Keto-Friendly Parmesan Meatballs and Orzo in Creamy Mozzarella Sauce with Peas and Spinach
This is a delicious, keto-friendly recipe. It has a long list of ingredients, but don’t let that throw you! Just make the Great Low-Carb Pasta - Orzo, put together the meatballs and bake them, and make the irresistible cream sauce. Then mix it all together and enjoy!
There is tons of protein in this recipe, since the pasta has 18 grams. You can use ground beef or lean ground turkey, and it is up to you whether to use regular breadcrumbs, whole-wheat breadcrumbs, panko, or even crushed high-fiber cereal or quick-cooking oats.
Recipe for Keto-Friendly Parmesan Meatballs and Orzo in Creamy Mozzarella Sauce with Peas and Spinach
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 package of Great Low-Carb Pasta - Orzo
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus another 1 tablespoon
- 1 lb. of ground beef
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed
- 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
- 3 ounces (¾ cup) of grated parmesan cheese, plus another ounce (¼ cup)
- 1 extra large egg, beaten
- ¼ cup dried minced onion
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley or 2 teaspoons of dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 cup of milk plus another 2 tablespoons, or more as needed
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 ⅓ cups of chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1 cup of milk
- ⅓ cup of heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped, or 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- Dash of paprika
- Black pepper to taste
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons of parsley, freshly chopped
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, or juice from ¼ lemon
- 2 ounces (½ cup) of shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¾ cup of frozen peas, thawed to room temperature
- 2 cups of baby spinach leaves
- Optional toppings and garnishes: fresh basil, more parmesan cheese, lemon wedges, sliced toasted almonds, drizzle of olive oil
- Cook the Great Low-Carb Pasta - Orzo according to the instructions on the package. Boil water, add the pasta, and cook until it is nearly al dente, or about 7 minutes. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (cooking spray is fine, too). In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, garlic, breadcrumbs, ¾ cup of grated parmesan cheese, beaten egg, dried minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix the ingredients well.
- Form the meatballs into balls. You should get about 24 small meatballs, about 1 heaping tablespoon each.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the meatballs and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned evenly. You may need to cook them in 2 or 3 batches. When they are cooked, remove them from the pan and place them on paper towels on plates to let them drain. Place them on the baking sheet and bake them for 12 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
- Whisk the cornstarch well into 1 cup of milk and set it aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet. Add the garlic and shallot and cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, or until fragrant. Stir continuously while sprinkling in the flour, being careful to distribute it evenly. Cook for 3 minutes, continuing to stir. Turn down the heat and slowly stir in the chicken broth and cornstarch mixture. Stir in the cream. Keep stirring and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook until thickened, stirring often. Add the peas and lemon juice and simmer until the sauce is thick, about 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Lower the heat and stir in the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Mix in the fresh or dried basil and oregano and spinach leaves and let the spinach wilt. Stir in the orzo and cooked meatballs.
- Plate the pasta and top with any additional garnishes, such as toasted almonds, more parmesan cheese, olive oil, fresh basil or lemon wedges. Serve and enjoy!