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The BEST Ricotta Meatballs (Gluten Free & Keto)

The BEST Ricotta Meatballs (Gluten Free & Keto)

I never thought I liked ricotta. Growing up, my mom would use cottage cheese to make lasagna and the ricotta cheese I tried was gritty and flavorless.

This was until I was on my keto retreat in Italy last year! (My wish is for ALL of you to join my keto retreats so you can learn and have the most intimate consult while traveling the most beautiful areas of the World!) Italian ricotta is totally different and it is totally delicious! It is not grainy, it is not flavorless! They often serve it at breakfast with tomatoes.

When I came back home to Wisconsin, I missed Italy and Italian food so much! I ordered octopus and swordfish from Fulton Fish Market because I ate that daily in Italy and I found a website that sold Italian burrata and Italian ricotta. With the extra ricotta, I decided to write a recipe for all of you for the BEST Ricotta Meatballs!


I always have Butcherbox ground beef and ground pork in the freezer. Did you know that most Italian sausage has sugar? I have never found Italian sausage in the store without sugar, which is another reason I love Butcherbox! They do not have sugar in their Italian sausage! So to make my meatballs, if you do not have sugar free Italian sausage, use plain ground pork.

Ordering food online helps me save a lot of time so I can do things I love like spending time with my family instead of shopping a fluorescent lite grocery store and waiting in lines!


When I make meatballs, I do not do one batch. I usually do a quadruple batch and store extra meatballs unbaked in the freezer. On busy days, all I have to do is throw a bunch on a baking sheet, let them thaw an hour before baking them and I have a delicious dinner in no time!

And I also always have a loaf of my protein bread (carnivore bread) in the freezer which makes great garlic bread to go with the meatballs.

The BEST Ricotta Meatballs (Gluten Free & Keto)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Beef and Lamb, Main Course, Nut Free, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 servings
Calories 296.3


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
  • 8 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef 85% lean
  • 1 pound ground pork (or more beef)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (Italian ricotta preferred)
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish if desired
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped (plus leaves for garnish if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon Redmond Real salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups sugar free marinara for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the top 1/3 of the oven, about 8 inches under the broiler. 
  • Place the butter into a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the onion. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened & fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic & cook another minute, or until fragrant. Remove from the skillet and place into a large bowl. 
  • Once the onion mixture is cool enough to touch, add the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, Parmesan, ricotta, diced mushrooms, basil, Italian seasoning, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Use your hands to combine well. Form the mixture into meatballs slightly larger than the size of a golf ball, rolling just until smooth – take care to avoid pressing the meatballs together too compactly. For quickness & ease, I use a 2-inch spring-loaded ice cream scoop. Place the meatballs on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn oven to broil and cook another 5 to 8 minutes or until you have a nice brown crust on the outside.
  • While the meatballs cook, place the marinara sauce into a large skillet and heat over medium heat. 
  • Once the meatballs are cooked through, place them to the skillet with the sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes. If desired, top with freshly grated Parmesan and basil leaves. Serve warm. 
  • Store extras in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days. Can be frozen for up to a month. To reheat, place the meatballs and marinara onto a skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes or until warmed through.


Calories: 296.3 | Fat: 22.1g | Protein: 22.5g | Carbohydrates: 3.7g | Fiber: 0.6g | P:E Ratio: 0.9


This testimony made my YEAR!!! Melissa is a patient at an assisted living home in Arizona that exclusively makes only my recipes for their residents. I’ve been getting testimonials like this for months!

“Back in May we started our assisted living resident Melissa on a journey to restore her memory.

We gave her a cognitive impairment test called SLUMS to baseline her. She scored a 15/30. Well within the range saying she had Dementia.

Then we fed her Maria Emmerich’s recipes and gave her a bunch of other non-pharmaceutical therapies.

In September she scored a 22/30 which indicates mild cognitive impairment.

Yesterday she scored a 28. She’s in the normal range!

This Wednesday she will be moving back home to live on her own! We couldn’t be more excited. We celebrated with a going away party and instead of cake gave her a steak.

And thanks to Maria for helping us with Melissa’s success.” – Hal Cramer, A Paradise for Parents

Most people I consult are doing keto totally wrong. Get fast results with the my Mind-blowing Keto School!

Click HERE to check out my supplement plans!

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.".

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