Low Carb Italian Meatball Recipe

OMG, this Italian meatball recipe is stunningly good. The cheese gives the meatballs a wonderful flavor, and also keeps them moist and tender. These are great cooked in advance for parties and frozen. I just take them out of the freezer, and throw them in a crockpot with a little water for steaming.  

I adapted the recipe from Chef John's recipe here on the Food Wishes website.

A few tips: If you can't find whole milk ricotta, part skim will work. The fat and calorie contents of the final product will be reduced, of course. And if you really like garlic, you could add fresh garlic to the onions as well.

Ellen's Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs
  • 4 ounces white onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup cold whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cold large egg
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan/ asiago/romano mix
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)*

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to make cleanup easier.
  2. Saute onions in olive oil until translucent, then remove from heat, and cool for 10 minutes.
  3. While onions are cooling, mince the shredded Parmesan in a food processor until fine grained.  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 Parmesan 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 30-31 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.

Assuming 31 total, each meatball has 64 calories, 4 g fat, 1 carb, 6 g protein
Entire recipe has 1992 calories, 128 g fat, 34 g carb, 5 g fiber, 171 g protein

* For a richer flavor, use 1/2 pound of pork sausage and 1/2 pound of ground beef instead.

Variation: As per Chef John's Italian meatball recipe video, you could brown the meatballs in olive oil instead. Then remove the extra fat in the frying pan, and add a jar of marinara sauce. Simmer them for about 30 minutes. They come out delicious this way too, but the carb and calorie counts are higher due to the tomato sauce and extra oil. You may also like my Swedish Meatballs.

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