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 recipe.
Looking for a quick and easy keto dinner? Nothing tastes as good as meatballs.
Are meatballs ok for keto?
Traditional meatballs are usually bound with bread crumbs, which makes them unsuitable for a keto diet. Luckily, with a few smart swaps, you can enjoy them that taste just like the classic.
Why this keto meatball recipe will be a family favorite-
- The best texture. These are are better than any meatball out there because they are extra soft and juicy. Even those who don’t follow a keto diet use this very recipe as their go-to.
- Easy prep. There are no hard-to-find ingredients needed. You probably have everything in your refrigerator and pantry right this minute.
- 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, or simply over steamed vegetables.
What I love about this recipe is just how well they keep. Make a batch as part of a meal prep or freeze leftovers to enjoy at a later date.
There are no fancy, specialty, or hard-to-find ingredients to make this recipe. It uses pantry staples and supermarket basics. Here is what you’ll need:
For the meatballs
- Ground beef. Use 80/20 ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat). Every good meatball needs to have a little fat, which helps them from drying out and keeps them 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 staple kind, as they are super processed and will actually hold their shape in the meatballs.
- Bread crumb substitute. There are several options, including crushed up pork rinds or homemade keto bread crumbs.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
For the marinara sauce
- 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. A must for any good meatballs recipe.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
Alternatively, you can skip the marinara sauce and use homemade keto spaghetti sauce.
How to make keto meatballs
This really is a very simple recipe, and the hands on time is barely there. I mean, the skillet does all the hard work for you!
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 a further 8-10 minutes, turning regularly. Remove the meatballs from the heat and serve immediately over your favorite keto pasta or gnocchi.
Dietary and flavor variations
The beauty of these meatballs is how easy they are to customize to change up the flavor. Here are some other ways we’ve tried them:
- Ground meat– You can use either ground beef, ground pork, ground chicken or ground turkey.
- Vegetables– Finely shred some zucchini or grate some carrot.
- Cheese– mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese.
- Sauce– Swap out the classic marinara sauce for alfredo sauce or a cheese sauce.
Wondering what is the best way to store leftovers? Here are best practices for meatball storage:
- 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.
- Reheating: Either microwave the meatballs for 1-2 minutes or reheat in a non-stick pan until warm and the sauce is bubbling.
More ground beef recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’d like to bake meatballs instead of frying them, you can bake them at 180C/350F for 15-17 minutes, or until the juices run.
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.
You can tell when your meatballs are cooked if they have an internal temperature of 165F. You’d likely see your meatballs more on the well-done side, thanks to the double cooking process (on their own and in their sauce).
Keto Meatballs In 10 Minutes | Juicy And Tender
For the meatballs
- 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.
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