Skip to main content

Best Gluten-Free Italian Meatball Recipe

best Italian meatballs gluten free with brown rice spaghetti

Craving meatballs but shun evil gluten? 

Have I got a meatball recipe for you. And it's so good you won't even have to apologize to your Aunt Carmella. I promise. She won't ever suspect you pulled a switcheroo on the old family recipe and made it gluten-free.

Mum's the word (or is it Mama mia?).

Let's face it. When it comes to making meatballs every family boasts an ultra-special top secret meatball recipe, right? There's a loyalty to meatball mojo as fierce and tooth baring as the die hard belief that Mom's meatloaf can cure all ills, mend bruised hearts, and restore order to chaos theory.

So why am I putting myself on the line here? How do I even dare to post a gluten-free meatball recipe? The wrong ingredient or technique might actually lead to fisticuffs. Or bristling. You might turn away from Gluten-Free Goddess in utter, sheer contempt.

I'm putting my reputation on the line here, and I know it.

So why risk it? Why torture myself with the inevitable backlash? Reason one-  an obvious plea. My meatballs are gluten-free and casein-free, in other words, GFCF. My audience. My people.

These meatballs also happen to be egg-free (yes, I hear the snorts of derision- may you wake tomorrow with a blooming albumen rash and come crawling back to peruse my egg-free recipes).

Reason number two? My spaghetti and meatballs? Killer. I'm serious.

Meatball bliss.


Best Gluten-Free Italian Meatball Recipe with Basil Pesto Pasta

When I first went gluten-free I tried the bread crumb alternatives celiac folks touted on gluten-free forums. You know, crushed corn flakes. Cooked rice.  Ouch. The problem? The meatballs tasted like breakfast cereal. Or gummy leftover rice.

My solution? I keep all my odd bits and pieces of gluten-free bread (this is my current favorite gluten-free bread recipe) and I process them into Italian breadcrumbs by adding Italian herbs and garlic powder; then I bag and freeze them.

I also keep a loaf of the plainest, driest tapioca-based gluten-free bread on hand- just in case. Then whenever I feel an urge to make meatballs, I either reach for my bag of home made gluten-free breadcrumbs, or toss slices of store bought tapioca bread into the Cuisinart and zap them into bread crumbs, as needed. In savory dishes I add in plenty of dried Italian style herbs as I process. In a pinch, you could also toast up some plain gluten-free waffles and turn them into crumbs, adding herbs and a pinch of garlic powder.

As for pasta, my favorite spaghetti at the moment is Barilla- Gluten-Free- it is smooth and creamy and keeps it an authentic al dente texture if you don't overcook it.

Ingredients:

1 small to medium sweet onion
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled, cut in half
1 medium carrot, peeled, cut into several pieces
1 pound of organic grass fed ground beef or buffalo- either works
1 pound of organic ground pork
1/2 cup Annie's Naturals or Muir Glen Organic Ketchup
1 tablespoon organic molasses (this helps bind the mixture)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/3 to 1/2 cup gluten-free herbed bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (my secret ingredient)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Dash of red pepper flakes, for heat, if desired
Olive oil, as needed

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the onion, garlic and carrot pieces into a food processor and pulse until the texture is very finely diced. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, briefly stir together the ground beef and pork. Add in the processed onion, garlic and carrot mixture, ketchup, molasses, balsamic vinegar, parsley, gluten-free bread crumbs, sea salt and pepper flakes. Mix gently to combine. Try not to over-mix (over-mixing makes a dense meatball).

Rub a little olive oil on your hands and form the meatball mixture into balls (roughly the size of golf balls). Place them on the lined baking sheet. You should end up with about 20-24 balls.

Bake the meatballs in the center of the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes until done (no longer pink in the center). Note: Smaller meatballs cook faster, so if your meatballs are smaller, check them at 20 minutes. If you make ginormous balls, Darling, they'll take longer to cook through. Adjust baking times accordingly.

You could also fry the meatballs in a large skillet, using olive oil, I suppose, but this method makes an oilier meatball.

Makes about six servings.

Serve these tasty little numbers in a variety of ways:

Classic spaghetti and meatballs- serve the meatballs with pasta topped with red sauce, or basil pesto, as pictured. I love meatballs with pesto spaghetti.


Here's two pesto recipes- Basil Pesto and Vegan Pesto.


Add them to simmering marinara sauce, and serve them on a bed of cooked gluten-free polenta.


Add them to my Baked Brown Rice Risotto.


Serve them with my Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Smothered Baked Potato


Add them to a shallow bowl of Roasted Tomato Soup or vegetable ragout.


Serve them with grilled slices of these Gluten-Free Baguettes schmeared with pesto.


Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you. 

