There is a bit of a strange ingredient in these meatballs. And I might wrinkle a few noses when I tell you what it is. BUT, you’re going to have to trust me on this one and just put on your big girl/boy panties and try it.
It’s pork rinds.
I know, I know. It’s a super weird thing to put into meatballs, but hear me out. I was looking for a low carb binder for these meatballs. I could have used coconut flour or almond flour, but I have tried those before and feel like they make the meat really dry. I didn’t want dry meatballs. I want nice juicy meatballs.
Yup, I went there.
Anyway, in my experiments with low-carb/keto, I’ve come across pork rinds more than once. Usually as a snack option because essentially they are just fat & prot with zero carbs. Perfect for those on low-carb diets. While looking for a low-carb binder my brain for some reason went to pork rinds. Don’t ask me why, but I was just crazy enough to give it a try.
And these meatballs are some of my favorite I’ve ever made.
They aren’t crunchy from the rinds, they don’t taste like pork rinds, they aren’t overly greasy. They are just really good meatballs.
So if you can get over the stigma of pork rinds, then I urge you to give it a try. I will caution that you need to pick your pork rinds carefully. There are good brands and not-so-good brands. I used Epic Salt & Pepper Pork Rinds and I’ve also heard good things about Bacon’s Heir Pork Clouds. If you’re in the Chicago area, Mac’s Original Pork Cracklins also work. Just do a little research to find pork rinds that aren’t just a bag of junk food.
Alright, if I couldn’t lure you in with the pork rind meatballs at least give the roasted green pepper sauce a try. It takes like two minutes to make once you roast the peppers and it goes well with EVERYTHING. I used it for these meatballs, a sausage and shrimp skillet meal, salad dressing, and as a dip for my chicken. I love me a good versatile sauce.
Ok. Enough talking. Time to make some balls! Yup! I went there again!
Lamb Meatballs with Roasted Green Pepper Sauce- makes 12 meatballs
For 1 meatball: Calories: 86 Total Fat: 6.34g Carbs: .11g Fiber: 0 Protein: 6.48g
To make the meatballs:
- 8 oz each ground lamb and turkey, mixed together
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- zest from one lemon
- 20 g pork rinds
- Preheat oven to 425 and lightly oil an 8 x 8 casserole dish. Set aside.
- Put the meat, garlic, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Place the pork rinds in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until you have pork crumbs. Pour those into the large bowl.
- Mix everything together with your hands. Using about 2 tablespoons of meat, form meatballs. Place in the casserole dish.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops of the meatballs are starting to brown. Remove from oven, let cool for a minute or so, then top with sauce and devour!
To make the sauce:
For 1 serving of sauce (1/4 cup): Calories: 35 Total Fat: 2.82g Carbs: 2.67g Fiber: 1.1g Protein: .54g
- 2 green bell peppers, roasted*
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 large avocado
- juice from one lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
*To roast the peppers, cut off the stem and remove the seeds. Drizzle with oil and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, flipping the peppers halfway through. Remove from the broiler and place under a large glass bowl. After 15 minutes, take out from under bowl and slip off the skins.*
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. You can heat this sauce over low heat or eat it at room temperature.