This week’s low carb meatball recipe is Italian inspired! After I made a big batch of this lemon and basil pesto last week, I knew I had to incorporate it into a meatball recipe!
I wanted a wow factor though, so I decided to also stuff these meatballs with fresh mozzarella cheese. You could use regular mozzarella, but I don’t think it would be as stretchy and soft on the inside as the fresh was. These were sooooooo good!
Because I needed them big enough to house the mozzarella center, I made them larger than usual. You should get about 10 meatballs per pound of meat used.
These are pretty hearty, so I’m listing the serving size as 1 (though you will probably want more!) – then simply multiply the nutrition info times however many you eat.
The list of ingredients is pretty short for this recipe, because I used the pesto in the meat mix to flavor them throughout. Then as you can see by the photos, I also topped them with about a teaspoon of pesto each. You can try my pesto recipe, or just use store bought.
[pinterest text=”Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Pesto Meatballs (low carb and gluten free) from ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/pestomeatballs2small-678×950.jpg”]
These low carb meatballs are tasty at any temperature, but to get the full on stringy, melty, cheesy experience, eat them while piping hot! That is some epic cheese stretchitude!
[pinterest text=”Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Pesto Meatballs (low carb and gluten free) from ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/pestomeatballs4small-700×786.jpg”]
To make this a complete meal, you can serve them over spaghetti squash, flavored with a little extra pesto – Yum!
[pinterest text=”Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Pesto Meatballs (low carb and gluten free) from ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/pestomeatballssmall-700×925.jpg”]
Notes: Because the pesto contains cheese, the meatballs seemed to stick to the pan a bit during cooking. Cook them over a medium-low heat, in a nonstick pan, greased with olive oil (or your preferred oil) when cooking. I used a nylon spatula to release them from the pan, then a pair of tongs to gently turn them over, which worked pretty well.
Try to get the mozzarella chunk in the middle if possible, to avoid it blowing out of the sides and melting all over the pan. If you don’t want to mess with it, you could also make them without the cheese center, then melt the cheese over the top before serving (or omit the cheese altogether.)
[pinterest text=”Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Pesto Meatballs (low carb and gluten free) from ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/pestomeatballs3small-665×950.jpg”]
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- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp pesto
- 2 oz fresh mozzarella
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or more) for frying
- 3 Tbsp pesto
- cooked spaghetti squash (optional)
- Combine the ground turkey, almond flour, egg, salt and pepper, and pesto in a medium bowl, mixing until thoroughly combined. Form into 10 large meatballs. Cut the mozzarella into 1/2 inch cubes. Flatten out each meatball in the palm of your hand, place a cube of mozzarella in the center, and then wrap the meat around the cheese and reform into a ball again.
- Heat oil in a nonstick saute pan over low to medium heat. Fry the meatballs for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Be careful when turning as they may stick to the pan.
- Serve the meatballs hot with about 1 tsp of pesto each, and an optional side of spaghetti squash flavored with olive oil and pesto.