Gluten-Free Meatballs: The Delicious Twist You’re Craving

Elevate Your Dinner Game with Gluten-Free Meatballs

What Do You Need to Make Gluten-Free Meatballs?

👩‍🍳 To make gluten-free meatballs, all you need are ground meat, eggs, gluten-free breadcrumbs, and your choice of herbs and spices. You can then bake or air-fry them.  If you’re planning to serve your meatballs with a sauce, make sure it’s also gluten-free.

Are you a food enthusiast searching for a delectable twist on a classic dish? Look no further, because we have the answer to your cravings right here: gluten-free meatballs! In this blog post, we will take you on a mouthwatering journey through the world of gluten-free meatballs, offering a delightful twist that will leave you wanting more.

In recent years, many people have adopted gluten-free diets. These diets are ideal for individuals with gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, or anyone looking for a healthier lifestyle. Despite the restrictions, one can still enjoy delicious meals. Gluten-free meatballs have come to the rescue, providing a tasty and healthy twist on traditional meatballs.

Our gluten-free meatballs are delicious and perfect for both meatball lovers and beginners. We will provide you with different recipes that highlight the versatility of gluten-free ingredients in meatballs. You’ll enjoy the amazing flavors and textures that our meatballs have to offer.

A stack of meatballs on a plate with herbs and spices
A stack of meatballs on a plate with herbs and spices

We will show you some amazing gluten-free versions of classic meatball recipes. By using special ingredients and spices, we have created unforgettable flavors that you won’t want to miss. Get ready to explore a world of delicious possibilities that will even satisfy those with the most discriminating tastes.

Join us on this gastronomic adventure and discover how gluten-free meatballs can be the ultimate delicious twist you’ve been craving. Get ready to elevate your dining experience and embrace the incredible flavors that await you in each savory gluten-free bite. Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

Are Meatballs Gluten-Free?

Baked homemade chicken meatballs
Baked homemade chicken meatballs

Meatballs themselves, made solely from ground meat and basic seasonings, are typically gluten-free. The primary ingredients in meatballs are meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, and various herbs and spices. While meat and eggs are naturally gluten-free, breadcrumbs often contain gluten unless specifically labeled as gluten-free.

Meatball recipes usually use breadcrumbs made from wheat flour as a binder to keep the meat mixture together and create a better texture. However, wheat flour contains gluten. Therefore, if breadcrumbs made from wheat flour are used in the meatball mixture, the resulting meatballs will contain gluten.

However, it is entirely possible to make gluten-free meatballs by using alternative ingredients for breadcrumbs. There are several gluten-free options available, including breadcrumbs made from rice, corn, quinoa, or gluten-free oats. These alternatives can be used as a substitute in the meatball mixture, ensuring that the final product remains gluten-free.

It’s important to carefully read ingredient labels or choose certified gluten-free breadcrumbs to ensure that the meatballs are safe for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Additionally, cross-contamination should be considered when preparing gluten-free meatballs to avoid any contact with gluten-containing ingredients or surfaces.

To put it simply, some meatball recipes have gluten because they use breadcrumbs made from wheat. But, you can still make gluten-free meatballs by using breadcrumbs that are free from gluten. Just be sure to use alternate ingredients and prevent any cross-contamination. This way, people with gluten sensitivities or dietary limitations can savor this tasty dish without any worries.

Gluten-Free Meatballs Recipe

This easy gluten-free recipe makes juicy meatballs. You can enjoy them on their own or pair them with your preferred spaghetti sauce for a comforting dinner. They’re also suitable for a keto-friendly and low-carb diet since they’re made with almond flour in place of breadcrumbs.


Making gluten-free meatballs is a simple process. Below are the required ingredients to prepare this tasty low-carb, gluten-free meal.

Ground Beef

Freshly ground beef from a meat grinder
Freshly ground beef from a meat grinder

For tastier meatballs, opt for lean ground beef. For more taste, you can also try ground chicken, ground turkey, or even a combination of ground pork and beef. Additionally, vegan ground meat is also a potential option.

Gluten-free Bread Crumbs

For this recipe, we use almond flour or almond meal which is both naturally gluten-free and keto-friendly. Alternatively, another low-carb flour, like coconut, can also be used. It is important to note that coconut flour is highly absorbent and requires only about a third of the amount of almond flour for the recipe. For individuals with nut allergies, gluten-free breadcrumbs can be used instead. Schar crackers and oatmeal are popular choices.


The eggs act as a binding agent for the other ingredients. If preferred, you can use a flax egg or other egg replacement instead.

