Delicious and crispy Ricotta Balls made with a coconut flour and pork rind crust. Super simple and only 2g net carbs per serving. Stovetop and Air Fryer methods are provided below.
This keto recipe with ricotta cheese is a perfect appetizer with some marinara sauce for dipping and topped with a shaving of parmesan. A great low carb and diabetic friendly option for you and your guests.
These ricotta cheese balls are one of my favorite Italian recipes and are very easy to make with just a few ingredients.
You can add your favorite spices and herbs to the pork rind crumbs and make them as tasty as you want them to be. This recipe inspired me to make these Low Carb Air Fryer Arancini Balls.
What is ricotta?
Ricotta is a low-carb cheese that is often used in savory and dessert recipes like cookies and cakes. You can make many sugar-free and keto-friendly desserts simply by whipping up the ricotta with your favorite sweeteners like monk fruit, erythritol or allulose.
You might also love this Whipped Ricotta and Fet Dip recipe.
Main ingredients used to make these ricotta balls
The low carb ricotta bites are exactly what I need when craving something crispy and fried. Plus this dish looks fancy when plated with some sauce and basil leaves. This keto dish with ricotta cheese is a family favorite.
- Fresh Whole Milk Ricotta: creamy yet firm whole milk ricotta is used to form the balls.
- Grated Parmigiano: shredded parmesan combined with the fresh ricotta to give it more texture and that nutty and salty flavor you can only get from this cheese.
- Pork Rind Crumbs: we use pork rind bread crumbs to get the maximum crispiness, for a lighter outer texture you can swap it with almond flour but we decided to keep this recipe nut free.
- Coconut Flour: keeping with the nut-free theme we used coconut flour to give the balls a layer before rolling through the eggs and pork rind crumbs.
- Eggs: used to help coat the balls with the pork rind crumbs.
See the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and quantities.
Steps by step instructions
How to make the ricotta balls?
STEP 1: Strain the ricotta and combine the ricotta with the grated parmesan in a medium bowl. Mix until fully combined.
STEP 2: In another bowl mix the pork rind bread crumbs in a bowl with the spices (oregano, garlic powder, salt and ground black peper). Place the coconut flour in a plate and the whisked egg in another to prepare the breading station.
STEP 3: Using your hand roll the ricotta mixture into balls and then dredge through the coconut flour, dip in the whisked egg and then into the pork rind mixture ensuring the ball is well coated.
STEP 4: Fry in a shallow pan with olive oil on medium-high heat until golden brown on all sides. Do it in batches so you don't over-crowd the pan. Place the cooked ricotta balls on a dish lined with paper towel to remove extra olive oil.
Serve with a low carb tomato or marinara sauce and fresh basil.
How to make ricotta balls in the air fryer?
Super easy-made in the air fryer without all the oily mess.
Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Once the balls are breaded with the pork rind crumbs, spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray or a spritz of olive oil.
Place the ricotta cheese balls in the air fryer basket, and spread them out so they have some airflow in between each ball. If not enough room, air fry them in batches.
Spray the ricotta balls with cooking spray or olive oil and air fryer at 375°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to slightly cool before removing from the basket or they may fall apart as they are still soft and warm on the inside.
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Recipe tips and variations
These cheesy ricotta balls are a delicious savoury treat, my guests devoured them at my latest gathering. Here are a few tips and variations for the ricotta cheese balls.
Top Tip: make sure you drain the water from the ricotta to ensure you end up with a crispier ricotta ball.
Pork Rind Bread Crumbs: make pork rind crumbs simply by blending plain pork rinds in the blender until crumbs form.
Breading: make sure you get a good thick coating of the breading around the ricotta balls otherwise some of the cheese might seep out a bit while frying.
Ice Cream Scoop: use a small ice cream scoop to form the balls, making it a little easier and less messy.
Serving: serve with your favorite low carb tomato sauce and some fresh basil leaves with some more parmesan on top of the fried ricotta balls.
Storage: store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What else to add to these keto ricotta balls?
- Ground Beef - brown some ground beef and add about a ¼ teaspoon into the centre of each ball, then bread them as per instructions above.
- Cheese - for an alternative to grated Parmigiano use pecorino cheese, it's a hard salty Italian cheese similar to parmesan.
- Vegetarian - swap out the pork rind crust and use almond flour for a lighter vegetarian ricotta cheese ball.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, they are only 2g net carbs per ricotta ball. Therefore, they would likely fit into your daily macros depending on what else you plate to eat during the day.
Yes, you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to a month. When ready to eat defrost to room temperature and then warm them up on parchment lined backing sheet in the oven at 300°F for 10-15 minutes.
Low Carb Ricotta Balls
- ¾ cups fresh ricotta strained
- ¾ cup shredded parmesan
- 3 large eggs whisked
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ¾ cup pork rind crumbs
- 3 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a small bowl mix the ricotta and parmesan.
- Roll ricotta mixture by hand into 1 inch balls.
- Dredge the ricotta balls through coconut flour.
- Dip in the whisked eggs and ensure well coated.
- Coat with pork rind crumbs.
- Fry in a shallow pan of olive oil until golden brown
- Enjoy with some fresh tomatoe sauce and basil
This recipe card provides the basic details to make this recipe. For more information, questions or variations please review the content above the recipe card.
Updates and Revisions
If conflicting information between the video and recipe card, the recipe card will always have the most up to date information, ingredients and instructions.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooked food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more food guidelines
The perfect little bite!
Is there another recommendation for oil? I’m reluctant to fry with olive oil. Can coconut oil be used? Thank you!
Coconut oil would work.
These look tasty and easy. Love that they are low-carb too!
My mom would be so proud that I made these.