Recipe: Gluten-free meatballs

Before V’s Celiac diagnosis, I would occasionally make meatballs, but more often than not we’d reach for pre-made frozen meatballs from Trader Joe’s because of convenience. Now that we have to stick to a gluten-free diet, we can no longer rely on frozen meatballs. Virtually all of them contain bread crumbs or other gluten products. I did find frozen GF meatballs in one store but the price was astronomical.

I just happened to have some time this afternoon to assemble a big batch of gluten-free meaty beauties. I really should make them more often because it was easy and quick. And trust me, when I say something is easy to make, it is easy to make.

Meatballs Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs ground beef or turkey (carb-free)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs ( carbs vary by brand, one I used was 21g.)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (vary by brand, one I used was 12g.)
  • 1/4 cup mayo (carb-free)
  • 1 egg (carb-free)
  • Salt and seasoning to taste (I prefer Italian Seasoning)
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl. I prefer to roll up my sleeves, get my hands dirty and give my ground meat a thorough massage. Happy meat = happy meatballs. Roll meat into meatballs. Choose your size! Make a bunch of little ones, a fair amount of medium ones, or a few giant ones. They will taste the same.

Prepare easy and quick tomato sauce. Pour two cans of 15 oz. tomato sauce and some water (I usually use about 1.5 cans worth of water) into a large stock pot. Add diced carrots, salt and seasoning to taste. Squirt a bit of ketchup if you’d like. Stir everything well. Add meatballs to the sauce. I add them carefully one by one. It’s OK if some of them end up on top of one another. You can spoon some sauce over those top-deckers before you turn on the stove. After the sauce comes to a gentle boil, close the lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

Your carb count will vary depending on the amount of meat you use and number of meatballs. Today I used 2.7 lbs of ground beef and made 27 meatballs, so each meatball was less than 2g! Each can of tomato sauce I used was 35g of carbs, so all of the sauce was 70g. Since we won’t eat most of the sauce, I just tack on a few grams of carbs to the total carb count.

Serve with a side dish of your choice and enjoy!

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