Giant Italian Meatball Recipe (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

low carb meatball recipe from mellissa sevigny at ibreatheimhungry.comA couple of weeks ago, Mr. Hungry taped a Food Paradise episode from The Food Network for me that was all about meatballs from restaurants around the country.

I had no idea there were so many restaurants featuring meatballs out there, but apparently meatballs have become big business in the past few years.  Look at me being all trendy and stuff!

There were a few creative twists, but the most popular in almost every place seemed to be the classic Italian meatball.

One that stood out (so much so that I’ve been obsessed with it ever since), is the giant italian meatball that they serve at Lavo restaurant in Vegas.  You can see a clip of the segment by clicking here.

Their version also serves a dollop of ricotta cheese on top which sounds delicious, but since it adds a few grams of carbs, I opted not to use it in this low carb version – though you certainly could!

giant italian meatball recipe low carb and gluten free by mellissa sevigny
[pinterest text=”Giant Italian Meatball Recipe that is Low carb and gluten free by!!!” layout=”horizontal” image=”×695.jpg”]
There is something awesome about making and eating a meatball the size of a softball!

giant meatballs raw

These are baked in the oven, and then simmered in sauce – so they take a little longer than my usual meatball recipes.   I promise you though, they are worth the wait!!!  Also there isn’t a lot of hand’s on time, so even though they take awhile to cook, you don’t really have to babysit them.  Once baked, you could even add them to a crockpot full of sauce and let them go for a few hours, rather than doing it on the stove.

low carb giant italian meatball recipe

I formed my mix into 4 giant meatballs that were about 1/2 lb each – but you could really make them smaller if you want to.  I’m going to give you the nutrition info for either one of the 4 giant meatballs, or one of the smaller, but still huge 8 large meatballs.)

Giant Italian Meatball Recipe (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

Yield: (8 generous servings)

Serving Size: 4 giant, or 8 large meatballs

Giant Italian Meatball Recipe (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

A low carb and gluten free recipe for giant Italian meatballs.


  • For the meatballs:
  • 1lb ground beef (80/20)
  • 1lb ground pork (or you can use all beef)
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • To serve:
  • 2 cups no sugar added marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • grated parmesan cheese


  • For the meatballs:
  • Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly, but gently, until the mix is completely blended. Form into 4 softball sized meatballs (or 8 smaller meatballs). Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (25 minutes for the smaller ones).
  • To serve:
  • Pour the 2 cups of marinara sauce and the water into a medium saucepan or crockpot. Add the meatballs and stir gently to coat with the sauce. Cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the meatballs are tender. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.


Approximate nutrition information: per naked giant meatball: 616 calories, 44g fat, 3.8g net carbs, 50g protein per naked large meatball: 308 calories, 22g fat, 1.9g net carbs, 25g protein

per 1/4 cup sauce: 25 calories, 1g fat, 3.5g net carbs, 1g protein

low carb meatball recipe from

I was obsessed with the giant meatballs ever since I saw the show, and they did not disappoint!  Hope you like them too!  Have a great week, Peeps!

Don’t forget to download your copy of the newly released IBIH Fall Recipes E-zine!  It’s chock full of fantastic recipes for Fall, and for only $5.00!

25 low carb and gluten free recipes for fall



    • says

      Glad you liked the others, and hope you enjoy this one as well! You can load this up with cheese too! It’s simmering in the sauce that makes it so tender and melt in your mouth good! Love them!!!!

  1. says

    giant meatballs! seriously, can you believe i don’t have a good, reliable italian meatball recipe? none. NADA. and here you are with giant meatballs, and low carb and the whole bit. i love you.

    Meatballs ARE big business now; very hipster, but i think in a good way. :)

    • says

      Thanks for the love Shannon – right back atcha! Also, now I feel must embrace my hipsterness and completely change my wardrobe and start spouting obnoxious hipster friendly terminology like… wait, I don’t know any hipster speak…yet. Just to be sure, I googled “things hipsters say” and this guy’s twitter came up! Hilarious! NOW I’m ready to be a hipster! ha ha!

  2. says

    Mellissa I’m so digging the idea of behemoth meatballs. Why go small when you can go giant?
    It’s settled then, from now on only humongous meatballs in my kitchen!

    Btw, this meatball looks enticing with all that yummy marinara sauce and the oregano sprig on top!

    • says

      Right??? Go big or go home! Glad you think the meatball looks good – it was unrecognizable after the shoot when I shaved so much parmesan cheese over it that it looked like Cousin It or some wacky parmesan chia pet! But man was it delish! :)

  3. Julie says

    This meatball recipe made the best low carb/gluten free meatballs I’ve ever had. Browning first in the over and then letting them sit for a bit in the slow cooker with the sauce was a great idea. Will be making this recipe often. Thanks!

  4. Amanda says

    Okay – so we made these tonight and absolutely, wondermously fantastic! I reduced the salt to one tsp and then stuffed the meatballs (giant btw…only way to go :)!) with pepperoni and fresh mozzarella squares…again, wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this…it makes it easier to stay on track with recipes like this!

  5. Beth says

    I love this recipe! I come from a huge Italian family, so meatballs are a comfort food I’d be sad to give up. Your use of the almond meal is spot-on. Not so much that the meat has a bread-like consistency, and not too little that it tastes like a hamburger with red sauce. Delicious!

    Anyway, I’m thinking of making a bunch and freezing them for quick weekday suppers. Do you think it would be ok to bake and freeze these, and then simmer them in the sauce after pulling them out of the freezer?

    • says

      Absolutely Beth – these are the perfect candidate for freezing! Though you might want to make them smaller just so they get to eating temperature quicker when you’re simmering them in the sauce. Unless your doing them in the crock pot for a long period in which case it won’t matter! I’m going to be making a big batch myself – I love the convenience of just throwing them in there in the morning and coming home to dinner ready to go!

  6. says

    Tonight I made these and served them atop zuccini noodles, and they were delicious and so filling! This is the second time I’ve made them exactly as is. I used Bertoli’s Spicy Red Pepper Marinara sauce which was just the right amount of zing. I don’t make 4 softball sized…but eight 1/4 pound ones and they are moist and tasty. Thanks for this great recipe!

  7. Jamie Rebecca says

    This looks delicious. I think I’m going to use this to stuff in some peppers. I love meatballs and I love stuffed peppers!

  8. Julie says

    We’re loving Meatball Mondays – we’ve done 4 weeks so far from your collection. I think the Giant Italian Meatballs will be a nice follow up to the Turkey Pesto from last week. I may even stuff these with the fresh mozzarella that I have left over from that recipe!

  9. Dee says

    I’m definitely trying this out tomorrow night. Silly question though (clean food newb here) when you say half a cup of parmesan, would that be from a block of parmesan? or can I measure a half cup of already shaved from a bag? Or does it not matter? Also your recipes are amazing, I’ve eaten Cajun Chicken at leas 5 times this fortnight. Every day I find a new recipe of yours I want to try :)

    • says

      Welcome Dee! In this recipe you can use any grated parmesan – freshly grated or even the cheap stuff from a can, (though that sometimes has added starch so be sure the read the label first!) I love these meatballs – hope you do too!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *