Gluten-free meatballs are hard to find at restaurants and in the grocery store, but did you know they’re so easy to make at home?
Made with rich ground beef, a blend of aromatic herbs and spices, and a touch of Parmesan cheese, these gluten-free meatballs are bursting with flavor!
Best of all, they’re ready in under 30 minutes! These meatballs are baked in the oven until they are browned. You can stop there and eat them up, or simmer them in a pot of your favorite marinara sauce for an extra treat. Don’t forget to sprinkle more Parmesan cheese on top for good measure!
You’ll love this recipe because:
- Ground beef – I use all ground beef, specifically 80/20 ground beef, which has the perfect ratio of meat to fat for meatballs. You can use a lower fat beef, but try to stick to 15-20% fat for best results. You could also use a blend of ground beef, pork, and veal, but to keep it simple, I just prefer to use all ground beef. If you’re looking for something leaner, try my gluten-free turkey meatballs using ground turkey instead.
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs – Use store-bought or homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs for this recipe. You can also use almond flour instead.
- Herbs and Spices – I use a combination of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic power, dried parsley, and dried oregano for my meatballs. You could use fresh parsley and fresh oregano if you prefer, but the dried varieties are more concentrated and I always have them on hand, even in the winter. If you don’t want Italian-style meatballs, change up the spices and herbs to suit the dish you are making meatballs for.
- Parmesan cheese – Parmesan cheese gives the meatballs more flavor and it’s not to be missed. Use grated Parmesan cheese so that it mixes evenly into the meatballs. For best results, grate your own Parmesan block, rather than using pre-grated Parmesan cheese. You can use pecorino romano, asiago, or grana padano instead if you don’t have Parmesan cheese on hand. For a dairy-free version, use a dairy-free Parmesan cheese substitute like Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Parmesan Style or even nutritional yeast for a similar umami flavor.
- Egg – A single egg acts as a binder and helps hold the meatballs together. Use a large egg (equivalent to a medium egg in the UK), and be sure not to overmix the mixture as the meatballs will get tough.
This gluten-free meatball recipe is so easy to make at home. All you need is ground beef and a few simple ingredients. The below step-by-step instructions and matching photos are meant to show you the recipe at different stages so that you can make beef meatballs perfectly every time!
For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.
No, meatballs are not gluten-free typically because they usually contain a binder, like breadcrumbs, crackers, or soaked bread, all which contain wheat. This recipe is formulated to be gluten-free using gluten-free breadcrumbs.
No, there are many ways to cook meatballs. I prefer to make them in the oven because you don’t need to add oil and the meatballs cook evenly. However, you can also cook them over the stove-top in a pan or let them simmer in sauce in a dutch oven or braising pan instead.
My favorite sauce to serve with meatballs is a simple marinara sauce. I like to remove my meatballs from the oven and then immediately place them into a braising pan with spaghetti sauce. Just let them simmer for a few minutes and then serve! You can also serve your meatballs with a gluten-free alfredo sauce, pesto, or a bolognese.
Yes, the only dairy in this recipe is from the Parmesan cheese. There is a dairy-free product called Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Parmesan Style that works perfectly in this recipe. You can also use nutritional yeast instead. As a reminder, eggs are not dairy (they are just in the same section of the grocery store), so if you are dairy-free you can still consume eggs.
Yes, you can. I prefer 80/20 ground beef for meatballs, but you can use a combination of ground pork, veal, Italian sausage, ground chicken or turkey. For best results, use some higher fat meats so that your meatballs are flavorful and juicy.
hints & tips
- Storage: Leftover meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezer Option: You can freeze leftover meatballs for up to 3 months. Flash freeze the cooked meatballs after they have cooled down to room temperature on a parchment lined baking sheet for an hour. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: Thaw frozen meatballs in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in a saucepan or oven until warmed through. You can do the same with refrigerated meatballs. My favorite way to reheat leftovers is to add some marinara sauce to a saucepan and add a few meatballs. Cover with a lid and reheat on medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes until the meatballs are warmed through.
Gluten-free meatballs are so versatile. You can serve them as a sandwich with gluten-free french bread, on top of gluten-free spaghetti, or on their own.
For a salad, try my burrata caprese salad or this It’s the perfect start to your meal.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.
- 1/3 cup gluten-free Italian-style breadcrumbs (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 lb ground beef (preferably 80/20 blend)
- 1 egg
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, dried parsley, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to evenly distribute the spices and seasonings.
- Add the ground beef and egg to the bowl with the breadcrumb mixture. Use your hands or a fork to gently mix everything together until just combined. Avoid over-mixing, as it can result in tough meatballs.
- Use a ice cream scoop (#30 portion scoop) to portion out the meat. Shape the meat into balls, about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter with oiled hands. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Shape the meat mixture into balls, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should get about 18 meatballs total.
- Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, or until they are cooked through and have reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- Once cooked, remove the meatballs from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. Alternatively, you can add the meatballs to a pan with your favorite marinara sauce and let them simmer for a few minutes over medium heat to warm the sauce before serving.
- Serve the gluten-free beef meatballs with your favorite sauce or pasta. Enjoy!
- The cook time will vary depending on the size that you make your meatballs. I made 18 meatballs which are on the smaller side, so they only take about 13-15 minutes to cook through to an internal temperature of 165F. If you make larger meatballs, they may take longer to cook in the oven. Do not overcook your meatballs as they will turn out dry.
- If you have celiac disease or are on a gluten-free diet for other reasons, always be sure to double check ingredients to ensure that they are gluten-free.
- You can use store-bought or homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs for this recipe. I used Italian-style gluten-free breadcrumbs, which already have herbs added to them. If you use gluten-free breadcrumbs that are not already seasoned, you may want to add about ⅛ teaspoon each of more seasoning in the recipe.
- If you don’t have gluten-free breadcrumbs, you can also use almond flour instead.
- To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the Parmesan cheese for a dairy-free Parmesan style cheese product instead. I like Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Refrigerated Grated Parmesan for this recipe.