Gluten Free Italian Meatballs Recipe
While the key ingredient in meatballs is breadcrumbs, you can still make delicious gluten free meatballs with the right recipe changes.
When you’re hankering for a hearty meal, nothing hits the spot like spaghetti and meatballs. Spaghetti is easy enough to whip up, even if you’re gluten-free, but it can be tricky to find gluten-free meatballs at the grocery store. Fortunately, it’s simple to make your own at home. Even if you’re starting with a standard meatball recipe, you don’t have to make many adjustments to make it gluten free.
The secret to amazing meatballs is a delicious blend of ground meats, some fresh Italian herbs, and of course, the breadcrumbs to hold it all together.
For followers of the gluten free diet, that’s where the problem lies. The good news is there are plenty of gluten free workarounds. With Schär Gluten Free Breadcrumbs, you can make all your favorite recipes gluten free in a snap. Simply swap them in for the regular or panko breadcrumbs in your favorite Italian meatballs recipe or try the recipe below.
The best part about having a good gluten free Italian meatballs recipe in your back pocket is that you can make them ahead of time and pop them in the freezer. Whenever you’re in need of a quick meal, simply boil up some pasta and heat up a few meatballs to pop on top!
Here’s everything you need to know about making your own homemade meatballs, including a tasty gluten free Italian meatballs recipe.
Choosing the Right Meat
The key to a delicious gluten free Italian meatballs recipe is picking the right meat for your mix. After all, meat is half the name! If you’re looking for that classic Italian flavor, simple ground beef will do. To make your meatballs a little juicier, throw in some ground pork – a 50/50 ratio works well. If you’re trying to keep it low-calorie, choose lean ground beef or ground turkey or chicken. You can even combine the two to get the flavor of beef with the low-cal benefits of turkey or chicken.
If you’re looking to do a little experimentation with your meatballs, there are other add-ins you can try. Turn your spaghetti and meatballs into a pizza pasta dish by mixing diced pepperoni into your meatballs. Throw in some ground lamb for a unique flavor twist or swap out the ground beef for ground sausage if you want to really punch up the flavor.
Simple Tips for Perfect Meatballs
Making meatballs is surprisingly simple, but there are a few dos and don’ts you should keep in mind to make sure your recipe comes out well. Choosing the right ingredients is important, but the technique you use when shaping and cooking the meatballs makes a big difference as well.
Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind when making your meatballs:
- Don’t overmix the ingredients! If you overmix, it can make the meat tough.
- If you want your meatballs to be equal in size, use a cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop to portion them out then roll them by hand.
- To add some extra moisture to your mix, add a tablespoon or milk.
- When searing your meatballs, be sure to flip them halfway through so the bottoms don’t burn.
- If you don’t have fresh garlic or onion when making meatballs, feel free to swap in garlic powder or onion powder. You can also use dried Italian herbs, if needed.
The first time you make gluten free Italian meatballs, you may be surprised to find just how easy it is. Though it will take a few minutes to prep the ingredients, you mix it all together in one bowl then shape the meatballs by hand. You can make the meatballs larger or smaller according to your preference, but be aware that the size of the meatballs will affect the cooking time.
Creative Ways to Serve Meatballs
Whether you’re sticking with a classic gluten free Italian meatballs recipe or making your own version, there are plenty of ways to mix things up at mealtime. By adjusting the ingredients in your meatballs and pairing them with different sauces, you can come up with an endless array of unique dishes.
Here are some creative ideas for using your meatballs:
- Serve up some classic spaghetti and meatballs by preparing a box of gluten free spaghetti cooked to al dente, topped with your favorite marinara sauce.
- Prepare a batch of Swedish cream sauce using beef stock, heavy cream, soy sauce, and rosemary to create a hearty meal of Swedish meatballs.
- If you’re trying to avoid carb-heavy sides, keep your meatballs simple by tossing them with your favorite sugar-free barbecue sauce and serve them up with some steamed veggies.
- Take pasta night in a different direction by replacing the marinara sauce with Alfredo to make Alfredo meatballs with fettuccine or your favorite noodle.
- Bring back an old classic by filling your crockpot with homemade meatballs then add 1 ½ cups ketchup and 1 cup grape jelly and let them simmer away.
You can’t go wrong with a good gluten free Italian meatballs recipe whether you serve them with pasta, rice, or a simple side of steamed veggies. Here’s a recipe you can try for yourself at home:
Recipe: Gluten Free Italian Meatballs
This simple recipe invokes the classic flavor of Italian meatballs, but they are entirely gluten free thanks to Schär Gluten Free Breadcrumbs. Pair your gluten free Italian meatballs with gluten free spaghetti cooked to al dente or serve them with homemade gluten free pasta for an extra special meal.
Servings: Makes about 2 dozen
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup Schär Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup milk (dairy free, if desired)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup fresh chopped herbs (try 50/50 parsley and basil)
- ¼ cup finely minced yellow onion
- ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- In a large bowl, stir together the Schär Gluten Free Breadcrumbs and milk until well combined – set aside to soak for 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef, ground pork, garlic, and eggs to the breadcrumb mixture.
- Add the parmesan cheese, onion, fresh herbs, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Sprinkle in the dried oregano then season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Mix the ingredients together by hand until just combined – do not overmix.
- Cover the bowl with plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Shape the meat mixture into 1-inch balls and place them in the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- Transfer the meatballs to a wire rack to drain, if desired, then serve immediately.
- Notes: Feel free to experiment with different blends of ground meats to find the flavor you like best. Meatballs are always a great way to use up extra ground meat from sausage, burgers, or casseroles. If you want to make a few extra and save them fore later, let them cool to room temperature then arrange them on a baking sheet and pop them in the freezer. When frozen, transfer to a freezer bag for storage.