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.
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…!
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!
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)!
- 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)
- garlic bread with our 90 second keto bread!
- mashed cauliflower
- zoodles i.e. zucchini noodles!
- 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. If adding a sauce, heat up the marinara, 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.