Today, I'm thrilled to share with you a sensational low carb meatball recipe that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also aligns perfectly with a keto-friendly lifestyle... without any bread or added sugars.
If you are looking for a low carb meatball recipe, you have found the right spot. We will use both ground pork and ground beef in these meatballs, mixed with delicious spices, onions and sweet red peppers.
This low carb meatball recipe is: KETO-FRIENDLY, GLUTEN FREE, PALEO AND WELL...LOW CARB.
Inspiration behind my low carb meatballs recipe
I'm absolutely in love with meatballs. From meatball subs to zoodle toppings and appetizers, meatballs are my go-to comfort food. But here's the thing, I also love keeping my meals low carb and keto-friendly. So, I set out on a mission: to create meatballs that are incredibly juicy and delicious and fit perfectly into a low carb lifestyle.
The magic in this recipe lies in the mix – a hearty blend of pork and beef. This combination brings out a richness in flavor and ensures each meatball stays succulently juicy. By swapping out traditional breadcrumbs for almond flour "breadcrumbs, these meatballs are a low carb delight.
After a few rounds of testing and tasting (a tough job, but someone's got to do it, right?), I landed on a recipe that hit all the right notes and want to share it with you today.
No Breadcrumb Low Carb Meatballs... Still Amazing
Switching out traditional breadcrumbs for almond breadcrumbs might raise some eyebrows, but trust me, it works wonders. In this recipe, almond breadcrumbs do a stellar job of binding the meatballs just like regular breadcrumbs, but with the added benefit of keeping things low carb.
What's truly remarkable about using almond breadcrumbs is how they maintain the texture of classic meatballs. They absorb the right amount of moisture and fat from the meats, keeping the meatballs juicy and tender, just as you'd expect with traditional breadcrumbs.
They subtly enhance the flavor without overpowering the meat, ensuring the meatballs are juicy and hold together well. This simple swap is proof that you can enjoy classic meatball textures and flavors, even on a low carb diet. It's all about smart substitutions!
The STruggle is REAl
Over the last year, I've fallen off the low carb way of eating and I know I'm not the only one. I've gained back over 50lbs and have tried desperately to kick-start myself back into ketosis... but it hasn't worked so far.
It's been a long and painful journey gaining so much weight back. I've learned that restarting low carb is so much harder than I'd ever imagined, but I have a plan that I want to share.
I will be documenting my return to the low carb lifestyle on this site. If you're interested in following along, be sure to subscribe below.
Restarting Low Carb
WHY PORK AND BEEF MEATBALLS?
The quick answer is simple: they're just better this way. All pork meatballs tend to be a bit dense for my taste. All beef meatballs are overpowering with their beef flavor and sometimes can get overworked. When you combine the two, the outcome is a flavorful, juicy meatball. That's the best kind!
When you're at the store, ground pork is just going to be ground pork. There's typically no options available other than just ground pork. With ground beef, however, there are typically at least two options, but I'll review all three here.
- Ground Chuck: This ground beef is typically a mix of 80% lean meat to 20% fat. Ground chuck is the most economical of all the grinds and is my absolute favorite. The high fat content basically guarantees you are going to have a juicy meal, even if you cook the hell out of something.
- Ground Round: A ground beef with a lean meat to fat ratio of 85/15. I find that this is the most common in grocery stores with lots of packaged meats and a limited butcher counter. I'm not sure why, it is just an observation. This is still ok to use, but you can dry out whatever you are cooking... particularly on the grill.
- Ground Sirloin: This grind has a lean to fat ration of 90/10. This is my ABSOLUTE last resort. I just have to put out there that FAT=FLAVOR. The 10% in this grind seems to evaporate when you open the package. Being the most expensive grind, I never buy this grind.
Understanding the Ingredients of the Low Carb Meatballs
Let's break down the key ingredients for this recipe and why they are included:
Ground Chuck and Ground Pork: The combination of these two meats provides a perfect balance of flavor and fat. Beef brings a depth of taste, while pork adds tenderness and juiciness to the meatballs.
Almond Breadcrumbs: A stellar low carb substitute for traditional breadcrumbs. They help in binding the meatballs together while adding a subtle nuttiness without the carb load.
Onion and Red Pepper: These veggies are all about flavor. They add a hint of sweetness and texture to the meatballs, enhancing the overall taste profile.
Garlic: It's hard to imagine a meatball without the aromatic punch of garlic. It gives the meatballs a rich and savory note.
Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the veggies, it infuses them with a mild, fruity flavor. It also adds a bit of healthy fat to the mix.
Egg: This is the glue that holds our meatballs together. Eggs are key for binding all the ingredients, ensuring they don't fall apart during cooking.
Dried Basil and Oregano: These herbs add a classic Italian flair to the meatballs, bringing in warmth and a hint of sweetness and earthiness.
Granulated Garlic and Onion: They complement the fresh garlic and onion, intensifying the savory flavors.
Red Pepper Flakes: Just enough to give a gentle kick of heat, adding another layer of complexity to the flavor.
Making Low Carb Meatballs in your own kitchen:
I've tried to capture the highlights of this recipe to share with you exactly how I made these meatballs. If you have questions, please be sure to ask in the comments!
COOKING THE Low Carb MEATBALLS
As with so many recipes out there, you'll find a million different ways to cook a meatball. Some chefs bake them. Some braise them in marinara sauce. My way is to saute them first, then place them in the oven and let the love build.
When you saute the meatball first, the outside of the meatball has a chance to caramelize and build some flavor. Covering the pan concentrates the heat and speeds up the cooking process.
Because these meatballs have beef and pork, it is important to cook them all the way through. I'm a fan of some pink in a pork chop, but not with ground pork. Just play it safe and make sure that you are cooking them all the way through.
Your cook time may vary from my recipe as well. It all depends on the size of the meatball. The larger the meatball, the longer the cook time.
If your meatball is large enough, you can measure the temperature with an instant read thermometer. When it registers 160-165F you are good. Or, you can do what I do and slice one of them open to see how much more time you have.
QUICK COOKING TIP: When you are cooking the meatballs, try not to overcrowd the pan. Like with any recipe, if you overcrowd the pan the heat will not return fast enough to the pan. As the food cooks, it releases moisture which pools and starts to boil rather than brown. A boiled meatball is just no good.
This Low Carb Meatball Recipe loves to be paired with:
Cheesy Keto Breadsticks: These keto-friendly breadsticks are the perfect sidekick to the meatballs, making an Italian-style dinner just without any of the carbs.
Keto Meatball Parm: Transform the meatball experience with this dish where our low carb meatballs get a cheesy, saucy makeover. It's a match made in keto heaven, combining two classics into one mouthwatering meal.
Keto Homemade Tomato Sauce: A meatball's best friend is a rich, flavorful tomato sauce. This homemade keto version is not just low in carbs but packed with robust flavors, making it a perfect dippings sauce for the meatballs.
Pepperoni Marinara Sauce: Give your meatballs a zesty twist with this pepperoni-infused marinara sauce. It's a fun and flavorful way to spice up your meal, adding a little extra pizzazz to each bite.
Zucchini Zoodles Recipe: Swap out traditional pasta for these light and healthy zucchini noodles. They make a fantastic low carb bed for your meatballs, adding a fresh and satisfying crunch to your meal... top the entire dish with the homemade tomato sauce, some fresh parmesan and a side of keto breadsticks. Awesome.
Keto Crab Cakes: If you’re throwing a party and needs some more appetizer recipes… these bite-sized crab cakes pack huge flavor and amazing crunch. Yum!
This website provides approximate nutrition data and information for convenience and as a courtesy only.