Meatballs are awesome for a keto diet! At least, they can be if you make them from scratch at home (hint: try my keto meatball recipe). If you’re eating store-bought meatballs or splurging to eat out at a restaurant, as tasty as they might be, they aren’t quite what you would expect. Keto meatballs don’t just happen in the “real world”.
If you’ve ever made a traditional meatball recipe, you probably see where I’m going with this. Meatballs aren’t just balls of meat, they are delicious little flavor spheres of meat mixed together with, you guessed it, carbs. Those meatballs aren’t actually low carb and they certainly aren’t keto friendly. Don’t get catfished by meatballs, try making a keto meatball recipe instead.
Meatballs usually have breadcrumbs, flour, rice, or some other carb-loaded filler to provide a light, tenderness that delivers that signature meatball texture. When I first attempted a keto meatball recipe, my logic was that these things were totally useless and added no value to the meal, just extra carbs and calories. So I tried my luck with just excluding the “filler” altogether. The outcome? Tough, dense, dried out pieces of meat. Meatball? Sure. Good? Not so much.
Think about when you bite into a burger patty versus a meatball. Now imagine if that burger patty was the same texture but as thick as a meatball. Not really the same thing, right? Meatballs are supposed to be soft and tender, not difficult to chew.
I played around with different things and have found that almond flour makes a really great breadcrumb substitute as far as texture goes. It’s my favorite replacement for this by far. I did try using coconut flour once, but it seemed to dry the meatball out and didn’t really help the cause. Almond flour kept things light and moist.
Two other great substitutes were riced cauliflower and shredded zucchini; both actually bulked out the keto meatball recipe a bit while providing that light texture I was hoping for. And you guys know how I feel about my low carb vegetables. If you are trying to squeeze more vegetables into your diet, have a nut allergy, or find that nuts cause your weight loss to stall, then give shredded zucchini or riced cauliflower a try. Just sub out the almond flour in the recipe for your veggie of choice and update the nutrition table below with the nutrient data for your veggie.
Don’t forget to PIN it!
|Ingredients||Total Carbs (g)||Fiber (g)||Net Carbs (g)||Protein (g)||Fat (g)||Calories|
|1 pound Ground Turkey Breast - 97% lean (448g)||0||0||0||103.98||6||479|
|1/2 cup Almond Flour (56g)||12||6||6||12||28||320|
|1 whole egg (50g)||0.36||0||0.36||6.28||4.75||72|
|1/4 cup chopped onion (40g)||3.74||0.7||3.04||0.44||0.04||16|
|1/2 tsp garlic powder (1.5g)||1.13||0.1||1.03||0.26||0.01||5|
|1/2 tsp ground ginger (0.9g)||0.64||0.1||0.54||0.08||0.04||3|
|1/2 tsp salt (3g)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|1 tablespoon liquid aminos/soy sauce (15mL)||0.6||0||0.6||1.74||0||0|
|1 tablespoon red boat fish sauce (18.8g)||0||0||0||4||0||15|
|Per meatball (If you make 30 meatballs)||0.615666666667||0.23||0.385666666667||4.29266666667||1.29466666667||30.3333333333|
|Per meatball (If you make 25 meatballs)||0.7388||0.276||0.4628||5.1512||1.5536||36.4|
|Per meatball (if you make 20 meatballs)||0.9235||0.345||0.5785||6.439||1.942||45.5|
|Per meatball (if you make 15 meatballs)||1.23133333333||0.46||0.771333333333||8.58533333333||2.58933333333||60.6666666667|
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