Keto Italian Beef Meatballs

  • Date: September 27, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Juicy Keto Italian Beef Meatballs, good enough to rival any restaurant and delicious enough to keep the whole family, or the most discerning of friends happy. These are simple to make and use very few ingredients and can be frozen for an easy keto meal at any time. Who knew keto was this simple?

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Meatballs have an interesting history; I always assumed meatballs were Italian, but it appears that meatballs have their origin in Persia AND did you know that traditionally the Italians never served meatballs with pasta?

Anyway, now I’ve found out about all of the different versions of meatballs I’m working out how to make them keto-friendly; just like these juicy keto Italian beef meatballs.

I’ll make a keto recipe for each of them. Moreover, I’ll pitch them against each other to find the best keto meatball. I may even look at some keto vegetarian options too. I know you can’t wait for that post!

Keto Italian Beef Meatballs

These juicy keto meatballs are beef-based (most similar to an Italian meatball) and wow are they tasty.

For these, I’ve used 20% fat beef mince. You can get this in most supermarkets or your local butcher. The high-fat content should fit nicely within your macros, to help you remain in ketosis.

If you are new to keto, check out this Keto for Beginners Guide as well as our Keto Terms and Keto Abbreviations glossary, the should give you the grounding that you need to understand and succeed on the keto diet.

Back to the meatballs……

Funny story; my butcher always laughs at me. Whilst everybody else is asking for lean cuts and I’m there asking for the fattiest bits! He keeps telling me I’ll end up ‘fat’.

I’ve tried explaining keto to him, and that I used to be overweight until I started eating fat.

I’ve even explained that I used to be 4 stone heavier when I counted every calorie and tried to only eat food under 5% fat, whilst regularly exercising.

Moreover, how miserable that way of life made me opposed to the freedom I feel now! ….He isn’t a keto convert yet – but I’m still working on him!

Check out this article if you want to know more about Exercise on the Keto Diet.

Making Your Metballs Keto

I’ve tried this recipe with several keto-friendly breadcrumb alternatives. I’ve tried almond flour, psyllium husk and crushed pork scratchings to name a few. They were all good in their own right.

However, for me, the parmesan was the winner.

Why was parmesan the winner?

It kept the meatballs firm whilst still binding the meat together. Moreover, it adds plenty of flavor to the meatballs. Who doesn’t want more flavor in their food?

For perfectly fine parmesan I use a grater to ensure that it is comparable to bread crumbs.

keto kitchen gadget: grater

Also, by finely grating the parmesan is distributed evenly throughout the meat helping with the binding, more importantly evenly distributing between the meat and spices.

Above all, it ensures that every bite is equally mouth-wateringly delicious.

I also use the grater for ginger, garlic, lemon, and chocolate amongst other things. If you don’t have one already it may seem like a bit of an investment initially – but I can assure you it gets plenty of use in my kitchen!

Can’t Be Bothered Grating?

I don’t blame you – not everybody has the time for food perp. Personally, I love it! Prepping food is like therapy to me.

However, if you want an easy life you can buy grated parmesan online – it’s up to you!

For more top tips on saving time on keto, check out our article on Keto Hacks.

I buy a block of parmesan and grate it all in one go.

I keep it in my Lock & Lock in the fridge. This way I know that the parmesan will remain dry and last – I have used none Lock & Lock before and when I’ve gone for food it’s been moldy as it hasn’t been airtight.

Making Your Keto Balls

To keep all of my meatballs the same size (roughly) I use my large ice cream scoop.

Crazy woman, you say?

There is a method to my madness! This means I get a similar amount of meat each time.

I then mold them into balls in my hands.

If you don’t like getting meat on your hands you can always wear food gloves when you are doing this bit.

The result? Perfectly sized meatballs every time. This means that they are all cooked evenly too – bonus!

I ensure that the scoop is well washed before using it on my keto ice cream!

My friend was horrified when I told her this trick – I don’t know why but she didn’t think that I washed it in between – quite why I don’t know! The joke being I’m a very clean person.

Keto Tomato Sauce…

These meatballs team perfectly with a classic Italian tomato sauce. Tomatoes are not high in sugar (around 3 grams carbs per 100 grams).

However, I am cautious with them as I can soon eat too many! This tomato sauce recipe goes perfectly with these keto meatballs.

Also, it can form the base of other Italian keto recipes too.  The best bit? – this can be made in advance and frozen.

Perfect if you need tasty food quickly!

Garlic Bread…Keto style

For me, the hardest thing about these keto meatballs is not having a big hunk of garlic bread with them. This makes the perfect side for these meatballs – especially if you’re having your meatballs with tomato sauce.

Enjoy your garlic bread soaking up all of these meat juices combined with tomato sauce. My mouth is watering thinking about this.

In this recipe, I had the keto meatballs with some salad for work. I was trying to be good.

Also, if I have tomato sauce for lunch at work it would be all down my top for the afternoon!

I heated up the meatballs in the microwave first and had them with some homemade spicy mayo, (regular mayo with some hot sauce). I’m a classy girl I know, but I like what I like! 

Missing The Pasta

Keto doesn’t mean that you miss the pasta either!

My favorite substitute for this recipe is courgetti (spiralized courgette).

It absorbs all of the lovely flavors just as pasta does.

If you are looking for more keto substitutes, check out our article on Keto-Friendly Potato Substitutes.

Keto Italian Beef Meatballs

Course: MainCuisine: Italian


Prep time


Cooking time








Total time



Makes 4 servings for a big appetite (like me!) – 5 servings for a smaller appetite or a lunch bite!


  • 70g parmesan, grated

  • 500g beef mince

  • 1 large egg

  • 70g mozzarella, grated

  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated garlic

  • 1 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 200C and spray your silicone sheet with olive oil.
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead them well together with your hands until they are incorporated, or place all in a blender and blend if you don’t like getting your hands dirty!
  • Shape the mixture into meatballs of the same size.
  • Place the meatballs onto the silicone sheet and bake for about 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Allow the meatballs to cool a bit and then serve or combine with tomato sauce for a more traditional Italian meatball. 

Serving Suggestion

  • Replace regular pasta with courgetti to cut down on the carbs

We hope you enjoy your Italian keto beef meatballs.

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