This low carb spicy meatballs recipe is a gluten-free lunch or dinner idea that’s perfect for those who follow a keto diet. This recipe is also great for freezing and meal prepping.
Ingredients you will need
Ground beef - I use either 85/15 or 90/10 (lean/fat) ground beef for this low carb meatball recipe.
Jalapenos - To give our spicy meatballs some heat, we're going to add ¼ cup (you can add more if you can handle the heat!) of finely-chopped jalapenos (pickled or fresh).
Egg - We use one large egg to bind all ingredients together and bring in some moisture.
Parmesan cheese - Since there's no Panco or other bread-like ingredients in my delicious spicy meatball recipe, I use shredded parmesan cheese to prevent the meatballs from breaking apart while frying.
Almond flour - Using almond flour will help the meatballs stay moist and less dense. In other words, almond flour replaces the breadcrumbs in our low carb recipe and makes it gluten-free.
Cilantro - I use finely chopped fresh cilantro in my spicy low-carb meatballs mixture, as well as some chopped cilantro for garnishing.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - I choose a very basic meatball seasoning - salt and pepper. A most common mistake in cooking meat is using too little seasoning. Even though this recipe calls for some cheese with salt in it, don't hold back and season your low carb meatball mixture well with salt and ground black pepper before forming the balls.
Butter, olive oil, or other cooking oil - Personally, I love to use grass-fed unsalted butter for most of my frying, but you can use any cooking oil of your choice.
Pickled red onions - Use chopped store-bought pickled red onions or make your own to garnish the dish (or make this KETO SALSA FRESCA for garnishing). Usually, I make my speedy pickled onions by combining chopped onions and vinegar (white wine, rose vinegar, or apple cider vinegar will do!) for about 15 minutes. Then I drain the vinegar, leaving sweet and crunchy onions for garnishing.
Lime - These meatballs are extremely delicious when you squeeze a little bit of fresh lime juice over them before digging in.
Step by step instructions
It's actually very easy to make spicy meatballs from scratch! But if you don't know how to make meatballs without breadcrumbs, I'm here to explain. First, let's prepare our easy meatball mixture. To do that, combine the ground beef, egg, jalapenos, shredded parmesan cheese, finely chopped cilantro, and almond flour in a large mixing bowl. Then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Next, heat a large (11-12" or 28-30cm) skillet over a medium-high heat and add the cooking oil/butter of your choice.
While the skillet is heating up, let's form our low carb spicy meatballs. I prefer them to be fairly large, so I made 14 meatballs 45g each. You can also make 16-20 smaller meatballs! However, make sure that you adjust the cooking time - otherwise the meatballs will become very dry from overcooking.
When the skillet is hot, add the meatballs and cook for around 10 minutes (or 8 minutes, if you decided to make them smaller in size), flipping them every 2 minutes until evenly browned on each side and cooked through. Moving and flipping meatballs will also help them to keep their round shape.
Serve the meatballs right away topped with chopped cilantro, pickled onions, and lime wedges on the side.
How to freeze meatballs
I love this recipe for its convenience; I can always double it and freeze half for the future. To freeze our low carb meatballs, we need to place them on a tray or large cutting board that can fit into your freezer. If you don't have one, use a large plate or two. Place our freshly formed meatballs onto the surface so they aren’t touching (otherwise they will freeze together) and leave them in the freezer until rock solid. How fast they freeze depends on the size of your meatballs (usually it takes a couple of hours). After that, remove from the tray/board/plate and put them in a Ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible, zip it up, and freeze for up to 3 months.
How many carbs in low carb meatballs
I can tell you straight away that these breadless meatballs are definitely keto-friendly and perfect for low carb diet! If you make 14 meatballs as I did, one meatball will contain 0.2g net carbs. So, if we assume that one portion is 5 meatballs, we're going to end up with only 1g net carbs. Maybe I should call this recipe no-carb meatballs instead?
When I hear meatballs, I think mashed potatoes… but who needs mashed potatoes when we have our CREAMY KETO CAULIFLOWER MASH? Another perfect companion for our keto meatballs would be OVEN ROASTED RUTABAGA RECIPE or SPICY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER BITES. However, if you need something lighter, I suggest you try these easy spicy meatballs over a fresh vegetable salad with a simple olive oil, salt, and black pepper dressing.
More keto recipes with beef
Low carb spicy meatballs recipe
- Non-stick or cast-iron skillet
- 1 lb (500g) ground beef 90/10 or 85/15 (lean/fat)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup (35g) pickled or fresh jalapeños, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup (35g) shredded parmesan cheese
- ¼ (25g) cup almond flour
- ¼ cup (5g) fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Butter for frying
- Lime wedges
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Pickled red onions, chopped
- Combine the ground beef, egg, jalapenos, shredded parmesan cheese, finely chopped cilantro, and almond flour in a large mixing bowl, then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Heat a large skillet over a medium-high heat and add the cooking oil of your choice.
- Form 14 (around 45g each) meatballs.
- When the skillet is hot, add the meatballs and cook for 10 minutes. Flip every 2 minutes until evenly browned on every side and cooked through.
- Serve the meatballs right away topped with chopped cilantro, pickled onions, and lime wedges on the side.
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