These homemade Italian Meatballs are chock full of fresh herbs and savory goodness.  Fast and easy, they can be made in under 30 minutes. Serve them with zucchini noodles, roasted spaghetti squash, pasta, creamy polenta or in a roll. Low-carb, keto and gluten-free.

These flavorful Italian Meatballs are chock full of fresh herbs and savory goodness.  Fast and easy they can be made in 30 minutes. Serve them with zucchini noodles, roasted spaghetti squash, pasta, creamy polenta or in a roll. Low-carb, keto and gluten-free.

What happens if you know that there is nothing you can do to be better? It’s kind of a relief, isn’t it? You say ‘Well, now what do I do?’ When you are freed from being ‘out to improve yourself ‘, your own nature will begin to take over.

~Alan Watts

Flavorful Easy Italian Meatballs are filled with just a few ingredients and lots of fresh herbs.  These meatballs come together fast! Fresh herbs really take the flavor up a notch in these meatballs but they will still taste great if you need to substitute with dried herbs.

These meatballs are incredibly versatile and freeze amazingly well.  Frozen meatballs can be a lifesaver!  Make a double or triple batch, you will thank yourself down the road.

This recipe contains a unique ingredient.  Ground toasted walnuts add a delicious richness (especially nice if you use grass-fed meat which can be on the leaner side) as well as creating a tender texture.  Walnuts keep the meatballs low-carb, gluten-free and keto.  If you prefer, swap the walnuts out for bread crumbs or leave them both out.

Interesting Fact

Did you know that the addition of bread crumbs to meat dishes evolved in the Great Depression era as a way to stretch out the meat?

Bread crumbs do not offer much in the way of binding, the egg and searing are what hold them together.  There is a distinct texture that the crumbs impart.  Some say the bread crumbs get in the way of the texture and dilute the flavor.  And others prefer the technique of panade which is simply soaking the crumbs in a liquid, creating a tender more spongy texture that retains moisture even with overcooking.

These flavorful Italian Meatballs are chock full of fresh herbs and savory goodness.  Fast and easy they can be made in 30 minutes. Serve them with zucchini noodles, roasted spaghetti squash, pasta, creamy polenta or in a roll. Low-carb, keto and gluten-free.

Here we have kept the meatballs fairly simple and prefer a less bready texture, though feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking!  We included variations in the notes on the recipe card.

How to make homemade Meatballs in three easy steps:

  1. Mix meatball ingredients together and form into balls.
  2. Pan Sear  In addition to adding flavor, searing the meatballs traps in the juices and also keeps the meatballs from falling apart.
  3. Simmer in sauce like our Fast and Easy Marinara Sauce

Ingredients in Italian Meatballs

Ways to enhance

  • add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to add richness and all the goodness that aged cheese gives
  • add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce for a deeper flavor
  • add a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped olives or capers
  • adjust the salt with any of these additions
ingredients in Italian meatballs

How to Make Italian Meatballs

STEP ONE– Prepare the sauce- Fast & Easy Marinara or Simple Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce. (Or feel free to use store-bought Marinara Sauce)

STEP TWO

  • In a bowl mix together walnuts, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, egg, and dijon.
  • Gently mix in ground beef until just combined.  Over mixing can toughen the meat.  The quicker you mix the lighter the meatballs will be.

STEP THREE

  • Roll into balls, a generous 1 oz of the mixture will yield about 13- 16 meatballs.  Bigger meatballs tend to be more tender.
  • Pan sear in a preheated skillet with just a light coating of oil, until most sides are browned.  The goal is just to brown the outside of the meatballs they will finish cooking as they simmer in the sauce.
  • Place the browned meatballs in the sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes.

What to serve with Italian Meatballs

Expert Tips

  1. Do not overmix, this can create a tough texture.
  2. Get a good sear on the meatballs.  This will lock in juices and hold the meatballs together.

FAQS

CAN MEATBALLS BE BAKED? 

Yes! If you prefer baking instead of pan frying, place formed meatballs on an oiled tray in a preheated oven at 400 for 20 minutes then place in the sauce and simmer 5 minutes.

CAN YOU PREPARE MEATBALLS AHEAD OF TIME?

Freeze meatballs raw or cooked on a sheet pan in a single layer, and transfer to a sealable container or bag, for up to 3 months.
To serve: Thaw raw meatballs overnight in the fridge.  Cooked meatballs can go directly into the simmering sauce for about 15 minutes.

These flavorful Italian Meatballs are chock full of fresh herbs and savory goodness.  Fast and easy they can be made in 30 minutes. Serve them with zucchini noodles, roasted spaghetti squash, pasta, creamy polenta or in a roll. Low-carb, keto and gluten-free.

Let us know what you create!

~Tonia

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These flavorful Italian Meatballs are chock full of fresh herbs and savory goodness.  Fast and easy they can be made in 30 minutes. Serve them with zucchini noodles, roasted spaghetti squash, pasta, creamy polenta or in a roll. Low-carb, keto and gluten-free.

Easy Italian Meatballs

  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: about 15 meatballs 1x
  • Category: dinner, beef,
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These flavorful Italian Meatballs are chock full of fresh herbs and savory goodness.  Fast and easy they can be made in 30 minutes. Serve them with zucchini noodles, roasted spaghetti squash, pasta, creamy polenta or in a roll. Low-carb, keto and gluten-free.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup walnuts lightly toasted and ground (or use a 1/2 cup bread crumbs. See notes.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 23 teaspoons mixed fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 batch of Fast & Easy Marinara or Simple Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce (or sub 1 jar of store-bought Marinara Sauce)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the sauce- Fast & Easy Marinara or Simple Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce.
  2. In a bowl mix together walnuts, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, egg, and dijon.
  3. Gently mix in ground beef until just combined.  Do not over mix, this can toughen the meat.
  4. Roll into balls, a generous 1 oz meatball -yields about 13-16.  Pan sear in a preheated skillet over medium-high heat, with just a light coating of oil, until most sides are browned.  The goal is just to brown the outside of the meatballs they will finish cooking as they simmer in the sauce.
  5. Place the browned meatballs in the sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes.  An instant-read thermometer is helpful here.  Internal temperature should be 160 to assure they are done but not overcooked.

Serve over pasta, zucchini noodles, roasted spaghetti squash, creamy polenta or tucked into a roll.


Notes

Toast walnuts in a preheated oven at 350 for 5-8 minutes.

For a tender sponge-like texture use a panade: Add 1/2 panko bread crumbs (gluten-free works here too) soaked in 1/4 cup milk or broth.  Just add to the meatball mixture.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3 meatballs
  • Calories: 167
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 450.8 mg
  • Fat: 7.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 22.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 91.4 mg

Keywords: italian meatballs, keto meatballs, gluten free meatballs, low carb meatballs, meatballs in tomato sauce

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Comments

  1. Thank you for another delicious recipe. Did it with the oven roasted tomato sauce. So lovely and quick to make too. I flattened the meatballs a little to be sure they cooked through.. Will be making them again. 😁xx

  2. Hi! These look great, and I plan to make a triple batch today to freeze some. I track macros, so can you tell me how many 1 ounce meatballs equal 1 serving? I didn’t see what you consider a “serving size”. Thank you!