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Keto-friendly Meatballs with Marinara Sauce

Louise | January 27

I first did this recipe when founded myself stuck in a rut. Meatballs seem, at first, pretty boring… if you’re not willing to go out of your comfort zone and do your best to make them interesting.

I can guarantee this ground pork recipe will not disappoint you, because it’s unique in its flavor and…well, it’s far away from those boring fried meatballs you are trying to avoid. 


Because this meatball recipe is inspired by Italian cuisine and we’ve made it… yeah, you got that one right: keto-friendly. 

The sauce we’ve recommended here it’s similar to the marinara sauce you’ve all known for a while, but with some yummy twists: the tomatoes are thinned with chicken broth and flavored with lemon zest and herbs. More than the marinara, this one it’s fresh and rich in taste.

You can serve this over some Creamy Paleo Cauliflower Mash or if you want to impress your loved ones with a warm and healthy dinner, you can try out this Keto Creamy Mushroom “Risotto” Recipe.  Or something even simpler, saute some spinach with mushrooms and serve the meatballs over a bed of those veggies.


Keto-friendly Meatballs with Marinara Sauce

  • Author: Louise Hendon
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch
  • Cuisine: Italian


Ingredients for the meatballs:

  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil, to cook with
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

Ingredients for the Marinara Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, to cook with
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut cream


Instructions on how to make the meatballs:

  1. Mix all of the meatball ingredients (except for the avocado oil) in a bowl.
  2. Form small balls from the mixture (you can make approx. 15 meatballs).
  3. Heat the avocado oil in a saute pan and cook the meatballs in small batches. Turn them over from time to time, until they turn golden-brown.

Instructions on how to make the marinara sauce:

  1. In a separate pan, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic and cook them until the onions turn translucent but are not yet browned.
  2. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and Italian seasoning and bring to a soft boil for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Add the lemon zest and cream and let them cook together for another 10 minutes. Serve with vegetables or cauliflower rice.


All nutritional data are estimated and based on per serving amounts.


  • Calories: 287
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 26g

Louise co-founded Louise's Foods, Paleo Living Magazine, Nourishing Brands, & CoBionic. She has considerable research experience but enjoys creating products and articles that help move people just a little bit closer toward a healthy life they love.