It only takes 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make THE BEST Keto Meatballs! These meatballs are made in the oven without cheese and can be served as an appetizer or meal.
Pair this dairy free and gluten free meatball recipe with air fryer zucchini, marinara sauce and parmesan cheese to make a delicious low carb bowl!
Who doesn't love a good meatball? They're so versatile and go with pretty much anything.
Served on toothpicks for an appetizer? Wonderful. Aside roasted veggies? Yum. Paired with marinara sauce for an Italian flair? Perfection!
Only problem is, most meatball recipes use bread crumbs as a binder adding unnecessary carbs. But what if I told you that you could skip the bread without sacrificing any of the taste or moisture?
It's true! This Keto meatball recipe is everything you've hoped and dreamed of and should definitely be in your regular meal prep rotation.
With just 5 minutes of hands on prep time you can create the juiciest baked meatballs ever!
- Ground beef - you'll need one pound of meat with a fat ratio of 80/20 for the juiciest meatballs. I wanted to keep this meatball recipe simple, using only 5 ingredients, but if you'd like to mix it up, you can use half ground beef and half ground pork.
- Onion - red, yellow or white onions all work well in this recipe.
- Garlic - fresh cloves are crushed for the best flavor.
- Italian seasoning - click the link for a homemade recipe! It's super easy to mix up in just 5 minutes. You can also use your favorite store bought blend.
- Sea salt
Step by step instructions
- Measure all of the ingredients into a bowl.
- Mix everything together until it is well incorporated. You can use a spatula, spoon, or your hands to really get in there. Just be sure not to over-mix, or the meatballs will become tough.
- Form the meat mixture into 24 small balls, using your hands or a 1 inch cookie scoop. Place them on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. Making sure that there is space around each meatball.
- Note: if you make bigger or smaller meatballs, the cooking time will vary.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven on the middle rack and broil on high heat for 7 minutes. Broiling cooks through the meatball and gives it a nice texture on the outside. If you prefer, you can also bake the meatballs at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.
Make them into a bowl
- Load the meatballs into a bowl along with Air Fryer Zucchini. You can also make roasted zucchini by following the air fryer instructions, but instead roast in the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes.
- Cover with marinara sauce, click the link for an easy homemade recipe. Or, Rao's is a great store bought low-carb sauce option.
- Sprinkle the top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- Feel free to garnish with fresh basil, parsley, or even some melty mozzarella cheese!
This recipe will make 4 bowls with 6 keto meatballs, ¼ cup marinara sauce, 2 teaspoons parmesan cheese and 1 ½ cups cooked zucchini. Each bowl contains 431 calories, 8 net carbs, and 26 grams of protein.
Each individual meatball is gluten-free, contains ZERO carbs, 50 calories, 3 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat.
Other ways to serve them
There are so many dishes you can make with these low carb meatballs! Try any of these ideas:
- Instead of the air fryer zucchini you can try them with zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) and marinara sauce.
- Serve them over spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese in these Keto Spaghetti Squash and Meatball Bowls!
- Serve as an appetizer with sauces for dipping like: Vegan Sun Dried Tomato Sauce, Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream Sauce, or Creamy Whipped Feta Dip.
- Swap them out for the vegan meatballs in this Italian Meatball Bowl recipe.
- Toss a few into these Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Italian Bowls.
- Pair with Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower.
- If carbs aren't a concern, enjoy them with Caprese Pasta.
- Serve them on a bowl of Instant Pot Lentils for extra protein.
How to meal prep them
- For storage: Prepare the meatballs and make the marinara sauce. The zucchini has the best texture when it's fresh. However, you certainly can make it ahead of time as well, it just won't have the same crispness. Divide the meatballs and zucchini between four large containers. Divide the marinara sauce between four small containers. Place the small containers of sauce in the larger containers. Store for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- To reheat and eat: Remove the lids from the large and small containers, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the bowls, top with Parmesan cheese and dig in!
Frequently asked questions
- Do you need a binder for these meatballs? No, the grated onion acts as the binder. There's no need to add breadcrumbs, eggs, or another binder.
- Is it better to bake or pan fry meatballs? The baking, or broiling method used in this recipe, is slightly lower in fat than frying the meatballs in a pan. Not to mention it's much easier to bake because you don't have to worry about turning them or splattering oil.
- How do you know when meatballs are cooked? When the meatballs are brown on the outside and the internal temperature is 165°F, the meatballs are done. You can easily check them with an instant read thermometer.
- Can you freeze meatballs? You sure can! Seal unbaked keto meatballs in a freezer safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, I recommend moving them from the freezer to the refrigerator 12-24 hours before you plan to bake them.
- Is this recipe Whole30 approved? Yes, the meatballs are whole30 compliant. If serving as a bowl, you will need to omit the parmesan cheese. But you can serve it with a Whole30 approved marinara sauce, like Rao's, which is also low-carb!
More keto recipes
Looking for more keto-friendly recipe ideas? Don't miss these popular, delicious recipes!
- Keto Fried Rice
- Keto Pad Thai
- Buffalo Chicken Bowls with Cheesy Zucchini Noodles
- Low Carb Fish Taco Bowl
- Chicken Shawarma Salad
- Keto Chili
- 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
- ¼ cup grated onion
- 6 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 6 cups prepared zucchini see instructions below for air fryer or oven-roasted zucchini
- Preheat the oven broiler to high.
- Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a bowl.
- Roll the meatball mixture into 24 small balls.
- Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and into the oven on the middle rack.
- Broil for 7 minutes.
- Prepare the zucchini, either in the air fryer or oven.
- Assemble the bowls, combining the meatballs and zucchini, topped with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese.
- Nutritional information is provided per bowl, which includes the added zucchini, parmesan cheese and marinara sauce. Each bowl contains 8 net carbs.
- The nutritional information for a single meatball is:
- Carbs: ZERO
- Calories: 50
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- The meatballs are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, whole30 compliant and paleo.
- Unbaked meatballs can be frozen for up to 3 months. Store them in an airtight container and defrost them in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours before baking.