These gluten-free meatballs are easy to make, don’t use up your whole day, and are a tasty treat. Dairy free option included!
When the meatball craving comes, you can't resist it! We don't have them often, but they're so worth it. We love to serve this gluten-free meatball recipe with gluten-free spaghetti, spaghetti squash or serve them inside a gluten free bun for a yummy meatball sub. Juicy meatballs with spaghetti sauce is the ultimate comfort food and this recipe couldn't be easier!
Reasons We Love Gluten-Free Meatballs
- They have all of your favorite meatball ingredients, so they rival the taste and flavor of traditional meatballs.
- They're super 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! The fresh basil gives them the best flavor.
- Easy to make ahead and freeze for busy weeknights!
Ingredients Notes and Swaps
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs: we found them at our local grocery store (Ian's brand) but, you can also use Simple Mills crackers or even almond flour works well.
- Almond milk: you could also whole milk if you aren't dairy free.
- Ground beef: try to find ground beef that has a little higher fat content if you can because lean ground beef doesn't hold together as well. Ground turkey is another great option, just be sure to use the pork as well to add extra fat so they stay together.
- Ground pork: we like to mix meatballs with ground pork because 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, but you can also use a tablespoon of Italian seasoning if you have that on hand.
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese: real shredded parmesan works really well, but you can sub 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).
This recipe was specifically designed to be gluten free, but I wanted to share a dairy free option too. Here are the few simple swaps to make them dairy free:
- Double check the breadcrumbs you purchase are also dairy free.
- Use almond milk.
- Swap the parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast. It is a deactivated yeast that has a salty, nutty flavor, just like parmesan.
How to Make Gluten Free Meatballs
- Mix the bread crumbs and milk together 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, salt, parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) to a large 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 bread crumb and milk mixture to the bowl then stir well to combine.
- 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 plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a paper towel.
- Add olive oil into an oven-safe large skillet, like a cast-iron skillet over medium-high 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.
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Gluten-Free Meatball Subs
If you want to turn these meatballs into meatball subs, spread additional marinara sauce on both sides of a gluten free hoagie or sanwich 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!
Storage and Make-Ahead Instructions
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 Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes
- 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
- 3/4 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
- 3/4 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, 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.