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Gluten-Free, Egg-Free Meatballs, Version 1

I’m tired of burgers and beef tacos. That’s what I usually do with ground bison when I cook it. Today, I was inspired to make meatballs, but of course, I couldn’t include bread crumbs or eggs.

I did some research and found others were including a variety of binding ingredients in their gluten-free meatballs: tapioca, coconut flour, ground rice cakes, gluten-free bread crumbs, gluten-free oatmeal. The closest I could come was ground up rice crackers, which I ground myself in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin.

Everyone used real eggs in their recipes. I recently bought some “powdered egg substitute” and used that instead. I used this recipe as my main guide.


  • 1 lb. ground bison
  • 20 rice crackers, ground into meal (I probably could have gotten away with less)
  • 1 egg or equivalent egg substitute
  • seasoning and spices (I used a seasoning mix from Penzeys and a mix of pizza herbs from a local vendor)
  • salt
  • grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • olive oil
  • 1 sliced garlic clove
  • 1 quart diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

I mixed everything from the bison to the salt together and formed the meatballs (I forgot to add the cheese at this stage and added it later instead). I sauteed the meatballs in olive oil until they were browned on all sides (about 5 minutes).

Meanwhile, I heated more oil in a dutch oven and sauteed the garlic for about a minute. I added the tomatoes and as everything started to come to a boil, I added the remaining ingredients.

When all of the meatballs were browned, I added them to the simmering sauce, covered it and reduced the heat to low. I simmered everything for about an hour, stirring it occasionally to coat the meatballs in the sauce. Then I sprinkled on the forgotten grated cheese.

These came out pretty good for a first try. I didn’t have any onions on-hand and they would have been a nice addition to the sauce and to the meatballs. I could have used less of the cracker crumbs.

I want to try a different kind of meatballs next time — not Italian style, but the kind that has chili sauce and jelly in the sauce.



About baysideresearch

I am a genealogist based on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I also like food and try to eat as locally and sustainably as possible. I have blogs about both!

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