These ground pork meatballs are juicy and flavorful! They make the perfect high protein dinner. Serve these healthy, gluten free meatballs over zoodles, cauliflower rice, or spaghetti squash!
3 grams net carbs per serving
The Best Italian Pork Meatballs
This recipe is a great way to add delicious protein to your low carb diet! They are made low carb, with shredded zucchini and almond flour in place of breadcrumbs. The combination of Italian spices and a little parmesan cheese makes these irresistible.
In my experience, it’s easy to underestimate your protein needs on a low carb diet. Social media posts show cheesy dishes, tons of bacon, and “fat bombs” containing large amounts of nuts, coconut, and fats like butter and coconut oil. While there is a time and place for these things, the majority (by volume) of a healthy, low-carb diet should consist of protein and low carbohydrate vegetables.
To learn more about the best foods for the keto diet, read this post and download the free printable guide.
Building meals is easy when you focus on your protein first! These juicy meatballs can be served in a variety of ways. My favorite is simply over cauliflower rice.
What You’ll Need
- Ground Pork (or use 1/2 ground pork and 1/2 Italian sausage)
- Zucchini (a combination of shredded zucchini and almond flour keeps these moist without the need for breadcrumbs!)
- Almond Flour
- Parmesan Cheese (omit for dairy free and add 1/2 teaspoon additional sea salt)
- Garlic (fresh garlic cloves are the best option but dried garlic works too!)
- Italian Seasoning (or Italian herbs, like basil, thyme, and oregano)
- Black Pepper and Sea Salt
- Red Pepper Flakes (optional, to add a bit of spice)
- Olive Oil or Avocado Oil for frying
- Fresh Herbs to garnish (like Italian parsley, green onions, or basil)
How to Make Keto Italian Pork Meatballs
Step 1: Add all ingredients into a large bowl, and use hands to thoroughly mix the additions into the ground pork.
Step 2: Scoop the pork mixture into 2-tablespoon balls, rolling between hands to form as smooth ball. Repeat with all the ground meat.
Step 3: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and then add meatballs, leaving space between each one. Overcrowding the skillet will steam the meatballs, and they will not brown and caramelize. Cook the meatballs in 2 batches if necessary.
Step 4: Cook each side about 3-4 minutes, turning to evenly brown them.
How to Store Leftover Pork Meatballs
This recipe is perfect for meal prep!
Fully cool any leftover meatballs, and store in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Alternately, pack in freezer safe containers, and freeze up to 3 months. Allow frozen meatballs to defrost at room temperature prior to reheating.
Reheat meatballs in a skillet over medium heat, until warm throughout.
Over Pasta: If your diet isn’t low carb, serve these over your favorite pasta or gluten free pasta with marinara sauce.
Over Zoodles: Keep it keto by adding hot tomato sauce and meatballs to the top of a bed of zoodles. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese.
On Cauliflower Rice: Serve these simply with a bed of cauliflower rice.
As an appetizer: Add these to a platter and put a toothpick in each one for a fun party appetizer.
Other Low Carb Meatball Recipes
Healthy Italian Style Pork Meatballs
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup zucchini shredded
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup almond flour omit for nut free
- 1/4 cup onion finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Into a large mixing bowl, add the ground pork, zucchini, parmesan cheese, almond flour, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to a bowl. Use a food processor, if desired.
- Mix the ingredients together until evenly incorporated.
- Scoop the pork mixture about 2 tablespoons at a time, rolling it between two hands into a ball.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs, leaving space around each one so they brown and caramelize instead of steam. Depending on the size of the skillet, it might take 2-3 batches to finish cooking all meatballs. Cook to an internal temperature of 145º F (or until you break one open and they are fully cooked!). Once they are cooked through, remove from heat and set aside.
- If desired, add back to skillet with a keto marinara sauce, and heat the meatballs and sauce together.
- Serve pork meatballs over zoodles, spaghetti squash, or kojac pasta. Garnish with extra parmesan, chopped parsley, and red pepper flakes, if desired!