Keto Meatballs Recipe: Culinary Bliss for the Carb Conscious

Keto meatballs are a versatile option for those following the keto diet because they can be used as both a main dish and a snack. But for those who aren’t making these low-carb treats at home yet, we’re here to help. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of crafting delicious keto meatballs that are not only easy to prepare, but also incredibly healthy and flavorful. 

Whether you’ve been following the keto diet for a while now or are just embarking on your keto journey, this is a quick carb-conscious option that’ll keep your keto diet on track.

Getting Started

Creating delicious keto meatballs doesn’t require any fancy equipment, but having the right tools can make the process smoother and more enjoyable. 

You’ll need a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, baking sheet or oven tray, frying pan or skillet, meat thermometer, cooking utensils such as spatula, foil or baking paper, storage container, and food processor (optional).  

Primary Ingredients for Keto Meatballs

Keto meatballs are a delightful fusion of simple, wholesome ingredients that align with the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. 

Here’s a breakdown of the primary ingredients you’ll need to create these savory delights:

Ground Meat

The foundation of any meatball recipe. Choose from ground beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. For keto, fattier meats are preferable as they align with the high-fat aspect of the diet. 

Binding Agents

Eggs: A key ingredient that helps to bind the meatballs together.

Almond Flour or Coconut Flour: These are excellent low-carb alternatives to traditional breadcrumbs. They help give structure to the meatballs without adding unnecessary carbs.

Grated Cheese: Parmesan or pecorino cheese are great for flavorable meatballs.

Flavor Enhancers

Herbs and Spices: Fresh or dried herbs like parsley, basil, and oregano add a burst of flavor. Spices like garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper are essential for seasoning.

Minced Garlic: For a pop of flavor.

Onion Powder: A keto-friendlier option than raw onions, offering flavor without too many carbs.

Fats for Cooking

Olive Oil or Avocado Oil: Ideal for frying the meatballs, these oils are keto-friendly and add healthy fats to your diet.

Butter or Ghee: Can be used for frying or added into the meatball mix for richness.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Keto Meatballs

Keto meatballs in a creamy sauce in a black frying pan

Now that we have all of our ingredients together, we’re ready to make our keto meatballs:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, or turkey)
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour or grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or avocado oil for frying
  • Optional: red pepper flakes, additional herbs, or cheese for added flavor

Preparation

  • If you’re going to bake the meatballs, heat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • For baking, use a little oil on a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper for less mess.
  • If frying, put a skillet on the stove, but wait to heat it.

Mixing the Ingredients

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat with almond flour or grated parmesan cheese.
  • Add in the egg, minced garlic, onion powder, parsley, salt, and pepper. If using additional spices or cheese, add them now.
  • Mix everything gently with your hands or a spoon until just combined. Avoid over-mixing to keep the meatballs tender.

Shaping the Meatballs

  • Make sure you wet your hands slightly to prevent sticking and then start forming the mixture into meatballs. Aim for about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
  • Place the formed meatballs on the prepared baking sheet or a plate if you’re frying.

Cooking the meatballs

Keto meatballs with tomato sauce in a baking dish

For Baking: Place the meatballs in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked through and slightly browned on the outside.

For Frying: Set the pan on medium heat and add the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan when you add the meatballs. Fry them for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are evenly browned and cooked.

Checking for Readiness

When the meatballs hit an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for chicken or 160°F (71°C) for other meats, they are fully cooked. A meat thermometer can help you determine this.

Serving

Serve the meatballs hot. They can be enjoyed independently, with a side of low-carb vegetables, over zucchini noodles, or with a keto-friendly sauce like marinara.

Storing

If you have any leftover meatballs, let them fully cool before refrigerating them in an air-tight container. They can typically be stored in a refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

For longer storage, you can freeze the meatballs for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or bag. 

Reheating

Refrigerated Meatballs: Reheat in a microwave or on a stovetop. Use a microwave-safe dish, cover with a lid or microwave-safe cover, and heat for 1-2 minutes until warm. 

Frozen Meatballs: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. If reheating directly from frozen, allow extra time, and use a lower-heat setting to ensure they warm up evenly without drying out.

Tip: When reheating, adding a small amount of water, broth, or sauce can help keep the meatballs moist.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions for Keto Meatballs

Keto meatballs are incredibly versatile and can be paired with a variety of keto-friendly sides and sauces to create a satisfying and nutritious meal. 

Here are some serving and pairing suggestions that will elevate your keto meatball experience:

Low-Carb Noodles

Zucchini Noodles (“Zoodles”): A popular keto-friendly alternative to pasta. Serve your meatballs on a bed of zoodles for a classic spaghetti and meatball experience without the carbs.

Spaghetti Squash: Another excellent pasta substitute. Its mild flavor and spaghetti-like texture make it perfect for meatballs.

Keto-Friendly Vegetables

Sautéed Spinach or Kale: These leafy greens sautéed in garlic and olive oil add nutrition and color to your plate.

