Meatballs with chimichurri sauce are flavorful & sure to impress your friends & family! This low-carb meatball recipe with easy chimichurri sauce is so simple and so good!
If you’re tired of having meatballs the same old way, then I have a new dinner recipe for you to try!
These low-carb meatballs with chimichurri sauce are simple and easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough to serve at Christmas or another special occasion!
Everything can be made ahead of time, and leftover sauce and meatballs can be frozen for later, too!
What does it taste like?
These homemade meatballs have a lot of flavors from parmesan cheese, sage, and garlic. And they pair amazingly well with the chimichurri sauce, which is herby, light, garlicky, and incredibly flavorful!
The chimichurri sauce in this recipe definitely gives meatballs a makeover. It’s light, herby, and just tastes so summery and delicious. I know you’re going to love it!
Lean ground beef – I like to buy at least 90% lean beef to make these as healthy as possible and to prevent the meatballs from shrinking too much in the oven. The leaner you go, the healthier these meatballs will be.
Yellow onion – Make sure to finely dice the onion so there aren’t huge chunks of onion in your meatballs. If you don’t dice the onion fine enough, your meatballs may fall apart.
Eggs – These help to hold the meatballs together and prevent them from falling apart.
Bread crumbs – Bread crumbs aren’t just a filler ingredient! They actually soak up moisture while the meatballs are in the oven, which helps them stay moist and flavorful.
Tomato paste – Tomato paste adds a nice savory flavor to the meatballs, and a nice red color, too!
Parmesan cheese – Make sure to use real parmesan cheese to add a salty and cheesy flavor to this recipe. You can use pre-shredded parmesan cheese, but don’t use the dried stuff in the canister!
Garlic powder – A nice savory flavor to add to these meatballs, and it blends right in without overpowering the other flavors.
Paprika – These meatballs are exploding with flavor, and paprika adds a nice touch of sweetness and a pop of color!
Dried basil – Meatballs with chimichurri sauce is a very herb-rich dish, and the dried basil in the meatballs adds more of that Italian-inspired flavor you’re probably looking for!
Dried sage – Probably my favorite flavor component to the meatballs, the dried sage makes them taste more like sausage and less like ground beef.
What’s in Chimichurri Sauce?
Cilantro – The main ingredient in my chimichurri sauce, it adds a ton of herby flavor and is the base for this sauce recipe.
Flat-leaf parsley – Parsley adds a little bit of an Italian-style flavor, but only if use flat-leaf parsley!
Yellow onion – This adds a lot of flavor to the chimichurri sauce so don’t skip it!
Garlic – The garlic cloves pair so perfectly with the cilantro, it’s a big flavor component for the sauce.
Salt – Just a little bit of salt goes a long way, and it can be added to taste if needed.
Red wine vinegar – This adds a little bit of tangy-sweet flavor to the chimichurri sauce!
Lemon juice – A tart flavor that is subtle but delicious, especially when combined with the meatballs!
Dried oregano – More Italian herbs make the chimichurri sauce incredibly flavorful.
Chili flakes – These add a little bit of a kick to the sauce, and you don’t need very much at all!
Avocado oil – I like to use avocado oil because of its mild flavor and the fact that it’s heart-healthy. It doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the chimichurri sauce, making it ideal for this recipe.
Ground beef – You can use ground turkey or any ground beef in this recipe. If you use a beef product with higher fat content, be prepared for the meatballs to shrink considerably while they bake in the oven.
Parmesan cheese – I imagine that most cheeses would work well in the meatballs. Bleu cheese, cheddar, pepper jack, or mozzarella all would be pretty tasty instead of parmesan.
Parsley – If you don’t like parsley or don’t have any on hand, simply eliminate it and add in more cilantro. The flavor will be slightly different but it will still taste amazing.
Red wine vinegar – Champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar are the best options for a red wine substitute. You can also use white vinegar, but you may want to only use half of what it calls for to avoid the chimichurri sauce turning out too tart.
Chili flakes – These are completely optional, so if you’re sensitive to spice, you can leave this out of the sauce altogether.
Avocado oil – Olive oil would be the only other oil to use in this recipe. I wouldn’t recommend using any other types of oil for the chimichurri sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Add all meatballs ingredients to a large bowl.
- Mix together the ingredients with gloved hands if needed, until everything is uniform and well combined.
- Form 1.5 inch meatballs (about 36 meatballs total) and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake meatballs in preheated oven for 30 minutes. There’s no need to rotate or turn them!
