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Mama Maria’s Meatballs

Mama Maria’s Meatballs

You all know I despise wasting time driving to the store and waiting in line! That’s why I get organic meats from Butcherbox mailed to my door twice a month! That way, I can skip the stores and spend more time making Mama Maria’s Meatballs!

Click HERE to save time and get a the CURRENT Butcherbox Deal!

I know what you’re thinking: I call these Mama Maria’s Meatballs because my name is Maria.

That’s partly true, but there are other reasons for this recipe title. One, I am Maria and I am a mama and I love meatballs! Two, Craig and I used to eat at a wonderful Italian restaurant called Mama Maria’s.

Mama Maria’s is a restaurant in the town we live in, Hudson Wisconsin. Before we had kids and before we were strict keto, we would go out to eat at Mama Maria’s often. We still order “keto” type items, but we now know that even meatballs were filled with gluten and often had sugar in the marinara sauce.

When Craig lost his job, and we couldn’t afford to go out to eat, I started cooking our favorite restaurant meals at home! Not only was it a great way to save money, but we both lost a lot of weight eating healthier versions at home! I also feel that my Mama Maria’s Meatballs taste way better than any restaurant anyway!

I understand that life gets busy and sometimes we need to find shortcuts. I once always made my own bone broth, sauces, marinara sauces, but that’s because there weren’t any good store-bought options. Now I find myself making my Mama Maria’s Meatballs (and my Protein Noodle Lasagna) with Primal Kitchen Marinara Sauces! They are delicious, organic and they do not have any sugar nor vegetable oils in the ingredients!

Primal Kitchen Marinara Sauces are not only filled with top quality ingredients, it is also delicious! I love that I can easily open a jar and use it to make my Mama Maria’s Meatballs in an instant! I also find myself making a double or triple batch of my meatballs now since it is so easy! I freeze a lot of them so my boys can throw some in my Cuisinart air fryer (or oven) when I am traveling for work and they have an easy meal that is not only healthy, but scrumptious!

Primal Kitchen is SO generous that they are doing a special discount for all of my readers! Use code: Maria for 20 % off!

Click HERE to get Primal Kitchen Marinara Sauces! 



Mama Maria's Meatballs with Primal Kitchen Marinara Sauce

Maria Emmerich
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Beef and Lamb, Dairy Free, Main Course, Nut Free
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 351


  • 2 pounds ground beef 85% lean click HERE to find grass-fed MAILED to you
  • ¼ cup chopped onion about 1 small
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese omit if dairy free
  • tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • Redmond Real Saltand ground black pepper
  • 2 cups mushrooms about 1 pound, finely chopped
  • 3 cups Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara divided (note: Roasted garlic is about 3g more carbs per serving)


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, eggs, cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add the mushrooms to the meat mixture. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup marinara, and combine well. Add another 1/2 cup of marinara and combine again. The mixture should be very moist but still able to hold its shape when rolled into meatballs.
  • Form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, turning occasionally, until evenly browned.
  • Serve with marinara. Store the meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, place in a preheated 350°F oven for about 3 minutes, until heated through.


Calories: 351 | Fat: 18g | Protein: 37g | Carbohydrates: 8g | Fiber: 1g | P:E Ratio: 1.5



“Hi Maria! Today was my magic day! I don’t own a scale, but on a hunch, I weighed myself at Publix  and I am at goal weight!

108 lbs gone…from a size 24W to a size 10. And I think my body still wants to shed a bit more! When I met you in Florida, I told you that you’d changed my life. And you did!

My body and my spirit have healed, and I’m at peace with who and where I am. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do to help others.

You have a gift, and you truly do change lives, not only through your recipes and knowledge, but also through the stories you share of your journey. May all the blessings you continually share with others come back to you 100- fold! ” Christine

Most people I consult are doing keto totally wrong. Get fast results with the my NEW Keto Packages!

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Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Sally says:

    I am allergic to mushrooms. Is there something I could substitute with or should I just omit them?

  • Laura Emerson says:

    Hi Maria and Craig,
    Thanks for all you do to support us in our ketogenic journey.
    Before I just learned that Primal Kitchen makes marinara sauce, I have been using Rao’s Homemade marinara sauce, with only 4 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup serving and no added sugars. I can buy it at both Walmart and Costco.
    A question please: have you found flavoring extracts (eg. vanilla extract, etc.) that meet keto guidelines? Even the non-alcoholic ones contain glycerin. What extracts do you bake with?
    Laura Emerson

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Yes, Raos is a good option and lower in carbs.

      I look for extracts made with vegetable glycerine instead of alcohol. 🙂

  • Debbie says:

    Do you have any suggestions for a substitute for moisture from the marinara sauce in the meatballs? I react to the nightshade family and must pass on the tomatoes. I’ve been in search of a good meatball recipe for a long time. Thank you!

  • Ronnie Roll says:

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you so much for all the great information you share! I’m a success story following your plan and continue to learn. Love your recipes! How many meatballs does this make so I know how many are in a serving?

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Thank you!! Depends on how big you make the meatballs. Just make the recipe and divide into 8 equal sized servings. 🙂

  • Mattena says:

    Made this recipe and oh how easy and wonderful.
    Used what I had in the house free range turkey and ground pork (wild pastures).
    Regular full fat ricotta.
    Made a double batch as I almost ate the first one:))
    Thank you Maria for sharing this rexipe….
    Now…on to the noodle recipe. ;))

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