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!
"Hold on to your meatballs. And don't ever sneeze."
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.)
- Any egg substitute can be used instead of the eggs. Chia Seed Egg Replacer is a good option. This Powdered Egg Replacer would work well too.
- You can use organic arrowroot instead of cornstarch, but do not use either if you cannot tolerate either of them. For a low-carb option of the sauce, either omit all together or substitute organic glucomannan.
- Here is a great homemade option for coconut milk.
Grain-Free Meatballs with Dairy-Free Mushroom Sauce
- 2 pounds ground beef (preferably grass fed)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 4 chia eggs (or eggs if you can tolerate them)
- 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
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
- 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!).
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, which was referenced above, is a fairly popular gut-healing protocol. You can try to get it at your local library as well, but it likely has a lot of holds on it if it's even available. For that reasons, purchasing it might be the best way to go.
Side note--the recipe was originally from the owner of Ponderings Of My Heart blog, which is no longer online.
Been missing meatballs on a grain-free diet?
I'd love to hear what you think about these if you try them!
I can't wait to make these! I came for the chocolate frosting recipe and ran into these. I'll hopefully be making both very soon! I'm not on a special diet but I'm always looking for healthier versions of favorite foods. Thanks for the recipes. I already know they are going to be yummy!
Awww thanks! So hope you like them! I will say that I have some recipes to redo on my site and I'm such a perfectionist that I will likely never get to them, but these 2 are good I think. Thanks for taking the time to comment -- take care!
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.
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 :).
Thanks so much for your feebback. I have this on my list for this week. Will try to come back and let you know.
Look forward to it! Hope it goes well!!
If you do try it I would LOVE to hear what everyone thinks!
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!
I don't think that has anything to do with it. Typically you would cook meatballs on a medium heat. Perhaps something else happened?
I recently tried this recipe and am making it again tonight. I love these meatballs!
So glad to hear it!!
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?
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!
I used oats. I do not need it GF so we shall see how it goes 🙂 Thank you for your response as it gives me more options 🙂
How about using cream instead of coconut milk when not doing dairy free?
Yes, that would be great. Or plain milk. Hope you enjoy them!
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!
So glad to hear it Karen!!! So yours stick together even without flax?
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. 🙂
Hello, just wondering if the mushroom sauce could be made with other milk, like oat milk or rice milk.
Thanks for linking up at Healing With Food Friday!
I. Love. Mustard. Powder. It's amazing stuff. Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday!!
Me too! It adds a lot of flavor doesn't it! Thanks!
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.
Looks great! Our niece is GF and DF, so this is definitely a recipe we can use! Thanks!
I hope your niece likes it! Thanks!
This looks really good. Thanks for sharing. Found you from Homestead Barn Hop.
Thank you for this! Sounds like your food intolerance list was as bad as mine. I will definitely be trying this recipe!
I hope you enjoy these! It's so hard to let go of all the traditional yummy foods we're used to.... Hugs!
Oh YUM! I’d love it if you would share at our Healing With Foods blog hop! Hope to see you there!
Thanks! Just shared! Lots of yummy link-ups there!
Just made these. AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Oh yay! I'm so glad you liked them! Thanks for letting me know!
Looks AMAZING!! I can't wait to try!
I think so too!