These gluten-free meatballs feature tender meatballs, fresh basil and parsley, and a blend of Italian seasonings. They're seared to golden brown and simmered in tomato sauce for the perfect dinner when you're craving a hearty Italian meal.
They're the classic, larger version of the meatballs in this Italian meatball soup. If you love these, try them with our gluten-free Instant Pot Spaghetti. Then make this gluten-free sheet pan pizza for your next Italian night.
We don't have them often, but when we're craving meatballs this is the recipe we reach for because it delivers the authentic meatball taste and texture without too much hard work.
We love to serve this gluten-free meatball recipe with gluten-free spaghetti or spaghetti squash. Juicy meatballs with spaghetti sauce are the ultimate comfort food and this recipe couldn't be easier, so you can have classic Italian comfort any night of the week.
Reasons We Love Gluten-Free Meatballs
- They feature classic meatball ingredients, rivaling the taste and flavor of traditional Italian meatballs.
- They're kid-friendly and even picky eaters love them.
- This may be the most flavorful meatball we've had in a while because they're made with fresh herbs! Fresh basil gives them the best flavor.
- Easy dinner for large groups and dinner parties.
- It's a great recipe to make ahead and freeze for busy weeknights!
Learn how long to bake meatballs so they're tender and juicy every time.
Grab These Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients for this gluten free meatballs recipe. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find in grocery stores. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs: we found them at our local grocery store (Ian's brand). You can also use crushed Simple Mills crackers or even almond flour works well for a gluten-free recipe without breadcrumbs.
- Almond milk: you could also whole milk if you aren't dairy free.
- Ground beef: use beef with a higher fat content because lean ground beef doesn't hold together as well.
- Ground pork: it's naturally higher in fat and adds so much flavor.
- Eggs: these act as the binder to keep the meatballs together.
- Fresh herbs: basil, parsley and oregano are our favorite fresh herbs for Italian meatballs. Try swapping them for a tablespoon of Italian seasoning instead.
- Salt, pepper, and onion powder for flavor.
- Parmesan cheese: freshly grated parmesan cheese adds texture, fat, and salty flavor. You can substitute it for nutritional yeast to make these dairy free.
- Marinara sauce: we used a sugar-free marinara sauce from the grocery store (our favorite is Delallo).
How to Make Gluten Free Meatballs
This is an overview with step-by-step photos of how to make the best meatballs on the stove top. Full printable instructions are in the recipe card below. You can also view the video tutorial below to watch instead of reading.
- Mix the bread crumbs and milk together in a large bowl and let them sit for at least 5 minutes so the breadcrumbs absorb the liquid.
- Add the beef, pork, eggs, basil, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) to a separate large mixing bowl then use a wooden spoon to mix it well so no yellow streaks remain and the beef and pork are fully combined. Add the gluten free bread crumbs and milk mixture to the bowl then stir well to combine. Alternatively, you could pulse everything in a food processor to combine.
- Use a heaping tablespoon or medium cookie scoop to the meatball mixture out and shape them into balls. Wet your hands with a bit of water or olive oil if they're starting to stick. Place the meatballs on a large plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a paper towel.
- Add olive oil into an oven-safe large non-stick skillet, like a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the raw meatballs in a single layer in the pan and sear the outsides of the meatballs for 2 minutes on each side (8 minutes total) until golden brown on bottom.
- Pour your favorite sauce on top and bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
- Boil your favorite gluten-free pasta while they cook and serve with more sauce and fresh parsley. My favorite way to serve these is with spaghetti squash and a big brussel sprout salad.
Tip: always cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 165°F. You can learn more about the internal temp of beef using our guide.
Watch How to Make this Gluten-Free Meatball Recipe
- Dairy-free and gluten free meatballs: Double check the breadcrumbs you purchase are also dairy-free, use almond milk for the mixture, and swap the parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast.
- Gluten-free turkey meatballs or chicken meatballs: we have a classic greek chicken meatball I think you'll love, but you can swap ground chicken or ground turkey in this recipe. They don't have as much fat, so add some olive oil to the meat mixture to help hold it together.
- Gluten free meatloaf: similar to this gluten-free turkey meatloaf, you can place this mixture in a 9x5-inch loaf pan and bake it for about 45 minutes at 350°F.
- Baked meatballs: follow the instructions to combine the meat mixture then roll them into balls and place them on a prepared baking sheet and bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Cook time varies based on the size of the meatballs.
Gluten-Free Meatballs FAQs
A classic substitution for breadcrumbs is rolled oats. They add substantial structure and absorb liquid well. Follow our guide for how to make oat flour and use that instead. It's a much more mild texture that delivers the same results. You could also use almond flour.
Applegate is our favorite brand for most gluten-free frozen meat products including meatballs, chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, and more. Pederson's Natural Farms and Johnsonville are other options.
Store-bought Panko breadcrumbs are not typically gluten-free because they're made with wheat. However, you can purchase dedicated gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs like the ones we used on top of this ground turkey teriyaki bowl.
Ways to Serve Them
Gluten-free meatball subs: spread additional marinara sauce on both sides of a gluten-free hoagie or sandwich roll (we like Schar sandwich rolls). Next, add some shredded mozzarella to both sides then broil them for a few minutes to toast the bread and melt the cheese. Add meatballs and serve!
Low carb option: serve them over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles or a bed of greens.
Classic: on top of your favorite gluten-free spaghetti (ours is Jovial). Omit the ground beef in this instant pot spaghetti and serve the meatballs on top.
Store in the fridge: allow the meatballs to cool completely and store in an air tight container for up to 4 days.
Make ahead frozen meatballs: cook the meatballs all the way through then allow them to cool completely before storing flat in an even layer. Store them in a reusable freezer bag or container for up to three months.
How to re-heat and cook: thaw frozen meatballs overnight then warm them in the oven on a baking sheet at 350°F until warmed all the way through. You can also heat them with additional marinara on the stovetop.
More Easy Gluten-Free Meals
- Instant pot country style ribs
- Cauliflower gnocchi (3 ingredients)
- Creamy penne arrabbiata
- Gluten free Mexican lasagna
- Gluten free turkey meatloaf
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
- 2 cups gluten-free bread crumbs see notes for paleo option
- ¾ cup almond milk or whole milk
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for dairy free option
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 25 ounce jar marinara sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Mix the bread crumbs and milk together in a large mixing bowl and sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Add the beef, pork, eggs, basil parsley, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) to the bowl then use a wooden spoon or your (clean) hands to mix it well so no yellow streaks remain and the beef and pork are fully combined.
- Use a heaping tablespoon or medium cookie scoop to form the meatballs. Wet your hands with a bit of water if they're starting to stick. Place the meatballs on a large paper towel-lined plate.
- Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil into a heavy bottomed, oven-safe skillet, like a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, place the meatballs in the pan in an even layer and sear for 2 minutes on each side (8 minutes total).
- Pour the marinara sauce over the meatballs and carefully transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
- If you're serving them with pasta, boil your favorite gluten-free pasta while they cook and serve with more sauce. You can also prep meatball subs.