Roasted Vegetables: Think broccoli, cauliflower, or brussels sprouts, roasted with olive oil and herbs.

Cauliflower Rice

A staple in the keto kitchen, cauliflower rice is a fantastic side to soak up any sauce from the meatballs.

Low-Carb Sauces

Marinara Sauce: Choose a low-carb, sugar-free marinara sauce for a classic pairing.

Creamy Alfredo Sauce: A rich, creamy sauce that complements the meatiness of the balls.

Pesto Sauce: For a herby, nutty flavor that pairs well with chicken or turkey meatballs.

Keto Breads

Serve meatballs with keto bread or rolls for a comforting meal. They’re great for mopping up the sauce!

Salad

A crisp, green salad with a vinaigrette dressing can balance the richness of the meatballs and add freshness to your meal.

As an Appetizer

Serve meatballs with toothpicks and a side of dipping sauce like ranch or blue cheese for a keto-friendly appetizer.

Keto Wraps or Lettuce Wraps

For a light and refreshing option, serve meatballs in keto-friendly wraps or lettuce leaves.

Carb Calculation and Nutritional Information for Keto Meatballs

Understanding the nutritional content, particularly the carb count, is crucial when preparing meals on a ketogenic diet.

Let’s consider a basic keto meatball recipe with the following ingredients:

Ground beef: 0g net carbs

Almond flour (1/4 cup): 3g net carbs

Grated parmesan (1/4 cup): 1g net carbs

1 large egg: 0.6g net carbs

Garlic, minced (1 tsp): 1g net carbs

Onion powder (1/2 tsp): 0.5g net carbs

Herbs and spices: negligible

Olive oil for frying: 0g net carbs

Total net carbs for the recipe (assuming it makes 4 servings): 9g net carbs

Net carbs per serving (4 servings): 2g net carbs per serving.

Important Considerations

Recipe Variations: The nutritional content will change if you alter the recipe, like if you use different meats or add extra ingredients like nuts or cheese.

Serving Sizes: Ensure consistent serving sizes for accurate nutritional information.

Nutritional Needs: Taking into consideration important keto factors like total daily carb limits, you can tailor the recipe to meet your specific dietary needs.

Summary 

Whether you’re sitting down with the family for dinner, hosting friends, or prepping meals for the week, these meatballs not only make for a delicious meal, they’re also a simple and versatile way to help you stay on-track with the keto lifestyle. 

Gina Wangrycht
Gina Wangrycht
Gina Wangrycht is a seasoned freelance editor/proofreader and writer with 21 years of experience working in the communication field for a variety of different industries, including healthcare, insurance, education, retail technology, and non-profit.

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Keto meatballs are a versatile option for those following the keto diet because they can be used as both a main dish and a snack. But for those who aren’t making these low-carb treats at home yet, we're here to help. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of crafting delicious keto meatballs that are not only easy to prepare, but also incredibly healthy and flavorful. 

Whether you’ve been following the keto diet for a while now or are just embarking on your keto journey, this is a quick carb-conscious option that’ll keep your keto diet on track.

Getting Started

Creating delicious keto meatballs doesn't require any fancy equipment, but having the right tools can make the process smoother and more enjoyable. 

You’ll need a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, baking sheet or oven tray, frying pan or skillet, meat thermometer, cooking utensils such as spatula, foil or baking paper, storage container, and food processor (optional).  

Primary Ingredients for Keto Meatballs

Keto meatballs are a delightful fusion of simple, wholesome ingredients that align with the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. 

Here's a breakdown of the primary ingredients you'll need to create these savory delights:

Ground Meat

The foundation of any meatball recipe. Choose from ground beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. For keto, fattier meats are preferable as they align with the high-fat aspect of the diet. 

Binding Agents

Eggs: A key ingredient that helps to bind the meatballs together.

Almond Flour or Coconut Flour: These are excellent low-carb alternatives to traditional breadcrumbs. They help give structure to the meatballs without adding unnecessary carbs.

Grated Cheese: Parmesan or pecorino cheese are great for flavorable meatballs.

Flavor Enhancers

Herbs and Spices: Fresh or dried herbs like parsley, basil, and oregano add a burst of flavor. Spices like garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper are essential for seasoning.

Minced Garlic: For a pop of flavor.

Onion Powder: A keto-friendlier option than raw onions, offering flavor without too many carbs.

Fats for Cooking

Olive Oil or Avocado Oil: Ideal for frying the meatballs, these oils are keto-friendly and add healthy fats to your diet.

Butter or Ghee: Can be used for frying or added into the meatball mix for richness.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Keto Meatballs

Keto meatballs in a creamy sauce in a black frying pan

Now that we have all of our ingredients together, we’re ready to make our keto meatballs:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, or turkey)
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour or grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or avocado oil for frying
  • Optional: red pepper flakes, additional herbs, or cheese for added flavor

Preparation

  • If you're going to bake the meatballs, heat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • For baking, use a little oil on a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper for less mess.
  • If frying, put a skillet on the stove, but wait to heat it.

