My homemade Gluten free ricotta meatballs are filled with zucchini and ricotta cheese. They make a delicious and satisfying meal for any hungry family. These egg-free meatballs are a great way to sneak in some veggies too!
This recipe is perfect for meatball lovers. You can even make these meatballs into an amazing gluten free meatball sub sandwich!
I am always on the lookout for easy gluten free dinner ideas. When school is in session, our family barely gets 30 minutes to sit down together to enjoy a family meal. Thank goodness I have a few recipes that are so easy to make.
Tonight, we are having my kids' favorite meatballs. This is hands down the most popular meatball recipe I make. If you have read my blog, you know my family is NOT fond of zucchini Yet, they love these meatballs.
Check out their other favorite meatball recipe, these Pressure Cooker Turkey BBQ Meatballs.
I really think the secret is the ricotta cheese. Even better? This meatball recipe bakes up in your oven! Oven-baked meatballs are so easy because you mix the ingredients, roll them into meatballs, and bake. So easy!
Why these meatballs are great:
These meatballs are perfect for meal prep because you can make a big batch and freeze some, so you have them on hand for busy days. This is a huge time saver! You can make this recipe as I did with ground beef or use lower-fat ground turkey or chicken.
Ricotta cheese makes the perfect binder in this meatball recipe. I was able to make this egg-free, too! (We don't need to be egg-free, but I felt it would make this a great option for many of my readers.)
Meatball lovers unite! You can make big Italian meatballs as I did or make smaller meatballs and enjoy them as an appetizer. Bigger meatballs are great for meatball sub sandwiches (aka grinders), too.
What you need to make this recipe:
- Ground beef - I use 90% lean ground beef to make this recipe. You can also use ground turkey, chicken, pork, or bison.
- Pasta sauce - most pasta sauce should be gluten free, but always read the labels. You can also make a homemade gluten free pasta sauce with meat or a gluten free marinara pasta sauce.
- Zucchini - you can use dark green, light green, yellow, or any heirloom type. Shred it, and be sure to use a paper towel to get the extra moisture out.
- Gluten free pasta - you can use any gluten free pasta, including legume pasta. Don't forget to check out my tips to avoid mushy pasta!
Recipe step-by-step ingredients:
Step 1: First, use either a gluten free jarred sauce or make a delicious homemade sauce like this gluten free meat sauce. I am sure there are many others that are gluten free, just make sure to read the labels.
Step 2: Add all of your meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. I find mixing by hand is the best way to incorporate all of the ingredients together.
Step 3: Form the ricotta meatballs and put them onto a greased baking sheet.
Step 4: Bake the meatballs at 350º F in your oven until they are cooked through. Use a meat thermometer to check to ensure they have an internal temperature of 165º F.
You can even bake the gluten free meatballs in the sauce if you want the tomato flavors to bake in!)
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ:
I used ground beef, but you can easily substitute another ground meat like turkey, pork, or chicken.
You can buy several brands of gluten free bread crumbs like Ians, but it is so easy to make your own homemade gluten free bread crumbs.
You can easily use different vegetables. Try shredded carrots or chopped mushrooms.
These meatballs will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container.
These meatballs make great gluten free frozen meatballs! To defrost them, you can reheat them in the microwave oven, or add to sauce in a pot and cook stovetop.
What jarred pasta sauce is gluten free?
There are quite a few great jarred pasta sauces that are gluten free. Here are some of our favorites:
- Ragu Old World Style and the one pictured above. Some of their sauce brands have barley, so definitely read the labels!
- Newman's Own
More delicious pasta recipes:
Here is a photo of the cooked meatballs. They were great!"Tony D
- A food processor to shred the zucchini.
- A great nonstick baking pan so you don't have to scrub a ton for cleanup.
Gluten Free Meatballs with Zucchini and Ricotta
- 1 pound ground beef * see note
- ¼ cup gluten free bread crumbs * see note
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder * see note
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded zucchini * see note
- 1 box gluten free pasta * see note
- 4 cups pasta sauce
- Preheat the oven to 375º F.
- Put the first 6 ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
- Shape meatballs and place onto a greased baking dish.
- Bake meatballs for 20 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking, set a pot of water on the stove with high heat to boil.
- Add your favorite gluten free pasta when the water is boiling. Cook the pasta to the box directions.
- Heat the pasta sauce on low heat.
- When pasta is cooked, toss in the pasta sauce.
- Remove meatballs from the oven and place one to two on top of your pasta. Serve with more sauce if you like 🙂
- I used 90% lean ground beef. You can use any ground meat including ground chicken, turkey, pork, or bison, to make these meatballs.
- Use either gluten free bread crumbs or gluten free panko. It is also very easy to make your own homemade gluten free bread crumbs.
- Use garlic powder or two cloves of fresh minced garlic.
- Tip: when using shredded zucchini, make sure to squeeze out the extra liquid with a paper towel.
- These meatballs will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
Looking for more? Get my FREE Gluten Free Lemon Desserts E-Cookbook when you sign up for my weekly recipe newsletter!