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Close up photo of gluten free meatballs on large pot


  • Author: alicia gonzalez tome
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Main course
  • Cuisine: Spanish


Say hi to your new favourite gluten-free meatball recipe with delicious tomato sauce. This is a family recipe (gluten-free adapted), that has gone through generations, and is always a favourite within the family and guests. Ideal to make a big batch and freeze portions. Dairy-free.




2-3 garlic cloves cut in medium chunks

Handful of fresh parsley

2 slices of soft GF bread (crust removed)

1/4 cup of plant-based milk (I use sugar-free almond)

1 kg of grass-fed minced beef

2 organic eggs

1/4 brown onion grated (excess liquid removed)

1 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp of ground pepper

Chickpea flour

Tomato sauce

6 tbsp of tomato passata or tomato puree

2 big / 3 medium brown onion diced

1/3 cup of white wine

400ml of chicken stock

2 bay leaves (optional)


  1. Start by making the meatballs. Cut the bread in chunks with the hands, and soak it in the milk. Smash using a fork or pestle. Crush the garlic with the parsley in a mortar and pestle, until they’re well crushed. Add the soaked bread, a tiny bit of wine (approx. 1 tbsp) to the mortar, and combine all the ingredients.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the meat with the rest of the ingredients. Combine well with your hands, until all the ingredients have blended.

  3. Add a generous amount of chickpea flour to a plate. Grab a bit of the meat with a tablespoon, and form the meatballs with your fingers (I like the meatballs quite small, but this is a personal preference). Roll over the chickpea flour, and transfer to a tray or plate. You might want to put baking paper or spread a bit of extra flour to avoid the meatballs sticking to the plate/tray.

  4. Repeat this process until you’ve used all the meat. You should end up with approximately 60 small meatballs.

  5. Pour olive oil to a large pot and bring it to boil. The olive oil should be approx. 1-2 fingers high, to cover half the height of the meatballs. Fry the meatballs in small batches, so there is enough space around. Cook for approx. 1 minute on each side, until they’re nicely golden brown.

  6. Make the sauce. Clean the oil with a thin strainer. Add the onion to the oil with a pinch of salt, and cook on medium-high for approx. 15 minutes until it becomes soft. Pour the tomato, wine and bay leaves, stir to combine, and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour the stock little by little, stirring to combine. Bring it to boil and cook for another 5 minutes. 

  7. Using a skimmer, grab all the onion from the sauce, and transfer it to a food mill. Place the food mill over the pot, and mash the onion. The sauce will look quite liquid at the beginning, but it will thicken later. Add the meatballs to the sauce, and once it starts boiling cook for another 5 minutes.


If you don't have a food mill, you can use a hand blender instead. Don't over blend the sauce though.

Keywords: gluten-free meatball recipe, meatballs in tomato sauce, meatball recipe with tomato sauce, easy gluten free meatballs