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Keto Meatballs with MEATER | Recipe

Making Keto Meatballs with Chef and Bestselling Author Rocco DiSpirito

Comfort food can help make a bad day better or help you connect with fond
memories of home cooking at Gramma’s house, but these dishes aren’t
often very healthy. Chef and #1 New York Times bestselling author Rocco
DiSpirito, known for his health-conscious and flavorful dishes, has taken on
comfort food and given it a Keto makeover with his new book Rocco’s Keto
Comfort Food Diet.

Rocco connected with the MEATER blog to share a beloved recipe that will
both fill your belly and warm your soul with a fresh and healthy take on the
classic dish of spaghetti and meatballs.

“This dish is a keto version of my mother’s signature dish, fondly known as
Mama’s Meatballs,” said Rocco. “While you won’t find them on a mound of
begging-to-be-twirled spaghetti, you’ll still be wowed by their full-on flavor
atop zoodles.”

This recipe is ideal for MEATER fans who want to perfect their meatball-
making skills with techniques in baking and simmering using three varieties of ground meat.

Mama’s Keto Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles by Rocco DiSpirito

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes 
  • Cook Time:  1½  Hours (see tip)* 
  • Servings: 6

MARINARA SAUCE (see tip) 

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed through a press 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion 
  • ¾  teaspoon tomato paste 
  • Red pepper flakes 
  • Celtic sea salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 (16-ounce) can tomato puree 
  • ½ (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes 
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 ½ cups water  
  • ⅛ teaspoon liquid stevia (optional)

MEATBALLS:

  • Olive oil or avocado oil cooking spray
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock 
  • ¼ yellow onion, roughly chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled but whole 
  • ½ pound ground beef 
  • ½ pound ground pork 
  • ½ pound ground veal 
  • ⅓ cup crushed Herbed Parmesan Crisps (see book for recipe) or store-bought Parmesan crisps (such as Whisps) 
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

ZUCCHINI NOODLES 

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound store-bought zucchini noodles 
  • Celtic sea salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for serving

STEPS

  1. MAKE THE MARINARA SAUCE: In a saucepot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the garlic is tender and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to taste.
  2. Add the tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and water to the pot along with the liquid stevia (if using) and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, season with salt to taste, cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. If the sauce is too thin, simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water. The sauce should be fairly thin and very smooth, but not watery.
  3. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE MEATBALLS: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
  4. In a food processor or blender, combine the chicken stock, onion, and garlic and puree. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the meats, crisps, eggs, Parmigiano, pepper flakes, parsley, and salt. Mix with your hands until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Grease your hands with olive oil and form the mixture into 12 balls a little smaller than golf balls.
  6. Arrange the meatballs on the sheet pan and bake until browned, at least 18 and up to 20 minutes.
  7. Transfer the finished meatballs to the marinara sauce and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  8. PREPARE THE ZUCCHINI NOODLES: In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the zucchini noodles and cook until tender but still a little crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  9. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the zucchini noodles sprinkled with the Parmigiano.

*TIP: To shave over an hour off the cooking time, use a good-quality, low-carb store-bought marinara such as Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce instead of the homemade.

Our team at MEATER had a blast trying this recipe! We’re thrilled that Rocco was able to share this healthy and delicious dish based on his Mama’s famous meatball recipe. We hope our readers enjoy it as much as we did. More of Rocco DiSpirito’s healthy Keto recipes are available in his new cookbook, Rocco’s Keto Comfort Food Diet, available on Amazon.com

Shared with permission by Rocco DiSpirito.

Recipe Nutrition Information:

PER SERVING * CALORIES: 400 * GRAMS OF PROTEIN: 32 * GRAMS OF FAT: 21 * GRAMS OF CARBOHYDRATE: 20 * PERCENT OF PROTEIN: 32% * PERCENT OF FAT: 48% * PERCENT OF CARBOHYDRATE: 20%