These Gluten-Free Meatballs are easy, juicy meatballs perfect for serving on their own or covered with your favorite spaghetti sauce for a comforting dinner.
Plus, these are also low-carb, keto-friendly meatballs using almond flour as a low-carb breadcrumb.
Meatballs are an easy, delicious dinner that the whole family loves. But it doesn’t have to be high-carb or loaded with gluten.
Here I am showing you how you can make healthy meatballs without breadcrumbs or panko crumbs.
Therefore, these meatballs are gluten-free, low-carb, and diabetes-friendly.
Aren’t All Meatballs Gluten-Free?
Unfortunately, no most meatballs are not gluten-free because they contain wheat-based breadcrumbs like Panko crumb of wheat crumb.
Some other recipes are even made with fresh bread.
While it’s possible to make gluten-free meatballs with gluten-free breadcrumbs, it’s much tastier to make them with some other ingredients.
How To Make Gluten-Free Meatballs
It’s very easy to make gluten-free meatballs. Here are the ingredients you need to make this delicious low-carb gluten-free dinner.
- Lean Ground Beef – I used lean ground Angus beef.
- Ground Pork – You can also use ground chicken, more ground beef, or Italian sausage meat. I like to use a combination of beef and pork, the flavor is amazing.
- Almond Flour or almond meal. This flour is naturally gluten-free and perfect for anyone with celiac disease. It’s also a keto low-carb flour and adds healthy fat to the recipe. Of course, if you have nut allergies, you can also replace this with a gluten-free breadcrumb of your choice.
- Salt and Pepper
- Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves or garlic powder.
- Onion Powder
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – For a dairy-free meatball recipe, skip the cheese and add some nutritional yeast if you want to add a cheesy flavor without adding cheese. Usually, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast are enough for this recipe.
In a large bowl, add the ground meat, beaten egg, onion powder, garlic, chopped parsley, almond flour, salt, and pepper.
Use a wooden spoon to combine everything together, or use your hands to press the meat to the remaining ingredients to bring everything together.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slightly oil the paper with oil spray.
Slightly oil your hands with olive oil, this prevents the meatball mixture from sticking to your hand when forming meatballs.
Use a small cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon to scoop out the meatball mixture.
Then, release the meat mixture into your greased hands and gently roll it into a ball.
Place each meatball onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving half a thumb of space between each meatball.
The meatballs release juice and oil in the oven, so it’s better to spread them out on the baking sheet, so they don’t get too oily.
Baking In The Oven
Baking meatballs in the oven is the easiest way to cook a large batch of meatballs.
Plus, it’s also healthier as the grease from the meat is released on the baking sheet.
Place the baking sheets in the center rack, or bottom center rack if you are baking two baking sheets at once.
Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes flipping them halfway until they are golden-brown outside, and the internal temperature is between 160°F and 165°F. They will still be tender on the inside.
Read more about cooking steaks to the perfect level.
You can also air fry meatballs.
Spray sp,e oil onto the air fryer basket to prevent the balls from sticking to it.
You can also line the bottom of the basket with foil.
Place the meatballs onto the air fryer basket and air fry for 18 minutes at 350°F (180°C), shaking the basket halfway to move the meatballs around and air fry evenly.
Perfect Side Recipe For Meatballs
These meatballs are delicious on their own as a low-carb dinner, or you can use them on top of your favorite pasta and tomato sauce including:
- Zucchini Pesto Noodle for a low-carb meatball recipe.
- Gluten-Free Pasta – like rice or quinoa spaghetti.
- Cauliflower Rice
- Broccoli Gratin
- Broccoli Pasta
This gluten-free meatball recipe is delicious plain to serve as an appetizer or meal and dip into creamy dips like:
You can also cook these meatballs in your favorite spaghetti sauce, in a slow cooker, or non-stick saucepan. The best sauces to cook these meatballs are:
These meatballs can be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge, in a sealed container.
Rewarm the meatballs in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat until warm in the center.