Herbs and Spices

Add salt and pepper to taste. Use finely chopped garlic and onion, or their powdered version. You can also add parsley and Italian seasoning.

Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese. This is optional but adds a delicious cheesy flavor.

This recipe makes 20 meatballs. Here are the measurements you need:

  • 1 pound Ground Beef 
  • 1 large Egg
  • ¾ cup Almond Flour (or 1/2 cup Gluten-free Panko Crumb)
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Parsley


Prepare the Ingredients

Gluten-free meatball ingredients in separate bowls
Gluten-free meatball ingredients in separate bowls

Add ground meat, beaten egg, onion powder, garlic, chopped parsley, almond flour, salt, and pepper to a large bowl.

Either use a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients or use your hands to shape the meat mixture into one cohesive mixture with the other ingredients.

To prepare the oven, set it to 350°F (180°C). Then, take a large baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper. After that, use an oil spray to lightly coat the paper.

Make the Meatballs

A stack of raw beef meatballs
A stack of raw beef meatballs

To prevent the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands, apply a small amount of olive oil.

To make meatballs, use a small cookie dough scoop or tablespoon to portion the meatball mixture. Then, transfer it to your greased hands and gently shape it into a ball.

Place the meatballs on the baking sheet, making sure to leave a small gap of about half an inch between each one.

To avoid excess oiliness, it’s recommended to place the meatballs evenly on the baking sheet as they tend to release juice and oil while cooking in the oven.

Bake in the Oven

Hands placing meatballs on a baking sheet
Hands placing meatballs on a baking sheet

The simplest and healthier way to cook a large number of meatballs is by baking them in the oven. This is because the fat from the meat is released on the baking sheet.

If you’re baking two sheets at the same time, put them on the center rack and bottom center rack. Otherwise, just use the center rack.

To cook the meatballs, bake them for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway through until they turn golden-brown on the outside and the internal temperature reaches between 160°F and 165°F. This will ensure that they stay tender on the inside.

Air-fry Meatballs

Fried meatballs with Parmesan and breadcrumbs
Fried meatballs with Parmesan and breadcrumbs

To cook meatballs using an air fryer, spray oil onto the basket to avoid them sticking. Additionally, you can place foil on the bottom of the basket.

To cook the meatballs using an air fryer, place them in the basket and set the temperature to 350°F (180°C) for 18 minutes. Remember to shake the basket halfway through to ensure even frying.


Each gluten-free meatball contains the following nutrition:

  • Calories: 96kcal
  • Carbs: 1.2g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Fat: 6.9g
  • Protein: 7.4g

Gluten-Free Meatball Recipe Variations

If you have allergies to the ingredients in this recipe, here are some options to consider for adapting it.

For a dairy-free option, you can choose not to use cheese in this recipe. Cheese doesn’t affect the texture much, just the flavor. If you decide to skip the cheese, you may need to add some salt to the dairy-free meatballs since Parmesan cheese is very salty. Additionally, you can add 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the meatball mixture if you want a cheesy flavor.

Vegan meatballs made with lentils
Vegan meatballs made with lentils

To make the recipe low-carb and nut-free, you can substitute almond flour with gluten-free Panko crumbs or ground sesame or sunflower seeds.

If you want to make meatballs without the use of eggs, you can use either a flax egg or a cornstarch slurry as a replacement. To make a flax egg, mix one tablespoon of flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water and let it rest for five minutes. Then, add it to the meat mixture in place of the egg. Alternatively, you can mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with three tablespoons of water to create a cornstarch slurry and use that instead of an egg.

To cook meatballs in a slow cooker, first, pour your preferred meatball sauce (or a mixture of spaghetti sauce and salsa) into the pot. Then, add the meatballs to the sauce, ensuring they are fully covered. To cook meatballs, set the slow cooker to high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Don’t forget to check the meatballs’ internal temperature to ensure it’s at least 160F and there are no pink spots. Note that different slow cookers may have different cooking times.

Meatballs with tomato sauce in a pan
Meatballs with tomato sauce in a pan

Storage and Reheating Instructions

You can keep these meatballs in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you want to eat them, warm them up in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat until they are warm in the center.

You can prepare the raw meatballs in advance by covering them with plastic wrap or storing them in an air-tight container. Keep them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

To store your leftover meatballs, first spread them out on a baking sheet and freeze them until they are solid, typically taking about 2 hours. Then, place the frozen meatballs in a container or bag that is safe for the freezer and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Just remember to defrost them in the refrigerator at least a day before you plan on using them.