Mixing the Ingredients

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat with almond flour or grated parmesan cheese.
  • Add in the egg, minced garlic, onion powder, parsley, salt, and pepper. If using additional spices or cheese, add them now.
  • Mix everything gently with your hands or a spoon until just combined. Avoid over-mixing to keep the meatballs tender.

Shaping the Meatballs

  • Make sure you wet your hands slightly to prevent sticking and then start forming the mixture into meatballs. Aim for about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
  • Place the formed meatballs on the prepared baking sheet or a plate if you’re frying.

Cooking the meatballs

Keto meatballs with tomato sauce in a baking dish

For Baking: Place the meatballs in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked through and slightly browned on the outside.

For Frying: Set the pan on medium heat and add the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan when you add the meatballs. Fry them for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are evenly browned and cooked.

Checking for Readiness

When the meatballs hit an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for chicken or 160°F (71°C) for other meats, they are fully cooked. A meat thermometer can help you determine this.

Serving

Serve the meatballs hot. They can be enjoyed independently, with a side of low-carb vegetables, over zucchini noodles, or with a keto-friendly sauce like marinara.

Storing

If you have any leftover meatballs, let them fully cool before refrigerating them in an air-tight container. They can typically be stored in a refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

For longer storage, you can freeze the meatballs for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or bag. 

Reheating

Refrigerated Meatballs: Reheat in a microwave or on a stovetop. Use a microwave-safe dish, cover with a lid or microwave-safe cover, and heat for 1-2 minutes until warm. 

Frozen Meatballs: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. If reheating directly from frozen, allow extra time, and use a lower-heat setting to ensure they warm up evenly without drying out.

Tip: When reheating, adding a small amount of water, broth, or sauce can help keep the meatballs moist.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions for Keto Meatballs

Keto meatballs are incredibly versatile and can be paired with a variety of keto-friendly sides and sauces to create a satisfying and nutritious meal. 

Here are some serving and pairing suggestions that will elevate your keto meatball experience:

Low-Carb Noodles

Zucchini Noodles (“Zoodles”): A popular keto-friendly alternative to pasta. Serve your meatballs on a bed of zoodles for a classic spaghetti and meatball experience without the carbs.

Spaghetti Squash: Another excellent pasta substitute. Its mild flavor and spaghetti-like texture make it perfect for meatballs.

Keto-Friendly Vegetables

Sautéed Spinach or Kale: These leafy greens sautéed in garlic and olive oil add nutrition and color to your plate.

Roasted Vegetables: Think broccoli, cauliflower, or brussels sprouts, roasted with olive oil and herbs.

Cauliflower Rice

A staple in the keto kitchen, cauliflower rice is a fantastic side to soak up any sauce from the meatballs.

Low-Carb Sauces

Marinara Sauce: Choose a low-carb, sugar-free marinara sauce for a classic pairing.

Creamy Alfredo Sauce: A rich, creamy sauce that complements the meatiness of the balls.

Pesto Sauce: For a herby, nutty flavor that pairs well with chicken or turkey meatballs.

Keto Breads

Serve meatballs with keto bread or rolls for a comforting meal. They're great for mopping up the sauce!

Salad

A crisp, green salad with a vinaigrette dressing can balance the richness of the meatballs and add freshness to your meal.

As an Appetizer

Serve meatballs with toothpicks and a side of dipping sauce like ranch or blue cheese for a keto-friendly appetizer.

Keto Wraps or Lettuce Wraps

For a light and refreshing option, serve meatballs in keto-friendly wraps or lettuce leaves.

Carb Calculation and Nutritional Information for Keto Meatballs

Understanding the nutritional content, particularly the carb count, is crucial when preparing meals on a ketogenic diet.

Let's consider a basic keto meatball recipe with the following ingredients:

Ground beef: 0g net carbs

Almond flour (1/4 cup): 3g net carbs

Grated parmesan (1/4 cup): 1g net carbs

1 large egg: 0.6g net carbs

Garlic, minced (1 tsp): 1g net carbs

Onion powder (1/2 tsp): 0.5g net carbs

Herbs and spices: negligible

Olive oil for frying: 0g net carbs

Total net carbs for the recipe (assuming it makes 4 servings): 9g net carbs

Net carbs per serving (4 servings): 2g net carbs per serving.

Important Considerations

Recipe Variations: The nutritional content will change if you alter the recipe, like if you use different meats or add extra ingredients like nuts or cheese.

Serving Sizes: Ensure consistent serving sizes for accurate nutritional information.

Nutritional Needs: Taking into consideration important keto factors like total daily carb limits, you can tailor the recipe to meet your specific dietary needs.

Summary 

Whether you're sitting down with the family for dinner, hosting friends, or prepping meals for the week, these meatballs not only make for a delicious meal, they’re also a simple and versatile way to help you stay on-track with the keto lifestyle.