- Meanwhile, make the chimichurri sauce. In a food processor, add all of the chimichurri sauce ingredients except the olive oil. Pulse 8-10 times, until all ingredients are chopped finely and combined.
- Add olive oil to the food processor and pulse 2-3 times until mixed well.
- Serve by drizzling the chimichurri sauce over the meatballs or serving the chimichurri sauce as a dipping sauce.
How to Store
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that both the meatballs and the chimichurri sauce can be frozen and saved for later.
This recipe makes about 36 meatballs or roughly 6 servings, which leaves plenty of leftovers that can be frozen and saved for another meal. Simply bake the meatballs as instructed, then freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
As for the chimichurri sauce, I like to freeze any leftovers in either ice cube trays or small wide-mouth glass jars to make it easy to thaw out when I need it.
When you’re ready to reheat this meal from the freezer, simply microwave your frozen meatballs for 1-2 minutes, until heated through. Thaw your chimichurri in the fridge overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
Tips & FAQ
Chimichurri sauce is a green sauce made mostly of fresh herbs, vinegar, oil, and garlic. It goes really well on chicken, steak, vegetables, pasta, and pizza, and adds a light, refreshing flavor to anything you add it to. Chimichurri makes a great sauce for frozen meatballs, too!
Yes it does! Chimichurri freezes really well in airtight containers, wide-mouth glass jars, or even in ice cube trays as individual portions! Simply freeze for up to 3 months, and thaw overnight when you’re ready to use it!
Chimichurri sauce will typically last up to 2 weeks in the fridge after you’ve made it fresh. If previously frozen then thawed, it will last 2-3 days as long as it is stored in the refrigerator.
This recipe is one of my family’s favorites, and not just because it’s so flavorful and delicious! It’s also very healthy, too!
Chimichurri is extremely heart-healthy, with antioxidants and phytochemicals from cilantro and parsley.
And not to mention that the meatballs are really lean and high in protein! This recipe is also very low in carbohydrates, make them great for those who are watching their carbohydrate intake!
Total nutritional content per serving is:
- Calories: 417 calories
- Protein: 36 grams
- Sodium: 614 mg
- Carbohydrates: 15 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
*This nutritional information is an estimate and calculated based on the ingredients used to create the recipe. The nutritional value of your ingredients may differ slightly. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
For appearing to be a fancy recipe, these low-carb meatballs with chimichurri sauce are incredibly affordable to make.
This is what I personally paid to make this recipe:
- 2 lbs lean ground beef: $8.80
- 1 1/4 yellow onion: $0.36
- 2 eggs: $0.58
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs: $0.13
- 2 tbsp tomato paste: $0.12
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese: $1.11
- 2 tsp garlic powder: $0.09
- 1 tsp paprika: $0.02
- 2 tsp dried basil: $0.11
- 2 tsp sage: $0.34
- 1.5 cups cilantro: $0.38
- 1/2 cup parsley: $0.10
- 5 cloves garlic: $0.11
- 1/2 tsp salt: $0.01
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar: $0.12
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice: $0.01
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano: $0.01
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes: $0.01
- 1/3 cup avocado oil: $1.35
For only $13.76, or $2.29 per serving, this is a recipe that you’ll be making time and time again! Even with a side dish, you’ll likely be able to keep this meal cheap and affordable!
Some cheap side dishes that go really well with this recipe are:
- A grain like rice or farro
- Herbed noodles
- Roasted frozen vegetables
- Sweet potato wedges
- Acorn Squash Salad
- Air Fryer Delicata Squash
- Mashed potatoes
Other Dinner Recipes:
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Meatballs With Chimichurri Sauce
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ¾ c shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp sage
- 1½ cup cilantro
- ½ cup parsley
- ¼ cup yellow onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp dry oregano
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- ⅓ cup avocado oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl, mixing with gloved hands if needed.
- Form 1.5 inch meatballs (about 36 meatballs total) and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs in preheated oven for 30 minutes. There's no need to rotate or turn them!
- Meanwhile, make the chimichurri sauce. In a food processor, add all of the chimichurri sauce ingredients except the olive oil.
- Pulse 8-10 times, until all ingredients are chopped finely and combined.
- Add olive oil to the food processor and pulse 2-3 times until mixed well.
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I know you’ll love this dinner recipe because it’s a new way to enjoy classic meatballs with an herby, green chimichurri. This recipe will definitely be a hit at the dinner table!