Paleo & Keto Meatballs with Dairy-Free Mushroom Sauce

Do you love meatballs but you're on a special diet? These Grain-Free Keto Meatballs are the perfect solution. They hold together really well--even without bread or eggs and are paired with a delicious dairy-free mushroom sauce.

If you're on the paleo diet or have food allergies to dairy or egg, making meatballs can be nearly impossible. Thankfully, due to the discovery of this grain-free and egg-free meatball recipe, it's possible to have meatballs again.

In Search of a Grain-free Keto Meatball Recipe

Remember this song?

"On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese. I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed."

Well, we're not talking about a sneeze causing a problem. In my case, it was the results of food allergy testing. When I was handed a list of food sensitivities longer than my arm, lose the poor meatball I did.

It turned out that I was sensitive to eggs, dairy, wheat, gluten, peanuts, etc… I didn't think I was ever going to be able to eat a delicious meatball again.

Until I discovered you actually can make egg-free, dairy-free, paleo meatballs without sacrificing tenderness and flavor!


If you've been on almost any kind of diet you've probably had to give up many of your favorite comfort foods.

For me, I really missed my mom's moist meatballs. With gravy. On lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread.

The egg-free GAPS meatball recipes that I tried turned out bland and dry. So dry, in fact, they crumbled before I could even serve them onto plates.

Not exactly reminiscent of my mom's savory moist meatballs--and a far cry from the word "comfort".

Although I still miss my mom's lefse, I think I've finally found GAPS-friendly paleo meatballs worthy of the word "comfort".

This meatball recipe is the result of marrying my mom's savory meatball recipe with a GAPS-friendly version.

The final product is a moist and tender meatball without the eggs, bread crumbs, or any "illegal" ingredients.


I'm not sure what characteristics most people consider crucial to classify a meatball as distinguishable, but for me it's moisture.

A dry meatball, to me, is absolutely unpalatable and unacceptable.

I like to make this mushroom sauce with my grain-free meatballs, to help the meatballs lock in moisture.

It's really just like gravy!

This mushroom sauce recipe comes from Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife.

Love this sauce!

And there you have it! Special-diet and even GAPS Diet-friendly, yet savory, paleo meatballs that are so tender you can even serve them at dinner parties.

Your traditional food guests will never know the difference!

So...

"Hold on to your meatballs. And don't ever sneeze."

meatballs and mushroom sauce with vegetables

Well, even if you do sneeze, these paleo meatballs will hold together! And hopefully if we are on gut-healing diets, we'll be sneezing less :)!

And I'm thinking these grain-free meatballs would taste great as a sandwich on this Focaccia Flax Bread....hmmmmm.)

Recipe Notes for These Keto Meatballs

collage of paleo & keto meatballs in pan--raw and cooked
meatballs and mushroom sauce on plate

Grain-Free Meatballs with Dairy-Free Mushroom Sauce

On a special diet but you love meatballs? These Grain-Free Paleo Meatballs hold together great without bread or eggs!
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Course: Entree
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo
Keyword: Grain-free Meatballs
Servings: 12
Calories: 331kcal

Ingredients

For Meatballs

For Mushroom Sauce

  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional - see Recipe Notes)
  • 14 ounces coconut milk (most cans hold about this amount)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (divided; you can also use coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

For Meatballs

  • In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined.
  • When using the chia seed egg substitute, sometimes my mixture comes out too dry. If that happens, simply add a teaspoon of water at a time until you've reached the right consistency.
  • Shape into 1-inch balls.
  • Place the meatballs in a large skillet, with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Cover and cook meatballs, turning them frequently, until cooked through. About 20-30 minutes, for me.

For Mushroom Sauce:

  • Saute mushrooms and onions in 1 tablespoon of the butter / coconut oil until vegetables are tender.
  • Combine cornstarch with coconut milk and stir into vegetable mixture.
  • Add remaining butter / coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes.
  • When serving, pour the mushroom sauce over meatballs (but it would be great on veggies, or potatoes as well!).

Nutrition

Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 472mg | Potassium: 389mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg | Net Carbs: 5g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

The GAPS Diet is a very interesting gut-healing protocol.  Here is the book in case you'd like to check it out.  I promise, it has a lot of holds on it if it's even available at your local library.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome book

Leah, wife and mother to two, lives in the great southwest where the lizards and rattlesnakes slither. She sometimes manages to sneak from beneath the dinner dishes and laundry piles to share new discoveries she’s made in her journey through life.

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34 Comments

  1. Hi there, This recipe looks yummy to me but am trying to decide if my kids would like it. Does the sauce taste like coconut? I know some people rather enjoy the flavor of coconut with meat but my kids are, unfortunately, not that cultured.

    1. Hi Heather! So actually this recipe wasn't developed by me--it was a guest post. I think you would be OK with it, but you could try it with another dairy-free milk that they like to be on the safe side....or add more spices to hopefully take away some of the coconut flavor. I can try to make it soon to see. I did work on another Cream of Mushroom soup and I used some broth and some coconut milk and it was amazing and didn't taste like coconut :).

  2. What level of heat on the stove for cooking the meatballs? Recipe doesn't say (odd!). The first time I made these they turned out way too dry, and I'm pretty sure I used a Low-Med heat. I'm not super knowledgable in the kitchen, so I need this kind of info to be included. Thanks!

    1. I don't think that has anything to do with it. Typically you would cook meatballs on a medium heat. Perhaps something else happened?

  3. Hi,

    What is the coconut flour for? Is it in place of bread crumbs? I am allergic to dairy, eggs, coconut, tree nuts, peanuts and tomatoes, so I am trying to find a meatball recipe that does not have dairy or eggs or coconut lol. I know mixing pork with the beef works well as it adds more fat, but currently I have many many many lbs of grass finished lean ground beef in my freezer. Being I do not need to be GF, can I sub the flour for bread crumbs instead?

    Thank you!

    1. It's a thickener, so yes in that sense. Hmmmm...you could try more flax, or chia perhaps? Is there another flour you could maybe use? You could put maybe double the regular flour in and see how that does. Take care!

      1. I used oats. I do not need it GF so we shall see how it goes πŸ™‚ Thank you for your response as it gives me more options πŸ™‚

  4. My kids are on GAPS diet now and I had to learn to make meatballs without fillers like bread crumbs and they are delicious! I always wondered WHY we added them when we can get more flavor without fillers. I don't even add eggs or egg replacers. Just meat, herbs, onions and garlic. In this case, less is definitely MORE! I make hamburgers this way too! And my kids love beef breakfast 'sausages' made this way since they can't eat packaged sausages. I have to try your mushroom sauce. Thanks for the recipe!

      1. Yup. No egg replacers. I make sure the grass-fed ground meat has fat. The fats hold them together and keeps them moist. I add herbs like Tarragon, Parsley, Cumin and curry powder for extra kick but mainly, onion and garlic finely diced and minced. πŸ™‚

  5. Hello, just wondering if the mushroom sauce could be made with other milk, like oat milk or rice milk.

    vanessa

  6. I love that this includes coconut flour. I like to use that or Spelt flour exclusively. These look delicious, so I will try this recipe.

    I am linking up from Real Food Wednesday, and I would love if you can drop by.

  7. Thank you for this! Sounds like your food intolerance list was as bad as mine. I will definitely be trying this recipe!