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Easy Meatballs and Gravy Recipe (Keto + Paleo Option)

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Ultra-comforting, this Meatballs and Gravy recipe is so delicious and easy to make! Loaded with pantry staples and amazing flavor, it’s warm, filling, and the perfect low-carb dinner anytime. Keto + Paleo option.

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Meatballs and gravy over mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

This post was originally published on December 15th, 2021.

❤️ Why you will love this Meatballs and Gravy recipe

  • Ultimate comfort food: These homemade meatballs in a rich gravy served over mash (cauliflower or potatoes) fill you right up and are so satisfying. It is my favorite recipe for meatballs and the best complete comfort food.
  • Flavorful meatball: I really love the meat mixture for these Salisbury Steak Meatballs. I make it all the time! It’s loaded with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic powder, and kept together with flaxseed meal and eggs which somehow makes them the most tender meatballs out there. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
  • Homemade gravy: This is a super beefy gravy, laced with onions and mushrooms. It’s so easy to make!
  • Perfect leftovers: This delicious recipe tastes just as good if not better reheated the next day, making it perfect for meal prep.
  • It’s low carb. Yes! Even keto-friendly at just 7.6g net carbs per portion, this is one of the easiest meatball recipes to fit into your keto or low-carb diet!
  • It’s low calorie: Comfort food without the hefty calorie number? Yes, please! Each portion is only 318 calories. Add a healthy vegetable and you’re looking at a 400-500 calorie meal!
  • The whole family will love it! These tender meatballs are gluten and dairy-free, plus low carb but also…it has ketchup in the meatballs which is an easy selling point if you have picky mouths to feed. Ketchup meatballs for dinner! They may not even notice the mushrooms. It’s such an easy weeknight dinner!
  • Use frozen meatballs: I have a detailed post on how to freeze your own delicious meatballs at home! I cooked meatballs (I used this meatball recipe) in the oven on a baking tray and froze a huge batch in no time at all.

🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions

Meatballs

You can use freshly made or frozen meatballs for this recipe. Check out my step-by-step guide on making and freezing meatballs here! They are the same meatballs as this recipe.

  • Beef: I used lean ground beef. I prefer 10% over 5% as it is better for flavor, however, either will work. You could also substitute ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork if desired. I’ve used a combination of ground beef and pork in the past (50/50) which turned out really well.
  • Flaxseed meal & eggs: These two ingredients are binders. The large egg keeps the meatballs together, and the flaxseed meal is used instead of bread crumbs. It keeps the easy meatballs nice and moist.
  • Ketchup: My Keto Ketchup is the best ketchup recipe for these meatballs and gravy, but sugar-free store-bought ketchup will work too. I prefer homemade as it has tonnes of flavor compared to pre-made.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Make sure to use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce! Lea and Perrins is gluten-free in the USA but not in the UK, Canada, and Europe. I’ll leave some GF options in a list below. In Australia, you can buy Spring Gully Worcestershire Sauce which is gluten-free.
  • Mustard: Dijon mustard is perfect for this recipe! In a pinch, yellow mustard would be okay as well.
  • Seasoning: Garlic powder plus salt and black pepper season the meatballs. If you don’t have garlic powder, onion powder would work in a pinch.

Gravy

  • Mushrooms: I use white button mushrooms, you could use brown or another favorite that cooks down well with sauces.
  • Onion: I always use red onion as that’s just what we usually buy. Yellow onion or white onion is perfectly acceptable too.
  • Beef Broth: Adds salt as well as flavor. You can use homemade, store-bought, or even a gluten-free stock cube in 300ml of water. In a pinch, chicken broth is a good substitute.
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🥣 How to make Gluten Free Meatballs and Gravy

Meatballs

1. Mix the ingredients: Combine ground beef, flaxseed meal, egg, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt & pepper in a large bowl. Mix the meatball ingredients well.

Ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2. Form meatballs from the meatball mixture. I used my hands but a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop would keep your hands cleaner!

3. Cook the meatballs: Place a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and begin to cook the meatballs.

Meatballs in a large skillet.

4. Turn to cook evenly: As the meatballs brown, turn them over to cook evenly on all sides. 

Wooden spoon turning over meatballs cooking in a pan.

5. Set aside: Once finished cooking, transfer meatballs from the pan to a plate and keep them aside, leaving the grease in the pan for the sauce.

Gravy

1. Cook onions: Add the sliced onions to the pan with the leftover grease and begin to sauté over medium heat. 

Onions frying in a skillet.

2. Add mushrooms: After 2 minutes add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a further 5 minutes. 

Mushrooms and onions sautéeing in a pan.

3. Add sauce: Add the rest of the gravy ingredients: ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce reduces and thickens. 

Gravy ingredients added to onions and mushrooms in a pan with a turquoise spoon.

4. Place meatballs back in, mix with the flavorful sauce, and place a lid on the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

Turquoise spoon adding meatballs to onion and mushroom gravy.

 5. Serve meatballs and gravy over a vegetable like mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower. See below for more serving suggestions!

Meatballs and gravy over mashed cauliflower in a white bowl.

🤔 How do I make this recipe paleo-friendly?

I sometimes substitute balsamic vinegar for the Worcestershire sauce and add a little honey if it needs more sweetness. You’ll also need a paleo-compliant Ketchup like my Paleo Ketchup recipe.

❓ Which brands have Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce?

UK

USA

Canada

Australia

🍽️ What goes well with Meatballs?

