If you are looking for sweet, savory, or spicy Gluten-Free Meatball Appetizers, I have some ideas for you. Each tantalizing recipe is sure to impress you, your family, and your friends! I love the bold, rich flavors that each dish provides.  

A hero image of four meatball photos.

Next time you have a party or go to a potluck, you should whip up some juicy homemade meatballs. They will be the meal’s star, and you will be pleased by how easy they are to throw together. You can even make these ahead of time for a quick meal idea.

I gathered all kinds of meatballs for this collection of gluten-free meatball recipes. They can be made with any ground meat or vegan meat, and there are many flavors to choose from.

Tips For Success:

  • Mix the meatball ingredients in a large bowl so the seasonings are spread through the meatballs…this will ensure flavor in every bite.
  • You always want to make sure that the meatballs are cooked all the way through before serving them. The easiest way is to use a meat thermometer, and check the temperature.
  • Be sure to make enough sauce so the meatballs stay tender.

You can also try some of my other popular gluten free appetizer recipes if you want to serve more than just meatballs!

Best Ways to Cook Meatballs

  1. Hands down, one of my favorite ways to make meatballs in an Instant Pot. Don’t own a pressure cooker yet and have no idea where to start? This Instant Pot is a life changer! You can program it to cook so many different foods like meatballs, soup, yogurt, and even baked potatoes.
  2. Often, you can make easy meatball appetizers right in your slow cooker. Take a look at this Crock Pot. if you are shopping around. It has 7 quarts so you can serve lots of people. It also has a high, low, and warm setting to fit what you are cooking. You will save time and have fewer dishes to wash, which is a win-win!
  3. The Air Fryer is a good way to make meatballs that are juicy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside! It cooks your meatballs in record time, too!
  4. The oven is probably the most popular way to cook meatballs.
  5. You can also simmer meatballs in the sauce to cook them!

What bread crumbs are gluten-free?

You can use any gluten free bread crumbs you choose, but I wanted to tell you about my favorite ones. Ian’s breadcrumbs have a fantastic flavor and are easy to work with. Jeff Nathan Creations brand is another option for panko-style bread crumbs. If you are like me, you like having several options around. Schar breadcrumbs taste so good that you won’t believe they are gluten-free.

You can also make your own homemade Gluten Free Bread Crumbs at a fraction of the cost!

Let’s break down all these deliciously easy meatball appetizers by meat type. Any of these gluten free meatball recipes can be made with any meat, so if you like a recipe in the turkey meatball section but you only have ground beef…you can easily use the ground beef!

What is the best internal temperature for meatballs?

You want the internal temperature to be 165º F inside the meatballs. You can spot check a few meatballs with this digital thermometer. I love this brand and mine has lasted for over two years without any issues.

What are bread crumb substitutes for meatballs?

There are all sorts of delicious things you can use instead of bread crumbs when you make meatballs. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Crushed gluten-free crackers
  • Ground pork rinds
  • Rice crumbs – These used to be available at Trader Joe’s for a time, but now you have to order them online.

Can you make meatballs egg-free?

Many meatball recipes include eggs to help meatballs stick together and keep the meatballs tender and juicy while cooking. There are several ways to make meatballs egg-free. Use Just Egg, a liquid egg replacer. Another way is to use ricotta cheese or plain yogurt instead of the egg. I used ricotta in this Egg-Free Gluten-Free Meatballs recipe.

Should you sear meatballs before adding them to the sauce?

Searing is totally optional, depending on how you like your meatballs, and which recipe you are following. Some recipes below include both searing first, cooking them through first, and putting them into the sauce raw and letting them cook in the simmering sauce.

Two meatballs on a small white plate.

