5-Ingredient Free Meatballs (egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free) are free of all the major allergens, but still taste amazing and are easy to make with a short list of simple ingredients.
Make a double batch during meal prep and you’re good to go!
“So happy I can eat meatballs again! I made these with rice pasta and sauce and they were delicious! My family said they taste better than regular meatballs!” ~Alicia
One of our all-time favorite meals around here is good old spaghetti and meatballs.
It’s always been of my my favorites, and when I met my husband I knew it was true love when I discovered that we shared this affinity for this Italian American classic.
These days my 6-year-old is also a huge fan of a giant plate of pasta with meatballs, so needless to say it makes its way to our dinner table often.
True, I’ve had to reinvent the recipe over the years, as I realized that I needed to avoid gluten, and then again as my husband learned he does better when avoiding dairy.
I remember visiting my mother-in-law in upstate New York and telling her about our dietary restrictions.
“How in the world does one make meatballs without breadcrumbs and cheese?” she asked me.
“Impossible,” is what she concluded.
The thing is, you actually can make meatballs without breadcrumbs and cheese, and guess what? They’re still delicious.
But here’s the thing: I know some of you also avoid eggs.
So I’ve been on a mission to come up with a completely free meatball.
Free from all.the.things: dairy-free, cheese-free, egg-free, gluten-free, breadcrumb-free, nut-free.
You name it, and this recipe is free of it.
And the good news? They actually taste good.
Like, really, really good. Good enough to eat alone or, better yet, smothered in your favorite sauce.
You can also make them ahead during meal prep and freeze for a night when things get crazy.
One quick note: please don’t skip grating the onion.
Grating it (just as you would cheese) allows the onion to release much-needed moisture and allows it to dissolve into the meat.
So just don’t skip it, and try not to over-mix the meat mixture, or you’ll end up with tough meatballs.
And no one wants that.
So here’s to free meatballs. I hope you love ‘em.
I hope you’ll make this one soon.
If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
Now, let’s make some 5-Ingredient Free Meatballs!
Recipe & Kid Friendly Adaptations
1 | Serve the meatballs atop zoodles or noodles with marinara or any sauce you like.
2 | Serve the meatballs plain with marinara or catsup on the side for dipping.
3 | These meatballs freeze well. Allow to cool, then pop them into a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
This Recipe Is
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, mayo-free, nut-free (use oat flour option), grain-free, soy-free. Paleo, and whole30 friendly
Kitchen Tools to Make 5-Ingredient Free Meatballs (egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free)
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5-Ingredient Free Meatballs (egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free)
½ cup grated onion (from about 1 medium yellow onion)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
⅓ cup almond flour or oat flour
2 pounds ground dark meat turkey or ground beef, grass-fed if possible
1 tablespoon olive oil
No-sugar-added marinara sauce of choice, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the grated onion, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, and flour until well combined. Add the meat, stirring until well combined (clean hands work best), being careful not to overmix.
2. Roll the mixture into balls. Place each on a rimmed baking baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
3. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping once, until golden and cooked through.
4. Remove from the oven, add to sauce of choice (if using), and serve.
Makes approximately 20 meatballs.
*Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor without containing any dairy. Find it on the bulk aisle of your natural foods store, or in the baking section. It adds an essential "cheesy" flavor to the recipe, so I would not recommend skipping it.
You can also cook the meatballs on the stovetop. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then cook the meatballs until golden and cooked through, flipping halfway through. You may need to work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Make your own oat flour for this recipe by placing ⅓ cups whole rolled oats in a blender and blending until a coarse flour forms. You can purchase pre-made oat flour at many grocery stores and natural food markets or online. If you are gluten-free be sure to buy oats that are specifically labeled gluten-free.
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