Keto meatballs are the perfect appetizer or dinner recipe. They are so juicy and easy to make! Serve these meatballs with your favorite keto-friendly marinara sauce for added flavor.
In order to make these meatballs low carb, I used grated parmesan cheese instead of breadcrumbs.
As an added bonus, they are also gluten-free and high in protein!
These meatballs come out juicy and tender every time. I like to serve them up with marinara sauce, sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese.
Keto Breadcrumb Substitutes for Meatballs
When you make low carb recipes that traditionally use breadcrumbs, you need a good keto substitute. Breadcrumbs act as a combination of a binder for the balls as well as a way to keep them moist.
Here are some keto breadcrumb substitutes that work great for meatballs:
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Almond flour or Almond Meal
- Ground Pork Rinds
When I make this recipe, I use the following ingredients. I’ve listed some substitutes where appropriate:
- Ground Beef - I recommend 85/15, but you could use leaner cuts. I wouldn’t go much lower than 80/20 because they become greasy and can shrink quite a bit.
- Ground Pork - This helps add some extra tenderness to the meatballs. Another possible substitute is ground turkey or chicken, but they tend to be a bit drier.
- Parmesan - In meatballs, particularly Italian-style ones, Parmesan is a great, low-carb sub for breadcrumbs. Either pork rinds or almond flour would also work well too.
- Dried or Fresh Parsley - This is really a preference thing. Either taste great in this recipe.
- Fresh Garlic - I highly recommend adding this, but if you don’t like garlic, you could skip it.
- Seasonings: You’ll want salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. If you want to make the Italian style, you could also add in some oregano or Italian seasoning mixes.
- Egg - Eggs act as a binder in meatballs.
How to Make Keto Meatballs
Step by Step instructions:
- Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl, then mix everything together by hand.
- Next, use your hands to form balls roughly the size of a golf ball with the mixture. Arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 - 23 minutes.
- Optional: Serve the meatballs with your favorite keto-friendly marinara. (I used Rao's)
How to avoid dry meatballs
Here are some easy tips to keep your meatballs from being dry:
- Don’t use extremely lean ground beef. I recommend 85/15, though 80/20 would also work. Just keep in mind, that if they are too lean, they’ll be a bit dry. On the other hand, if they are too fatty they may be a bit greasy.
- Don’t overmix the meatball mixture. Be gentle when forming the meatballs. Over mixing kneading them will cause them to get too tough.
- Don’t overcook. The internal temp should be 160 degrees. If you have a meat thermometer, I recommend using that.
- Add moisture. In this recipe, I used heavy cream and parmesan cheese to keep the meatballs juicy.
What to serve with
Here are a few ideas of what to eat with keto meatballs
- Shredded spaghetti squash
- Zucchini noodles
- Fried Cabbage
Keto-friendly pasta sauce or marinara sauce like Rao’s marinara will work great too.
For a bit of a southwestern flavor, you could toss them in keto-friendly BBQ sauce.
What to do with leftovers
You can easily refrigerate or freeze leftovers, or you can make a large batch ahead of time to have quick dinners for a few months.
To store, place cooled meatballs in an airtight container and place them in the fridge for up to 3 days. For longer storage, place them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More keto ground beef recipes
If you like keto-friendly ground beef recipes, you should check out these other great flavors:
- Keto Meatloaf
- Low Carb Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole
- Keto Big Mac Salad with Big Mac Dressing
- Easy Keto Stuffed Peppers (Mexican Style)
- Cheesy Keto Taco Casserole
- The Best Big Mac Casserole
- 1 pound ground beef, (I recommend 85/15)
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley, (or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- keto-friendly marinara sauce, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl. (with the exception of the marinara sauce)
- Using your hands, mix everything together until combined.
- Form the mixture into individual balls (about the size of a golf ball), and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with foil.
- Baked in the oven for 20 - 23 minutes.
- Optional: Warm marinara sauce on the stove in a small saucepan, and then spoon it on top of the meatballs prior to serving. Sprinkle on extra parmesan cheese. (I used Rao's marinara sauce)
- Meatballs are done when they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees, and there is no pink in the center.
- Using 80/20 ground beef will result in greasier meatballs while using 90/10 will result in dryer meatballs. I found that 85/15 has just the right amount of fat for meatballs.
- My meatballs took exactly 23 minutes to cook.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 305mgCarbohydrates: 2gNet Carbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 18g
All nutritional information and calculations are provided as a courtesy. Nutritional values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product, and brand selection. You should not rely on this information for medical advice.
Kay is passionate about living a healthy low carb lifestyle. She loves low carb comfort foods that are also family-friendly!