Mozzarella stuffed meatballs in a tomato sauce.
Delicious Italian Meatballs in tomato sauce baked to perfection. Gluten-free and keto-friendly, these meatballs are an easy meal the whole family loves! You will just love how quick they are to make using only a handful of ingredients and ready on the table in under 45 minutes.

Why You’ll Love This recipe

Easy to make – minimal food prep and the best Italian meatballs ready in less than 30 minutes. #winner

Budget friendly – with the growing cost of living, we all love a budget meal.

Low carb and keto friendly – these Italian style meatballs are made with no fillers. They are gluten-free and low in carbs.

Bake Italian Meatballs

Meatballs are always a winning dinner with the family. These are the best Italian Meatballs in sauce and are seriously simple to make! They are so quick and easy to make and packed with so much flavor!

I go for big meatballs served with a simple Italian sugo sauce. Serve them as-is, with spaghetti, noodles, rice or potato mash. Or make it low carb it with our (amazing) Cauliflower Mash.

Related Recipes: Italian Meatball Minestrone Soup / Italian Keto Meatloaf Recipe

Ingredients

Scroll to the bottom of this post for the quantity of each ingredient used in our homemade Italian meatball recipe. I give you all the tips on how to make meatballs for the best Italian recipe. x

Italian meatballs ingredients on a green tiled bench with labels showing what the ingredients are.

Beef Pork Mince – I use a combination of both ground beef and pork. I use an 80/20 meat to fat ratio. Fatty cuts make juicier meatballs. Be careful of using lean mince as the meatballs can end up dry.

Napoli Sauce – use any of your favorite marinara sauces. I love my sugar free keto Napoli sauce or keto San Marzano sauce. You can use canned chopped tomatoes and any extra spices you like.

Herbs & Spices – I use Italian Seasoning, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. I throw in some fresh chopped parsley or basil leaves for good measure.

Optional – add cubes of cheese to the centre for cheesy stuffed meatballs or top with cheese when baking. I use no fillers but if you want to add fresh bread crumbs or dried bread crumbs, go for it. For keto Italian meatballs (and still gluten free) use pork rinds or fresh grated parmesan cheese. Add any herbs and spices, fresh chopped onions, or garlic.

Ingredients for Napoli sauce on green tiles.

How To Make Italian Meatballs

Step 1. MIX – Add ground meats, parsley, Italian seasoning, chilli flakes, salt and pepper into a large bowl; mix well with your hands until evenly combined.

Step 2. ROLL MEATBALLS – Divide and roll mince into 10 large meatballs. I recommend using a set of kitchen scales to weigh out each meatball into 100g (3.5oz). If making mozzarella stuffed meatballs push a cube of mozzarella into the centre of the meatball and enclose.

Step 3. PAN FRY – Season a large skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt flakes. Brown the meatballs on all sides (in batches if needed). Place into a Dutch oven or a 26 x 18 cm (10 x 7 inch) baking dish.

HOT TIP: If using fatty mince meat then there is no need for olive oil when frying. If you use lean beef or fillers use a tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil in the pan. The salt flakes in the pan help make the meatballs crust seasoned and crispy.

Step 4. PREHEAT – Preheat oven to 200°C fan/220°C static (425°F).

BAKE – Top the meatballs with napoletana sauce. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce and meatballs finish cooking all the way through. Top with basil pesto and cheese. Bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until bubbly and melted.

FAQs and Hot Tips

Can I use sausage mince?

Absolutely! Make sausage meatballs with premade Italian sausages. Squeeze the ground seasoned meat from the skins and shape into meatballs. Pan fry to brown and bake in the oven in the napoletana sauce until fully cooked.

Can I make this without browning the meatballs first?

You can. Just place into the baking dish. Add 1 cup of chicken stick to the sugo sauce and bake until cooked through.

Can I make Italian sausage meatballs in my Instant Pot?

To cook meatballs in the Instant Pot, just add all the ingredients and stir well. Seal the lid and cook on Pressure/6 minutes/natural release for 5 minutes/ then quick release. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with the lid for 1-2 minutes to melt.

Meatballs i a bowl with a spoon and pesto.

More Recipes To Try

Want more cheap and keto ground beef recipes to make at home? Here are just a few of my recent favourites.

  1. The Best Keto Taco Salad with Ground Beef
  2. Birria Tacos with Consommé
  3. Savoury Mince
  4. Delicious Keto Beef Lasagne
  5. Simple San Choy Bau

I hope you love our recipe for Italian meatballs with homemade tomato sauce as much as I do! If you do, then please rate the recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a review to help others know that this is a recipe worth trying.

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Mozzarella stuffed meatballs in a tomato sauce.

