Low Carb Meatball Recipe

I use this basic meatball recipe as a leaping off point for several variations. You can do the same by simply changing up the spices and the secondary hard cheese choice. The secondary cheese acts as the "binder", and replaces bread crumbs, so hard, dry cheeses such as parmesan, Swiss, Asiago, and Romano work better than softer cheeses like Muenster or Brie. But not having tried the softer cheeses, I can't say for sure they wouldn't work. You can always experiment.



Meatball Recipe

I adapted the recipe from Chef John's recipe here on the Food Wishes website, and I came up with the Mexican meatballs further down the page, some excellent Italian meatballs, and delicious Swedish meatballs as well.

A tip: If you can't find whole milk ricotta, part skim will work. The fat and calorie contents of the final meatball recipe will be reduced, of course.

Ellen’s Basic Ricotta Meatball Recipe

  • 4 ounces white onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup cold whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cold large egg
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 teaspoons herb seasonings of your choice
  • 4 ounces hard, dry cheese of your choice
  • 1 pound ground beef (92% lean)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute onions in butter until translucent, then remove from heat, and cool for 10 minutes.
  3. While onions are cooling, shred the hard cheese, and then mince the shreds in a food processor until crumbly.  Set aside. 
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Add the spices, salt, and pepper and mix.
  6. Add onions and minced hard cheese.  Mix well.
  7. Add beef and mix until all ingredients are combined .
  8. Divide meat mixture into 1 ounce portions. You should end up with about 30-32 equal sized pieces.
  9. Roll each piece into a ball.
  10. Place the meatballs on a cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees until cooked through and brown, about 20 minutes.

Now that we have the basic recipe down, here's a South of the Border variation:

Ellen’s Taco Meatballs

  • 4 ounces white onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup cold whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cold egg
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 ounces Colby Jack cheese
  • 1 pound ground beef (92% lean)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute onions in butter until translucent, then remove from heat, and cool for 10 minutes.
  3. While onions are cooling, shred the Colby Jack cheese, and then mince the shreds in a food processor until crumbly.  Set aside.                           
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Add the spices, salt, and pepper and mix.
  6. Add onions and minced Colby Jack cheese.  Mix well.
  7. Add beef and mix until all ingredients are combined .
  8. Divide meat mixture into 1.25 ounce portions. You should end up with about 25 equal sized pieces.
  9. Roll each piece into a ball.
  10. Place the meatballs on a cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees until cooked through and brown, about 20 minutes.

Divided into 25 – 1.25 ounce meatballs: each meatball has 75 calories, 5 g fat, 1 net carb, 6 g protein
Entire recipe: 1871 calories, 124 grams of fat, 29 carbs, 4 grams fiber, 155 grams of protein.

Variation: add a 4 ounce can of green chilis along with the onions, and serve the meatballs over shredded lettuce with diced tomatoes and sour cream.



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