Gluten Free Meatballs for Italian Supper

Stephie Swope | Stephie Cooks

Gluten free meatballs made with ricotta. You're gonna love 'em.

Gluten Free Italian Meatballs Photo

I did not grow up in a house where we frequently had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. In fact, when we had spaghetti, my mom most often turned to her hearty meat-sauce recipe that was made from leftover sloppy joes. But meatballs? Nope, never.

Fast-forward a few years. I am now living with my boyfriend, who is as much of a mad-scientist in the kitchen as I am. One of our favorite meals to make together – and one that he loves to experiment with – is meatballs. Yet the one problem with most meatball recipes is that they almost always contain breadcrumbs as a binder, which can present a major problem when you are trying to feed a crowd, seeing as these days it seems like there is someone with dietary restrictions in every group of friends.

With all of the wonderful gluten free pasta options available now, it seems like such a shame for someone maintaining a gluten free diet to not have a meatball recipe to turn to.

Gluten Free Italian Meatballs Picture

But wait. What about meatballs made with ricotta cheese?

This was the thought that ran through my head when contemplating this conundrum. Could ricotta cheese, with its unique texture, serve as a binder and eliminate the need for breadcrumbs in the meatballs? I saw no harm in giving it a shot – after all, extra cheese certainly did not seem like a bad thing to me.

Turns out that the ricotta was indeed the perfect solution, creating a gluten free meatball recipe that all of your gluten free friends can enjoy. And with a few gluten free people in our close circle of friends, this is certainly a trick that will be used in our own home.

Looking for great ways to end your gluten free meal? Try our gluten free gingerbread recipe, or these gluten free chocolate orange cookies!

    8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix – overmixing makes tough meatballs!

To bake:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Roll meat mixture into about 24 1-inch meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping meatballs halfway through, or until cooked through and lightly browned.
  5. Serve with you favorite pasta and sauce.

To pan fry:

  1. Roll meat mixture into about 24 1-inch meatballs.
  2. Pour about 1/3 inch of oil into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Add 5-6 meatballs to the pan at a time; cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side, until browned, then flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the other side is browned.
  4. Remove from the pan and repeat in batches until all of the meatballs are cooked.
  5. Simmer in your favorite pasta sauce for 15-20 minutes to finish cooking and serve with your favorite pasta.

Notes

  • I used ground beef and veal in my meatballs, but you could use pork in place of veal, or use all ground beef. Simply make sure that you have 1 1/2 pounds of ground meat total for the recipe.

Gluten-free-italian-meatballs-photo

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About Stephie

Stephie is all about encouraging the art of cooking in her friends and family through her blog, Stephie Cooks. We love that she's also encouraging classic favorites as our Copycat Recipe expert, taking back of the box favorites and updating them for the way we eat today.

Around the Web

Amber
bluebonnetsandbrownies.com

I love that these meatballs don't need any special ingredients to make them gluten free. Great move, Stephie.

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