Gluten and Dairy-Free Meatballs

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Updated on May 5, 2024

Calling all gluten and dairy-free meatball enthusiasts with dietary restrictions! Do your gluten and dairy limitations leave you longing for the comforting, saucy meatballs of your dreams? Well, fret no more! This collection of recipes proves that delicious doesn’t have to mean off-limits.

Get ready to explore a world of flavour-packed, gluten-free, and dairy-free meatball creations. We’ll delve into innovative ingredient swaps and creative binding techniques that ensure these meatballs hold their shape beautifully without relying on breadcrumbs or cheese.

The good news is that this comprehensive guide offers just what we’re after – mouth-watering meatballs completely free from both gluten and dairy! Fancy giving it a whirl? Let’s dive in and unveil these zesty delights together.

Why Love These Gluten and Dairy-Free Meatballs

gluten and dairy-free meatball

We absolutely adore these gluten and dairy-free meatballs for their delicious taste and allergen-friendly ingredients. They use oats instead of breadcrumbs, making them suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

Uses Oats Instead of Breadcrumbs

In this recipe, gluten-free oats replace breadcrumbs. These nutritious oats make the meatballs tender and juicy. The swap is not only healthy but also a great trick when cooking gluten-free. As an added bonus, you can prepare these meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for later use! Isn’t it amazing how oats can change a classic dish into a healthier option?

Suitable for those with Gluten and Dairy Allergies

These meatballs are a great option for those with gluten and dairy allergies. They get their binding help from oats instead of the usual breadcrumbs. This makes them free from major allergens. You will love how these tweaks make no change to the taste or texture of the meatballs.

This recipe also uses allergy-friendly choices like gluten-free breadcrumbs, such as Schär ones. It swaps in oats as a replacement, too. So, this dish is perfect for you if you have dietary restrictions due to gluten sensitivity or dairy intolerance.

Ingredients and Tools Needed

gluten and dairy-free meatball

You will need gluten-free bread crumbs (such as Schär) and a food processor to make these gluten-free, dairy-free meatballs.

Gluten-free Bread Crumbs (such as Schär)

Schär makes top-notch gluten-free bread crumbs. These crumbs are a safe choice for food lovers with wheat or lactose intolerance. They have no GMOs, preservatives, or dairy. You can trust their quality! Do you find them hard to buy in your area? No worries! You can also make your own right at home.

Just remember, keep a good stock of these special crumbs in your pantry. It will make cooking so much easier!

Food Processor

A food processor is a key tool for this recipe. It helps to blend all our ingredients into a fine mix. We use it to grind the oats into a breadcrumb-like texture. This tool makes the job swift and easy, which saves time and energy in the kitchen.

With this kitchen gear, blending plant-based items such as cauliflower, quinoa, brown rice, and even garlic becomes simple for our gluten-free meatballs. Cooking vegetarian or vegan meals like ours can be fun when you have the right tools!

How to Make Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Meatballs

Combine the ingredients in a food processor to make these gluten-free, dairy-free meatballs. Shape the mixture into meatballs and bake them until they’re cooked through.

Once they’re ready, cook them with marinara sauce and serve them garnished with your favourite herbs. It’s a simple and delicious recipe that anyone can enjoy!

Combining Ingredients

First, pour the gluten-free oats into a food processor. Turn it on until the oats look like fine crumbs. Then, add these to a big bowl. Lean ground beef, an egg, and garlic powder are used for taste.

Next are grated onion, salt and nutritional yeast to boost flavour. Mixing everything well is key to binding it all together. Olive oil adds moisture, while beef broth gives a deep taste. It’s fun stirring up this mix of ingredients! These simple steps create the base for our tasty gluten-free, dairy-free meatballs.

Shaping the Meatball Mixture

To shape the meatball mixture, we will work with clean hands. Take a bit of the mix and roll it into balls. The size should be about 1 and ½ inches for each one. This method makes about 24 meatballs in total.

Now, grab a baking sheet to place them on after forming each ball. They need some space to cook well. So keep an inch gap between every two meatballs on the sheet while arranging them.

Baking until Ready

Put the meatballs in the oven to bake. Baking makes them so tender and tasty! You don’t need to worry about how long they stay in. Just keep an eye out until they look ready. This method helps cook all sides of the meatball evenly. So, you get flavour-packed bites every time!

Cooking with Marinara Sauce

To make gluten-free dairy-free meatballs, cooking with marinara sauce is a crucial step. Once you’ve shaped your meatball mixture, pour some marinara sauce into a large non-stick skillet.

Then, add the meatballs to the skillet and heat them together with the sauce. This allows all the flavours to blend nicely while adding a delicious tomato taste to your meatballs. Once they’re heated through, you can serve these tasty treats on their own or with pasta and more marinara sauce for a complete meal.

