Gluten Free Meatballs with Basil and Polenta (Creamy or Grilled)


I try to stay away from corn as much as possible, but I was craving some gluten free meatballs. Delish, by the way! Because I cannot have tomato sauce, I needed to make something that was moist with the meatballs. So, I treated myself to some polenta! I usually make the polenta creamy and other times grilled. This is great alone or topped with marina sauce, spaghetti saucecreamy basil sauce, or a wine sauce. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy these gluten free meatballs and creamy polenta. Mangia! (pronunced “manga”). Itsa Italian for “Eat!

Gluten Free Meatballs with Basil atop Creamy Polenta


Yield: Makes 15 - 1/4 cup meatballs

Gluten Free Meatballs with Basil atop Creamy Polenta

The perfect gluten free meatballs recipe with a basil flavor; truly Italian! - served atop creamy polenta. Oh so delicious!


    For the Meatballs
  • 1 3/4 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 2 slices) gluten free bread of your choosing, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup milk or dairy-free substitute
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (1/2 cup once finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (3/4 teaspoon)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheese (Kraft brand is gluten-free.)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for frying
  • For the Creamy Polenta
  • 3/4 cup dry polenta
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2-3 Tablespoons butter or dairy-free buttery spread
  • 1 Tablespoon whipping cream (optional)
  • Heavily salt, to taste


    To Make the Meatballs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Add beef to a large bowl.
  3. Crumble bread over same bowl.
  4. Add milk and mix a bit. Ensure that the bread crumbs all moistened with the milk.
  5. Add basil, garlic, cheese, eggs, oil, salt and pepper. and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  6. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, shape the meatballs into large balls.
  7. Generously oil a large skillet and preheat on medium high heat or 350°F until the oil just begins to smoke.
  8. Add the meatballs and cover; cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Turn them over and brown the other side for about 3 minutes.
  10. Rotate them so that some of the sides begin to brown, cooking for an additional 2-5 minutes (2 minutes for medium (just a little pink in the center; and 5 minutes to see no pink at all).
  11. Serve atop creamy polenta (recipe below).
  12. To Make the Creamy Polenta
  13. Polenta may be purchased in most grocery stores. It is similar to cornmeal. The instructions on the package will most likely include stove top and microwave instructions. Follow the instructions. I use Golden Pheasant brand.
  14. In a large casserole dish with a lid I add 3/4 cup polenta to 3 cups water, and microwave for 8 minutes; stirring once mid cooking.
  15. Once cooked I usually add butter, margarine or dairy-free substitute, about 3 tablespoons, and salt to taste, however, when adding whipping cream, I add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon whipping cream. It makes it richer and creamier. Note many recipes call for chicken broth instead of water, however, I only use chicken broth when cooking a chicken dish.


For additional flavor you may add chopped onion, but it should be sauteed in oil before adding. In this case, sautee the garlic once the onion is almost translucent, for about 30- 60 seconds.

Variations for Creamy Polenta:

Top with marinara or spaghetti sauce.

Makes 15 – 1/4 cup meatballs

You may also be interested in Creamy Polenta, Chicken and Gravy recipe.


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