a lovely depth of flavor, but they were quite a bit more fragile than with pork rinds (but tbh I didn’t find it to be a biggie at all!).
  • or some actual keto breadcrumbs via our soft ‘n fluffy sandwich bread. Works great… though obviously not too practical, and you may not want to transform your hard work into crumbs…!
Closeup keto meatballs in a skillet
The Best Gluten Free & Keto Meatballs

The Meat

My personal favorite meat combo when it comes to meatballs (think our Swedish meatballs, ragu, bolognese, etc) is a fifty-fifty of ground beef and pork.

Nothing fancy or pricey, just your good-old (and plenty fatty!) ground chuck. But if you are feeling like spiffing things up a notch, adding ground veal is truly incredible too.

How To Cook Keto Meatballs

I feel like with meatballs we’ve got two teams: pan-fried or baked. I gotta say I stand firmly on the pan-fried camp, as you really do get the most flavor out of the lot.

Having said that, you can definitely bake up these guys too. Less mess and more hands-off if you’re feeling lazy (we’ve all been there!). Simply broil the meatballs for 20-25 minutes and you’re done!

The Sauce

I’m going to just go ahead and nominate our famous keto marinara sauce here! Just read through the comments and you’ll see that once you go homemade you never go back.

I generally whip up a large batch and just freeze in portions. Suuuper easy, clean and you do save quite a bit of dough.

Though, but of course, you can always grab a jar of Rao’s all-natural marinara (no sugar added, clean ingredients etc)!

Serving keto meatballs with marinara and fresh parsley
The Best Gluten Free & Keto Meatballs
Gluten Free & Keto Meatballs With Marinara Sauce

(The Best!) Gluten Free & Keto Meatballs

Course: Main
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: gluten free, grain free, keto, low carb
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 339 kcal

Expect ultra juicy, incredibly tender and totally delicious keto meatballs! So whether you enjoy them fried, baked, solo or with marinara sauce, these gluten free meatballs are bound to please... guaranteed!

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
  • 1 medium white onion finely copped
  • 500 g ground beef chuck works great!*
  • 1/2 cup ground pork rinds or 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced or pressed
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Serving suggestions

Instructions

  1. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the onion, a pinch of salt, and sauté until it just begins to caramelize (6-8 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 

  2. Add the ground meat, crushed pork rinds (or almond flour), Parmesan, heavy cream, parsley, cooked onion, egg, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Mix everything thoroughly together using your hands and taste for seasoning by cooking a small amount (only way around it!). Form into rounds (either 20 small-is ones or 14 large). 

  3. Heat up a touch of olive oil in your skillet over medium heat and cook the meatballs until brown all over and cooked through. You'll want to turn them around a few times so they cook evenly. If you've got an instant thermometer, your meatballs are cooked through once they reach 165°F/75°C in the center. 

  4. Place the cooked meatballs on paper towels to drain. If adding a sauce, heat up the marinara, add back the meatballs and mix gently before serving.

Recipe Notes

*Or feel free to do my favorite: half ground chuck & half ground pork! And feel free to add in some veal if feeling fancy.

Please note that nutrition facts were estimated for the meatballs solo. 

Nutrition Facts
(The Best!) Gluten Free & Keto Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 339 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 117mg39%
Sodium 654mg27%
Potassium 293mg8%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 570IU11%
Vitamin C 4.7mg6%
Calcium 134mg13%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

21 comments

  1. Terri says:

    I made these with pork rinds and almond flour. We had meatball subs, delish. I made the 90 sec bread for my sub, love the hint of sweetness.

  2. Denise says:

    I made these using 1/2 ground pork and 1/2 ground beef…AMAZINGLY good. My husband says you are a wonder woman and has requested these to be the only meatballs I should ever make again. Sooo juicy and flavorful! 😋

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Ooooh LOL!! That’s so awesome to hear Denise! Thanks for reporting back (and for the laugh! ;)!!) xo!

  3. Neil says:

    These were great! Did the half beef, half pork, and the pork rinds were a great idea. I had some unused garlic sitting on the counter when done though… was that supposed to go in the mixing bowl or cook with the onions? Maybe I just missed that step.

  4. Barb says:

    I just made these tonight and was really happy with how well they held together using the almond flour. I did broil them, which helped because I wasn’t sauteeing them, tho I did turn them over halfway through. I highly recommend them in a good tomato sauce as well. My family loved them and I’ll be saving the recipe to use when we have guests over, too. Muchisimas gracias!

  5. Marcella says:

    Great flavor and texture, but oh dear, they are fragile! I fried them in a regular pan which was a mistake. Next time I’ll use a non-stick frying pan. Worth another try though. Paola, your recipes for keto are by far the best out there, thank you!

  6. Patty in CO says:

    Wanted to let you know I make these with a whole pound of mushrooms that I finely chop in the food processor and add to the mix of meat first. It gives super umami flavor, a bit of moistness, extra immunity from the antioxidants in the mushrooms, and stretches the meat incredibly. I got almost twice as many meatballs from one recipe ( i think it would have been twice as much, but I kept “taste testing” as i cooked them up. 🙂 I threw them in baggies in the freezer and pull them out when I need a quick dinner. BTW…for all the mushroom haters out there (my hubby is one of them), you cannot taste, smell, or otherwishe detect any mushroom flavor whatsoever! Thank you soooo very much for all your hard work on these awesome recipes!!!

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      It’s a bit on the sweeter side… so yes and no? I honestly prefer pork rinds or almond flour (in the end the 90 sec bread is mostly almond flour!) xo!!

    • Lisa Christiansen says:

      Depends how you roll them – since makes 6 servings I would do either 12 larger ones (so 2 each) – OR 18 smaller ones (for 3 each). Can’t wait to try these!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.