Low-Carb Cheesy Meatball Casserole

Low-carb, gluten-free, and 100% delicious.

A delicious but Low-Carb Cheesy Meatball Casserole

This low-carb cheesy meatball casserole is not the spaghetti and meatballs of your childhood: It’s a healthy spin on a classic. Our healthier version captures all the flavors you love about the original dish. To make this casserole low-carb (and gluten-free), we left out the breadcrumbs and pasta. We promise you won’t actually miss them, especially once you get a taste of the deliciously cheesy ricotta and mozzarella cheese topping.

Each serving of our low-carb cheesy meatball casserole contains about 250 calories, only 4 grams of carbohydrates, and a whopping 50 grams of protein from the eggs and ground turkey. Low-carb, high-protein, and 100 percent delicious. What’s not to love?

Ground Turkey Makes a Healthier Meatball

These cheesy meatballs are low in carbs but loaded with flavor!

Most meatball recipes use fat-filled ground beef, as well as breadcrumbs, crackers, or oatmeal to hold the meatballs together. The first thing we did to change things up with this low-carb cheesy meatball casserole recipe was to swap in lean ground turkey. We bet you won’t be able to tell the difference in the flavor and texture of the meatballs, but this substitution saves a ton of fat and calories. Look at the comparison between the two:

Ground Beef

For each three-ounce serving of 80/20 beef (according to the USDA):

  • 209 calories
  • 13.5 grams fat
  • 5.9 grams saturated fat

  • 20.4 grams protein
  • 71.4 grams cholesterol

Ground Turkey

For each three-ounce serving (according to the USDA):

  • 120 calories
  • 6 grams fat
  • 1.8 grams saturated fat
  • 16.5 grams protein
  • 59 grams cholesterol

This Low-Carb Cheesy Meatball Casserole is Gluten-Free!

A warm and comforting casserole that will satisfy all of your comfort-food cravings.

The next thing we did to make our meatball casserole healthier was to skip the filler. There’s really no need for breadcrumbs as a binder when you have eggs and cheese! The eggs add moisture and a little fat to the lean ground turkey, helping it become stickier. Then, the cheese fills in the gaps, holding the meatball together with a cheesy network as it bakes.

Then, we took a hard pass on the noodles traditionally served with meatballs. They can be a complex carbohydrate if you use whole-grain pasta, but all noodles are high in carbohydrates. This low-carb cheesy meatball casserole is perfectly filling on its own, so you can serve it by itself. Of course, spooning the cheesy, saucy meatballs over noodles is traditional, so you can absolutely use zucchini zoodles or spaghetti squash instead. We’ve also served it with cauliflower rice, and it was equally delicious, or you can keep things ultra-simple and serve the casserole with a side salad.

The Cheesy Tomato Sauce Brings the Dish Together

This healthy Italian-inspired dish is loaded with protein and flavor.

The meatballs in this low-carb cheesy meatball casserole are the star, but the sauce really makes the dish shine. To keep this recipe low-carb, you’ll want to grab your favorite low-carb tomato sauce. You can make your own, or pick up a low-sugar or no-sugar marinara sauce at the grocery store.

Look for tomato sauce or marinara sauce that contains less than five grams of sugar. When you look at the ingredients list, sugar shouldn’t be included (or it should be at the very end). It’s really best if the ingredients are minimal, including only whole foods like tomatoes, onions, herbs, and spices.

Some of our favorite brands include Rao’s Homemade All-Natural Marainara Sauce (6 grams carbs) and Cucina Antica Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce (6 grams carbs).

If you liked this Low-Carb Cheesy Meatball Casserole recipe, you’ll love our collection of healthy, clean-eating recipes. Browse them all at once on Pinterest, or join us on Facebook to see the recipes in your newsfeed. Better yet, subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you the latest recipes, meal plans, workouts, and more!

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