TRENDING

Sunbutter Cookies

Here's an easy gluten-free cookie recipe made with sunflower butter- a post-modern peanut-free take on those retro peanut butter cookies your Aunt Lizzie used to make. You know, with those jars of Skippy peanut butter (or was it Jif?). Instead of using traditional peanut butter in this recipe, I used sunflower butter, which has a golden nutty flavor not unlike peanut butter, but slightly different. Kinda like peanut butter's wacky, geeky brother. You know, slightly nutty. Fun. Like a bright new bike. And they taste so good you just might want some more. Now, please. I adapted this recipe from a peanut butter cookie recipe (submitted by Erin Smith) to Beyond Rice Cakes , an easy, fun cookbook (especially for teens and students) by Vanessa Maltin, director of outreach and programming at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness .

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones

Sconelicious. You heard me right. Because I know what you're craving.  I'm craving it, too. Something indulgent.  But not overly indulgent.  Sweet.  But not too sweet.  Something warm and tender, and laced with the autumnal spices you've been shaking and dashing and pinching with abandon.  Something using up that leftover half cup of pumpkin sitting in the fridge. Are you with me?  Are ya feelin' me?  Then let's get sconed. Karina xox

My Favorite Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

My Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes For Fall... The bittersweet, textured beauty of Autumn has always gripped my heartstrings, pulling me in deeper, connecting with some invisible part of me, so much more so than Spring. Much more so than summer's flirtatious pleasures. And Winter, well. She is a dark and icy mistress. That relationship has always been complicated. So unlike my truly, madly deeply love of Fall. Bake on, my friends. Tis the season for pumpkin. xox Karina

Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Apple Cake

As soon as I buy apples and start daydreaming about my favorite fall confections- imagining clear, cool evenings on Cape Cod and Miles Davis' haunting rendition of Autumn Leaves . September turns golden and sultry with a hint of rain, reeling me back into the closet to peel off my boyfriend jeans and fresh new flannel shirt. Faster than Gordon Ramsay can mock sashimi, Yours Truly is grabbing faded summer shorts and my favorite Patriots t-shirt to bake barefoot. See what I do for you? So go ahead, babycakes. Enjoy this new apple cake recipe. Share a slice or two amongst yourselves. Don't worry about me here in my hot little Hollywood apartment. Really. Go. Have some cake. You'll love it. Apple kisses, Karina xox

Pumpkin Polenta Recipe with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

Vegetarian pumpkin polenta with salsa fresca. The first gifts of Fall have arrived. Time to dig out the Crock Pot and your favorite flannel shirt. If you can find it, that is. It's got to be around here somewhere, right? You used it wore it to death last year. Or was that the year before? The harvest moon is playing tricks with your memory again. The crows outside in the oak trees caw like the crows in tomorrow's dream. Days turn into weeks and lunch turns into next month's breakfast. Hours spill through worm holes of time like so many episodes of Lost . And the Buddha imagines the universe. And gets it close to right . We're talking atoms, people. Particles of teeny tiny specks of even tinier teenier fragments of a single point of something so small the naked eye perceives it as invisible. Yet the Buddha perceived this. In 528 BC. I ponder this as I walk in a stream of brittle bronze oak leaves. The succession of days that adds up to a life is only a

Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

We found canned organic pumpkin on the store shelves this week. So be prepared for pumpkin recipes. I, for one, Darling, can't get enough. Pumpkin is my favorite fall ingredient. Maybe because it cozies up to gluten-free flours so well. It adds moisture and depth to g-free baked goods. It flirts with cinnamon and ginger like the sexiest, inscrutable movie star. You know what I'm talking about. It's not overt. Or blatant. It's not over the top. It is subtle. Secure. Pumpkin doesn't demand to be admired. Because it doesn't have to prove itself. It's not a bully flavor that crushes gentler flavors in its wake. It doesn't bark and claw to be Top Dog 24/7. It doesn't have a deep seated need to own the room, to dominate, to control the ingredients it shares a bowl with. Pumpkin goes with the flow. It likes vanilla. And it likes chocolate. You could say, it's bi-flavorful. Which happens to be a quality I admire. Even embody and

Gluten-Free Baking Tips + Substitutions

Need wheat-free gluten-free baking tips? Help is Here. Here's what works- and what doesn't- in quirky Gluten-Free Baking and Substitution Land. From Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess®. Baking Substitutions for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and More Notes on GF Flours: Gluten-free non-wheat flours generally fall into three basic weights- light starch, all-purpose medium, or heavier whole grain. A blend of medium and heavy flours with some starch mixed in to lighten, tenderize, and help bind the batter or dough works best, and tastes best (too much starch can result in a gummy texture). Light, starchy GF flours include sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and the ubiquitous gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour, which is whole different animal) and arrowroot starch. Medium flours are akin to 'all purpose flour'- these include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. If you cannot find sorg