Skip to Content

Keto Ricotta Meatballs Recipe: Easy Low Carb Meatball

Sharing is caring!

Tackling a new recipe can be as thrilling as starting a new book—there's so much potential at the beginning. That's how I felt the first time I made Keto Ricotta Meatballs. I'm excited to share this experience because these aren't just any meatballs; they're a symphony of flavor while keeping your carb count in check.

ready to serve best Keto Ricotta Meatballs

The Building Blocks of Meatballs

There's something inherently comforting about meatballs. Maybe it's their size, perfect for a forkful, or the way they pair with so many sides. But let's face it, traditional meatballs, with their bread crumbs and sugar-laden sauces, are a no-go on a keto diet. Here's where this game-changer of a recipe comes into play.

Using ground turkey and whole milk ricotta cheese creates a tender meatball that's surprisingly light. The addition of parmesan cheese brings a salty, umami punch that's just irreplaceable.

Highly Recommended Ebook
I Suck At Diets So I Did Keto: A Total Beginner's Guide to The Ketogenic Diet Ebook
$5.00

Tired of complicated diets that never work? This quick-start keto guide cuts through the confusion. We break down exactly what we ate, how we calculated our macros, and how we stay motivated. Plus, get answers to your most pressing keto questions and discover our favorite products for easy success.

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Highly Recommended Ebook
Everyday Ketogenic Guide to the Keto Diet
On sale 1.99

Discover the power of keto! This guide makes going low-carb simple and delicious. Get easy recipes (some with only 2 ingredients!), tips for busy moms, fast food hacks, yummy keto treats, and everything you need to thrive on the ketogenic diet.

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why Pork Rind Crumbs Are a Revelation

If you've gone down the keto rabbit hole, you've probably heard of using pork rinds as a breadcrumb substitute. If this is your first time, prepare to be amazed. They bring the crunch and binding you need without the carbs. Genius, right?

SENSARTE Nonstick Ceramic Frying Pan Skillet
$23.99


Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/12/2024 02:57 am GMT

Let's Talk Sauce

Now, onto the basil cream sauce. I wave goodbye to marinara sauce here because heavy whipping cream, parmesan, and fresh basil come together to create something I can only describe as 'hug in a skillet.'

Keto Ricotta Meatballs simmering in skillet

Crafting the Perfect Ricotta Meatballs

Making these keto meatballs is as simple as following a few key steps:

  • Ground Turkey Over Beef: Ground turkey is lighter than beef, which complements the creamy sauce. But if you're a ground beef enthusiast, go ahead and make it your own.
  • The Right Cheese Matters: Whole milk ricotta and real parmesan cheese elevate these meatballs from good to 'can't stop eating.'
  • Seasoning Is Everything: Don't skimp on the Italian seasoning or garlic powder. These are the backbone of the flavor profile.
  • The Golden Ratio: Balance is vital when adding your ricotta mixture to the ground turkey. Too much and your meatballs may fall apart; too little, and they won't have that melt-in-your-mouth quality.
title for Keto Ricotta Meatballs

Keto Ricotta Meatballs in Basil Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

Net Carbs: 4 net carbs per serving

Keto Ricotta Meatballs ingredients

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

2 lbs. Ground turkey

1 C. Ricotta cheese

1 Large egg

1 C. Crushed pork rind crumbs

1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. Garlic powder

⅓ C. Parmesan cheese grated

Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

2 Tbsp. Butter

2 tsp. Minced garlic

1 C. Heavy whipping cream

¼ C. Parmesan cheese grated

¼ C. Fresh chopped basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Add the meatball ingredients to a large bowl, and knead until well combined. 

meatballs rolled into a ball

Form the mixture into evenly sized meatballs, and place them into a well greased 9x13 baking dish. 

baked in baking dish

Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. 

Add the butter to a skillet over medium heat. 

Mix in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. 

butter and garlic in skillet

Pour in the heavy whipping cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Simmer until the sauce thickens. 

adding parmesan cheese

Stir in the parmesan cheese and basil. 

adding meatballs to skillet

Add the meatballs to the skillet, and toss to coat in the sauce before serving. 

Recipe Tips for Knockout Keto Ricotta Meatballs

Mastering the art of the perfect meatball is a rite of passage in many kitchens. Whether you're a seasoned chef or just starting your culinary journey, here are some tips to ensure your Keto Ricotta Meatballs turn out just right, every time.

Selecting Your Ingredients

  • Go for Quality Ground Meat: Whether you're using ground turkey, lb ground pork, or place ground chicken, make sure it's high-quality. It makes all the difference.
  • Cheese, Please: For that rich, decadent texture, a combination of whole milk ricotta cheese and a cup of Parmesan is key. Oh, and a little oz cream cheese won't hurt for that extra creamy kick.
ricotta meatballs plated

Preparing the Meatballs

  • Mixing Matters: Use a large mixing bowl to give yourself enough space to combine your ingredients thoroughly without making a mess.
  • Season Generously: Don't be shy with the Italian seasoning, black pepper, or that pinch of red pepper flakes. They're the secret to that 'just like Nonna's' taste.
  • Pork Rind Magic: Replace bread crumbs with cup pork rind crumbs to keep it keto without losing the perfect texture.
  • Scooping Uniformity: A large cookie scoop can be a game-changer for getting uniform-sized meatballs, which ensures even cooking time.

