Jamaican Jerk Meatballs (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

Jamaican Jerk Meatballs Low Carb and Gluten FreeHappy Meatball Monday, Peeps!  My local grocery store was having a sale on ground pork a couple of weeks ago, so I stocked up my freezer.  Sadly, I realized that there weren’t that many pork friendly options on my list of future low carb meatball recipe concepts to try out.

I was wracking my brain trying to think of some, and then it hit me – pretty much anything that tastes great on pork ribs, will also taste great in a pork meatball.  So I created this low carb meatball recipe using similar flavors as in my Jerk BBQ Ribs recipe.

It worked perfectly flavor-wise, and they are certainly easier to eat, but I don’t know if anything is really a substitute for a falling off the bone, perfectly cooked rib.  Am I right????

I guess this isn’t really meant to be a substitute though – more an alternative for when you don’t have an entire afternoon to devote to pampering a rack of ribs like they deserve.
low carb jamaican jerk meatballs
[pinterest text=”Jamaican Jerk Meatballs (low carb and gluten free) from ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/jerkmeatballssmall-675×950.jpg”]
Even though these were a delicious use of my freezer full of ground pork, it would also work great with any ground poultry, and probably even ground beef if that’s what you have.

I like mine really spicy, so I added a teaspoon of minced habanero pepper to my batch.  I’m listing it as optional, since not everybody wants their tongue to burst into flames when they eat their dinner.  You can also add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce if you don’t have any habaneros.  My current favorite is this one, which adds a nice heat and subtle, smoky flavor to pretty much everything.
low carb jamaican jerk meatballs
[pinterest text=”Jamaican Jerk Meatballs (low carb and gluten free) from ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/jerkmeatballs3small-645×950.jpg”]

Jamaican Jerk Meatballs (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

Yield: 12 meatballs (4 servings)

Serving Size: 3 meatballs

Jamaican Jerk Meatballs (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

A spicy and sweet low carb and gluten free meatball recipe inspired by Jamaican Jerk Ribs.


    For the Meatballs
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar substitute
  • For the Sauce
  • 1/4 cup tamari (wheat free) soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbl chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbl orange zest
  • 1 tsp minced habaneros or scotch bonnets (optional)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/8th tsp allspice
  • 1/4 cup sugar substitute (honey for Paleo)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (or arrowroot powder for Paleo)


    For the Meatballs:
  • Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Form into 12 meatballs. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or fry in a nonstick pan for about 4 minutes per side, until cooked through.
  • For the Sauce:
  • Combine the tamari sauce (or coconut aminos), water, ginger, habaneros (if using), orange zest, orange juice, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and dijon mustard in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 8 minutes. Strain the sauce to remove the habaneros, ginger and orange zest. Add the strained sauce back into the pan, and add in the allspice, sweetener and xanthan gum, whisking until smooth. Simmer for another 5 minutes until thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.
  • When the meatballs are cooked, add to the sauce and heat for a minute or two, tossing to make sure they are fully coated. You could also broil them for a couple of minutes before serving to cook the sauce onto them. Serve garnished with orange zest.


Approximate nutrition information: per "naked" meatball: 118 calories, 10g fat, .3g net carbs, 7g protein per serving (3) "naked" meatballs: 355 calories, 30g fat, 1g net carbs, 21g protein per sauced meatball: 126 calories, 10g fat, 1.3g net carbs, 8g protein per serving (3) sauced meatballs: 379 calories, 30g fat, 4g net carbs, 24g protein

low carb and gluten free jerk meatball recipe
[pinterest text=”Jamaican Jerk Meatballs” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/jerkmeatballs2small-700×837.jpg”]

Can’t get enough low carb and gluten free meatball recipes?  Check out some of these other Meatball Monday favorites:  Low Carb Meatballs alla Parmigiana, Caprese Meatballs, General Tso’s Meatballs, Green Chicken Enchilada Meatballs, and Carolina BBQ Meatballs!

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  1. says

    Hi Mellissa! I saw your post on CCN FB page and just had to stop by! My freezer is full of ground bison, and this recipe is a perfect way to use up some of it. Thank you for sharing ;). I cook with almond flour quite often but have never thought to add it to meatballs. Love the addition of orange zest and ginger! If you have time, I have a recipe for Italian meatball sliders w/balsamic ketchup up on my blog that you may be interested in -http://www.mjandhungryman.com/italian-turkey-meatball-sliders/

  2. Shelley says

    I’ve made the Jerk BBQ ribs twice now since you posted it. Know what you mean by “falling off the bone” tender!

    Still, will have to give this a try since I have a pound or two of ground pork in the freezer.

    Thanks, Melissa

    • says

      Shelley I don’t know why but your comments always end up in my spam folder! I just rescued this one but if you post again and it doesn’t show up within a couple of minutes, please let me know! Hope you like these!

  3. Alie says

    If you still have ground pork, what about shumai without the wrapper? I do pork and shrimp ones sometimes. These look really awesome, though. Can’t wait to try them! Once I curb my jalapeño popper meatball addiction, anyway. Seriously, those should have come with a warning!

  4. says

    seriously: jerk seasoned anything is my favorite, especially in the summer (even though who am i kidding, i would eat it year-round). These sound wonderful: love the use of almond flour in here! I’ve played around with bread crumb alternatives, but i’ve never tried almond flour, and i need to.

    • says

      Right? I would jerk season Every. Thing. if I could. In fact, that gives me an idea for a jerk flavored cauliflower….*writes down in recipe idea notebook* The almond flour does work great in meatballs – just not too much or you end up with cannon balls that if they rolled onto the floor would leave a permanent dent! ha ha!

  5. Tiffany says

    You’re whole blog is incredible. Thanks for sharing all of your amazing recipes. I do low carb and gluten free and my brother has celiac so finding really good recipes are hard. My mom stresses about what to cook for family dinners. You have just made our lives easier, more healthy and more delicious :) I just found you. I’m a lifer lol. Good job.

  6. Desiree V says

    Hey! These look great!! I am just learning to try new recipes and this is at the top of the list! For a meal, what would you recommend serving these with? I was thinking a little extra sauce on some steamed brown rice and snap peas? Or asparagus? What do you think?

  7. A says

    These sounds great, but if theres worcestershire sauce in it they are not gluten free unless you specifically buy a GF version. Id hate for someone to make these for someone thinking they were GF


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