The Best Gluten-Free Meatball Recipes:

Easy Gluten Free Barbecue Turkey Meatballs
Sandi Gaertner
How to make gluten free BBQ turkey meatballs in a pressure cooker.
Check out this recipe
a grey bowl filled with BBQ meatballs
Easy Gluten Free Swedish Meatballs
Sandi Gaertner
Quick and easy gluten free Swedish meatballs recipe.
Check out this recipe
Swedish meatballs over mashed potatoes.
Gluten Free Ground Turkey Meatballs
Sandi Gaertner
A delicious gluten free ground turkey meatballs recipe. These meatballs slowly simmer in tomato sauce. They can be made in a slow cooker or stovetop.
Check out this recipe
Carolina Dreamin’ Turkey Meatballs (Appetizer Recipe)
Naturally dairy-free and gluten-free these award-winning turkey meatballs have a unique blend of flavors for the perfect balance of sweet, savory and salty.
Check out this recipe
Carolina Dreamin’ Turkey Meatballs (Appetizer Recipe)
Meatball Appetizers
Sandi Gaertner
How to use frozen chicken meatballs to make four different appetizer recipes for game day, or any party.
Easy Gluten Free Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Sandi Gaertner
This is an easy recipe for gluten free sweet and sour meatballs. I share two ways to cook them, either stovetop or slow cooker.
Check out this recipe
A white serving dish filled with sweet and sour meatballs.
Air Fryer Gluten Free Ground Chicken Meatballs
Sandi Gaertner
Delicious gluten free ground chicken meatballs made in your air fryer in under 20 minutes from start to finish.
Check out this recipe
A serving dish full of chicken meatballs.
Paleo Thai Coconut Chicken Meatballs {Grain Free, Dairy Free} — Tasting Page
Combine bold spices for these flavorful paleo thai coconut chicken meatballs. They’re gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and Whole 30 friendly.
Check out this recipe
Paleo Thai Coconut Chicken Meatballs {Grain Free, Dairy Free} — Tasting Page
Greek Meatballs Recipe with Ground Turkey – Evolving Table
This easy Greek turkey meatballs recipe is full of mint, parsley, and Mediterranean flavor. They can be cooked in a skillet or baked in the oven, too!
Check out this recipe
Greek Meatballs Recipe with Ground Turkey - Evolving Table
Low Carb Keto Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Recipe
See how to make buffalo chicken meatballs with just 6 ingredients! This easy low carb keto buffalo chicken meatballs recipe is a mashup of wings + meatballs, with only 10 minutes prep.
Check out this recipe
Low Carb Keto Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Recipe
Gluten Free Bok Choy Meatballs
Sandi Gaertner
Easy gluten free meatballs with bok choy.
Check out this recipe
a close up of the meatballs
Grandma’s Unstuffed Cabbage and Meatballs Recipe
Sandi Gaertner
My grandmother's easy deconstructed, unstuffed cabbage rolls recipe. This is an amazing sweet and sour cabbage and meatballs recipe.
Check out this recipe
A serving bowl filled with cabbage and meatballs.
Gluten-Free Meatballs: A Secret Family Recipe – MI Gluten Free Gal
These gluten-free meatballs are perfect for any occasion. Make them for holidays, tailgating, or add spices to do spaghetti & meatballs or sweet & sour!
Check out this recipe
Gluten-Free Meatballs: A Secret Family Recipe - MI Gluten Free Gal
Gluten-Free Meatball Parmesan Sliders • The Heritage Cook ®
If you love sliders but can’t have them because you are gluten-free, you are going to love this alternative. I used polenta that was cooked, cooled, and cut into circles as the “bun”. Set a meatball slider on top, cover it with marinara sauce and melt cheese over the top like you would chicken parme…
Check out this recipe
Gluten-Free Meatball Parmesan Sliders • The Heritage Cook ®

This post was updated from an older December 2018 post with more meatball tips for cooking.

Have a tip?

We would love to hear if you have a great gluten-free meatball tip. Let me know what you use to make them, bread crumbs, crushed crackers, panko, or what? Please leave a comment. Thank you!

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  1. I want to try every single one of these meatballs. they all look so delicious. Meatballs are such a great appetizer, but I love to have just meatballs and a salad for supper too.

  2. Looks like I’ll be set working my way through all of these delicious options! These will be perfect for game day!