Oats are the Secret to Gluten Free Italian Meatballs

I never thought I could do this without using gluten free bread but it occurred to me one day that I had made my lentil loaf with ground oats as the binder. Hello. Why not try that in a meatball? Not only is it gluten free but by using the oats, you boost the nutrition. The meatball was very tasty yet moist and tender. My mom would have been proud of me!

This is the way my mother and grandmother both made their meatballs; very authentic. If you don’t want to use veal, use all pork. You could even substitute some of the beef for Italian sausage. Look for sausage sold in bulk or take the casing off of an uncooked sausage and mix it in with the meat. Make sure to add the milk and oats a little at time to reach the right consistency.

Gluten Free* Italian Meatballs

Makes 12-14 medium or 20-25 small meatballs

3/4 lb natural, grass fed ground chuck (beef)
1/4 lb each ground pork and veal (or 1/2 pound of one)
2 eggs
1/4-1/3 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c chopped Italian parsley or 2 Tbl dry
1 tsp minced garlic or ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3/4 c milk
1 c gluten free oats, ground in a processor or blender OR dried breadcrumbs if you’re not gluten free

*Make sure to check all ingredients to ensure they are gluten free before you use them.

1. Mix eggs and seasonings with a fork or whisk and then add meat. Add half of the milk and oats. Keep mixing and adding until the correct texture is reached; you should be able to roll the meat into a ball but it should be “tacky”.
2. Roll meatballs that are about 1 ½ inches in diameter, about the size of a golf ball.
3. Place on a greased sheet tray and if you have time, place in the fridge for 30-60 mins. This will help the meatballs set.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn meatballs over. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown and no longer pink inside and/or 165 degrees F.
5. After meatballs are cooked, simmer in tomato sauce.

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5 Responses to Oats are the Secret to Gluten Free Italian Meatballs

  1. noreply@blogger.com'
    Pubsgal June 11, 2009 at 9:38 pm #

    Definitely will try this recipe! (And it doesn’t sound odd to me, because my mom always used uncooked rolled oats in her meatloaf recipe instead of bread crumbs! 🙂

  2. noreply@blogger.com'
    The Family Chef June 11, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    I really, these were goood and extra nutritious. Let me know how it turns out. -amy

  3. noreply@blogger.com'
    Portia Little June 20, 2009 at 1:53 am #

    These meatballs with oats look like a nutritious and tasty combo, Amy. I’ll definitely try these. We may have crossed paths at one time. I’ve lived in Ithaca and also Boston.

  4. noreply@blogger.com'
    Hally July 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    I’m not allergic to gluten but I like this meatball recipe a lot! Bread has always had little taste for me, and oats at least add some much needed fiber.

    I located your blog through the Examiner feed site. I hope you keep up this food blog- it looks really nice! I’m the Milwaukee Craft Beer Examiner, by the way. I also run a web site of my own, at http://www.yourmoneyanddebt.com

    Thanks again!

  5. noreply@blogger.com'
    The Family Chef July 11, 2009 at 4:58 am #

    Thanks Hally. I’ll check your site out!

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