How to Serve Gluten-Free Meatballs

These meatballs are versatile. You can enjoy them as a low-carb dinner or use them as a topping for pasta, zucchini noodles, or cauliflower rice.

Meatballs on top of a plate of fried rice
Meatballs on top of a plate of fried rice

Try the following ideas:

Spaghetti and Meatballs: To enjoy a gluten-free meal, you can try serving meatballs that are gluten-free on top of a bed of your preferred gluten-free pasta such as spaghetti. You can then add your choice of sauce, whether it’s marinara or a tomato-based sauce.

Spaghetti and meatballs with marinara sauce
Spaghetti and meatballs with marinara sauce

Meatball Sub: Create a delicious meatball sub sandwich by stuffing meatballs, marinara sauce, and melted cheese into either a gluten-free sub roll or a gluten-free baguette.

Meatball sub sandwich with cheese and greens
Meatball sub sandwich with cheese and greens

Meatball Skewers: To make a delicious and visually appealing appetizer or main course, skewer gluten-free meatballs along with colorful vegetables like cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions, and then grill or bake them.

Meatball skewers with sauce and parsley
Chicken meatball skewers with sauce and parsley

Meatball Sliders: Make mini burger buns or slider rolls that are gluten-free. Then, put a meatball between them along with your preferred toppings such as cheese, lettuce, and condiments to make yummy meatball sliders that are small in size and easy to eat.

Mini burgers with meatballs, cheese, lettuce and catsup
Mini burgers with meatballs, cheese, lettuce, and catsup

Meatball Soup: To make a comforting and nourishing meatball soup, simply combine gluten-free meatballs, vegetables, herbs, and spices in a flavorful broth.

A bowl of vegetable soup with turkey meatballs
A bowl of vegetable soup with gluten-free turkey meatballs

This recipe for gluten-free meatballs is a versatile dish that can be served as an appetizer or main course. It pairs well with creamy dips such as Ranch Yogurt Dip, Spinach Avocado Dip, as well as with 3-Ingredient BBQ Sauce and Roasted Tomato Sauce.

You can choose to cook these meatballs in a slow cooker, a non-stick saucepan, or directly in your favorite spaghetti sauce. For the best results, use either Keto Alfredo Sauce or Marinara Sauce.

Try this recipe for keto meatballs and other easy low-carb lunch ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use in Meatballs Instead of Breadcrumbs?

To make meatballs without breadcrumbs, try using gluten-free substitutes like crushed gluten-free crackers, rice crumbs, gluten-free oats, or almond flour. These alternatives work as binding agents and give a similar texture to your meatball mixture. Explore different options to figure out which one suits your dietary needs and preferences.

Are Panko Breadcrumbs Gluten-Free?

If you are looking for gluten-free breadcrumbs, it is best to avoid panko breadcrumbs. Panko is a type of breadcrumb that comes from Japan and is made from wheat flour, which has gluten in it. So, if you are on a gluten-free diet or have gluten sensitivity, it’s important to select breadcrumbs or substitutes that are gluten-free when preparing dishes such as meatballs.

Final Thoughts

Gluten-free meatballs offer a tantalizing twist to traditional meatball recipes that is sure to satisfy your cravings. With the increasing demand for gluten-free options, these flavorful morsels provide a delicious solution for individuals with dietary restrictions or those simply looking to explore new culinary horizons.

By embracing gluten-free alternatives in your meatball creations, you unlock a world of possibilities. Whether you’re a meat lover, a foodie seeking new flavors, or someone with gluten sensitivities, these meatballs are a culinary triumph. They offer a delectable blend of ingredients and spices, ensuring that every bite is a burst of savory goodness.

What makes gluten-free meatballs truly special is their versatility. From classic recipes to innovative combinations, you can experiment with a wide range of flavors, textures, and ingredients. Incorporating herbs, cheeses, and alternative flours, you can create a unique twist that caters to your taste preferences and dietary needs.

With gluten-free meatballs, you don’t have to compromise on taste or texture. They are a testament to the fact that gluten-free dining can be just as satisfying and enjoyable as traditional options. Whether you serve them with pasta, pair them with a zesty tomato sauce, or use them as a delicious appetizer, these meatballs are guaranteed to impress.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a flavorful journey, gluten-free meatballs are the perfect starting point. Explore the endless possibilities, tantalize your taste buds, and indulge in the delicious twist you’ve been craving. It’s time to savor every bite and discover the best gluten-free meatballs!