Looking for a satisfying dinner recipe? Well, how about some tender meatballs in a homemade marinara sauce!
Fork-tender, juicy, fragrant, filled with mozzarella cheese and cooked low and slow in a crockpot, this extraordinary Italian-inspired meal is everything you can expect and more. After all, what’s better than a home-cooked meal?
You’ll deeply enjoy these meatballs, that’s guaranteed, and they’re easy to make than you think. Let me tell you all about this fantastic dish. The best part? These are low carb — we’re not using breadcrumbs or anything, so they’re also a healthy dinner alternative!
What Goes into these Keto Cheese-stuffed Meatballs?
There are two parts to this recipe. You have the meatballs and then the marinara sauce. Together they become a whole meal that is perfect for weeknights with the family.
For the meatballs, you’ll need ground beef, almond meal, which should be a bit coarse (we’re using it instead of breadcrumbs,) and spices — garlic powder, Italian herbs, salt and pepper.
We’re also adding some Parmesan in there, and you’ll need cubed mozzarella to give each meatball a cheesy core.
For the marinara sauce, we’ll start with ripe tomatoes, olive oil, dried herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend it all together, and the sauce is ready.
The dish comes together in a slow cooker, AKA crock-pot, in three hours on high, but you can also make these in the oven. See what works best for you. Either way, you’ll end up with the most tender meatballs in a bright and flavorful tomato sauce. This is what I call comfort food!
How to Choose the Right Type of Meat for Meatballs?
Not all ground beef is created equal. In fact, some are more suitable for making meatballs than others.
For meatballs, you don’t want the meat to be too lean; forget about the 90/10 lean-to-fat ratio, choose something like 70/30 instead. This guarantees juicy meatballs — they’re more flavorful as well!
Usually, a combination of ground chuck and ground sirloin is ideal, but there are others. Actually, using equal parts ground beef and ground pork is typical for meatballs. And here’s a secret: you can totally make these meatballs with ground chicken. Yes, that’s a thing, and the result is marvelous!
What to Serve with These Keto Meatballs?
These meatballs are a whole meal in themselves, but you do want to have some side dishes to round up your dining experience.
For starters, you might want to serve these with another Italian staple — zucchini noodles. You can also use keto pasta, but even cauliflower rice will work nicely. You want something to scoop the last drop of sauce from your plate.
As for the drinks, a glass of dry red wine will turn a casual dinner into a memorable occasion. Italian food and wine are a classic pairing — a delicious one, by the way!
Now you’re ready to try out this recipe. If you thought making meatballs was hard, fear not — it’s quite the opposite, and the same goes for homemade marinara sauce; forget about the store-bought stuff!
Cheese stuffed meatballs
- 1lb ground beef
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 3 medium sized Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- In a bowl combine ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, almond meal, parmesan and the egg.
- Scoop out the meat with a spoon, flatten it with your hands, place a cube of mozzarella cheese in the middle, fold in the meat and roll between the palm of hands to shape the meatballs and set aside.
- For the marinara sauce, blend tomatoes, transfer the crushed tomatoes into a bowl, add olive oil, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic powder and stir well.
- Just pour enough sauce into the crock-pot to cover the base, add your meatballs, pour the leftover sauce over the meatballs and cover the lid of the crock-pot.
- Cook for 3 hours on high.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 414Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 818mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 33g