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My Favorite Meatballs (and they are Gluten Free Meatballs too!)

Gluten Free Meatballs

Meatballs are one of my favorite make ahead, freezer friendly, meals.

Today I am sharing my favorite recipe. The best thing about this recipe is that these are gluten free. But it is not just for gluten free eaters. This is a regular recipe that just happens to be gluten free!

Gluten Free Meatballs

Meatballs are one of those things that I have been making for years. I have tried all kinds of versions, both regular and gluten free.

Most have been good, but it was not until recently that I finally found a meatball recipe we love. A recipe that I have been making over and over again. It is now my go to meatball recipe. I doubt I will look for a new one again. My family loves it and I love how easy it is.

gluten free meatballs

One of the things that I love about this recipe is that it is gluten free, but it doesn’t contain any special gluten free ingredients. So it works for both gluten free and regular eaters.

Since going gluten free I have struggled to find a binder for meatballs that we love. Gluten free oats work, but then you have oats in your meatballs. My family is not a big fan of that.

You can also use gluten free bread or bread crumbs, but I don’t think they work quite the same. The ingredient I have finally settled on that works best is instant potatoes.

Yes, instant potatoes!

instant potatoes

Now some of you might be surprised that I use instant potatoes. Normally I am not a fan of instant potatoes. I would much rather have real potatoes for mashed potatoes. If you love them great. I know many people that do, but I prefer the real thing most of the time.

I have found though that instant potatoes are great to keep on hand for thickening soups. A couple tablespoons added to a soup that is too thin works great. So I almost always keep them on hand to use for that.

Since I almost always have them on hand I decided to try them in my meatballs. I instantly loved how they worked!

They give the meatballs the best texture. I love that they kind of dissolve into the meatballs so you don’t even notice them. They work as a binder to the meat and help the texture of the meat without being noticeable.

This recipe makes a lot. I like that because it gives me plenty for several meals or for freezing.

It uses 3 pounds of ground meat. I like to use a combination of ground meat. 2 pounds of ground beef and 1 pound of another kind of ground meat. Using two different kinds of ground meat gives it the best flavor.

gluten free meatballs

Tools that make this recipe easier:

My Favorite Meatballs (and they are Gluten Free Meatballs too!)

Gluten Free Meatballs

These easy meatballs are a great dinner, they can be made ahead and frozen, and they are gluten free.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork turkey, or venison
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce (If you are gf make sure it is gluten free Worcestershire sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup potato flakes
  • 2 cloves minced garlic

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two baking sheets with foil and set aside. (You don't have to line the sheets with foil, but it makes clean up so much easier.)
  3. In a bowl combine all ingredients. Mix together well.
  4. Roll mixture into 1 1/2 to 2 inch balls depending on the size you want them. I like to use a cookie scoop so that the meatballs are even in size.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Smaller meatballs will take closer to 35 minutes. and larger meatballs will take closer to 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from cookie sheet. Serve as is, in pasta sauce, or cool completely and freeze.
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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I can’t tolerate oats (even GF) and am anxious to try this. I love that I can freeze the meatballs and use them for several different meals!

    • You are welcome. I am glad it helped. I hope you like it. And yes meatballs freeze great. I like to cook them and then freeze them because it is easier for serving, but you can also freezer them before cooking and just cook them when you want to serve them. This recipe will work both ways.

  2. If I wanted to use the instant potato flakes in my meatloaf recipe would I use the same amount of potato flakes as I would bread crumbs?

    • Basically yes. I have found the the potato flakes absorb a little bit more moisture than bread or bread crumbs, so I usually decrease the amount slightly, but not a lot. Some of that depends on how much moisture the meatloaf recipe has in it. I have a meatloaf recipe that I plan to share in a couple of weeks that uses potato flakes as well, so it definitely works for meatloaf. It is also my new favorite way to make meatloaf gluten free. I hope that helps answer your question.

  3. I have been using instant potatoes in my meatballs and meatloaf for years. They’re a pantry staple for me for that reason. I love that they’re gluten free, grain free, and easy!

  4. Charlotte says

    Hi. Thank you for the recipe however Worcester sauce is not gluten free. I will be trying it but leaving the Worchester sauce out.

  5. I am looking to make this recipe for a large dinner party. How many meatballs approximately would this make? I need to serve about 50 people. Thank you

    • I think that would depend on how you are serving it? Are you serving them as just meatballs or with sauce and pasta? This recipe usually serves two meals plus a little leftover for lunch, for my family of five. So I would say that this recipe serves 10-12 people but again that depends on what all you are serving with them. I would probably use somewhere between 12-15 pounds of meat for 50 people. I hope that helps.

  6. Just so ppl know. Most wostercheshire sauce is not gluten free so just check the labels

  7. Diana king says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, my daughter has been diagnosed with celiacs disease and she loves meatballs. I am anxious to try it!!

