The Best Keto Meatball Parmigiana – Twiins Style

The Best Keto Meatball Parmigiana - Twiins Style

  • Servings: Yields 16-18

I have been longing for a Sunday pasta & meatball dinner for a few months. Since I started doing Keto I substitute hearts of palm sheets for lasagna noodles or use zucchini or spaghetti squash. These make a wonderful conversion however, the meatballs are not keto... I've been switching out the breadcrumbs for Pork Panko on several dishes that call for breadcrumbs and to my surprise, the Pork Panko works well. 😋 😋


  • 2 ¼ lbs ground beef 80-85% lean/20-15% fat (or 2¼ lbs of  ground beef, veal, and pork mixture)
  • 3/4 cup Pork Panko or crushed pork rinds (packed)
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3-4 large handfuls of grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 cup+ 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped (or 2 Tablespoons dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • EVOO (for frying)
  • 8 oz whole milk mozzarella


  1. Place ground meat in a large mixing bowl, and break up with a fork.
  2. Add Pork Panko, onion, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper and combine well.
  3. Make a well in the center of the meat mixture and place all the eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, and parsley.
  4. With a large fork scramble the eggs, cheese, and parsley in the well, then start to combine into the entire meat mixture. You can do this best with your hands that are scrupulously clean or with gloves…your preference.
  5. Once well combined (don’t over-mix) use an ice cream scoop to get even-sized meatballs,(about a small cupped handful of meat mixture) and roll into a ball then place on parchment or waxed paper. Continue making meatballs until all meat has been formed. An ice cream scoop should yield 16-18 meatballs.
  6. In a large skillet pour enough EVOO to about 3/4 inches in depth. Let the oil get hot, then working in batches, brown all sides (Don’t overload, allow each meatball some breathing room, or they get steamed & not browned).
  7. When meatballs are browned and crisp, remove them to a paper towel-lined bowl or tray. Repeat until all meatballs are cooked.
  8. Cook meatballs in tomato sauce for 20 minutes. (Skip the next step if you are not making it parmigiana style.)
  9. In a casserole dish, lightly coat with tomato sauce then place meatballs in the dish, sprinkle with grated cheese, and slices of mozzarella. Microwave on medium just enough to melt the cheese (about 3-5 minutes depending on your microwave). Serve with a big salad or your favorite keto pasta and enjoy!

Notes: The texture is a little meatier than meatballs made with soaked Italian bread but they are just as delicious. I like using Skinny Pasta (konjac noodles) or Palmini hearts of palm noodles in place of real pasta.





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Keto Stuffed Zucchini

We have been making the original, non-keto version for many, many years using breadcrumbs, however, since breadcrumbs are not a keto food I substituted with Pork Panko, which I found in my local grocery store.  It’s a delicious, easy-to-make meal that is so tasty. Stuffed zucchini is a winning dinner whether you use Italian sweet or hot sausage or bulk country sausage. Leftovers can be eaten for lunch the next day.

Keto Stuffed Zucchini

Keto version of delicious sausage stuffed zucchini.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 452kcal


  • 1 large skillet (to cook zucchini for 8-10 minutes)
  • 1 Large rimmed baking sheet
  • 1 large spoon (to scoop out cooked zucchini)


  • 4 large zucchini (Sliced in half lengthwise. Do not cut off the ends.)
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (sweet or hot) (remove casings)
  • ½ large onion (diced)
  • 2 large garlic cloves (smashed)
  • cup Panko pork rinds (packed)
  • ¼ cup Pecorino-Romano cheese (grated)
  • 8 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (homemade or jar, with no sugar added)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a large skillet, cook halved zucchini in boiling, salted water for 8-10 minutes. Drain. Scoop out insides, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Drain and mash the scooped-out zucchini. Set aside.
  • Place shells onto an ungreased large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Remove casings from sausage and cook in the same skillet for 5 minutes, breaking the meat into a crumble while cooking. Add the chopped onions and smashed garlic. Saute 3 minutes until tender. Add the mashed zucchini, Panko pork rinds, and 3/4 of the grated Pecorino-Romano cheese.
  • Spoon mixture into shells. Spoon tomato sauce on top to cover lengthwise. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until cheese melts. Enjoy!


Pork Panko makes a great substitute for any recipe calling for breadcrumbs.


Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 1080mg | Potassium: 929mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 881IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 294mg | Iron: 2mg

Please note: Although the Nutritional Facts are provided, we are not nutritionists and therefore cannot verify the accuracy of these calculations. Please verify any data you see here with your favorite nutrition calculator.

Pork Panko makes a great substitute for any recipe calling for breadcrumbs.
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