I chose mashed cauliflower to keep it low carb, but here are some other options:

🤷‍♀️ What makes these meatballs gluten-free?

By adding the flaxseed meal and skipping the breadcrumbs, plus using gluten-free Worcestershire Sauce or replacing it with balsamic vinegar, these meatballs are 100% gluten-free.

❔ Do I have to cook meatballs before putting them in sauce?

Yes! The sauce will disappear and the meatballs will disintegrate if you don’t cook them first! They can be partially cooked and finished off with the sauce, but make sure they’re completely seared on the outside so they don’t fall apart.

🧆 Is it better to bake or pan-fry meatballs?

In this case, I like to pan-fry them in a non-stick pan, so that I can sauté the onions for the gravy in the leftover fat. If you do want to bake them, this step-by-step guide to freezing meatballs also shows you how to bake the meatballs for this recipe in the oven.

Overhead shot of Meatballs and gravy over mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

🫙 Storage & reheating

  • Store the meatballs and gravy in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze them for up to 4 months.
  • Reheat in a pan on the stove. I usually make the gravy again (minus the onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper) just to boost the sauce as it seems to disappear a little in the fridge. Add the beef broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce to a pot on the stove along with the leftover gluten-free meatballs and gravy, and reheat until the sauce is thick.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw completely before reheating.

🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Use a cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop to easily form the meatballs. It keeps your hands clean as well!
  • Don’t want to make your own meatballs? Use frozen meatballs instead!
  • Make your own frozen meatballs by following this step-by-step guide!
  • Prefer a creamy gravy? Add 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) of sour cream to the rich brown gravy. So delicious!
  • Use a deep skillet to cook the meatballs. It’ll need to hold the meatballs and the gravy later!
  • To check if your meatballs are fully cooked, the internal temperature should reach 160°F (71°C).
Gluten-free meatballs and gravy over mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

😋 More comfort food you will love

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Close up of meatball in gravy over mashed potatoes.

📖 Meatballs and Gravy Recipe (Keto, gluten-free, paleo option)

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ultra-comforting, this Gluten-Free Meatballs and Gravy recipe is so delicious and easy to make! Loaded with pantry staples and love, it's warm and filling in all the right ways. Keto + Paleo option.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil, (optional, if not using non-stick pan)
  • 680 g ground beef, 1.5lbs
  • 38 g flaxseed meal , 1/4 cup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sugar-free ketchup , *see notes
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce , **see notes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Gravy

  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 300 g white button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp sugar-free ketchup , *see notes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce , **see notes
  • 300 ml beef broth
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Meatballs

  1. Add all of the meatball ingredients to a mixing bowl: ground beef, flaxseed meal, egg, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Mix until well combined.
  2. Form the meat mixture into meatballs.
  3. Place a large pan on the stove over medium-high heat and begin to cook the meatballs. Meatballs in a large skillet.
  4. As the meatballs brown, turn them over to cook evenly on all sides. Wooden spoon turning over meatballs cooking in a pan.
  5. Once finished cooking, remove from pan and keep aside, leaving the grease in the pan for the sauce.

Gravy

  1. Add the sliced onions to the pan with the leftover grease and begin to sauté.
  2. After 2 minutes add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Mushrooms and onions sautéeing in a pan.
  3. Add the rest of the gravy ingredients: ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth and salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce reduces and thickens. Gravy ingredients added to onions and mushrooms in a pan with a turquoise spoon.
  4. Add the meatballs back in, mix with the gravy, and place a lid on the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Serve over a vegetable like mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes.

Notes

  1. Ketchup: I made my Keto Ketchup and used that in this recipe. It's straightforward and has a much better flavor than store-bought ketchup. If you don't want to make your own, store-bought is fine but it will likely increase the total carbs in the recipe. Look for sugar-free to keep it low carb.
  2. Worcestershire sauce: Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce in the USA is gluten-free, however in the UK, it is not. I've listed some alternatives in the post above, like this one (affiliate).
  3. Paleo: I often substitute balsamic vinegar for the Worcestershire sauce (if I'm out of it), making this recipe paleo. If it needs a little sweetness, add a little honey or a sweetener.
  4. Use a cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop to easily form the meatballs. It keeps your hands clean as well!
  5. Don’t want to make your own meatballs? Use frozen meatballs instead!
  6. Make your own frozen meatballs by following this step-by-step guide!
  7. Prefer a creamy gravy? Add 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) of sour cream to the rich brown gravy. So delicious!
  8. Use a deep skillet to cook the meatballs. It’ll need to hold the meatballs and the gravy later!
  9. To check if your meatballs are fully cooked, the internal temperature should reach 160°F (71°C).

Storage and reheating

  1. Store the meatballs with their sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze them for up to 4 months.
  2. Reheat in a pan on the stove. I usually make the gravy again (minus the onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper) just to boost the sauce as it seems to disappear a little in the fridge. Add the beef broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce to a pot on the stove along with the leftover gluten-free meatballs and gravy, and reheat until the sauce is thick.
  3. Freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw completely before reheating.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 12.2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 886mgCarbohydrates: 11.4gNet Carbohydrates: 7.6gFiber: 3.8gSugar: 5.5gProtein: 40.4g

Did you make this recipe?

Have you made this recipe? I’d love to know <3 Tag me (@gallaxygas) on Facebook and Instagram, Pin it on Pinterest, or leave a star rating review below! Don’t forget to sign up to the email list for sparkly new recipes in your inbox =]

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