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Meatballs have always had a special place in my heart. Growing up in a home where the tantalizing aroma of Italian cooking wafted through every corner, the memory of my Italian grandmother working her magic on traditional meatballs is one I cherish deeply. But as we all know, traditional meatballs come with a carb-laden sidekick: the bread crumbs. But fear not, my fellow keto dieters! This keto meatball recipe is a game-changer.
Why Choose Keto Meatballs?
When I first ventured into the keto diet, I was haunted by the question: "How do I get to enjoy my favorite recipe while keeping the net carbs low?" With my love for meatballs, giving them up was not an option. The challenge was crafting juicy meatballs, minus the carbs.
That's where almond flour, parmesan cheese, and heavy cream come into play. They replace bread crumbs, delivering tender meatballs that are both low carb and delicious. Plus, pairing them with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash is always a hit!
The Perfect Keto Mini Meatball Sliders
While I adore traditional Italian meatballs, these mini sliders are a fresh take on a classic dish. They're perfect for meal prep or a family gathering where even non-keto dieters will be asking for the recipe card!
Keto Mini Meatball Sliders
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Net Carbs: 2 net carbs per serving
● ¾ C. Shredded mozzarella cheese
● 1 oz. Cream cheese
● ⅔ C. Almond flour
● 1 tsp. Baking powder
● 1 Large egg white
● 10 Keto Friendly mini frozen meatballs
● 1 ½ Deli slices of mozzarella cheese
● ¼ C. Keto friendly marinara sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the shredded mozzarella cheese and cream cheese into a microwave safe bowl. Heat at 30 second intervals until completely melted and combined.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the almond flour and baking powder. Add the cheese mixture to the dry ingredients, and knead with your hands until completely incorporated.
4. Add the egg white to the mixing bowl, and blend on high until a dough has formed.
5. Place the dough into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. This will make it easier to handle.
6. Form the dough into 10 small bun shapes just slightly larger than the meatballs you have chosen.
7. Bake the mini slider buns for about 15 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
8. Slice each mini slider bun in half once they have cooled.
9. Cook the mini low carb meatballs according to package instructions, and then heat them in the marinara sauce in a small skillet on the stove, tossing to coat them well in the sauce.
10. Place a small dollop of marinara sauce on the bottom half of a slider bun, and top with one of the meatballs.
11. Tear the mozzarella slices into 6 pieces each, and top each meatball with a piece of cheese.
12. Leaving the top of each bun off, place the assembled sliders under the broil function in the oven for a minute or so until the cheese has melted.
13. Place the top part of the bun on each slider and serve.
Handy Tips for Perfect Keto Meatballs Every Time
Tips for Perfecting Your Keto Mini Meatball Sliders
- Choosing the Right Cheese: Opt for a good-quality mozzarella cheese. Not only will it melt beautifully, but it will also impart a richer taste to your sliders.
- Cream Cheese Substitutes: If you don't have cream cheese on hand, you can use a full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream in its place, although it might slightly alter the texture.
- Working with Almond Flour: Make sure to use finely ground almond flour for a smoother texture in your buns. Coarser almond flours or almond meals might give a grittier feel.
- Chilling the Dough: Don't skip the chilling step! It makes the dough firmer and easier to shape. If it's still too sticky after 30 minutes, you can dust your hands with a bit of almond flour to prevent sticking.
- Meatball Size Matters: Ensure that your meatballs are uniformly sized. This ensures even cooking and a perfect fit with your mini buns.
- Customize Your Toppings: While this recipe is simple, you can jazz it up with toppings like fresh basil, sliced olives, or even a sprinkle of red chili flakes for a kick.
- Avoid Soggy Buns: Before adding the marinara sauce and meatball to your bun, you might want to lightly toast the cut side of your buns in the oven. This creates a barrier that can help prevent the sauce from making the bun soggy.
- Broiling Caution: Keep a close eye on your sliders when they're under the broiler. The cheese can melt and brown quickly, and you don't want burnt tops!
- Storage Tips: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When reheating, an oven or toaster oven is best to retain the crispy texture of the buns.
- Make Ahead: The dough for the buns can be made a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Just be sure to allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes to slightly soften before shaping.
Remember, recipes are a guideline. Feel free to adjust according to your tastes and preferences. Cooking is all about experimentation and fun, so enjoy the process and the delicious results!
If you do not want to use frozen meatballs, here is the perfect homemade keto meatballs:
Simple Keto Meatballs
Delicious and straightforward, these keto meatballs are perfect for those wanting a quick low-carb dish without the fuss.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Net Carbs: 1 net carb per serving
- 1 lb ground beef (or a mix of beef and ground pork)
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil (for frying)
Keto meatball recipe Instructions:
- Preparation: In a large bowl, combine ground beef, almond flour, parmesan cheese, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
- Forming Meatballs: Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch balls. This should yield about 12-15 meatballs.
