Cream cheese stuffed meatballs, the perfect high protein snack, lunch or dinner.

These can be frozen for easy meal prep for the weeks ahead or saved for school lunch boxes.

A plate of cream cheese stuffed meatballs ready to be served with sauces
High protein cream cheese stuffed meatballs

Tasty low carb cream cheese stuffed meatballs are quick to make, economical, perfect as a high protein snack, lunch, dinner, breakfast, and can be frozen.

So why not make a double, triple batch and be prepared for the weeks ahead.

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How many carbs are in meatballs?

Homemade meatballs are almost zero carbs, but it depends on what other added ingredients you use that will affect the nutrition value and carb count.

Store-bought meatballs generally contain fillers and stuffers such as potato starch, wheat flour, tapioca starch, and breadcrumbs. Even gluten-free meatballs can be high carb because gluten-free flour is not a low-carb flour.

Are meatballs high protein?

Yes, meatballs are high protein, especially if you make them yourself with no added flour or breadcrumbs.

The nutrition values (per 100g) to show you how many carbs and protein are in meatballs:

Meatballs, pork, no sauce: 10.2 g net carbs, 19.4 g protein, 16.7 g fat, 277 calories (store-bought with flour and breadcrumbs).
Cream cheese stuffed meatballs, no sauce: 1.9 g net carbs, 23.6 g protein, 21.4 g fat, 290 calories (homemade, recipe card below).

Nutritional values from

Which meat is best for meatballs?

You can use almost any ground meat to make meatballs. Traditional meatballs are made with pork but other common meatballs are ground beef, ground chicken, and ground turkey.

Ground poultry meatballs tend to be a little drier because poultry is a low fat meat. They are however delicious if you serve them with some creamy low-carb sauce or tangy sugar-free BBQ sauce.

Which is the best stuffing for meatballs?

You can use almost anything to stuff meatballs. However, I prefer to use cream cheese because it adds a soft and creamy center and you can add a huge variety of flavors, herbs, and spices to the cream cheese mixture.

Firm meatballs stuffing such as diced cooked bacon, fried halloumi, or a cube of cheese also work well.

What is the keto alternative to breadcrumbs?

The best alternative to breadcrumbs on the keto diet is ground almonds, nut flour, or ground pork rinds. They are all extremely tasty and much lower in carbs. They are crunchy and add extra nutrients to your meal.

I often mix herbs, spices, and seasonings to my ground almonds to make a breadcrumb when making my low-carb real chicken nuggets. The almond flour crumb coating is tasty and fries to a lovely crunchy texture.


These creamy meatballs can be served on a platter as an appetizer, on bamboo sticks, or warm them up on the barbecue in summer. They can be served hot or cold, with or without dips.

Meatballs work brilliantly with my tangy sugar-free BBQ sauce, homemade ketchup, or low-carb curry coconut dipping sauce. They are a quick high protein snack, they are portable and sturdy enough to carry around.


A plate of cream cheese stuffed meatballs ready to be served with sauces

Simple stuffed meatballs are incredibly versatile. You can adapt the cream cheese fillings to your liking. You could use the following as meatball stuffing ideas:

  • Feta and basil
  • Blue cheese
  • Halloumi
  • Chives
  • Mozzarella and pepperoni

The possibilities are endless. I try to make my recipes as adaptable as possible.

Please leave a comment with your fabulous idea for a new cream cheese stuffing combination.

How to cook meatballs in the oven

Place all the rolled meatball shapes onto a prepared baking dish. I like to line my baking tray (sheet pan) with baking parchment. It makes it easy to roll the meatballs so they cook evenly on all sides halfway through cooking.

How to cook meatballs in the air fryer

Using an air fryer to cook keto meatballs is quick and easy.

  1. Preheat to 180C/350F.
  2. Spray the wire basket with cooking oil.
  3. Gently place each meatball into the oiled basket. Ensure there is plenty of space between them.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes, open the drawer and turn each meatball.
  5. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of meatballs being cooked.

If you love using your air fryer, I have 101 keto air fryer recipes for you to choose from (chicken, pork, ground beef, salmon, vegetables, and even desserts). Discover how to use your air fryer plus FREE printable air fryer cooking cheat sheets.

