These delicious little balls of meat might be small but they’re packed full of flavour. Made without any breadcrumbs, flour or egg, these Gluten Free Meatballs will be a hit with the entire crowd!
Love meatballs but can’t find a good Gluten Free option? I get it. Almost every meatball recipe out there has some sort of addition of breadcrumbs or flour. But don’t worry sista (or mista…I’m sure boys like meatballs, too…), ya gal has got you covered. These Gluten Free Meatballs are just as flavourful and delicious as any other meatball on the market. They hold together perfectly well despite not having that typical gluten binding and are great on their own, a-top a bowl of warm Tomato Sauce or in sandwiches, bowls, pasta dishes and more. They’re so easy to make with only a few simple ingredients and bake up in the oven in under 15 minutes. Easy weeknight dinner, anyone? These Gluten Free Meatballs are it!
I lovvve meatballs. I mean, one of the first family recipes I’ve ever shared on the blog (aka a feature in “the Lagana Family Cooking Series”) was, of course, my mama’s famous Mini Meatballs. And when I say famous, I mean the ones she grew up watching my grandmother make. The ones my sisters and I grew up eating. My go-to meatball. When the BF doesn’t get told not to eat Gluten, that is.
You see, recently he decided to do one of those Food Sensitivity Tests and the outcome was basically my nightmare. Just kidding. But not really. No gluten. Dairy. Or eggs. So, of course, I’m making it my mission to still have delicious and comforting dinners (do you know who I am???) while doing my best to abide by this new found rule in our lives. He assures me it won’t last forever.
But you know what? It’s recipes like these Gluten Free Meatballs that are so easy to make and are the next best thing after my mama’s cooking, that sway me into thinking that even if this was a forever thing, it might not be so bad after all.
INGREDIENTS FOR GLUTEN FREE MEATBALLS
These ingredients are pretty standard when you think of the typical meatball minus a few of the main ones (egg, breadcrumbs or flour). I promise, these Gluten Free Meatballs stand up to the test and prove that a meatball is just as good without those things!
- Ground Beef: The base of our meatballs. About 70% lean ground beef works best in this recipe as the fat will help give the meatballs some extra flavour. Try to void the lean or extra lean varieties or you may end up with dry, tough meatballs. I chose to keep it pretty simple and stick to one kind of meat but feel free to mix it up and use something totally different or a combination of a few. Ground pork, chicken, turkey, lamb or sirloin all make great options.
- Onion: For flavour. Since we’re grating the onion, we’re using both the fine pieces as well as all the juices which will help in keeping the meatballs extra moist and delicious.
- Garlic: Honestly, I had a long hard debate with myself on whether I should use fresh garlic or garlic powder and, you know me, fresh garlic always wins. It adds flavour and texture. But, if all you have on hand is garlic powder, use 1/2 tsp instead of the 1 fresh clove.
- Parsley: For flavour, freshness and a pop of colour. If you don’t have parsley on hand, fresh basil would be just as good!
- Dijon Mustard: Adds flavour and moisture to the meatballs. Kinda acts as a binder and helps keep the ingredients together in the absence of an egg. You can use regular mustard instead, if you prefer. Or, if you really want to get crazy with it, try using spicy mustard, honey mustard or whole mustard instead.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Adds a sort of smokey bite to the meatballs. A little goes a long way here. Be sure to use a Gluten Free brand in order to keep these meatballs gluten free.
- Spices: And of course, with such few and simple ingredients, we rely heavily on spices to add flavour and bring these Gluten Free Meatballs to life. I used a mixture of Italian Seasoning, Chili Flakes, Smoked Paprika and of course, salt and pepper. But, as always, you can use whatever spice combination you want to!
HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE MEATBALLS (KEY TIPS)
- Use ground beef with at least some fat in it. The fat is what adds flavour, keeps the meatballs juicy and tender and helps the meatballs avoid drying out. For best results, use ground beef with at least 30% fat.
- Ensure that the parsley, onion and garlic are minced as fine as can be as you don’t want them to overpower the rest of the ingredients. EXTRA TIP: Use a microplane grater for the onions as we not only want them as small as possible but we also want their juices.
- Don’t overwork the meat mixture or you’ll end up with dense, dry meatballs. Yes, we want the ingredients to be well combined but just remember that the less you handle it, the more flavourful and moist they will be. EXTRA TIP: Pre-mix the spices in a small bowl before adding them to the ground beef with the rest of the ingredients. This will help evenly distribute them and limit the amount of times you’ll need to physically work it.
- Try your best to make the meatballs in as even size balls as possible to ensure they all cook in the same amount of time. No need to flip or rotate them in the oven as they cook, either. Talk about low maintenance!
- Let the meatballs rest for at least 5 minutes before moving or biting into them. Without the typical binders such as flour and breadcrumbs, these meatballs can become fairly crumbly if not handled properly. Cooling them will allow them to mend together and hold their shape.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Typically, the gluten in meatballs come in the form of flour or breadcrumbs which act as a binder to hold all the ingredients together. Rest assured though, these Gluten Free Meatballs hold up incredibly well and are equally delicious. Try ’em and see for yourself!
Any leftover meatballs should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. They’ll be good for up to 5 days (if they even last that long! ;))
Yes! Meatballs freeze beautifully and will last for up to 4 months. To do so: simple line the meatballs (cooked or raw) on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for a few hours or up to overnight. When the meatballs are solid, transfer them to a large ziploc freezer bag and store.
To eat cooked frozen meatballs, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a microwave or 350° oven.
To eat raw frozen meatballs, thaw in the fridge overnight and follow cooking instructions in the recipe card down below.
These Gluten Free Meatballs are delicious all on their own served up with some homemade tomato sauce! But they’re also good with so many other things, too! Make them a little smaller and use them in this Italian Wedding Soup or try them in this Chinese Style Egg Drop Soup. They’re great on top of this Cream Cheese Pasta Bake or this Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash. Pairing them with something Italian like this Eggplant Rollatini or these Cheesy Arancini is a no brainer. And of course, they’re the star next to a simple Cucumber Salad or Tomato Salad. The options are endless!
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 1/4 of a White Onion, grated on a microplane (keep the juices)
- 1 Clove Garlic, finely minced
- 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes, optional
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 450°.
- Mix all the spices in a small bowl until well combined.
- In a large bowl, add all the ingredients, including the spice mix.
- Using your hands but being careful not to overwork the meat, fold the mixture a few times until everything is well combined.
- Roll mixture into about 13 even balls and place them about 1-inch apart on the lined sheet pan.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160° and the centers are no longer pink. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve over warmed tomato sauce with freshly grated parmesan cheese and more chopped parsley, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 13 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 10g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
LOVE MEATBALLS? THEN YOU HAVE TO TRY MY TURKEY MEATBALLS WITH SPINACH, GOAT CHEESE AND SUN DRIED TOMATOES OR MY MAMA’S FAMOUS MINI MEATBALL RECIPE NEXT!
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