Combining juicy meatballs and tangy marinara will satisfy your craving for Italian cuisine. So go ahead and enjoy these gluten-free, dairy-free meatballs cooked in aromatic marinara sauce!

Garnishing and Serving

When it comes to garnishing and serving these gluten-free, dairy-free meatballs, we like to keep it simple yet flavourful. Fresh parsley adds a pop of colour and freshness to the dish. You can chop up some parsley leaves and sprinkle them over the meatballs before serving. It not only looks great but also adds a hint of herbal goodness.

Another suggestion for garnishing is grated dairy-free parmesan cheese. This vegan-friendly alternative brings a cheesy flavour without any dairy products. Simply grate some over the meatballs for that extra touch of indulgence.

As for serving, these meatballs pair wonderfully with rice. The recipe includes a rich and creamy sauce made from scratch that goes perfectly with fluffy white or brown rice. The combination creates a satisfying meal that will leave you wanting more.

Dive into Deliciousness: Other Gluten and Dairy-Free Meatball Recipes

Now that your taste buds are tingling with anticipation let’s explore some delectable gluten-free and dairy-free meatball recipes!

Classic Italian Meatballs with a Twist

gluten and dairy-free meatball

This recipe captures the essence of Italian comfort food, using ground beef or turkey and a blend of Italian herbs. Here’s the twist: we’ll swap breadcrumbs for almond flour or finely ground oats for a delicious and binding alternative. Simmer these meatballs in a rich tomato sauce for a flavour explosion you won’t forget.


  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or finely ground oats
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional, for those who tolerate dairy)
  • 1 large egg, whisked (or 1 flaxseed egg: 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tbsp water, let sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, almond flour (or oats), Parmesan cheese (if using), egg (or flaxseed egg), parsley, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix gently with your hands until just combined. Avoid overmixing, which can make the meatballs tough.
  2. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  4. Drain any excess grease from the pan. Add crushed tomatoes and chopped onion. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked and the sauce thickens.
  5. Serve hot with your favourite pasta or zucchini noodles sprinkled with fresh parsley (optional).

Vegetarian Lentil & Mushroom Meatballs

Calling all plant-based enthusiasts! These lentil and mushroom meatballs are a fantastic gluten-free and dairy-free option. They’re packed with protein and fibre, using mashed lentils and finely chopped mushrooms as the base. We’ll bind them with flaxseed meal mixed with water (a great egg substitute!) and season them with a delightful blend of herbs. Serve them with your favourite marinara sauce or a creamy cashew-based dip.


  • 1 cup cooked green lentils, mashed
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine mashed lentils, chopped mushrooms, chopped onion, chopped walnuts, flaxseed meal, and water. Mix well and let sit for 10 minutes, allowing the flaxseed to gel.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mixture and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
  4. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs. You may need to dampen your hands slightly to prevent sticking.
  5. Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until browned and heated through.
  6. Serve hot with your favourite marinara sauce or a creamy cashew-based dip. For the cashew dip, blend 1 cup soaked cashews with 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1 clove garlic, and a pinch of salt until smooth.

Spicy Mexican Turkey Meatballs with Guacamole

Spice things up with these Mexican-inspired turkey meatballs! Ground turkey is seasoned with chilli powder, cumin, and a touch of cayenne pepper for a delightful kick. We’ll bind them with finely ground corn tortillas for a unique texture and simmer them in a zesty tomato sauce. Top them with a dollop of creamy guacamole and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro for a fiesta in every bite.


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup finely ground corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust for desired spice level)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 large egg, whisked (or 1 flaxseed egg)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

For the Guacamole (optional)

  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, ground corn tortillas, red onion, cilantro, chilli powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, green bell pepper, and egg (or flaxseed egg). Mix gently with your hands until just combined.
  2. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  4. Drain any excess grease from the pan. Add crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked and the sauce thickens.
  5. While the meatballs simmer, prepare the guacamole (optional) by mashing the avocado and combining it with red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  6. Serve hot with your favourite toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, and a dollop of guacamole.

Swedish Meatball Inspiration with Coconut Cream Gravy

Looking for a lighter twist on a classic? These Swedish-inspired meatballs use ground chicken or turkey for a leaner option. We’ll bind them with almond flour and simmer them in a delectable coconut cream gravy flavoured with allspice and a touch of sweetness. Serve them with mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes (made with dairy-free milk) for a delightful and comforting meal.


  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 egg, whisked (or 1 flaxseed egg)
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can of unsweetened coconut cream
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Combine ground chicken or turkey, almond flour, chopped onion, egg (or flaxseed egg), dried minced onion, allspice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix gently with your hands until just combined.
  2. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside.
  4. Whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl to form a slurry.
  5. Add the coconut cream and chicken broth to the skillet where the meatballs are browned. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the gravy thickens slightly.
  6. Return the meatballs to the pan and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until heated through.
  7. Serve hot with mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes (made with dairy-free milk), drizzled with gravy and sprinkled with fresh parsley (optional).

