This low fat, gluten-free meatball recipe is a dinner favorite with busy families. Made with lean ground beef, grated carrot, chia seeds, and fresh basil, they’re nutritious and delicious.
I love the flavor of these lean meatballs, and they’re super healthy too thanks to a bunch of nutrient-rich ingredients: lean ground beef, carrots, and chia seeds.
Chia seeds have a long list of health and culinary benefits. They’re rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats as well as fiber. And chia seeds are hydrophilic, which means they absorb water. In this recipe, they help to bind the ingredients together, so you don’t need breadcrumbs.
Meatballs are easy to make. Just place all your ingredients in a large bowl and mix away.
These meatballs are gluten free, because the chia seeds replace the usual breadcrumbs.
Serve my meatballs with rice for a gluten-free option; If gluten is not an issue with your family, serve on a sub roll or with your favorite pasta.
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 4 meatballs
- Calories: 220
- Fat: 10g
- Saturated fat: 3.5g
- Carbohydrates: 13g
- Sodium: 520mg
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 9g
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean or higher)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 medium carrot, grated (about ½ cup)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ½ cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped (about ¼ cup)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 green onions, white and light green parts, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- One 24-ounce jar pasta sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Place the ground beef, egg, carrot, chia seeds, basil, Parmesan cheese, onions, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix until just combined. Shape the meat mixture into twenty-four 1½-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet and cook until lightly browned, 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the pasta sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover and bring to a simmer. When the meatballs come out of the oven, add them to the sauce, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the meatballs are fully cooked and have absorbed some of the sauce-y flavors, about 20 minutes.
Tell me how you incorporate nutritious chia seeds into your family’s diet. I’d love to hear your ideas.