If you love spicy meatballs then you will love this easy keto meatball recipe ready in under 30-minutes.
Only 2.8g net carbs per serving and the meatballs are made with ground pork and ground beef. Meatballs can be cooked in the frying pan, oven, air-fryer and even slow-cooker.
The quick spicy garlic keto sauce is perfect for homemade meatballs or frozen meatballs. I'll even show you how to make homemade frozen keto meatballs too.
These spicy meatballs are for those who love to coat their food with hot sauce. They are tangy with a fresh chili flavor that is out of this world.
I like to use two types of ground meat when making your meatball mixture. I find doing this not only improves flavor but keeps meatballs from being too dry or too greasy.
You can use any type of minced or ground beef. For these spicy meatballs, I will be using lean ground beef and lean ground pork.
All quantities, ingredients, and instructions are in the recipe card below.
- minced/ground pork
- minced/ground beef
- diced onion - or onion powder
- minced garlic - or garlic powder
- salt and pepper - add salt and season to taste
For the spicy garlic sauce you will need:
- Fresno chilis - fresh red chili peppers or your own favourite mix of spices
- minced garlic - crushed garlic
- minced fresh ginger - crushed ginger
- white vinegar
- chicken stock or chicken broth
- ground allspice
- coconut aminos (this is a substitution for soy sauce)
- xanthan gum or other thickening agent
How to mix meatball ingredients
Place all the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with clean hands, or a silicon spatula.
Roll a golf ball size of the meat mixture, squeeze it together, then form into a meatball shape. Continue until all the spicy meatballs are prepared.
Cooking times will vary depending on the size and quantity of spicy meatballs you make.
You can cook these keto meatballs two ways.
How to cook meatballs in the frying pan
Fry meatballs gently in olive oil or coconut oil in a large sauté pan, frying pan, or large skillet. Fry on medium-high heat on all sides until the meatballs are browned and cooked into the centre.
How to cook meatballs in the oven
Add the meatballs on an oiled baking tray or baking dish. Bake in the oven at 180C/350F for 15 minutes (turning once so they brown all over) for 15 minutes, or until cooked into the centre.
How to cook meatballs in the slow-cooker
To cook meatballs in your slow-cooker spray the inside with olive oil (or your favourite cooking oil) and place all the balls into the slow-cooker dish. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW heat for 5 hours. Stir once or twice during the cooking time to ensure all the meatballs are golden brown and cooked.
Hint: make a large batch of meatballs at one time and freeze them into serval portions. Now you can just grab a portion and bake them as needed. Meatballs can be kept in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
How to cook meatballs in an air fryer
Using an air fryer to cook keto meatballs is quick and easy. But you need to cook the meatballs first WITHOUT any sauce. If you add the sauce, it will just dribble out the bottom of the air fryer wire rack and burn.
Once your meatballs are cooked in the air fryer, transfer them to a saucepan or skillet with your chosen favorite low-carb sauce and heat through.
- Preheat to 180C/350F.
- Spray the wire basket with cooking oil.
- Gently place each meatball into the oiled basket. Ensure there is plenty of space between them.
- Cook for 10 minutes, open the drawer and turn each meatball.
- Cook for a further 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of meatballs being cooked.
If you love using your air fryer, I have 101 keto air fryer recipes for you to choose from (chicken, pork, ground beef, salmon, vegetables, and even desserts). Discover how to use your air fryer plus FREE printable air fryer cooking cheat sheets.
How to make spicy garlic sauce
Step 1: Chop the red fresco chilies, fresh ginger, and garlic together in a food processor until finely chopped.
Step 2: Melt butter in a skillet. Add the chopped chilies, ginger, and garlic to the skillet. Combine then saute until it is fragrant then add all the remaining recipe ingredients to the pan except the xantham gum.
Step 4: Let the sauce simmer for 3-5 minutes to allow the delicious flavors to meld. Then whisk in the xanthan gum to thicken the sauce.
When the sweet sauce has thickened, add the warm cooked meatballs to the sauce. Gently stir or toss until all the meatballs are coated. This is definitely a dinner recipe for your recipe box.
Sometimes for various reasons you may need to replace an ingredient used with something else. This could be dietary restrictions or even the availability of the ingredients at that time. Please see the list below of your recommended substitutions.
- Fresno chilis - Fresno chilis look like red jalapeños. Any fresh red pepper can be used, just keep the spice intensity in mind when picking a pepper. You can also use chili flakes (one of my favourite pantry spices).
- Coconut Aminos - coconut aminos can be expensive or hard to find sometimes. When I am out of aminos I tend to use beef stock with a pinch of sweetener as a replacement. If you can tolerate soy, you could use no-sugar soy sauce. You might also like to use Worcestershire sauce, which does contain a few carbs, but you use such a small quantity, it won't ruin your daily carb limit.
