Keto Meatballs


5 from 392 votes
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These Italian-style keto meatballs are extra juicy and tender and are perfect to feed a family! I love how quick and easy they are to make.

Looking for more keto ground beef recipes? Try keto meatloaf, keto lasagna, and keto chili.

keto meatballs.

I love a quick and easy keto dinner, and nothing tastes as good as juicy, saucy, Italian meatballs.

Traditional meatballs are usually bound with bread crumbs, which makes them unsuitable for a keto diet. Luckily, with a few smart swaps, my keto meatballs will rival any Italian Nonna!

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make keto meatballs
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. How to store leftovers
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More cozy keto dinners
  8. Perfect Keto Meatballs (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • The best texture. This keto meatball recipe is better than any meatball out there because they are extra soft and juicy. Even those who don’t follow a keto diet consider this their go-to meatballs!
  • It’s easy to prepare. No hard-to-find ingredients are needed, and you probably have everything in your refrigerator and pantry right now. 
  • Ready in 20 minutes. From prep to plate, this entire dish takes barely any time.  
  • Versatile. Enjoy it over your favorite low-carb pasta, zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or simply over steamed vegetables. 
keto meatballs recipe.

Ingredients needed

  • Ground beef. Use 80/20 ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat). Every good meatball needs a little fat, which helps it from drying out and keeps it extra juicy. 
  • Ground pork. Pork is traditionally a little fattier than other meats, and swapping out half the beef with pork will yield extra juicy meatballs. If you don’t want to use pork, double the ground beef.
  • Egg. To bind everything together. 
  • Onion. Finely chopped.
  • Garlic. Freshly minced garlic, skip the jarred variety! 
  • Parmesan cheese. You must use freshly grated or refrigerated parmesan cheese. Avoid using the shelf-stamp kind, as it is super-processed and will not hold its shape in the meatballs. 
  • Breadcrumb substitute. There are several options, including crushed-up pork rinds or homemade keto breadcrumbs.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper. To taste. 

For the marinara sauce

I made a simple from scratch sauce. Alternatively, you can skip the marinara sauce and use homemade keto spaghetti sauce, pomodoro sauce, or sugo (two kinds of Italian tomato sauce that are also both low carb!). 

  • Olive oil. A good quality olive oil makes all the difference and is a must for Italian-style meatballs. 
  • Onions and garlic. Finely chopped to add extra flavor. 
  • Tomato sauce. Also referred to as passata or unsweetened pasta sauce. This is NOT tomato ketchup! 
  • Italian seasonings. It is a must for any good meatball recipe. You can swap this out for some fresh parsley and fresh basil instead.
  • Salt and pepper. To taste. 

How to make keto meatballs

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Make the meatballs. Start by mixing all the meatball ingredients together, then shape them into small bite-sized balls.

Step 2- Cook the meatballs. Next, place olive oil into a non-stick pan and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the meatballs and cook until no longer brown. Remove the meatballs from the pan.

Step 3- Make the marinara sauce. Now, prepare the marinara sauce. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken.

Step 4- Combine. Finally, add the meatballs back to the marinara sauce mixture and cook for 8-10 minutes, regularly turning. Remove the meatballs from the heat and serve immediately over your favorite keto pasta or keto gnocchi.

how to make keto meatballs.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Do not overbake the meatballs because, let’s face it—no one wants rubbery meatballs here. To ensure this does not happen, always use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature. Fully cooked beef should reach 165F.
  • When making the meatball mixture, avoid overmixing. Like cake batter, the more you mix, the tougher they will be.
  • Swap out the ground meat for Italian sausage, ground pork, ground chicken, or ground turkey.
  • For cheesy meatballs, fold through some freshly grated mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese.
  • Instead of a red sauce, these meatballs taste incredible with a keto alfredo sauce or a keto cheese sauce.

How to store leftovers

To store: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

To freeze: Place low carb meatballs in a shallow container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw the meatballs before reheating.

Reheating: Either microwave the meatballs for 1-2 minutes or reheat in a non-stick pan until warm and the sauce is bubbling.

low carb meatballs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bake these?

If you’d like to oven-bake meatballs instead of frying them, place the shaped meatballs on a baking sheet and bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

What is the secret to good meatballs? 

Using two kinds of ground meat (pork and beef) ensures the meatballs are juicy and tender every single time. Using just one kind of ground meat risks the meatballs being dry and crumbly.

What can be used instead of bread crumbs? 

If you don’t have keto bread crumbs on hand, you can either use almond flour or toast up some keto bread. Once toasted, add it to a food processor or blender and pulse until a crumb consistency.

More cozy keto dinners

keto meatballs recipe.

Perfect Keto Meatballs

5 from 392 votes
These keto meatballs are extra juicy and soft and are perfect to feed a family! Ready in minutes, serve it over keto pasta for a comforting low carb dinner! Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen.
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 11 minutes



  • 1/2 pound ground beef 80/20
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1/2 cup keto bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the keto marinara sauce


  • In a large mixing bowl, add all the meatball ingredients and use your hands to mix well. Roll out tablespoons of the meat mixture into meatballs and place them onto a plate.
  • Add the olive oil to a non-stick pan and place over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning regularly until browned and mostly cooked (not 100% cooked). Remove from the pan and place onto a plate.
  • Prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil into the frying pan and place it over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and bring it to a simmer. Once it begins to simmer, reduce to low heat. 
  • Add the meatballs into the saucepan and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning every so often.
  • Remove the meatballs and sauce from the heat and serve over low carb pasta or your favorite low carb vegetables.


Instead of marinara sauce, use a keto spaghetti sauce, pomodoro sauce, or sugo.
TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week. 
TO FREEZE: Place meatballs in a shallow container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. Meatballs must be thawed completely before reheating. 
TO REHEAT: Either microwave the meatballs for 1-2 minutes or reheat in a non-stick pan until warm and the sauce is bubbling.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 275kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 19gFat: 19gSodium: 977mgPotassium: 529mgFiber: 4gVitamin A: 456IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 146mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 3g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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5 from 392 votes (384 ratings without comment)

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  1. Can I soak almond flour in heavy cream ? Or will that be too much fat ? Or should I use water instead ? Was gonna do equal parts almond flour with liquid . Please get back to me making them tomorrow

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