holding a plate of keto Italian meatballs and spaghetti

keto Italian meatballs

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These keto Italian meatballs are a go-to recipe if you’re looking to make meatballs without breadcrumbs. Whether you follow a keto diet or not, it’s nice to have low-carb options, and this keto meatballs recipe is perfect if you’re watching your carbs but still want a good, old-fashioned pasta night!

Pair these keto meatballs with zucchini noodles or tofu shiritaki noodles and a sugar-free pasta sauce for the ultimate spaghetti dinner, without the carbs! (Speaking of zucchini noodles, have you made this lovely zoodle salad with a spicy Thai peanut sauce?)

keto Italian meatballs on a plate with low-carb noodles

keto meatballs, a healthier option

I have a slight obsession with meatballs, which has only grown since having children. My kids will eat these, and if your kids are like mine, you know that the healthy foods they approve of are few and far between. So here’s to meatballs! A kid-friendly, low-carb food that’s easy to make. (By the way, these keto teriyaki chicken meatballs are also a win in our house).

Here’s what makes these a healthier option:

  • I swap the traditional breadcrumbs for coconut flour, which is a gluten-free and high-fiber flour
  • These are baked keto meatballs, which means you can skip the pan-frying process!
  • You only need a few whole food ingredients
  • You can serve them with zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or tofu shiritaki noodles for a much healthier, low-carb spin on spaghetti!
  • These keto meatballs work for many diet types, including gluten-free and grain-free, diabetics, low-carb and keto

how to make keto meatballs, Italian style!

Making these keto Italian meatballs only requires a few minutes of prep, and the oven does the rest of the work!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Grass-fed ground beef
  • Grated or shaved parmesan (optional)
  • Egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Minced garlic
  • Coconut flour
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Oregano, dried
  • Basil, dried
  • Thyme, dried
  • Olive oil

The whole process of making these Italian meatballs is really quite simple, and here’s a quick summary (but make sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to check out the full recipe):

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the olive oil.
  2. Use a fork to mix it all together, then use your hands to work the meat mixture, making sure all the ingredients are well combined.
  3. With a cookie dough or ice cream scoop, spoon out portions of the meat and drop them onto a baking tray lined with silpat or parchment paper. You can also scoop the meat into your hands and gently roll out that flat bottom edge before placing onto the baking sheet.
  4. Bake the meatballs at 450°F for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven. Brush olive oil onto the tops of the meatballs with a kitchen or pastry brush.
  5. Return the tray of keto meatballs to the oven. Increase the temperature to 500°F and bake for another 5 minutes.

The final step of brushing the olive oil onto the keto meatballs and baking for another five minutes, allows the meatballs to brown and gives them a nice, crisp crust.

keto Italian meatballs in a dish

pro tips for keto meatballs

For the best keto Italian meatballs, here are a few tips:

  • I like to use a cookie dough or ice cream scoop to ensure that each meatball is the same portion and bakes evenly. If you don’t have one, you can use a standard tablespoon to scoop the meat mixture- just make sure to try and get each meatball the same size.
  • Depending on the type of ground beef you use, fat from the ground beef may pool in the form of oil at the bottom of the pan. If your meat has a higher fat percentage, you’re more likely to see more oil. This is fine, and you’ll make the keto meatballs the same way, but just be careful as you’re lifting the tray out of the oven.
  • Don’t skip the final step of brushing the keto meatballs with olive oil! This makes them crisp and browned on the outside.

why I love these keto Italian meatballs

These keto meatballs are also juicy, full of flavor, and the perfect meatball texture.

Not only are they healthy, but this keto meatballs recipe is also a flexible one! You can use various types of ground meat and still get excellent results. I’ve made these keto Italian meatballs with both ground chicken sausage and ground bison, and both are delicious! I haven’t tried it yet, but ground turkey should work well too. It’s the perfect fall-back recipe if you have ground meat and don’t know what to do with it.

how to serve these Italian meatballs

You can enjoy these keto Italian meatballs in a number of ways! There’s always the classic plate of spaghetti and meatballs (with traditional noodles or a healthier, low-carb option). Eat them plain or with your favorite dipping sauce (I have a tzatziki or this delicious chimichurri on my mind). Do up a dinner of fun apps and serve them alongside this keto Ricotta and Asparagus Flatbread. Or how about some low-carb bread and a spaghetti sauce for an open-face meatball sub?

The options are endless– another reason to try them! This is one of my favorite keto dinner ideas and I hope you love it too.

keto Italian meatballs on a plate

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keto Italian meatballs on a plate with low-carb noodles

keto Italian meatballs

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These keto Italian meatballs are perfect if you're looking for a low-carb or gluten-free Italian meatball recipe! They are juicy, crisp on the outside, and there is no frying required!


  • 2 pounds ground beef (grass-fed if possible)
  • 1/3 cup shaved or grated parmesan (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


    1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients (except for the olive oil).
    2. Use a fork to mix the ingredients into the meat, then finish mixing with your hands, kneading the meat mixture to incorporate all of the ingredients. Continue mixing for about 2 minutes, or until well-combined.
    3. With a large cookie dough or ice cream scoop, spoon out a scoop of the meat mixture into your hands (about 2 tablespoons worth of meat). Gently roll it so it's perfectly round. Place the meatball on the baking tray, and repeat with the remaining meat.
    4. The meatballs should be spread evenly across the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the meatballs for 15 minutes.*
    5. Remove them from the oven, then use a pastry/kitchen brush to brush a light coating of olive oil on the tops of the meatballs. Increase the oven temperature to 500°F and return the meatballs to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes.
    6. Remove the meatballs from the oven and allow them to cool for 2-4 minutes before serving.


If you make the meatballs smaller than about 2 tablespoons, they will not need to bake as long. Depending on their size, they should be slightly done after about 8-10 minutes of baking, then bake for another 5 minutes at the higher temperature to brown them.

Be careful as you lift the tray out of the oven when they're done baking. Depending on the type of ground beef you use, fat from the ground beef may pool in the form of oil at the bottom of the pan. (If your meat has a higher fat percentage, you’re more likely to see more oil.)

Nutritional info is based on an estimated 12 large meatballs, with 2 meatballs per serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 478mgCarbohydrates: 2.5gNet Carbohydrates: 1.5gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 30g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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