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The Best (& Juiciest!) Keto Meatballs 🤌

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

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

Gluten Free & Keto Meatballs

The Best (‘N 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 my (actually good!) mashed cauliflower or serve them up as Italians do and whip up some garlic bread with my 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 my 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 my 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 myfamous 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

Expect ultra juicy, incredibly tender and totally delicious keto meatballs! So whether you enjoy them fried, baked, solo or with marinara sauce, these guys are bound to please... guaranteed!
4.86 from 14 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American, European, Keto
Servings 6
Calories 339 kcal


  • 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
  • our keto marinara sauce to taste (I do roughly 2 cups)

Serving suggestions


  • 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. 
  • 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). 
  • 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. 
  • Place the cooked meatballs on paper towels to drain. Heat up the marinara sauce, add back the meatballs and mix gently before serving.


*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. 


Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 654mg | Potassium: 293mg | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 4.7mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword keto meatballs, low carb meatballs
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!


  1. Marie says:

    5 stars
    These are good. I make them with almond meal. Recipe doesn’t say what to do with the garlic – I added it to the onions for the last few minutes.

    The second time I made them, I forgot the heavy cream, and they’re just as good.
    If you’d rather consume the fat in the heavy cream in some other way, just leave it out.

    I buy one of the high-end parmesans from Trader Joe’s & grate it myself (reggiano or grana padano – much better flavor than most already-ground parmesan like Kraft). Keep it in the freezer if you don’t use it quickly – you can grate it frozen.

    I use the marinara sauce, although I up the cayenne somewhat. At least 1/8 tsp if you like a little kick (might not work with kids).

  2. Mari says:

    5 stars
    OMG, Paola, another winner! I air fried them, and they came out AMAZING! thank you for what you share!
    I know that every time I try a gnom-gnom recipe, it will be amazing. THANK YOU!

  3. Lorraine says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made these a couple of times now, they are in my regular family dinner rotation. A definite crowd pleaser! Thanks for a great recipe.

  4. Caitlin says:

    5 stars
    My husband is on a keto type diet and requested meatballs. I didn’t use the onions and I didn’t have Parmesan cheese on hand, but these were AMAZING. I sautéed them in bacon fat and the crisp they got on the outside was to die for. Nobody missed the bread crumbs (I used salt and vinegar flavored pork rinds because that’s all my store had, but they barely tasted of vinegar). My kids all devoured them, from the 1 year old to the 14 year old. We ate them with sauce and cheese on sub rolls and my husband had a handful of them plain with melted provolone cheese over the top. We will be using this recipe as our regular meatball recipe now. Thank you!!

  5. Amal says:

    I made them and they turned out really good. But please what is the amount per serving in the nutrition facts. Thank you

  6. Cheryl Deger says:

    Has another tried to bake theses??? Baking meatballs is usually the way I do them… It make meatballs a little firmer to add to sauce in slow cooker to serve on buffet, where they will be in the slow cooker for long time, so they don’t fall apart… Thank You…

  7. Debbie says:

    OMG!!!! These are the best meatballs I’ve ever had in my life!! Thanks so much for the recipe!! I did use the pork rinds, instead of the almond flour. ❤️❤️❤️

  8. Terri says:

    4 stars
    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.

    • Judy Carroll says:

      Did you make these with a combination of pork rinds and almond flour? Of did you make them twice using almond flour one time and pork rinds another time? If you did combine pork rinds and almond flour, what measurements did you use of each? Thanks!

    • Judy M Carroll says:

      If you combined the almond flour and pork rinds into one recipe, what measurements of each did you use? Thank you!

  9. Jen Scott says:

    5 stars
    Loved the recipe, Paola! I went cheap and used the 73% lean (extra fatty) hamburger available, no pork. The fat from the burger kept these super juicy and tasty! I did notice that the garlic from the ingredients isn’t in the instructions, so I just tossed it on with the onions for the last minute or so of the saute.

    Then I tossed these babies into the marinara sauce you have linked at the bottom… First time for me for both of these recipes… It all turned out AWESOME!

    I honestly can’t cook well at all on my own, but your recipes are well written and easy to follow. Thank you so much!

  10. Denise says:

    5 stars
    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!

  11. Neil says:

    5 stars
    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.

  12. Barb says:

    5 stars
    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!

  13. Marcella says:

    4 stars
    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!

  14. Patty in CO says:

    5 stars
    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!!

  15. Becki's Whole Life says:

    They look wonderful. I would probably go the pork rind route. I totally agree – while bread would be great in these, too, with Keto bread I would hate to make it into crumbs:-).

    • Carol says:

      I made these tonight. Why did I wait sooo long. Tender, and the flavour is bang on. I used almond flour (didn’t want to buzz up the pork rinds). Also, for I used ground veal. Absolutely, hands down wonderful ( rolling my eyeballs on my first bite!). Thanks for the recipe…
      p. S. I’ve cooked your gnom-gnom pasta in my instant pot and it comes out great. 4 mins cook time, 5 min wait time.

      • Paola van der Hulst says:

        Oooh well Carol, if you add veal into the mix they’re def bound to come out *extra* special! 🙂 so happy you enjoyed and thanks for reporting back on the pasta! 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!

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