Gluten-free Egg-free Italian Meatballs

Buckle up. These are amazing… Three people have told me that. Low carb, no eggs, no gluten. This is my new go-to recipe for meatballs. It does have dairy. I just hope they freeze well. More on that in a few days and I will update. 

So…  the chicken meatballs I developed a few weeks ago weren’t tender at all, so I decided to step back and try a recipe with ground beef.  After a bunch of recipe research, I decided to use ricotta cheese for moisture. This recipe is also centered around a 1.5lb package of ground beef from Costco. This recipe makes 30 meatballs, which is about perfect considering I only wanted to use one pan. This would be awesome with my rutabaga pasta. If you do that, note that this recipe includes the sauce for the meatballs. Each serving is 5 meatballs…

Gluten-free Egg-free Italian Meatballs

  • Servings: 6
  • Print


  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 2.5 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon Wildtree Smoked Tomato and Mozzeralla Blend
  • 1/4 cup Wildtree European Dipping Oil – Balsamic
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • One 15oz. container whole milk ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup potato flakes
  • One 24oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 6oz water
Grab the largest saucepan that you have that has a good lid. By the end of this recipe, you will be cramming 30 meatballs in it and it’s best if they can fit in one layer. I used our large cast iron pan and a copper lid that happens to fit it.
Get your big food processor out. Trust me, this recipe is worth the clean up. You’ll also need two small bowls. In the first bowl, mix the flax seed and water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. In the second bowl, mix the 1/4 cup European Dipping Oil and the Smoked Tomato and Mozzeralla Blend.
Allow both to sit while you start adding ingredients to the food processor.
Put the cutter blade in the food processor bowl. Combine the following ingredients on in the food processor bowl: ground beef, ricotta, parsley, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and potato flakes. Add both the flax seed mixture and the dipping oil mixture and pulse to combine. You want to pulse it enough so that everything is mixed. It will look like a pinkish paste when you are done, and that is OK!
Preheat the stove to medium-low heat and grab a cutting board and two dinner plates. Use a spoon to scoop out small portions of the meat mixture and put them on the cutting board. I find it easiest to work in batches of 10.  Make 10 meatballs and then start them browing in the pan. While those are browning on one side, make 10 more meatballs and put them on the first dinner plate. Flip the meatballs over once using a silicone spatula. These are so tender that they will fall apart unless you are very careful. Let them brown on the second side. Don’t worry about the pinkish hue that’s left around the middle because they will finish cooking in the sauce later. They should look like the photo below. Remove them to the second dinner plate and start browning the second batch.
Continue until all three batches have been browned. Scrape the bottom of the pan, add the marinara sauce and the 6oz water (I put the water in the jar and shake it up to loosen any good stuff that is left). Put all the meatballs back in the pan and allow them to come to a simmer.
Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. I simmered mine for 10 minutes before they came up to temperature (145F).  They will firm up and shrink a little bit.  You can freeze small portions of these in Ziploc containers.  I doubt we’ll have any to freeze.  Yes, they are that good.  OK.  I set aside some to freeze because I want to make sure they bounce back alright.
IMG_9819 IMG_9820

4 thoughts on “Gluten-free Egg-free Italian Meatballs

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