Low Carb Keto Italian Meatballs & Cauliflower Rice


Low Carb Keto Italian Meatballs & Cauliflower Rice: just 4.6g carbs per serving.

Never mind meatballs. These are amazeballs. So easy to make and so tasty, you’ll wonder where they’ve been all your life. Forget the ‘traditional’ limp spaghetti with tasteless meatballs you’ve had in the past. This recipe is full of flavour, very low in carbs and high in fat. A true keto triumph. And one you won’t forget in a hurry.

To keep the carbs low and the fat high in this Low Carb Keto Italian Meatballs & Cauliflower Rice recipe, the main thing is to get 80% lean minced meat. Even better if you find beef and pork mince, as the ‘lean’ percentage will be even lower. General supermarket mince is usually called very lean (95%) or lean (90%) or ? (80 %). The 80% doesn’t have a name…hahaha…supermarket big dons haven’t quite got to grips with high fat = healthy. This is where your local butcher can come in handy. Just watch his face when you tell him you want a mix of the highest fat content meat he has. Hahaha… On the up side, the fattiest meat is the cheapest. Boom! 1-nil to the high fat brigade. Aren’t we lucky?

The next important thing is to choose the lowest carbs tomato passata (sieved tomatoes). I know. It’s ridiculous that you cannot just go and buy any passata. Checking the ingredients label and carb content is a must, because some brands add sugar! Gowd knows why!!! Tomatoes are already a sugary fruit. Adding white poison sugar is so unnecessary and unhealthy!

Low Carb Keto Italian Meatballs & Cauliflower Rice

Anyway, I usually buy Sainsbury’s SO Organic Passata (3.9g carbs). But Napolina (4.5g carbs) or Tesco Everyday Value (4.5g carbs) Waitrose Essential (4.3g carbs) are good alternative choices. These values are per 100g of product. There are other -shall I say posher, brands that contain twice as many carbs because of the sugar addition. Caveat emptor, my friends.

…and then there was cauliflower rice.

THE rice alternative of the moment. It tastes a bit like rice and you can’t turn it to stodge by mis-timing the cooking. Cauli rice cooks in just 4 minutes in the microwave, 7-8 minutes on the hob, or 15-18 minutes in the oven. With all supermarkets selling pre-packed riced cauliflower, you don’t even have to prepare it at home. Sainsbury’s has gone even further, offering pre-packed broccoli rice. How about that, for low carb progress?

Even Jamie Oliver (who is a friend of a friend) raves about cauliflower rice. Indeed. I have only just found out that Jamie has been eating grain free since 2001! Who knew? He cooks high carbs all the time on his shows. And the books he publishes are full of carby recipes. Appeasing the general public to keep the dollars coming. Shame on you Jamie! You’ve embarked in some excellent health campaigns, so stop pushing high-carb foods and start being real! … and I hope that you’ll still invite me to make you my best low carb – sugar free – grain free – gluten free – TIRAMISÚ. If you’re not mad at me now. Fingers crossed…

Low carbs aside, cauliflower is a health powerhouse. It’s a cruciferous vegetable that is nutritionally dense (just like broccoli which is a family relative) and extremely versatile. As if that wan’t enough, cruciferous plants (brassica genus) have being researched extensively, specifically for their anti-cancer and liver cleansing properties. Not bad for what used to be regarded as useless, tasteless vegetables that people simply boiled to death and served soggy along a piece of meat.

Low Carb Keto Italian Meatballs & Cauliflower Rice

Low Carb Keto Italian Meatballs & Cauliflower Rice in just a few steps.

You already know that I love my lazy cooking methods. This one is no exception. One cooking pan and one large glass mixing bowl is all you need in terms of equipment. Oh, and a pair of disposable food-grade gloves. Simply throw all meatballs ingredients into the bowl, in no particular order, squeeze through your fingers until you obtain a meat ‘dough’ and shape your balls. Place them into the tomato based sauce in a sautéing pan and cook for 30 minutes. Cauli rice can just be placed in the microwave for 4 minutes and it’s ready to go. The recipe makes 24 meatballs. I served 8 per portion.

You can whip up and serve Low Carb Keto Italian Meatballs & Cauliflower Rice in no time at all. And even have leftover portions to look forward to.

So simple. So exquisite.


  • Yield: 3
  • Serving: 1
  • Calories: 698
  • Fat: 46g
  • Net Carbs: 4.6g
  • Protein: 38g
Recipe type: Main Courses
Cuisine: Ketogenic. Low Carb. LCHF. Grain Free. Gluten Free.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A flavourful Italian dish that has undergone KETOfication and is super easy, super yummy, super quick, and super healthy.
  • 500g high fat minced beef/pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 30g freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 small shallot (minced)
  • a generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fine himalayan pink salt
  • 20g ghee or butter
  • 200g tomato passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
  • ½ tbsp fresh or frozen basil (chopped)
  • a sprinkle of organic broth granules
  1. place the first 7 ingredients on the above list in a large glass mixing bowl.
  2. wearing food-safe disposable gloves, mix and squeeze through your fingers until you have a meat 'dough'.
  3. take a small quantity of meat 'dough', press it and roll it between your palms to make small balls (about 4cm diameter - you should end up with 24, give or take a couple).
  4. using a sautéing pan, heat the ghee then add passata, broth granules, Herbes de Provance and chopped basil.
  5. incorporate the meat balls, put the lid on and turn heat down to medium-low.
  6. should the tomato sauce start becoming too dense, add a little water (20-30 ml at a time) - but don't overdo it as you don't want to end up with a watery sauce.
  7. cook for 30 minutes, turning the meatballs over half way through cooking.
  8. minutes before the end of cooking time, taste test and adjust seasoning as required.
  9. to cook the cauliflower rice, simply place it in a microwave-safe bowl, and blast it on high for 2 minutes, then stir and repeat.
You can make the meatballs as spicy as you like, by adding some chopped chillis and cayenne pepper to the meat mix.
Leftovers can be stored refrigerated for up to 3 days, or you can freeze individual portions.

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Average rating 5 / 5. Votes: 3


  1. Mentioning Oliver, the guy is a fool

    • Jamie Oliver knows exactly what he’s doing and making a fortune out of it. And he has an army of assistants and advisers. Most of MY time is spent alone in the kitchen developing (real) healthy recipes, and in front of a Mac researching ingredients, writing up about my recipes, and being constantly challenged by SEO and blog maintenance. For no monetary reward whatsoever (other than a little commission from Amazon that goes towards my costs). That makes ME the fool, I’d say :D.

  2. Marion Robinson

    You are SO right Antya, trying to find non lean meat, is like trying to find the winning Lotto numbers…almost impossible. I go to a lovely organic shop, ( tho’
    it’s 79 miles from my cottage , it’s well worth the journey )
    Loch Arthur, in Beeswing, Dumfries, & buy the belly pork, & beef, with as much fat on as I can find, mince it at home, & make my own meatballs, sausages, etc You are also spot on about Butchers being the way to go, you only have to ask, & they will sort things for you. Another great post from you, Thanks so much x
    I wonder what you’ll come up with next ? Can’t wait !

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