Chicken Parm Meatballs (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)

June 1, 2013

Chicken Parm Meatballs

Is there anything better than a juicy and tender parm meatball? I don’t think so. It’s one of the bestest thing ever. The food you expect to eat at your grandma’s, on a typical lazy Sunday; when life’s good.
For some reason, there’s always room in your stomach for that 4th helping of parm meatballs.
Even though you’re incredibly full. How’s that possible?
The answer involves an explanation of hormones called Ghrelin and Leptin, your brain, your stomach and some psychological nuances.
In short, the desire to eat an extra serving of your grandma’s parm meatballs is a toughy one to beat. Nearly impossible to overcome. It’s like fighting against Rocky. You’re getting beaten up. Sure.
Chicken Parm Meatballs

Having settled that you cannot stop yourself from eating meatballs. The only possible route to take is to cook a healthier version of parm meatballs.
The classic parm meatball is made with ground chuck, eggs, and breadcrumbs. So let’s start by taking out of the equation the breadcrumbs. We’re using almond meal instead. This makes the meatballs gluten-free, low carb, paleo friendly and HONESTLY yummier.
Let’s also use some ground chicken instead of ground chuck. Leaner meat.
Plus there’s really no need for the eggs. Less cholesterol.

Oozing and runny

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. These meatballs can’t be good. WRONG! These are proper (underscoring needed to add emphasis) parm meatballs. You won’t regret the real deal. At all.
Yes, you’ve heard right. No regrets!
Do jump with me on the leaner parm meatball bandwagon. It’s a road to happiness (more of a highway really).

Chicken Parm MeatballsChicken Parm Meatballs (Low carb and gluten-free)                                        Print this recipe!
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Makes 22 bite size meatballs


1 lb / 453 gr ground organic white meat chicken
1 cup / 3.8 oz / 110 gr almond flour/meal
½ cup / 0.9 oz / 25 gr Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
½ cup / 118.5 ml whole milk
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon garlic powder


1 cup / 4.4 oz / 125 gr marinara sauce
3 oz / 85 gr fresh mozzarella, cut into small slices



In a large bowl combine ½ cup almond flour, Parmesan, milk, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Add chicken and stir until combined (do not overmix).
Place the remaining ½ cup of almond flour in a shallow dish.
With dampened hands, roll about 1 tablespoon of chicken mixture into a ball and coat meatballs in almond flour.
Lightly grease a large skillet. Over medium heat cook meatballs for about 15 minutes until golden brown, turning meatballs a couple of times (alternatively you can bake the meatballs in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes, turning once).


Place meatballs in an oven safe dish. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce over each meatball. Top with a slice of mozzarella and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes, until cheese is oozing.
Sprinkle with dried oregano before serving.

Nutrition facts

One “naked” meatball scores 71.4 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.4 grams of carbs and 5.6 grams of protein.
One “dressed” meatball scores 98.4 calories, 6.1 grams of fat, 3.2 grams of carbs and 6.7 grams of protein.


  1. Looks mouthwatering!

  2. This Looks amazing, and i love the fact that you include the calories, it makes it so much easier to know if its available to put on my food list :)

  3. I made the skinny eggplant parmesan last night and loved it. I can't wait to have it again tonight for dinner! Love your site!

  4. I made these last night; sooooooo yummy!!!!!
    Thanks for sharing

  5. Hi. When does the parmesan get incorporated into the recipe?

    1. At the beginning with the other ingredients

  6. Hi. When does the parmesan get incorporated into the recipe?

  7. Is gluten bad for everyone??
    coz i have whole wheat or muesli or flour everyday and i am healthy...lean..and i exercise !

    1. You're doing great Deepe, good for you!
      I consume whole grains regularly (although not daily) as well, but I like to keep some recipes completely gluten-free. It adds variety to the diet.
      In this case, for instance, using almond flour instead of breadcrumbs as a binder was a revelation. So much taste and great texture. Give it a try!

    2. Deepa, the only people who need to cut out gluten are those with gluten intolerance/sensitivity or Celiac. It's both expensive and extremely restricting to cut out gluten. It also makes it harder for those of us who MUST eat gluten-free to eat out safely, because unless we make it quite clear to the wait-staff that gluten WILL make us sick the gf request isn't always taken seriously since it's the current 'healthy' eating trend.

  8. I followed the directions exactly and the meatballs turned out perfectly. They were a huge hit with the whole family. Thank you!

  9. It looks good but I am not sure if it will be good for me at this time maybe later on.

  10. I'm usually NOT a meatball fan. I always find they are bland and dry. These were amazing. The almond flour really adds a great texture - you were right about that. I was lazy and just added the whole cup of almond flour to the initial mixture instead of using half and then rolling them in the other half and they were still awesome. Also used ground turkey instead of chicken. Will definitely make again!

    1. That's so awesome Alima, I haven't made these in forever...thanks for reminding me how good they are! :)

  11. Do you bake them once and then bake again once you had the marinara?