Gluten Free Meatballs

Fantastic gluten free meatballs with great flavor!  Cooking without gluten does not have to sacrifice any flavor. Super easy to make, cost effective and a great source of protein.  My kids gobble these up and come back for more.

Gluten free meatballs served on a bed of quinoa and garnished with parsley

Today I am making the meatballs, simmering them in a simple tomato sauce and serving them on a bed of quinoa.

There are 2 main parts to this recipe. The meatballs and the sauce. If you only want the meatballs, I have separated everything out so you can easily only make the meatballs.

Ingredients

Ingredients for GF meatballs prepared
Ingredients prepared and ready to cook

Meat – 1 pound (500 grams) regular ground beef (mince) works perfectly fine.  You can mix in about a third ground pork if you have it available.  

When I cook for my family of 4, a single 1 pound (500 gram) pack of ground beef from the grocery store is a perfect amount, so that is all I use.  I add in pork if I am scaling up this recipe for more people, or making a double portion to freeze for later.  

Garlic  –  My regular readers know my whole family loves garlic!  Fresh garlic, diced finely or put into a garlic press. Delicious and I like to use a lot of it. For both the meatballs and the sauce you will need about 6 cloves of garlic.

Rice – ½ cup of plain cooked white rice. This will be our binding agent. Most meatball recipes use breadcrumbs, but of course those contain gluten. Some other recipes call for special gluten free bread crumbs which can be expensive and hard to find. Instead I am using plain white rice which is inexpensive and readily available. 

Parsley – Fresh is best. My local store had parsley plants for sale at about the same price as a small pack of fresh picked parsley, so I bought the plant and leave it on the kitchen window sill so I can pick some anytime I need it.

Parmesan cheese – Delicious tangy parmesan goes perfectly with meatballs, I often buy good quality already shredded parmesan for the convenience.  

Egg – 1 medium to large egg, helps to bind the meat together. 

Onion – 1 large white, yellow or brown onion. Half of the onion for the meatballs, the other half for the sauce.    

Tomato passata (or canned tomatoes)  – 24 oz (700 grams)  I am using tomato passata which is widely available where I live.  Tomato passata is essentially canned crushed that have been pureed.  If you do not have tomato passata in your shops, don’t worry, simply buy canned tomatoes and blend them.

Directions

Making the meatballs is quite simple.  

The step that will take the longest time is cooking the rice, so let’s get that on first.  I have a rice cooker at home, so this is quite simple.  1 part rinsed rice, 2 parts water, into the rice cooker.  Job done. You can also cook the rice on the stove top.  

Turn the oven on to get it preheating, 375 F (190 C).  

Finely dice half of the onion, 3 cloves of garlic (use a garlic press if you have one), 3 sprigs of fresh parsley and put them into a large mixing bowl.  

Add in the ground meat, and mix well with clean hands to get the flavour distributed throughout.

Next add in half a cup of cooked white rice as shown in the picture below and mix well.

Rice and ground beef in a bowl
Adding rice to ground beef

Add in the egg and parmesan cheese, and give everything a good mixing with your clean hands. Don’t worry about using your hands, it really is the easiest way to do it. When everything is mixed together very well, it will look like the picture below.

Ingredients mixed in a bowl
Meat and other ingredients mixed in the bowl

Using your clean hands again, roll some of the mixture into balls about 1 inch (2 cm) in size.  Place the meatballs spaced out evenly on a baking tray prepared with baking paper.  See photo below.

Meatballs rolled and on tray reading for baking

Place the baking tray of meatballs into the preheated oven, and let them bake for 20 minutes.  

If you are making the sauce as well, now is the time to get that going on the stove top.  

In a frying pan add 3 cloves of diced (or pressed) garlic, the other half of the onion, 2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil and cook until the onions are soft. 

Next add in the tomato passata or tomato puree, and heat until it starts to bubble.  

When the meatballs are baked, take them out of the oven and pop them in the frying pan with the tomato sauce as shown in the picture below.

Meatballs have been baked and place in tomato sauce
Meatballs from the oven and into the frying pan

Let the meatballs and tomato sauce simmer, reduce the sauce until you get the consistency that you want.  

Once you have the sauce just right, serve the meatballs and sauce on a bed of cooked quinoa, top with extra grated parmesan cheese and some fresh parsley.  

You have several other options to serve the meatballs and sauce on while staying gluten free.

Gluten free meatballs served on a bed of quinoa and garnished with parsley

Gluten Free Meatball Recipe

Delicious meatballs without the gluten.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 8 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 33 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 212 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven
  • large frying pan

Ingredients
  

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef (500 grams)
  • ½ cup cooked white rice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated or shredded
  • 1 egg medium to large size
  • ½ onion – white, yellow or brown keep the other half for the sauce

Tomato Sauce

  • 24 oz tomato passata (700 grams) Or use canned tomatoes if you do not have passata
  • ½ onion the other half of the onion from the meatballs
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions
 

Meatballs

  • Cook the rice in a rick cooker or on the stove
  • Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
  • Finely chop the onion, garlic and fresh parsley. Use a garlic press for the garlic if you have one. Place these ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in the ground meat, and mix well with clean hands to get the flavour distributed throughout.
  • Next add in half a cup of cooked white rice and mix well.
  • Add in the egg and parmesan cheese, and give everything a good mixing with your clean hands. Don’t worry about using your hands, it really is the easiest way to do it.
  • Using your clean hands again, roll some of the mixture into balls about 1 inch (2 cm) in size.
  • Place the meatballs spaced out evenly on a baking tray prepared with baking paper.
  • Place the baking tray of meatballs into the preheated oven, and let them bake for 20 minutes.

Tomato Sauce

  • In a frying pan add 3 cloves of diced (or pressed) garlic, the other half of the onion, 2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil and cook until the onions are soft.
  • Next add in the tomato passata or tomato puree, and heat until it starts to bubble.
  • When the meatballs are baked, take them out of the oven and pop them in the frying pan with the tomato sauce.
  • Let the meatballs and tomato sauce simmer, reduce the sauce until you get the consistency that you want.
  • Once you have the sauce just right, serve the meatballs and sauce on a bed of cooked quinoa, top with extra grated parmesan cheese and some fresh parsley.
Keyword gluten free meatballs

1 thought on “Gluten Free Meatballs”

  1. 5 stars
    SO happy to have found this. I often cook with ground beef because it’s cheap, but my family get a bit sick of the same couple of recipes I always make. Tonight I made these meatballs and served them with mashed sweet potato and everyone was very happy – thank you! 🙂

    Reply

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