These are just a few ideas to get you started! Remember, these recipes are a springboard for your creativity. Experiment with different spices, herbs, and vegetables to create your own unique and delicious gluten-free and dairy-free meatball masterpieces.

Tips and Substitutions

  • Swap out almond flour for coconut flour if you have a nut allergy or prefer the taste.
  • Experiment with ground chicken or turkey instead of beef for a lighter option.
  • Make mini meatballs for bite-sized appetisers or to use in sandwiches.
  • Always check the internal temperature of your meatballs using a food thermometer to ensure they are fully cooked.
  • Serve these gluten-free and dairy-free meatballs over spaghetti, in subs, or as a tasty addition to any dish.

Using Ground Chicken or Turkey

We love using ground chicken or turkey in this gluten-free, dairy-free meatball recipe. It’s a great alternative to other meats, and it adds a delicious flavour to the meatballs. Ground chicken or turkey is leaner than other meats, making it a healthier choice for those watching their fat intake.

Plus, it’s easy to work with and can be shaped into perfect meatballs. Whether you’re following a low-carb diet or looking for a poultry option, ground chicken or turkey is a versatile choice that will surely impress your taste buds.

Substituting Coconut Flour for Almond Flour

Coconut flour can be used as a dairy-free alternative to almond flour in gluten-free meatball recipes. However, it’s important to note that coconut flour and almond flour have different properties, so you can’t simply swap them one-on-one.

When substituting coconut flour for almond flour, adjustments may need to be made to the recipe as a whole. If you’re looking for a completely dairy-free option, you can replace almond flour with additional coconut flour.

There are conversion calculations available online that can help determine the right amount of coconut flour to use when substituting for almond flour in your meatball recipe.

Making Mini Meatballs

We love making mini meatballs because they’re cute and perfect for parties or as an appetiser. To make mini meatballs, you simply need to shape the meatball mixture into smaller balls instead of larger ones. This recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free meatballs can easily be adapted to make them mini-sized. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, as they may cook a bit faster than regular-sized meatballs.

Mini meatballs are a great option if you want bite-sized portions or if you have kids who prefer smaller pieces of food. They also work well in soups, pasta dishes, or on skewers for a fun and tasty meal.

Checking Internal Temperature for Doneness

It’s important to check your meatballs’ internal temperature to ensure they are cooked properly. To do this, use a meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of a meatball. The recommended minimum internal temperature for cooked meatballs is 165 °F (74 °C). This ensures that any harmful bacteria are killed and the meatballs are safe to eat. You can also look for visual cues – when the centre is no longer pink and the juices run clear, it’s a good indication that they’re done.

By checking the internal temperature, you can be confident that your gluten-free, dairy-free meatballs are perfectly cooked and ready to enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving these delicious gluten-free dairy-free meatballs, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can enjoy them with pasta for a classic Italian meal, or even on subs for a tasty sandwich.

If you’re looking for some alternative options, you could serve the meatballs with gluten-free bread or alongside a flavourful spiced curry gravy. Another option is to pair them with a spicy harissa tomato sauce for an extra kick of flavour.

Don’t forget about the garnishes and toppings! Consider adding fresh herbs or grated dairy-free cheese as a finishing touch. Whatever way you decide to serve these meatballs, they are sure to impress and satisfy your taste buds!


These gluten-free, dairy-free meatballs are a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional meatballs. With the substitution of oats instead of breadcrumbs and the omission of dairy products, this recipe is perfect for those with dietary restrictions or allergies.

Whether you’re following a gluten- or dairy-free diet or simply looking for a tasty and nutritious meal, these meatballs will satisfy your cravings. Give them a try today and enjoy all the flavour without any of the guilt!


1. Are these meatballs suitable for people with gluten and dairy allergies?

Yes, these meatballs are gluten-free and dairy-free, making them suitable for individuals with gluten and lactose intolerances or allergies.

2. What ingredients are used in this gluten-free, dairy-free meatball recipe?

This recipe typically includes ground meat (such as beef or turkey), gluten-free breadcrumbs (made from corn or rice), herbs and spices, onions or garlic, eggs (or an egg substitute), salt, and pepper.

3. Can I use a different type of meat in this recipe?

Yes, you can customise the recipe by using your preferred type of ground meat such as chicken, pork, or even plant-based alternatives like tofu or tempeh.

4. How long do I need to bake the meatballs?

The baking time varies depending on the size of the meatballs, but it typically takes 20-25 minutes at 180°C/350°F until they are cooked through and no longer pink in the centre.

5. Can I freeze these gluten-free dairy-free meatballs?

Yes! These meatballs freeze well, so you can make a large batch and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 2-3 months. Thaw before reheating or serving.

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