These easy Italian sausage meatballs are great for the main course or as a party appetizer! This low carb sausage meatballs recipe mixes up in about 5 minutes and is ready start to finish in under 30. Serve these homemade meatballs with a little marinara sauce for a delicious bite!
I live in a suburban area of New Jersey, about an hour outside of New York City. Like the typical suburbs of any large city, I have almost every store I could want within 20 minutes of my house, with many just 5-10 minutes away.
About 6 months ago, they opened a brand new Whole Foods just 5 minutes away. Every Tuesday morning, I have a babysitter so that I can work on the blog (the majority of the time, I'm squeezing work time in between nap schedules, school activities, and laundry). But on Tuesdays, I go sit with a cup of coffee and my laptop and get so much accomplished.
One of the other benefits of having a Whole Foods five minutes away is that we are eligible for free Prime Now grocery delivery on any order over $35. So, when I have nothing in the house but really feel like working on recipes, I can order what I need and have it delivered in two hours. It's a miracle for this busy work from home food blogger mom.
I've been wanting to do Italian sausage meatballs for a while, and I had a friend coming for lunch this past Monday, so I ordered my ingredients and whipped up these to share with her. That grocery delivery is definitely a modern-day convenience that I do not take for granted.
Italian Meatball Tips
- When forming the meatballs, it's vital not to pack the meat too tightly. This will lead to a rubbery meatball that is less than amazing.
- If you decide to form the meatballs using your hands instead of a cookie scoop, be sure to keep them around the same size. Otherwise, they won't cook evenly.
- It's best to use cold ingredients instead of setting any of it out at room temperature like you would when baking. This will keep the meatballs formed together and less likely to crumble apart as they cook.
- You can prepare the meatballs ahead of time and keep them stored in the fridge for up to one day before baking them. This saves time if you are meal prepping or having a large gathering.
- You can store them cooked in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months and reheated in the oven or microwave.
- Be sure to check their temperature with a thermometer to check for doneness. They should reach 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. Using a thermometer is the only way to really tell if they are cooked all the way, but it also prevents you from overcooking them as well.
- Try not to overcook the Italian sausage meatballs, or they will be dry.
- You do not need to make a bread crumb mixture like with traditional meatballs. The combination of cheese eliminates the need for bread crumbs.
How to Make Italian Sausage Meatballs
Sausage meatballs are very easy to make because you make them with raw sausage. It saves the step of having to brown the sausage first.
First Step: Mix together the sausage, grated parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, egg, onion, and garlic.
Expert Tip: If the sausage you use comes in casings, remove it from the casing first. The easiest way to do this is to cut it lengthwise with kitchen shears and then just pull the casing off.
Second Step: Form into balls and place on a baking sheet. It is faster and easier to do this with a cookie scoop than forming the meatballs by hand. I also line my baking sheet with parchment paper to make cleaning up easier.
Third Step: Bake the meatballs until golden brown and 160 degrees when checked with a meat thermometer. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce to dip.
Do I have to use Spinach?
No, you can sub in broccoli florets or kale or leave out the veggies entirely.
Can I make Italian Sausage Meatballs for a crowd?
Yep, of course! Each batch makes around 20 Italian sausage meatballs. I usually assume most people are going to eat 2 of them if you are serving side dishes as well. If making them as an appetizer, your guests may only eat one. If you are feeding a crowd, I recommend making them in batches and then keeping them warm in a slow cooker. Use a crockpot liner and add a little bit of water between the slow cooker and the liner. Then place it on warm and fill it with cooked meatballs. You don't want them to sit in the slow cooker for hours and hours, or they may dry out, but this method will work well for a party.
Can I Freeze Meatballs?
Yes, this meatball recipe freeze really well! You can double or triple the recipe to make a big batch and then freeze the amount your family will eat for a dinner in each gallon-sized plastic bag. We love meatballs so I always try to make some in the freezer. Either these, Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, or Keto Turkey Meatballs.
Can I fry the Italian meatballs in a skillet?
While technically you could fry these in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil, I will need to warn you; it will take longer on prep. Baking is easier because it is hands-off. Even with baking, they are moist and delicious. I highly recommend baking them, but if you would rather fry them in a skillet, that's fine too.
You can even cook these in an air fryer if you want to. They should take about 8-10 minutes at 400. I haven't gotten to test that yet so make sure to temp them. But from my research, that time and temp should work well!
Is it okay to swap the meat?
Sure! Mild Italian sausage always has a special place in my heart because it's so tasty, but you can easily swap it with other varieties of meat. Ground turkey, ground beef, and even ground chicken would all work well. You can even use multiple types of meat together to change the flavors. A combination of spicy sausage and sweet sausage is a nice change-up too. So go wild and have fun playing with the ingredients!
What to serve with Italian sausage meatballs
I serve these Italian meatballs with a favorite sauce like my keto marinara sauce or vodka sauce since they have a bit of Italian flair. They would also be great in any of your dinner recipes that call for meatballs. I use a combination of sausage and ground turkey with shredded zucchini in my meatball casserole. For a complete meal serve these with keto zucchini ravioli.
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together all the ingredients. Form into balls and place on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. They should reach 160 on a meat thermometer.