More Monday meatball recipes

Cream cheese meatballs were developed after readers asked me for more quick high protein snacks. But if you’re after meatballs with a marinara sauce, you could try keto meatballs with a mushroom sauce or easy meatballs made in the Instant Pot.

A plate of cream cheese stuffed meatballs ready to be served with sauces

Cream Cheese Stuffed Meatballs Recipe

Cream cheese stuffed meatballs are perfect for dinner, lunch, a snack or an appetiser. So make plenty and keep on hand for a quick high protein snack.
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Course: Appetiser, Dinner, Lunch, Lunch boxes, Snacks
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Grain free, Keto, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Wheat Free
Keyword: Keto meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 25 meatballs
Calories: 105.7kcal
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  • 1 spring onion/scallion finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic minced crushed
  • 750 g ground/mince meat I used pork
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 eggs – medium slightly beaten
  • 2 slices bacon finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp sundried tomatoes finely diced
  • 2 tbsp favourite herbs – I use rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage


  • 110 g cream cheese diced into squares



  • Place all the meatball ingredients on a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands.
  • Using a dessert spoon, scoop up a golfball size of meatball mixture.
  • Squeeze the mixture into a ball then flatten into a circle.


  • Place a cube of cream cheese in the centre of the meatball circle then enclose the meatball mixture around the cream cheese.Place the cream cheese stuffed meatball on a greased baking tray.
  • Repeat until all the mixture has been used. Spray them all with olive oil spray so they will crisp and brown beautifully.
  • Bake at 180C/350F for 15-20minutes depending on your oven, or until golden brown.


The nutrition panel shows the nutrition for 1 meatball. The recipe makes 25 but if you like your meatballs to be smaller or larger, you will need to recalculate the nutrition values accordingly.


Serving: 1meatball (makes 25)Calories: 105.7kcalCarbohydrates: 0.7gProtein: 5.9gFat: 8.7gSodium: 46.7mgPotassium: 120.8mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 81.5IUVitamin C: 0.6mgCalcium: 10.8mgIron: 0.4mg

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  1. I bet this would also be good with mozzarella or other low carb cheeses inside

  2. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum! I NNED these in my life! And my kids might be able to even eat them since they have only a little bit of dairy in them!

    1. YAY!!! You could even fill them with non dairy fillings such as pepperoni and tomatoes paste (there’s a pizza ball right there). I’m sure others can suggest even more dairy free options – ready people – GO.

  3. Do you cook the bacon first?

  4. Michelle Pinheiro says:

    Hi There. Am inspired. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  5. I’m going to make these tomorrow. Do you need to pre heat the oven @350?

      1. Hi Libby – just made these; the flavor is yummy and I will eat at least 4 ……….. in the next few minutes 🙂 BUT they don’t look anything like the picture — they came out of the oven more like meatloaf balls – so I’m wondering if you dredged them in the lightly beaten egg just prior to placing in the oven? The picture makes them appear as if they are breaded – like fried mozzarella — but mine weren’t anywhere near that. Help! 🙂

        1. No I just made the meatballs stuffed with cream cheese (about the size of a golf ball) them rolled them in to oil I used to grease the pan. When I roll my meatballs, I use a slight pressure to keep them all together when cooking. Hope that helps 🙂

          1. Hi can you please forward the ingredients needed for the cream cheese meatballs and the method please

  6. Made these yesterday – amazing and easy
    Does it really get any better than that!

  7. My turn today! Cooking as I type. Have used extra bacon (I love bacon), some with Feta, some with cream cheese and a mixture of sizes to suit the meal I want when it’s time to eat 🙂

  8. Any ideas for a low carb vegetarian version?

  9. These sound amazeballs! 😉 They are now on my to-do-list for this weekend!

  10. Oh my! These were SO tasty – and definitely will do again and try different combinations. I might try putting under the broiler to finish off/make them a bit browner at end? Thoughts?

  11. I would like to make these with lamb. Can you recommend either a good herb with the cream cheese or another cheese that would melt inside the meatball and complement the lamb? Sorry if this question is a little dumb but I don’t cook, just dabble once in a while and this recipe caught my imagination.

