Gluten Free Baked Meatballs

Published on Jan 24, 2023

  by   Kristina Stosek

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Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves:
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These gluten free baked meatballs are tender, moist, studded with feta cheese, and exceptionally delicious. In addition, the baked meatballs are coated in a light Italian tomato sauce for an extra layer of flavour. 

baked gluten free meatballs in a bowl lined with a cabbage leaf

What makes a good gluten free meatball?

There are a few key things that make a good meatball. 

The ground meat should be an 80% lean-to-fat ratio.

To keep the meatballs tender, add about 25% of gluten free bread crumbs to-meat ratio.

Add one egg to one pound of meat to bind the meatballs.

The seasoning should be well-balanced and not overpowering.

Do not overmix the meat, or the meatballs will become tough.

Do not overbake the meatballs, or they will become dry. Typical meatballs are about the size of a walnut and should be baked for about 20 minutes.

Add a sauce to coat them or as a dipping sauce for extra deliciousness.

overview of gluten free baked meatballs in a cabbage leaf

How to keep gluten free bake meatballs moist?

There are a few things you can do to make sure your gluten free meatballs stay moist. First, don’t overcook them. Gluten free meatballs can dry out easily if cooked for too long. Second, add some moisture to the mix. This can be done by adding wet ingredients like eggs, cheese, broth, tomato sauce or milk. 

close up of a gluten free baked meatball on a baking sheet

Are baked meatballs healthier?

Yes! Baked meatballs are healthier and also easier to make. Here is why.

First, they are healthier because they are lower in fat and calories. By baking meatballs, you don’t add extra fat to fry them in, and while they bake, some of the fat drains from the meatballs. So no higher fat and calories due to frying.

They are easier to make because you place them on a baking sheet to cook instead of frying them in batches in a pan.

And lastly, the clean-up is easier because they are baked on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. So no clean-up of a greasy pan.

meatballs in a baking dish coated with tomato sauce

Uses for meatballs.

There are many uses for meatballs. Here are some ideas for how to use them:

– Add them to marinara pasta sauce for a heartier dish

– Serve them on top of Spanish rice

–  Topping for a gluten free pizza

– Make a meatball sandwich with your favorite gluten free bread and condiments

– Enjoy them as an appetizer coated with sauce or with a dip. They look beautiful in a cabbage leaf or over thinly sliced greens

– Add them to soup or stew for extra protein and flavor

-Use the meatballs in salads for added heartiness

uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

The best meat for tender meatballs.

A few different types of meat work well for tender meatballs. Ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey all make great options. 

You could also use a combination of ground beef and pork. Just be sure to avoid meats that are too lean, as they can make the gluten-free meatballs dry and tough.

If you enjoy dishes with meatballs, check out our list of gluten free meatball recipes.

Can you make meatballs without eggs?

While most recipes for meatballs do call for eggs, you can substitute the eggs with a flax egg to bind the meatballs together. For each egg called for in the recipe, use 1 flax egg.

What can you replace breadcrumbs with?

There are a few different things you can use as a replacement for breadcrumbs in this gluten free meatball recipe. 

First, you can use certified gluten free oats. However, be sure to pulse them in a food processor until they’re a texture of breadcrumbs. 

Almond flour is another replacement for bread crumbs. 

And lastly, grated zucchini or mushrooms 

tomato sauce in a saucepan with a spoon

 

The best sauce for meatballs

There are a few different ways to make a delicious sauce for your gluten free baked meatballs. 

If you are short on time, use a jar of your favorite gluten free pasta sauce. 

Make an Italian sauce from scratch as per this recipe.

Or, if you’re looking for something more unique, try the Balsamic Dijon mustard glaze.

Balsamic dijon mustard glaze recipe – makes 3/4 cup

Whisk together and drizzle over baked hot meatballs

Can you freeze gluten free meatballs?

Yes, you can freeze gluten free meatballs. It’s easy to do, and they’ll last in the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze uncooked meatballs, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flash-freeze them for 1 hour. Then, transfer the frozen meatballs to a freezer-safe bag or container. 

When you’re ready to eat them, thaw the meatballs in the fridge overnight and cook them according to your recipe.

How long will cooked meatballs keep in the refrigerator?

Cooked meatballs will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

close up of italian gluten free meatballs in a bowl lined with cabbage leaf

 

3 tips to making gluten free baked tender meatballs

The most important ingredient is breadcrumbs. Gluten free breadcrumbs will help to bind the meatballs together and make them tender. You can find gluten free breadcrumbs at most grocery stores, or you can make your own by blitzing gluten free bread in a food processor. 

Another important tip is not to overmix the meat mixture, or the meatballs will become tough. Instead, just mix until everything is combined, then form into balls using wet hands or a cookie scoop.

Finally, do not overbake the meatballs. About 20 minutes should do it!

takeaway

Gluten-free baked meatballs are an easy, tasty and hearty way to enjoy a classic dish. With just 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes in the oven, you can quickly whip up this delicious Italian dish for any occasion. 

So whether you’re looking for an appetizer or a main course, this gluten-free baked meatball recipe will become a great addition to your repertoire because meatballs are a delicious, simple dish you can enjoy in various ways.

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Kristina xx

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