Italian Meatballs Recipe

Delicious Italian Meatballs in tomato sauce baked to perfection. Gluten-free and keto-friendly, these meatballs are an easy meal the whole family loves! You will just love how quick they are to make using only a handful of ingredients and ready on the table in under 45 minutes.
5 from 64 votes!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Recipe Category: Low Carb
Calories: 472kcal
Author: Megan Ellam
Servings: 8
Tap or hover over number to scale ingredients
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Ingredients

  • 1 kg ground beef/pork 50/50 mix of both
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • Chilli flakes to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes and black pepper
  • 2 cups Napoli Sauce click link for recipe
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • 150 g mozzarella cut into 2.5cm/1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto click for recipe

Instructions

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

  • MIX – Add ground meats, parsley, Italian seasoning, chilli flakes, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl; mix well with your hands until evenly combined. Divide and roll mince into 10 large meatballs. For cheese stuffed meatballs; press a cube of mozzarella into the centre of each meatball and enclose.
    1 kg ground beef/pork, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, Chilli flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes and black pepper, 150 g mozzarella
  • PAN FRY – Season a large skillet with salt flakes. Place it over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides (in batches if needed). Place into a Dutch oven or a 26 x 18 cm (10 x 7 inch) baking dish.
  • PREHEAT – Preheat oven to 200°C fan/220°C static (425°F).
  • BAKE – Top the meatballs with napoletana sauce. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the sauce and meatball is warmed through. Top with pesto and cheese. Bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until bubbly and melted.
    2 cups Napoli Sauce, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 1/2 cup basil pesto

THERMAL METHOD

  • MIX – Add ground meats, parsley, Italian seasoning, chilli flakes, salt and pepper; mix 20 sec/speed 4. Divide and roll mince into 8 large meatballs.
    1 kg ground beef/pork, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, Chilli flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes and black pepper
  • Follow from step 2 above.

INSTANT POT METHOD

  • PAN FRY – Season a large skillet with salt flakes. Place it over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides (in batches if needed). Place into a Pot.
  • COOK – Add remaining ingredients (except cheese) and stir well. Seal lid and cook on Pressure/6 minutes/natural release for 5 minutes/ then quick release. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with the lid for 1-2 minutes to melt.

Notes

INGREDIENTS
I love a ground pork and beef combination but use any minced meat or plant-based substitute you want.
Tomato puree, San Marzano Marinara Sauce or Italian Sugo are great substitutes for the Napoli sauce.
These meatballs have no onion or garlic added. You can finely chop both and add them if you wish.
If you prefer to roll them smaller, then knock yourself out. The cooking time will be reduced slightly. Use the keto pasta recipe or your favourite low-carb pasta. The meatballs can be served on a bed of mash or just as they are.
COOKING METHODS
I have given both cooktop and Thermomix cooking methods for the recipe for Italian meatballs and the Salsa Pomodro sauce recipe. You could indeed make this in the Instant Pot, Ninja, Crockpot or slow cooker.
HOW TO STORE MEATBALLS
Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze meatballs and defrost in the fridge as needed.
SERVING SIZES
This recipe yields approximately 8 serves. The actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. 
SERVING SIZE BY WEIGHT
To calculate the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe by 8. The result will be the weight of one serving. 
NUTRITIONAL VALUES
Nutritional values shown are guidelines only. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on types of ingredients used. 
This really is the best meatballs recipe. This recipe card instructions contain the most basic steps and ingredients list. If you have any queries, or questions please refer to the full blog post above. Where I have tried to help you with all the questions you might have. From how to make Italian meatballs step by step to what do you eat with Italian meatballs.
If you love this recipe, please let us know in the comments box. We LOVE seeing the meals enjoyed.

Your Own Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1032IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 3mg | Magnesium: 33mg | Net Carbs: 3g
Tried this recipe?Mention @meganellam or tag #madcreations!

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29 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Such a flavourful and delicious recipe!Absouletely love everything about this recipe,perfect for cold nights.

  2. 5 stars
    You gave so many helpful tips! Thanks for that. I love how few ingredients these meatballs have. Perfect for busy weeknights!

  3. 5 stars
    I love easy recipes like this1 It’s perfect for a Monday night with the family or to serve for a holiday gathering. Love the notes sections! Definitely helpful. These were scrumptious!

  4. 5 stars
    Everything about this recipe is divine! And I absolutely love that it’s low carb as well. You have the best recipes!

  5. 5 stars
    Now that’s a meatball! No fillers is what makes these meatballs so darn good. They’re moist and a real treat when cheese is stuffed inside. The family cleaned their plates and asked for more. Winner-winner-dinner!

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