You can also freeze leftover meatballs in a sealed box or freezer bags. They can be stored for up to 1 month. Thaw the meatballs in the fridge the day before.
Below are some options to adapt this recipe if you have allergies to its ingredients.
- Dairy-Free – The cheese is totally optional in this recipe. It adds flavors but no texture so you can skip it without replacing the cheese with anything else. Keep in mind that Parmesan cheese is very salty, so if you skip cheese the meatballs need a boost of salt. You can also add a cheesy flavor using 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast in the meatball mixture.
- Nut-Free – Almond flour can be replaced with gluten-free Panko crumbs or ground sesame seeds or ground sunflower seeds to keep the recipe low-carb.
- Meat Alternatives – Any ground meat works in this recipe including ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground pork, but also ground vegan meat alternatives.
- Egg-Free Meatballs – You can replace the egg with a flax egg or a cornstarch slurry. Stir one tablespoon of flaxseed meal or cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 5 minutes then add to the meat mixture to replace the egg.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequent questions about making these low-carb meatballs.
How Do You Know Meatballs Are Cooked Through?
The best way to cook meatballs to perfection with a juicy center and crispy outside is to check their internal temperature using a meat thermometer,
This tells you when the meat is cooked in the middle but still juicy.
The best gluten-free meatballs are done when their outside is golden brown and crispy, and their internal temperature is between 160°F and 165°F.
Can I Cook Gluten-Free Meatballs In A Frying Pan?
Yes, you can add the meatballs in a non-stick frying pan, no need for oil.
Cook the meatballs for 8 to 10 minutes, shaking them in the pan very often to cook them evenly on all sides.
During the last 2 to 3 minutes, cover the pan with a lid, reduce to low heat and keep cooking until the center is warm and cooked.
Can I Use Sausage Meat?
Absolutely, you can use Italian sausage meat to make meatballs.
However, the sausage meat is often a bit salty or flavored so you may have to cut down the salt in the recipe to avoid salty meatballs.
Can I Make Vegan Gluten-Free Meatballs With This Recipe?
Absolutely, you can replace the ground meat with Impossible Meat.
Skip the egg and replace it with a flax egg. Stir one tablespoon of flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of water.
Use it as an egg in the recipe.
Skip the cheese or swap it for 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
Can I Use Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is also a low-carb gluten-free flour, so it’s suitable for people with celiac disease.
However, coconut flour is highly moisture absorbent, and usually, you need 4 times less coconut flour than almond flour.
It means you won’t be able to swap almond flour for the same amount of coconut flour.
I recommend starting with 2 tablespoons of coconut flour and increasing to reach the best texture, adding more tablespoons gradually.
Are Trader Joe’s Meatballs Gluten-Free?
No, Trader Joe’s Meatballs contain breadcrumbs made from wheat, they are therefore not gluten-free.
Are Costco’s Kirkland Italian Meatballs Gluten-Free?
No, Costco’s Kirkland Italian Meatballs are also made with breadcrumbs made from wheat. They are therefore not gluten-free.
More Beef Recipes
Below are some more beef recipes for you to try:
Have you made these gluten-free meatballs? Share a comment or review below.
Want My Kitchen Equipment?
- 1 pound Ground Beef or 1/2 pound ground beef + 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 large Egg beaten
- ¾ cup Almond Flour or 1/2 cup Gluten-free Panko Crumb
- ¼ cup Grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 2 teaspoons Garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons Chopped Parsley
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slightly oil paper with olive oil. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add ground meat, beaten egg, almond flour, Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, onion powder, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Stir with a spoon at first, then squeeze batter by hand until the meatball mixture is well combined and all ingredients stick together.
- Wash hands, dry, and oil hands with oil.
- Using a small cookie dough scoop, take some mixture and release it into your oiled hands before rolling it into a ball.
- Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture until all balls are formed.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and the meatballs' internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Serve with your favorite pasta sauce or dipping sauce.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 days in an airtight container or freeze in a container for up to one month. Thaw in the fridge the day before.
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