gluten free slow cooker meatballs

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meatballs

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meatballs

Meatballs are by far one of my son’s favorite meals. We tend to make meatballs in the slow cooker with some pasta sauce to put over our favorite gluten free pasta and he absolutely loves it!

Spaghetti and meatballs have been a favorite with kids and adults of all ages for many years. It tends to be a staple in a lot of American households and these gluten free slow cooker meatballs will allow the tradition to continue in many more households for years to come!

One thing that many people find surprising when switching over to a gluten free diet is that meatballs typically are not gluten free. They actually aren’t just meat balls as the name suggests!

In order to hold the meatballs together, you need to have a “binder” or something to get the meat to stick in a ball form without falling apart. The typical binders for meatballs tend to be flour, breadcrumbs, or cracker crumbs, which usually are not naturally gluten free.

gluten free flour

If I eat a gluten free diet, can I use flour to bind meatballs?

Yes, you can! There are a few ways to make gluten free meatballs with no breadcrumbs or other gluten-containing binders. Thankfully, all sorts of gluten free substitutes are becoming more and readily available every year as more and more people are deciding to eat gluten free.

There are many great gluten free flours that you can use in place of regular flour for any gluten free meatballs recipe. You can even make gluten free meatballs with almond flour! Here are a few of my favorite gluten free flours:

You can also use crushed gluten free crackers as a binder if that is what you prefer. I suggest trying out Schar Gluten Free Table Crackers. In my opinion, they taste just like Saltines!

gluten free breadcrumbs

What about a gluten-free substitute for breadcrumbs in meatballs?

You can use any gluten free bread to make breadcrumbs for your gluten free meatballs. Some of my favorite brands of gluten free bread include:

You just let the bread get slightly stale and or not as soft and break it up into crumbs just like you would with any other bread. The texture will feel a bit different than typical wheat bread, but it works just the same and no flavor is sacrificed.

gluten free cocktail meatballs

What is the secret to tender meatballs?

Whether you’re making gluten free Swedish meatballs, gluten free bbq meatballs, gluten free cocktail meatballs, or any other favorite meatball recipe, in my opinion, the best way to get the most tender and juicy meatballs is to cook them low and slow.

Some people may prefer to boil them or bake them and those taste great as well! However, my absolute favorite way to make meatballs is in the slow cooker.

There is just something about cooking them slowly throughout the day that just packs them full of flavor and gives them that melt-in-your-mouth texture that is such a pleasure to bite into.

Another added bonus of cooking the meatballs in the slow cooker throughout the day is that your entire home smells delicious all day, so when it’s dinner time, you are craving exactly what you cooked!

gluten free meatballs no breadcrumbs

Ingredients

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Directions

  1. First, make sure to spray your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Second, stir together the meat, almond flour, egg, oregano, basil, garlic, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl until everything is incorporated. 
  3. Next, take 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a ball, and repeat until all of the mixture is used.
  4. After that, place the meatballs in your slow cooker about one inch apart.
  5. Following that, pour the marinara sauce over the top of all the meatballs.
  6. Lastly, cover your slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 3 hours or until the meatballs are tender and reach a temp of 165 degrees F.
  7. Seve and enjoy!
gluten free meatballs with almond flour

What makes meatballs gluten free?

A great way to answer this question is actually to ask the opposite question, What is in meatballs that makes them not gluten free? Because of course, the meat itself is naturally gluten free. The answer to that is wheat binder!

As I mentioned earlier, typically meatballs are bound with breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, or flour. In order to make them gluten free, you just need to substitute gluten free ingredients. Easy peasy!

what is the secret to tender meatballs

How long do gluten free meatballs cook for?

This is a great question and the answer actually varies depending on your cooking method. With this gluten free slow cooker meatballs recipes, you will be using the slow cooker which always takes hours to cook.

“Hours” makes it sound overwhelming, but really all you do is dump your ingredients into your slow cooker and let it cook for you all day until dinner time, so it really couldn’t be easier!

You can also bake meatballs in the oven which, depending on the number of meatballs you are making, on average it will take about 15 to 20 minutes at about 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can definitely cut down the cooking time even more if you are in rush and make them in your Instant Pot! Cooking meatballs thoroughly in the Instant Pot will only take about 7 minutes on high pressure and then you will want to let the pressure release naturally for about 5 minutes.

who makes gluten free frozen meatballs

Who makes gluten free frozen meatballs?

There are actually quite a few good brands that make gluten free meatballs. Our absolute favorite is Rosina Gluten-Free Italian Style Meatballs. We really love grabbing these at our local grocery store to have in a pinch on busy nights. I just dump them into my slow cooker with a jar of marinara and boom, done!

Here are some other great brands of gluten free frozen meatballs:

Does Walmart have gluten free meatballs?

Yes, a lot of Walmart locations actually do sell gluten free meatballs! They tend to carry the Rosina Gluten Free Meatballs that I mentioned above.

Also, depending on your state, Walmart may carry other brands of gluten free meatballs as well.

If you are a Target shopper, you can grab the SIMEK’S Gluten Free Turkey Meatballs that I mentioned above there!

gluten free cocktail meatballs

Can I freeze these Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meatballs?

If you are wanting some meatballs for the freezer for easy dump-and-go meals throughout the week, you can totally freeze these! Just make them according to the recipe, let them cool and store them in a gallon-sized bag in your freezer.

Then when it comes time to make them, you can just plop them into your slow cooker, instant pot, or sheet pan with some marinara and you have an easy dinner ready to go!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meatballs

Want an easy dump-and-go supper for busy nights that's something the kids will love? Check out this Gluten Free Slow Cooker Meatballs recipe!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: dump, easy, kid-friendly, quicks
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 510kcal

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey or beef
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 large jar of marinara sauce of your choice or use homemade
  • Cooking oil spray

Instructions

  • First, make sure to spray your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  • Second, stir together the meat, almond flour, egg, oregano, basil, garlic, black pepper and salt in a large bowl until everything is incorporated.
  • Next, take 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a ball and repeat until all of the mixture is used.
  • After that, place the meatballs in your slow cooker about one inch apart.
  • Following that, pour the marinara sauce over the top of all the meatballs.
  • Lastly, cover your slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 3 hours or until the meatballs are tender and reach a temp of 165 degrees F.
  • Seve and enjoy!

Notes

Dairy Free Sub: You’re in luck! This recipe is naturally dairy free!

If you enjoyed this recipe, check out these other similar recipes:

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