- Cooking: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the meatballs in a single layer, ensuring they're not overcrowded. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until they're browned on all sides and cooked through.
- Serving: Remove meatballs from the skillet and serve immediately. These pair well with keto-friendly marinara sauce or enjoyed on their own!
Tip: This italian meatball recipe can be frozen in an airtight container for future meals. Simply thaw and reheat when needed.
- Parmesan Cheese is Key: Parmesan cheese adds a rich, nutty flavor that enhances the meat mixture. It also acts as a binder, just like bread crumbs in traditional meatballs.
- Choosing the Right Ground Meat: Ground turkey and lean ground beef are my go-to. However, adding a bit of ground pork can increase the juiciness of your meatballs.
- Cooking Medium: While you can cook meatballs on medium heat on the stovetop, using an air fryer or baking sheet in the oven can give them a crispy exterior while ensuring they remain tender inside.
- The Power of Fresh Herbs: Don't underestimate the flavor fresh parsley and fresh basil can add. They elevate the taste, making your meatballs restaurant-quality.
- Freezing is Your Friend: If you make a big batch, lay your meatballs in a single layer in a freezer bag. You'll thank yourself next time you're craving them and can grab them straight from the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions: Keto meatball recipe
1. Can I use almond meal instead of almond flour?
Absolutely! Almond meal is made from almonds with their skins on, which gives a more rustic appearance and slightly grainier texture. When used in this recipe, it might change the appearance of the buns slightly and offer a nuttier and coarser texture. It's a wonderful alternative if you're looking for a more rustic feel to your sliders or if almond flour isn't available. Just remember to measure it correctly to maintain the integrity of the recipe.
2. How do I store leftovers?
After letting the sliders cool to room temperature, place them in an airtight container, ensuring they're in a single layer to avoid any potential sogginess or smashing. If you have many leftovers, you can use parchment paper in between the layers. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you wish to freeze them for longer storage, wrap each slider individually in cling wrap before placing them in a freezer bag. They can be stored frozen for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and warm them in the oven.
3. Can I replace cream cheese with something else?
Certainly! Aside from the previously mentioned heavy cream, you can also consider using full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream. These alternatives can offer a slightly tangy flavor, complementing the overall taste of the meatballs. The key is ensuring that whatever substitute you use maintains the moisture of the meatballs and works cohesively with the other ingredients.
4. What can I pair with these keto meatballs for a complete meal?
For a satisfying keto meal, pair your meatball sliders with some low-carb sides. Zucchini noodles, often referred to as "zoodles," can be lightly sautéed in olive oil and garlic for a spaghetti-like experience. Cauliflower rice is a fantastic grain-free alternative to regular rice – try seasoning it with some fresh parsley and a splash of lemon juice for added flavor. Spaghetti squash is yet another option, creating noodle-like strands that work perfectly with extra marinara sauce. Enhance your meal further with a fresh green salad, sprinkled with olive oil and black pepper.
5. Is it possible to make the Keto meatball recipe dairy-free?
Indeed, it is! While mozzarella and cream cheese provide a distinct creamy texture and flavor, there are non-dairy alternatives available. For the mozzarella cheese, there are vegan mozzarella alternatives available at many grocery stores, made from ingredients like cashews or soy. As for the cream cheese, you can opt for a dairy-free cream cheese alternative or, as mentioned before, incorporate ingredients like coconut milk for moisture. Nutritional yeast can be sprinkled into the mixture to give a cheesy flavor without the dairy. Just ensure that the substitutions align with your dietary needs and keto guidelines.
- Versatility is King: This Keto meatball recipe can be adapted in numerous ways. Whether it's ground meat variations or additional herbs, there's room for experimentation.
- Almond Flour Magic: This low-carb substitute is not just for meatballs. It can replace bread crumbs in various dishes, ensuring you stay in ketosis.
- Freezing for Later: Meatballs freeze wonderfully. Whether it's in keto meatball casserole, keto meatball stroganoff, or on their own, freezing ensures you have a quick keto meal ready to go.
- Taste Above All: Keeping net carbs low doesn't mean compromising on flavor. With the right ingredients, like fresh basil, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese, your taste buds are in for a treat.
Conclusion: Keto meatball recipe
Diving into the keto diet doesn't mean abandoning cherished family recipes. With a few tweaks and a sprinkle of creativity, you can savor the foods you love. These keto mini meatball sliders are a testament to that. Whether you're serving them up for the whole family, or meal prepping for the week ahead, this low carb meatball recipe is bound to be a favorite.
Remember, the best recipes are born from passion, tradition, and a dash of innovation. Here's to delicious dishes and happy, healthy eating!
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