How to Make Gluten-Free Meatballs

Allergy-Friendly Meatballs for the Whole Family

It’s a warm, cozy evening in the kitchen. The golden glow of the setting sun streams in through an open window and laughter rings out. A wholesome aroma of simmering sauces fills the air, leading the entire family into the kitchen where the party has already begun.

Soon, flour-dusted hands, small and large, young and old, are working in harmony, mixing, rolling, and shaping with care. Each meatball is a miniature masterpiece, lovingly crafted – a regular meal being turned into a lifelong memory. 

Unfortunately, some of us might not be able to enjoy a traditional meatball. Dietary choices like keeping kosher or keto or allergies to common ingredients like gluten prevent us from joining in the fun. We’re about to change that, with the help of Dare to Be Different Cauliflower Crumbs.

Why do Meatballs need Breadcrumbs?

It’s not an uncommon question – many people assume that in order to make gluten-free meatballs (or meatloaf) it’s as easy as taking breadcrumbs out of the recipe and leaving everything else the same. But there are a few reasons why this won’t work.

Breadcrumbs help to retain moisture within the meatballs. As meat cooks, it tends to lose moisture. Breadcrumbs absorb and retain both the moisture from the meat and any added liquids (like eggs), which keeps the meatballs succulent and prevents them from drying out. 

The addition of breadcrumbs also helps to soften the texture of the meatballs. Meat alone can firm up and become tough when cooked, but breadcrumbs intersperse the protein fibers and absorb flavors from other ingredients, making the meatballs more tender and enjoyable to eat.

They also act as a binder, holding the meat and other ingredients together. Without a binder, meatballs can fall apart during cooking. Finding suitable binders is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to gluten-free cooking. Fortunately, we have delicious Dare to Be Different Cauliflower Crumbs that can be used on a 1-to-1 ratio with traditional breadcrumbs in cooking! 

Why are Meatballs so Popular in Mediterranean Cooking?

Meatballs are often associated with Mediterranean cooking due to their prominent role in the culinary traditions of many countries in the region. You might have heard of “polpette” in Italy, “köfte” in Turkey, or “kebbe” in other Middle Eastern countries. They’re all relatives of the meal many Americans know as “meatballs”.

Historically, meat was expensive and less abundant. Mixing meat with breadcrumbs, grains, or rice allowed families to stretch their meat supply further. This practice of extending meat into more voluminous and filling meals became a practical approach that was widely adopted throughout the Mediterranean.

Mediterranean meatballs are not just limited to one kind of meat or preparation method. They can be made from beef, lamb, pork, chicken, or even fish and seafood, and are often mixed with local spices, herbs, grains, and nuts. This versatility allows meatballs to be incorporated into a wide range of dishes, from soups and stews to kebabs and sandwiches.

Now, here’s a classic recipe for homemade meatballs that are gluten-free, keto-friendly and flavorful! 


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup Dare to Be Different Cauliflower Crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil, for cooking

Note: Many recipes for meatballs mix in cheese or milk. We’ve opted to leave those ingredients out in order to keep this dish kosher. However, while our Dare to Be Different Cauliflower Crumbs are kosher, they are not kosher for Passover.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, Crumbs, parsley, onion, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Mix everything together gently with your hands or a fork, until just combined. Avoid over-mixing to keep the meatballs tender.
  2. Scoop a tablespoon of the meat mixture and roll it between your palms to form a smooth ball. Place the formed meatballs on a plate or baking sheet. You should get roughly 18 meatballs, depending on the size.
  3. In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the meatballs in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook, turning occasionally, until they are browned and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Alternatively, you can bake them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Serve the meatballs hot with Dare to Be Different Cauliflower Gnocchi and your favorite marinara sauce!

Looking for more Gluten-Free Recipes?

Stay up to date with news from Dare to Be Different along with gluten-free, keto-friendly and kosher recipes in our weekly newsletter!

Older Post Newer Post


Order Online