Envision mounds of spaghetti, fork twirling strands in a spoon, tasty meatballs, topped with red sauce and all gluten free. An easy gluten free spaghetti and meatballs comfort meal for any night of the week.
This post has been updated with more helpful tips, new photos, and a video.
Have you ever had one of those meals that instantly transports you to a cozy Italian trattoria? The kind where you envision yourself sitting at a checkered tablecloth, twirling forkfuls of spaghetti and savoring every bite of juicy meatballs, all topped with a rich and tangy red sauce?
Well, my friend, I have a recipe that will bring that exact experience to your own kitchen, and the best part is, it’s completely gluten-free.
The secret to making mouthwatering meatballs gluten-free is simple: you take control of the ingredients. No need to rely on store-bought options with mystery additives.
It’s true, I have many favorite meatball recipes because I believe if you can make a good meatball, you can make people happy.
For example, meatballs can be made the traditional way with gluten free breadcrumbs like this traditional Italian gluten free meatballs recipe passed on to me from my friend’s Italian grandmother or you can make them low-carb by substituting cauliflower rice like this poached low carb meatball recipe.
Gluten free spaghetti and meatballs with a flavorful twist
Today, I’m going to show you how to create your own gluten-free magic.
We’ll start with a mixture of tender ground meat, combined with just the right amount of seasonings and a generous handful of gluten-free breadcrumbs to give it that perfect texture.
But here’s the twist that takes these meatballs to a whole new level: a sweet and tangy ketchup that amps up the flavor in the most delicious way.
So, gather your ingredients, get your apron on, and let the aroma of homemade meatballs fill your kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need.
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Marinara Sauce: This robust sauce (homemade or store bought) coats the meatballs and spaghetti, infusing them with its rich tomato goodness.
1. Small Onion: Dice the onions into fine pieces to ensure a pleasant texture, as people generally prefer not to bite into large onion chunks.
2. Parsley: Parsley adds a vibrant refreshing taste to each bite.
3. Egg: The egg serves as a binding agent and contributes to the overall moisture and tenderness of the meatballs.
4. Ketchup: The ketchup is a secret ingredient that adds a touch of sweetness and tanginess to the meatballs.
5. Garlic Cloves (Minced): Garlic is a staple ingredient in Italian cuisine, known for its aromatic and pungent flavor.
6. Salt and Pepper: Salt and pepper are essential seasonings that enhance the flavor of the meatballs.
7. Grated Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan adds a nutty and melt-in-your-mouth quality to the meatballs. If dairy doesn’t agree with you, you can eliminate the cheese or go with your favorite dairy free cheese.
8. Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs: Bread crumbs serve as a binder and help absorb moisture, keeping the meatballs tender
9. Ground Beef: 80/20 chuck works best. The percentage of fat adds flavor and juiciness, to the texture of the meat.
Here’s how to make gluten free meatballs from scratch to serve with gluten free spaghetti.
*Free printable recipe card is available at the end of the post.
To begin, cook your gluten free spaghetti.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix onions, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt and pepper into your ground beef. Stir in the cheese and breadcrumbs and combine.
Next, shape into meatballs. Not too tightly. You want to lightly roll them between your hands to form a ball that feels like it will just hold together.
Then either fry your meatballs in oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat or broil them, as I often like to do.
How to broil meatballs
First, position the top rack of your oven so that your meatballs will be about 7 inches from the heating element. Set the oven to broil and let it preheat on high for five minutes.
Using this type of broiler pan with a grid top, is what I recommend. You can line the bottom drip pan of the broiler pan with foil for easier cleanup.
Arrange the meatballs on the grid top with a 1/4 inch between them for even browning. Give them five minutes, then turn them over with a spoon or tongs. Then let them broil for another five.
Finally, transfer the meatballs to your sauce, cover, and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through.
Serve them hot over cooked gluten-free spaghetti topped with grated Parmesan cheese.
Adding a side salad, roasted vegetables, and gluten free crusty garlic bread, gives you one hearty meal.
Pro tips and recipe notes
Can I substitute the ground beef with another type of ground meat? Definitely! While ground beef is traditionally used in meatballs, you can substitute it with ground chicken, turkey, pork, or a combination of meats. Just keep in mind that different meats may have different cooking times and fat content, which can affect the texture and flavor of the meatballs.
How long can I store the leftover meatballs and sauce? Leftover meatballs and sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you have a large batch, you can also freeze them for longer storage. Allow them to cool completely, place them in a freezer-safe container or bag, and they should keep well for up to 3 months. Just thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Indulge in the comfort and satisfaction that comes with a hearty plate of spaghetti and meatballs. It’s a timeless classic that brings people together, and now, with this gluten-free twist, everyone can partake in the joy.
Plus, with the flexibility to customize the gluten free spaghetti and meatballs recipe to your liking, you can truly make it your own.
Grab your fork, twirl some noodles, and savor each bite. Buon appetito!
More meatball recipes
Gluten Free Swedish Meatballs – Traditionally served with gravy, these Swedish Meatballs are cooked on your stove-top using gluten-free ingredients.
Gluten Free Traditional Meatballs – My friend’s grandmother gave me her traditional meatball recipe. Here’s my gluten-free version of the recipe.
Poached Gluten Free And Low Carb Meatballs – These are probably the fastest and easiest meatballs you’ll ever make.
Italian Red Gravy – This is a traditional sauce that’s simmered with lots of fried meat including meatballs. Just like Grandma used to make.
Gluten Free Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 8 ounces of gluten free spaghetti cook according to package
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free Marinara sauce homemade or store bought
- For Meatballs:
- 1 small onion minced
- 1 teaspoon of dried parsley or 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
- 1 egg beaten
- 3 tablespoons of ketchup
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup gluten free bread crumbs
- 1 pound ground beef 80/20% works best
- Cook spaghetti according to package instructions.8 ounces of gluten free spaghetti
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix onions, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt and pepper into your ground beef. Stir in the cheese and GF breadcrumbs. Combine and shape into meatballs.1 small onion, 1 teaspoon of dried parsley, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of ketchup, 3 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup gluten free bread crumbs, 1 pound ground beef
- Either fry meatballs in oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully about 10 minutes or broil, as I do, for 5 minutes on each side.
- Then transfer the meatballs to sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.2 1/2 cups gluten free Marinara sauce
- Serve hot over cooked GF spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.
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