Since starting my weight loss journey on a Ketogenic diet plan, I've been floored to discover how many carbs there are in some of my favorite foods. But I didn't think the carbs in meatballs would be particularly high. Boy, I was wrong. Eddie's original meatballs have a secret tasty binder that breaks most keto rules. So I batted my eyelashes and asked for a Keto Meatballs version with nary a carb to be found.
I'm still getting my head around Keto Diet requirements though, but so far a ketogenic meatball can have carbs, making it a low carb meatball. However, a Keto Diet requires 25 carbs or less per day. So any recipe without carbs is ideal, as you can spend them on other ingredients with a good nutrient value.
For this recipe, the meatballs are accompanied by a light arugula, jicama, and radish salad. Fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of sumac blend well with the arugula's bitterness. And the jicama is a dream veggie that carries the savory flavors of whatever it accompanies.
How far in advance can you make the meatballs?
A couple of days, but you don't want to go beyond 72 hours refrigerated. You can certainly freeze them up to three months.
How many Keto Meatballs should I eat per serving?
Before Keto, I could lose track of how many meatballs I could eat in one sitting, and a Paleo diet probably wouldn't frown on an extra serving or two. But I can recommend three to five, with the salad.
Keto Meatballs and Alternative Flours (Coconut and Almond)
You didn't need them and you're adding unnecessary calories. Plus, both flours can detract from the spice blend and aren't needed to maintain moisture in the meatball.
There are three main ways a meatball can go very, very wrong. Let’s take look at each and I’ll offer a tried and true method to make sure a meatball disaster doesn’t happen to you.
Why do meatballs fall apart?
Meatballs commonly fall apart because they are not rolled tightly. Make sure to apply firm pressure as you roll the meatballs between your hands.
Why do meatballs stick to the pan?
Mainly because the oil in the pan isn’t hot enough when you place the meatballs down. Heat the oil first, until it smokes very lightly.
Why did my meatballs turn out so hard?
If your meatballs are hard its because they are overcooked. It shouldn’t take more than four minutes in the pan and five minutes in the oven to finish (if you choose.)
So what's the secret to a juicy meatball without carbs and any binders?
Put 'em in the fridge. Lamb is pretty high in fat content and makes those little suckers stiff as a marble. With a quick, white-hot sear, you've sealed the outside of meatball. Then bring down the heat to gently cook the interior and guarantee a meatball bursting with spiced juices.
Suggestions and Alternatives
- The Middle Eastern spices used to season the meatballs are very well complemented with a light mint yogurt dipping sauce.
- If lamb isn't readily available, you'll need to choose a high-fat content protein to replace it. Pork would work well and a fattier cut of beef, too.
- You can add these meatballs to our Albondigas Soup - Spicy Mexican Meatball Soup recipe instead of using ground beef.
A Word About the Spices and Herbs
The spices and herbs used can transform an Italian meatball into a Lebanese one. The standout flavor ingredients in this recipe are sumac, mint, cumin, and garlic. And with the exception of the garlic, are gentle enough to flavor delicate lamb without overpowering it.
- 2 lb. Ground Lamb
- 1/2 cup Chopped Mint
- 4 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 4 tablespoons Sumac
- 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 2 teaspoons Ground Black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Onion Powder
- 1 tablespoons Ground Cumin
- 5 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 10 whole Red Radishes
- 1/2 cup Lemon Juice
- 14 oz. Arugula
- 2 tablespoons Chives
- 1 tablespoon Tarragon
- 4 cups Jicama
Ingredients for Keto Meatballs
- In a large bowl add 2 lbs. ground lamb, mint, sumac, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Refrigerate for two hours.
- Using a large stainless steel saute pan, bring up to heat.
- Remove lamb mixture from refrigerator and roll 12 medium-size meatballs.
- Once the pan has a light smoke, gently add meatballs six at a time and sear. Two minutes each side. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat with last six.
- In a separate bowl add arugula, jicama, lemon juice, chives, tarragon, and red radishes.
- Add olive oil, salt and gently toss until completely coated.
- Arrange salad on a plate and place three meatballs on top.Serve Immediately.
Katherine is an award-winning lifestyle and culture journalist. Her work has been published in Latina, InStyle, and Money Magazine. She's traveled to five continents and is saving the best for last once her three kids are ready for overland travel.
She holds an MA in journalism from Northeastern University.