These juicy keto meatballs are perfect for healthy meal prep. Make a big batch and freeze them so that you can enjoy easy keto dinners whenever you need. Cook from frozen or thaw them in advance.
Okay, first off let me just say that these are hands down the best keto meatballs I have ever made. And I’ve made a lot of meatballs in my day!
But these are so incredibly juicy, with just the right seasonings, and they’re ideal for keto meal prep. You can use them in any recipe that normally calls for frozen meatballs.
Toss them into your favorite keto soup recipes, or bake them into a casserole. Or simply warm them up and serve as a tasty appetizer.
A perfect make-ahead recipe
I think of myself as someone who doesn’t really meal prep, but that’s not strictly true. Whenever I make something like meatballs, keto chili, or even keto lasagna, I make a double or triple batch. And then I pop it in the freezer for one of those panicky dinner days, when I have no idea what to feed my family.
I’ve been frustrated on several occasions when I just want to buy a bag of frozen meatballs to toss over some zucchini noodles. Even the gluten-free ones have a remarkable amount of carbs.
So I decided it was time to make the perfect freezable keto meatballs to help streamline weeknight dinners.
I did a lot of recipe research before I started, as I wanted really moist meatballs that didn’t lose their round shape during cooking. And I wanted them to be sturdy enough to keep their shape and flavor during the freezing process.
One trick I picked up along the way was to soak the filler with some liquid first, to lock in the moisture. For conventional meatballs, it’s usually breadcrumbs and milk. For these keto meatballs, I experimented with the almond flour cracker crumbs from RealPhat Foods, and added heavy cream. But plain almond flour or crushed pork rinds would be great substitutes.
And it worked like a charm! The meatballs were extra juicy and they stayed nice and round.
Interested in trying Real Phat crackers and cracker crumbs? Use FOODDREAMER for 10% off!
“My dear, you are right; these are the absolute best! No matter what type of sauce I serve be it gravy, marinara, or my favorite Alfredo, these meatballs hold together and are always tender and flavorful. Thank you for another wonderful recipe.” — Cathy
“I made a double batch of these yesterday to be able to freeze half of them – I got back from church last night and they were all gone!!! Now I have a big family, but that was still excessive! They said the meatballs were just so dang good that nobody had anything else for dinner – just a huge plate full of meatballs!!!” — Elizabeth
“I like to make these in 1″, 2″ and 3″ sizes, then freeze them in portions. The 1″ size goes into soups, 2″ into stir frys and 3″ into a sauce like a stroganoff or tomato. The meatballs are so delicious that they work with all three sizes and any recipe you can think up. Thanks Carolyn, another winner!” — Barbara
Ingredients you need
- Ground meat: I use a combination of ground beef and ground pork, but you can use just ground beef, if you prefer. Even ground chicken or turkey would be great, although it tends to cook through faster. I get good pasture-raised meats from Wild Pastures.
- Keto cracker crumbs: The almond flour cracker crumbs from RealPhat are perfect for recipes like this! You can also substitute with crushed pork rinds, almond flour or sunflower seed flour. I do not recommend coconut flour, as it will make the meatballs very dry.
- Heavy whipping cream: Conventional meatballs call for milk, but heavy whipping cream does the same thing with fewer added carbs.
- Eggs: Eggs help bind the mixture together.
- Garlic: I love the flavor from fresh garlic, but you can use garlic powder if you are out.
- Parmesan: Freshly grated parmesan adds real Italian style flavor.
- Parsley: Fresh parsley is best but you can substitute with dried parsley.
- Pantry staples: Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Meatballs are always a labor of love, since you have to shape each one by hand. But once they’re done, you’ve got a delicious and easy dinner option.
1. Soak the filler: In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and heavy whipping cream. Let sit 10 minutes to thicken.
2. Mix with your hands: Add the remaining ingredients and break up the ground meat with your hands. Mix thoroughly.
3. Form into balls: You should get about 48 to 52 meatballs from this recipe.
4. Bake through completely: The meatballs need to be fully cooked to make them safe for freezing. Bake them until they reach 160ºF on an instant read thermometer, then let them cool completely.
5. Flash freeze: Once the cooked meatballs are completely cool, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Make sure they aren’t touching each other, then place in the freezer until frozen solid.
6. Store in freezer-safe containers: Place the frozen meatballs in a heavy duty resealable freezer bag or another airtight container, to avoid freezer burn.
Be prepared to get your hands dirty, as meatballs really need to be mixed and formed by hand. You can keep the meat mixture from sticking by lightly oiling or wetting your hands.
Keto meatballs will last 3 to 6 months in the freezer. If you aren’t freezing these meatballs for later, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Cook from frozen: The best part about these meal prep meatballs is that you can add them to your favorite recipes straight from the freezer. Just pop them right in there! Use them for Keto Meatball Casserole or add them to my Keto Italian Wedding Soup.
Dairy-Free Option: Use full fat coconut milk in place of the coconut cream, and skip the Parmesan cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most meatballs are made with flour or breadcrumbs and really aren’t very keto friendly. However, this keto meatball recipe uses almond flour crumbs and can be enjoyed on any low carb or keto diet.
These meatballs have 2.6g of carbs and 1g of fiber per serving. That comes to 1.6g net carbs per serving of 5 meatballs.
Absolutely! Once the cooked meatballs are completely cool, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Make sure they aren’t touching each other, then place in the freezer until frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the frozen meatballs in a heavy duty resealable freezer bag or another airtight container, to avoid freezer burn.
Keto Meatballs Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and heavy whipping cream. Let sit 10 minutes to thicken, then whisk in the eggs, garlic, Parmesan, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Add the ground beef and ground pork, breaking up and mixing into the other ingredients with your hands, until well combined.
- Lightly grease your hands with olive or avocado oils. Roll the mixture into 1 ½ inch balls (you should get 48 to 52 balls). Place in a single layer in large glass or ceramic baking dishes. You can also line rimmed baking sheets with parchment or foil.
- Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs reach 160ºF on an instant read thermometer.
- Let the meatballs cool completely, then spread out, not touching one another, on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze until firm.
- Transfer to a heavy duty freezer bag or an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Remove as many meatballs as you would like for a meal. Cook from frozen or let thaw, then cook as desired.