- Xanthan Gum - this is used to thicken the sauce. Any thickening agent will work so feel free to use your favorite. You can also simply reduce the sauce over the stove until it reaches your desired consistency.
This delicious sauce is meant to be spicy. However, if you want to try it but can't handle the heat you can use red bell peppers for a mild heat.
Want a little extra flavour for your spicy meatballs, or maybe you want to reduce some of that spice? Check out our recommendations below for some awesome variations.
- Creamy - Add mix in a spoonful of sour cream to make your sauce creamy.
- Extra Spicy - Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, chili flakes, or add a habanero into your sauce to make it even spicier.
- Italian - Missing the marinara but what to keep the heat? Add can crushed tomatoes or chopped tomatoes to the sauce for a spicy Italian marinara sauce. Garnish with fresh sweet basil.
- Meat - instead of lean ground beef or ground pork, you can also use ground turkey, ground chicken, or even ground lamb.
Find three flavors of keto meatballs on my website!
I use a food processor to chop and mix my chilies, ginger, and garlic for the sauce. I find this easier since I am minimally touching the chilies I don't have to worry about the pepper in the chilies stinging my hands or touching my eyes.
Don't have a food processor? No worries. You can finely chop your chilies, ginger, and garlic with a knife and cutting board and mix your sauce in a medium bowl.
Keto spicy garlic meatballs are best when stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. An airtightis important because the strong scents and flavors can leak out of the container and be absorbed by other foods. These meatballs can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
You can also freeze these meatballs and sauce for up to 90 days in the freezer.
When you are ready to reheat the meatballs just toss it all in a skillet with a spoonful or two of water, cover, and cook on medium heat until the meatballs are defrosted. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent burning.
To make homemade frozen meatballs, roll your meat balls and place them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment paper. Place in the freezer for 4 hours until completely frozen then pop them into a ziplock bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.
Yes, you can cook meatballs and the sauce in your slow-cooker at the same time. You might enjoy my self saucing slow-cooker meatball recipe.
Yes, add the meatballs to the basket of your air fryer and cook at 180C/350F for 10-15 minutes or until browned on all sides. Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil or coconut oil to ensure they don't stick.
Usually, meatballs are served with pasta, rice, or mashed potato but my favourite recipes to serve are mashed cauliflower, spaghetti squash pasta, or an amazing large side salad. See more recipes for healthy sides dishes below.
No, meatballs do not need breadcrumbs, the addition of the egg makes the meatballs hold together beautifully.
The perfect keto alternative to bread crumbs is crushed pork rinds in the meat mixture or rolled in pork rinds for a crunchy crust.
You can keep meatballs warm in a slow-cooker set to LOW or in a baking dish covered with foil in the oven on a medium low heat. Served with your favourite side dish, makes an amazing crowd pleaser for game night.
Yes, or you can make the entire recipe (it will have the same cooking time) and serve half and freeze the other half for a quick and easy keto freezer meal.
Best keto side dishes to serve with beef
There are so many delicious low-carb and keto side dish recipes to serve with spicy meatballs. Beef is a family-friendly dinner and so you need to choose easy healthy side dishes that the whole family will love.
Here are some of my favorite keto beef side dishes that aren't rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes. What are your favourite recipes? Please leave me a comment below.
- Cheesy keto garlic bread
- Easy mashed cauliflower
- The best low-carb bread, pasta, and potato substitutes
- Low-carb keto almond flour bread
- Baked cheesy broccoli and cauliflower
Easy Keto Spicy Garlic Meatballs Recipe
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- Place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands, or a spatula.
- Grab a golf ball size of the meatball mix, squeeze together, then form into a meatball shape. Continue until all the meatballs are prepared.
- You can cook these keto meatballs two ways. 1) Fry gently in oil on all sides until cooked into the centre. 2) Bake in the oven at 180C/350F for 15 minutes (turning once so they brown all over) for 15 minutes, or until cooked into the centre.
Spicy Garlic Sauce
- Chop the red fresco chilies, ginger, and garlic together in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Melt butter in a skillet. Add the chopped chilies, ginger, and garlic from the food processor. Saute until it is fragrant then add all the remaining sauce ingredients to the pan except the xanthan gum.
- Let the sauce simmer for 3-5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Then whisk in the xanthan gum to thicken the sauce. When the sauce has thickened add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and toss until all the meatballs are coated. Serve and enjoy!
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Approximate nutrition information is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. For the most accurate nutritional data, use the actual ingredients and brands you used in your preferred nutrition calculator.