  8. Hi, thanks so much for sharing! I am excited to try but curious about how lean or how fatty is the meat you use?

    • We buy half a beef each year from a local rancher, so that is usually what I have for ground beef. If I don’t I use 90/10. So I use a pretty lean beef. You don’t have to for this, but you don’t want to use a really fatty ground beef either. I hope that helps.

  9. If I freeze the meatballs after cooking them, do I thaw them and then warm them up? How and how long?

    • Yes you can easily freeze them after cooking. I would probably heat them in a sauce like pasta sauce if you are serving them that way or just in the microwave if serving them plain. You could also heat them in a skillet with a little oil, just cook them slowly so that they don’t dry out. I hope that helps and that you enjoy them!

  10. Lean Jean says

    Yellow or brown mustard? Or mustard powder?

  11. Jane johnson says

    I have 2 pounds of ground ELK that i would like to use for these meatballs . I’m not sure I even know what Elk taste like . I would think I would add pork to it . Any advice ?

    • I grew up eating elk! It depends on the elk on how it tastes. Some elk is more gamey tasting than others. It really depends on the age of the elk and how well it is processed etc. If you like venison you will probably enjoy elk. It tastes, different, but is that same type of wild game taste. If you aren’t sure if you like it or not I would use it mixed with beef or pork. I mix ground venison with beef and pork all the time for chili, meatloaf, and meatballs. So I think it would work well in these mixed with either beef and/or pork. My tip for the best meatballs or meatloaf is to use 2-3 types of ground meat. I hope that helps and that you enjoy the elk!

  12. I am not clear on whether real, mashed potatoes can be used instead of instant potatoes? I don’t use instant potatoes and would prefer real spuds instead of dried and boxed flakes. Thank you.

    • The instant mashed potatoes work similar to bread crumbs would in a meatball recipe. I use the mashed potatoes because they are easier and cheaper than using a gluten free bread crumb. I don’t know that regular potatoes would work the same. I hope that helps.

  13. Sherri Armstrong says

    Has this recipe been tested with an egg substitute?

    • I have not tried it, but I think if it works in similar recipes it would work here too. It would probably even work ok without the egg. The egg helps bind it together, but I think it would work ok without it if you can’t have eggs. I hope that helps.

  14. YUMMMM, these turned out sooo good. I used a mixed combo meat and since I’m planning on using for my grandkids I used powered onion and garlic. Will definitely make again!!!!!

    • I am so glad that you enjoyed them! And yes powered onions and garlic would be more pleasing texture wise for kids. 🙂 I love to share easy and delicious recipes so thank you for letting me know how much you enjoyed them. Have a great day!

  15. I am excited about this recipe it looks great. Do you know of any instant potatoes that are gluten free and also dairy free?

    • If you use the plain unflavored instant potatoes they should be gluten and dairy free. Most of the name brands ones that I have used are gluten and dairy free. Just read the labels to be sure. I hope that you enjoy the meatballs. We love them!

  16. Sherilyn S Sorensen says

    Thank you so much, I’m making these for a anniversary dinner with cheese fondue. These meatballs are so good! I am making them in advance and wonered if you have any good idea about warming them up without drying them out?

    • I am so glad that you enjoy these meatballs. I love them too! I have not used these for fondue, but that sounds delicious. I might try a low oven heat or even the crock pot. I have done cooked meatballs in the crock pot before and it worked great. You could start them on low for an hour or so and then turn to low. You could add a little bit of water when cooking them to keep them moist. I wouldn’t add too much but a little bit might help. I hope that helps.

  17. Hi, about how many meatballs does this make with your cookie scoop?

  18. Yes!!!! Finally a GF meatball that tastes good! My 16 yo (junk food junkie) was recently told he can’t have gluten. 🤦‍♀️ We turned these into meatball subs and he loved them!

    • A junk food loving teen loving these meatballs is quite the compliment! Thank you for letting me know. I love sharing recipes that make gluten free easy and delicious! Cooking gluten free can be overwhelming at first, but it does get easier. If I can help let me know. I have all kinds of gluten free recipes or recipes that can easily be made gluten free on my site.

  19. This recipe was so great! My son and family were here and two of our grandchildren are gluten intolerant. I was trying to figure out what to have for one of our meals. I found this recipe and I ended up with 39 meatballs. We had 11 people and I also fixed a gluten free macaroni and cheese and corn casserole and a vegetable. Everyone loved them and we ran out. My husband, who is not gluten intolerant, asked me to make them this way from now on! I am so excited that they are so easy and gluten free. I will use potato flakes for thickening for many different things n the future!

    • I am so glad that your family loved them! Thanks for letting me know. I love to help people make gluten free easy and delicious. And I love to hear that a gluten free recipe is so good that non gluten free eaters enjoy it too! That potato flakes work well in meatloaf too instead of bread crumbs to make it gluten free. If your husband liked the meatballs he would probably enjoy a meatloaf made in a similar way. Have a great day!

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