These flavorful keto meatballs are so easy to make! I bake them in the oven and then coat them in a quick glaze.
The glaze is optional - they're excellent with or without it. And the leftovers are great, too!
These keto meatballs are ready in about 30 minutes. If you skip the glaze, they're ready even faster.
I make them often because my picky kids love meatballs. They'll refuse keto meatloaf, but if a similar mixture comes in the shape of meatballs, they'll eat it happily and ask for seconds. I also make pork meatballs, chicken meatballs, spicy meatballs, and Asian meatballs.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these 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, although when 80/20 ground beef is on sale, I use it.
- Creamy ingredients: Mayonnaise and Dijon mustard add creaminess and flavor to the meatballs.
- Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.
- Grated parmesan: Use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded.
- Chopped parsley: Fresh is best, but dried parsley works too. If you don't have either, it's OK to skip.
- Olive oil spray: Used to lightly spray the meatballs before baking them.
- For the optional glaze: Unsweetened ketchup and sugar-free maple syrup.
- No fresh garlic? Use a teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
- No fresh parsley? You can omit it or use a teaspoon of dried parsley. Dried thyme and dried oregano are good, too, although they are less compatible with the glaze if you plan on making it.
- Add more spices. I sometimes add a teaspoon of onion powder and a teaspoon of paprika.
- The glaze is optional. The meatballs are excellent without it. The two photos below show you what they look like with and without the glaze.
Keto Meatballs Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Simply mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
Divide the mixture into 20 portions, each weighing about 1 ounce. I use a kitchen scale to make them uniform. But it's fine to eyeball it - divide the mixture into four parts, then divide each of these parts into five portions.
The next step is shaping the portions into round meatballs.
Bake the meatballs until cooked through. This should take about 15 minutes in a 400°F oven.
If using the glaze, mix and heat it over very low heat while the meatballs are in the oven. When the meatballs are done, turn the heat off, add them to the glaze, and turn to coat.
- The meatballs emerge from the oven lightly browned. If you want them deeply browned (purely for aesthetic reasons), you can use a broiler-safe pan and foil instead of parchment paper, bake them for just 10 minutes, and finish them under the broiler. Place them six inches below the broiler (not directly below) for 1-2 minutes and watch them closely to ensure they don't burn.
- Mix the meatball mixture thoroughly but not excessively, and try to use a light touch. The more you work the meat, the tougher and denser the meatballs.
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 and shape the meatballs, use a light touch and work the mixture minimally.
You don't need a binder. I have several recipes where I use just meat and spices, such as these sweet and sour meatballs. In this recipe, the mayonnaise and parmesan act as a filler/binder. But I mostly add them for their flavor.
In the photo below, as you can see, I served them with roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the leftovers for up to three months.
Reheat them gently in the microwave, covered, at 50% power. I like to serve the leftovers with a dipping sauce (such as harissa, photographed below), pickles, and fresh veggies.
More Meatball Recipes
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with high-heat-resistant parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix 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.
- Divide the mixture into 20 portions, each weighing about 1 ounce. 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 meatballs. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray them with olive oil.
- Bake the meatballs until cooked through, for about 15 minutes.
- If using the glaze, mix the ketchup and 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, add them to the glaze, and turn to coat.
- Transfer the meatballs to a serving plate or bowl and brush their tops with the remaining glaze. Serve immediately.
- You can replace the fresh garlic with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and the fresh parsley with 1 teaspoon of any dried herb such as parsley, oregano, or thyme.
- The nutrition info does not include the glaze. However, the glaze doesn't add significant calories or carbs. A serving with the glaze has 307 calories and 2 grams of carbs.
- Extra-lean ground beef doesn't work well in this recipe. It produces dry meatballs. I recommend sticking with lean ground beef (85/15) or with fattier ground beef (80/20).
- The meatballs don't emerge from the oven particularly browned. If you want them browned, use a broiler-safe pan and foil instead of parchment paper. Bake them for just 10 minutes, and finish them 6 inches under the broiler for around 1 minute (watch them closely!)
Add Your Own Notes
Nutrition per Serving
I send out a weekly newsletter with a recipe and tips. Want these recipes in your inbox? Subscribe today! You can unsubscribe at any time.