Gluten-Free Meatballs in Quick Tomato Sauce


Gluten-Free Meatballs. If you’ve been attempting them, I can imagine that you too started with almond flour, then experimented with coconut flour, and I’m sure gave those gluten-free flour mixes a whirl… And I can imagine that none of them were quite right. There’s a reason: none of those options will absorb fat or juices in order to create the light and airy mouthfeel achieved by a breadcrumb.

But I know what does 😉

Here’s why I think you’ll like this recipe.

TEXTURE. Ground pork rinds (I prefer this brand) are my favorite way to replicate breadcrumbs in gluten-free meatballs. You can make them yourself at home, of course, using a blender or food processor, however, I find it just as easy to throw a bag of any of these brands in my many Amazon Prime orders.

Let us know how it went.

Like many of the recipes on my blog, this one also came from Popular Paleo (my former blog dedicated to squeaky clean Paleo recipes). I leaned on this recipe heavily whenever doing a Whole30. In fact, the image below is an example of a common dinner I’d make for the family. Gluten-free meatballs, roasted veggies (like my Rosemary Roasted Carrots), and a bowl of fresh fruit. They are also great served alongside Rainbow Chard with Hazelnuts.

How did you end up serving them? Were you already familiar with using ground pork rinds as a breadcrumb substitute? Help inspire others by leaving your meal ideas below!

Gluten Free Meatballs in Marinara | The Colacino Kitchen c 2021

Gluten-Free Meatballs with Quick Tomato Sauce

Gluten-free. Paleo. Keto. Whole30. And you'll never think twice about the gluten…
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Diet: Gluten Free
Skill Level: Easy to Make
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Roasted
Specialty Diet: Gluten Free, Keto-Friendly, Paleo
Servings: 6 Adults
Calories: 627kcal



  • 3 pounds ground beef 93% or less fat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped, reserve some for garnish
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (for dairy-friendly use grated parmesan)
  • ¾ cup pork rinds ground fine

Quick Tomato Sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning dried basil can be substituted


Prepare Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C)
  • Mix all of the ingredients listed for the meatballs by hand in a large mixing bowl.
  • Form into large meatballs. I prefer to use a 1/3 measuring cup for equally sized meatballs. Scoop and shape!
  • Place each meatball on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 400°F (204°C)

Make Quick Tomato Sauce

  • Mince garlic cloves
  • Saute garlic in olive oil and dried Italian seasoning until fragrant over medium heat, then add tomato paste and continue cooking for another minute or so. The tomato paste should fully dissolve before moving to the next step.
  • Add chicken stock and stir until smooth. Whisking is helpful at this stage.
  • Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes, then turn the burner off. The quick tomato sauce can rest on the warm burner until the meatballs are ready.

To Serve

  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and arrange on a serving platter.
  • Whisk the quick tomato sauce one more time, then pour evenly over the plated meatballs
  • Top with reserved chopped fresh parsley; serve.


Calories: 627kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 219mg | Sodium: 626mg | Potassium: 691mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 292IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 5mg
The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: Expanded!Buy Now on Amazon
Gluten-Free Meatballs in Quick Tomato Sauce

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