These flavorful keto meatballs are so easy to make! I bake them in the oven, then coat them in a quick glaze.
The glaze is optional - they're excellent with or without it. And the leftovers are great too!
I first fell in love with meatballs as a kid. Who doesn't like spaghetti and meatballs! As an adult, I learned to appreciate them all over again when, as a mom to young picky eaters, I discovered that if it's meatloaf they'll refuse it, but if the exact same mixture comes in the shape of meatballs, they'll gobble it up and ask for seconds! 🙄
So I started cooking meatballs! Pork meatballs, chicken meatballs, spicy meatballs, Asian meatballs, and these keto meatballs, of course. They are very tasty, easy to make, and I love the leftovers too.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these tasty keto meatballs. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Lean ground beef: I prefer using an 85/15 mixture in this recipe. I tried using extra-lean ground beef, but the meatballs turned out too dry.
Creamy ingredients: Mayonnaise and Dijon mustard add creaminess and flavor to the meatballs. I like to use avocado oil mayonnaise.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar.
Kosher salt and black pepper: I use kosher salt in most of my recipes. If using fine salt, you should use less of it.
Grated parmesan: Make sure you use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded.
Chopped parsley: Fresh is best, but dried works too.
Olive oil spray: To lightly spray the meatballs before baking them.
For the optional glaze: unsweetened ketchup and sugar-free maple syrup (product links included in the recipe card below).
Making these keto meatballs is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Mix. Simply mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly but not excessively and try to use a light touch. The more you work the meat, the tougher the meatballs will be.
Divide. Now divide the mixture into 20 portions, each weighing about 1 oz. I actually use a kitchen scale to make them uniform. But it's fine to eyeball it - divide the mixture into 4 parts, then divide each of these parts into 5 portions.
Shape. The next step is shaping the portions into round meatballs.
Bake. Bake the meatballs until cooked through, about 15 minutes in a 400°F oven.
Glaze. If using the glaze, mix it and heat it up over very low heat while the meatballs are in the oven. When the meatballs are done, turn the heat off and add them to the glaze, turning to coat.
The meatballs don't emerge from the oven particularly browned. If you want them browned (purely for aesthetic reasons), here's what you can do:
- Use a broiler-safe pan and foil instead of parchment paper.
- Bake them for just 10 minutes.
- Finish under the broiler for 1-2 minutes (watch them closely!)
Frequently asked questions
I don't recommend that. The meatballs will turn out too dry if you do. The leanest you should go is 85/15.
Don't overwork the mixture. When you mix the ingredients together and when you shape the meatballs, use a light touch and work the mixture minimally.
You don't actually need a binder. I have several recipes where I use just meat and spices. In this particular recipe, the mayonnaise and parmesan act as a filler/binder. But I mostly add them for their flavor.
Here are a few variations and shortcuts you can make so that this recipe is even easier than it already is:
The glaze is purely optional. The meatballs are excellent without the glaze, so don't feel like you have to make it.
No fresh garlic? Use 1 teaspoon garlic powder instead. You can also add 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
No fresh parsley? You can omit it completely, or use 1 teaspoon of dried parsley instead. Dried thyme and dried oregano are good too, although a bit less compatible with the glaze if you're planning on making it.
These meatballs are so incredibly versatile! You can serve them with almost any side dish. When I glaze them, I like to serve them on a bed of mashed cauliflower, to soak up the yummy glaze.
Otherwise, I like to serve them with a side dish that I can cook in the same 400°F oven, such as:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave, covered, on 50% power. You can also freeze the leftovers.
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Oven-Baked Keto Meatballs
- 1 lb. lean ground beef 85/15
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup grated parmesan (not shredded)
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- Olive oil spray
For the optional glaze:
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened ketchup
- 2 tablespoons sugar-free maple syrup
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with high-heat-resistant parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan, and parsley. Mix thoroughly but not excessively and try to use a light touch. The more you work the meat, the tougher the meatballs will be.
- Divide the mixture into 20 portions, each weighing about 1 oz. I use a kitchen scale to make them uniform. But it's fine to eyeball it - divide the mixture into 4 parts, then divide each of these parts into 5 portions.
- Shape the portions into 20 round meatballs. Arrange then on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray them with olive oil.
- Bake the meatballs until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- If using the glaze, mix the ketchup and the maple syrup in a medium saucepan while the meatballs are in the oven. 5 minutes before baking time is done, heat them over very low heat.
- When the meatballs are done, turn the heat off and add them to the glaze, turning to coat. Transfer the meatballs to a serving plate and brush their tops with the remaining glaze. Serve immediately.
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