Cooking Techniques

  • Baking Basics: Line your casserole dish or sheet pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup and to prevent sticking.
  • The Right Sear: If you're not baking, use a large skillet and a bit of olive oil to get that golden brown crust that's the hallmark of a good meatball.
  • Low and Slow: For a tender meatball, don't rush the cooking process. Slow cookers can be ideal for this.

Perfecting the Sauce

  • Heavy Cream Heaven: The base for your keto-friendly sauce is heavy cream. It's what takes the dish from good to great.
  • Spice It Up: A dash of red pepper flakes in the tomato sauce can give it a nice warmth.
  • Butter Makes Better: A cup of butter can add richness to your sauce, making it restaurant-quality.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair with Greens: Serve these meatballs with a side of green beans or a crisp salad drizzled with olive oil for a complete meal.
  • Keto Pasta Alternatives: Zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash make excellent beds for your meatballs if you're missing the pasta.

Storing and Meal Prepping

  • Fridge Friendly: Store the meatballs in an airtight container to keep them fresh for the whole family to enjoy, even on busy nights.
  • Freeze for Later: This recipe makes a great freezer meal. Wrap the meatball bake in aluminum foil and freeze for those nights you don't feel like cooking.
  • Reheat with Ease: Thaw overnight and reheat in a medium saucepan or in the oven for a quick and easy meal.
overview shot of meatballs in skillet

Final Thoughts

  • Switch It Up: Don't be afraid to experiment with new recipes or twists on the original recipe. A cheesy meatball casserole one night, Italian meatballs simmered in tomato sauce the next—variety is the spice of life!
  • Slow Cooker Option: For an even easier meal, consider a slow cooker version of this keto meatball recipe. It's a time saver, and the results are just as delicious.

Embrace these tips, and you'll be well on your way to creating keto meatballs that are not just good for a low-carb lifestyle but are genuinely good meatballs by any standard—flavorful, moist, and sure to be requested time and time again.

FAQs on Keto Ricotta Meatballs

How do I ensure my meatballs don't fall apart?

Make sure your ricotta mixture is well combined with the ground turkey. If the mix feels too wet, a bit more pork rind crumbs can help keep it together.

Can I use almond flour instead of pork rind crumbs?

Absolutely, almond flour is a great keto-friendly option, though it might change the texture slightly.

What's the best way to store leftovers?

Store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They make great leftovers and can easily be reheated.

Can I freeze these meatballs?

Yes, you can. Place the cooked meatballs on a sheet pan, freeze them, and then transfer to a freezer bag. They can last up to a month.

What sides pair well with keto ricotta meatballs?

Try spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a low-carb "pasta" night, or even a side of steamed green beans or a crisp salad.

Keto Ricotta Meatball in skillet

Keto Ricotta Meatballs Key Takeaways

  • Net Carbs: With just 4 net carbs per serving, this dish fits beautifully into your keto lifestyle.
  • Meal Prep Friendly: These meatballs are perfect for meal prep. Spend some time on Sunday crafting a big batch, and you'll thank yourself during the busy week.
  • Versatility: Don't be afraid to play around with herbs or cheeses. Adding fresh parsley or swapping in pecorino cheese can give a new twist to your meatballs.
  • Freezer-Friendly: These meatballs freeze well, so you can always have a keto-friendly option on hand for those hectic nights or unexpected guests.
  • Sauce Swap: If you're in the mood for variety, an alfredo or a spicy arrabbiata sauce can be great alternatives to the basil cream sauce.

Here are other meatball recipes you will love: Meatball stroganoff and cheese stuffed meatballs.

Yield: 6

Keto Ricotta Meatballs

overview shot of meatballs in skillet

Savor the rich and satisfying taste of Keto Ricotta Meatballs, where juicy ground turkey meets creamy ricotta and Parmesan, all spiced with Italian herbs and encased in a golden crust of pork rinds. Bathed in a lush basil cream sauce, these meatballs are a keto delight that'll make you forget they're actually good for your macros. Perfect for a family dinner or a meal prep champion, they're your new go-to for a low-carb feast that doesn't skimp on flavor.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the meatballs:
  • 2 lbs. Ground turkey
  • 1 C. Ricotta cheese
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 C. Crushed pork rind crumbs
  • 1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • ⅓ C. Parmesan cheese grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2 tsp. Minced garlic
  • 1 C. Heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ C. Parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼ C. Fresh chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
    Add the meatball ingredients to a large bowl, and knead until well combined.
    Form the mixture into evenly sized meatballs, and place them into a well greased 9x13 baking dish.
    Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
    Add the butter to a skillet over medium heat.
    Mix in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
    Pour in the heavy whipping cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Simmer until the sauce thickens.
    Stir in the parmesan cheese and basil.
    Add the meatballs to the skillet, and toss to coat in the sauce before serving.

Notes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Net Carbs: 4 net carbs per serving

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Conclusion: Keto Ricotta Meatballs

Bringing it all back home, keto ricotta meatballs in basil cream sauce are a testament to the fact that 'keto' and 'flavorful' can exist in the same sentence. This simple recipe with its tender meatballs and luxurious sauce will not only impress your palate but also might just become a staple at your dinner table. And the best part? No one would guess it's part of a dietary plan. Here's to delicious discovery on our keto journeys!

title collage for meatballs

Sharing is caring!

Skip to Recipe