  12. Very yummy meatballs, they are a hit in our household

  13. Christina says:

    Is it 2 tbs of each spice. Or all spices equal 2 tbs together thanks

  14. Jennifer Cook says:

    If I wanted to use mozzarella cheese, what kind would be best? My first thought was the whole milk mini mozzarella balls, but those are so soft. Maybe a harder mozzarella would be better? Also, I’m not a fan of sun dried tomatoes. Any suggestions on a replacement?

    1. Probably the harder mozzarella would be best. It really needs a firm cheese inside the meatballs otherwise the cheese will be squeezed out when you roll the balls into shape. You can omit the sundried tomatoes altogether. Maybe replace it with diced pepperoni?

  15. These taste awesome! I made a bunch of recipes yesterday and had these in the oven while I was getting on with something else. I forgot to set a timer and in the end I burnt them quite a lot and they still tasted really good! Loving that combination of diced bacon and sundried tomatoes you add to your mince recipes, great flavours.

  16. Barb Pane says:

    If I were to freeze them, should I cook them first? Any ideas of best way to reheat after frozen?

    1. Yes, I would cook them first, then all you have to do is defrost a few at a time. Otherwise you’re popping the oven on each time which is a hassle. To reheat, either microwave until hot in the centre (not too long, you don’t want rubbery meatballs) or if you were to have the oven on cooking something else, pop them in for 5 minutes to heat throughout.

  17. Hi Libby, I would like to make these meatballs as part of a dinner I’m preparing for Easter Sunday, and am just wondering about the sun dried tomatoes. You normally show pics of the products you use, but this recipe only has the link to Amazon with no pics. I’m curious about the sun dried tomatoes, as I went to buy a jar from Woolies, and they were really high in carbs, so wondered if there is a particular brand you recommend. I’m in Australia, by the way.

    1. I buy the sun-dried tomatoes that come in a packet, then when I get home I chop them with kitchen scissors and pop in a jar. I cover them with olive oil. They are now ready to sprinkle over a salad or to cook with, and the olive oil by the end is amazing as a salad dressing. I used to buy them pre-sliced but discovered they use vegetable oils, and I avoid those. Sun-dried tomatoes are higher in carbs because they are concentrated tomatoes but they are packed with flavour and you only use a small number to flavour a recipe. Likewise with tomato paste, higher in carbs, but a little goes a long way.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    How many meatballs in a serving? These look delicious!

    1. The recipe makes 25 meatballs, the nutrition panel is per meatball. Some might serve these as a dinner, others might have them as a snack so hard to say how many you would like as a “serving size”.

  19. Thank you Libby. I must try the recipe. To get my girl to have some cheese.

  20. 15-20 minutes doesn’t sound like it would be long enough to cook the meatballs thru. Has anyone tried these with ground beef and did they cook that quickly?

    1. Always cook according to your oven, and always test in the centre, but yes, 20 minutes is plenty to cook these. They are small, golf ball sized meatballs, so cook in a flash! And remember the centre is cream cheese, so really you are only cooking the outer meat layer. Enjoy 🙂

  21. This recipe looks fabulous! My son is allergic to tomatoes, any suggestions for a substitution?

  22. Wasn’t especially found of these. There was no binding agent to keep them together and they actually tasted a bit bland. The fat from the bacon caused a bit of a gelatinous goo to form along the bottom as they cooked as well. I would recommend trimming some of the fat off the bacon to keep that from happening.

    1. Marguerette Mays says:

      I have found that adding ground chia seeds to meatball mixture will help with the binder. Tastes great also and much more low carb than bread crumbs

  23. I made mine larger with a mixture of cream cheese, cheddar, minced jalapeños & a tad of ranch seasoning for the filling. I also added breadcrumbs so that they would bind better I was a tad nervous about the eggs alone. They were absolute delicious and sprinkled a little paprika for decoration 😉

  24. Wendy M Richardson says:

    I have one in my household that doesn’t like cream cheese could I sub with riccota, mozzarella, or some other kind of cheese ?