DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Burger Balls

Prep: 20 min | Cook: 15 mins | Total: 35 mins | Servings:6


Burger Balls
Burger Balls
Burger Balls
I receive a lot of requests for kid friendly recipes. I think this qualifies! Us adults might even like them!

They're little more than small bacon cheddar stuffed meatballs, but the overall structure, design and flavor is that of a cheeseburger with bacon. I've also got a little bit of caramelized onions and garlic actually mixed into the meat. This is to imply that our burger is also topped with caramelized onions. YUM!

Aside from the fact that these are like small little hamburger bites, there's also just the nonsensical name. I'm POSITIVE that if "Burger Balls" had been in my mother's repertoire growing up, that it would become a bit of a weekly backseat chant, between my younger brother and I.

"Mom, we want burger balls! Mom? Can we have burger balls? Hey MOM! When are you gunna make us burger balls? MOM! BURGER BALLS! BURGER BALLS! BURGER BALLS!!!" This would end with us singing in unison, like only two young persistently irritating boys can!

Photos are taken with sugar free ketchup.

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
1/2 lb (227g)  cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes902.4374.36562.75002.75
1/4 cup (54g)  cooking oil, divided (ghee, bacon fat, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.)477.55400000
3 each (9g)  garlic cloves, diced13013003
1 small (110g)  onion, diced440110208
2 lbs (908g)  ground beef (80 lean/20 fat)2306.32181.6154.360000
1 large (50g)  egg7256.5.5000.5
1/2 cup (56.8g)  real bacon bits20012240000
salt and pepper, to taste0000000
Totals (of 6 Servings):4015.25326.96g242.86g16.25g2g0g14.25g
Per Serving:669.2154.49g40.48g2.71g0.33g0g2.38g *


  1. Before you do anything, make sure your cheese is cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then place them in the freezer, while you work on the rest of the ingredients. You aren't necessarily looking to FREEZE the cheese, so much as give it a nice chill.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
  3. Place a sauté pan over medium heat on the stove. When it is warm, add 2 tbsp of your cooking oil. When the oil begins to ripple in the pan, add your onions and garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until nice, soft and caramelized. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add your beef, egg and warm onion mixture. Combine mixture well.
  5. Form into small 1-1/2 to 2 inch balls. Press the balls with your palms to make them very slightly flat. Push a small amount of bacon bits and a single cheddar cube from the freezer into the center of the beef disc. Form the rest of the beef around the cheese and bacon and press together the ground beef, to form a tight seal. Roll the balls to form a more perfect and well sealed beef sphere.
  6. Pre-heat a large oven-proof sauté pan over high heat on the stove.
  7. While the pan is heating, season the outside of your burger balls with a little bit of salt and pepper.
  8. Add your remaining 2 tbsp of cooking oil to the pan. When the oil ripples, add your burger balls to the pan, so that they are not touching. If they are too crowded, the pan will cool down and you won't get a nice sear. You may need two pans for this.
  9. Sear the outside of your burger balls, moving them around the pan to try and gain a nice brown sear on the outside. After about 2 minutes of searing, place the whole pan in the hot oven for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and serve!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...


these sound like they would be awesome with spaghetti and spaghetti sauce!!!  oooh, and some garlic bread!

 sarah  2/28/2018


---Reply posted by DJ on 2/28/2018
You mean spaghetti SQUASH and garlic cauliflower sticks, I'm assuming!?! ;)

Do you think mozzarella cubes would work

 cheryl  6/20/2015


---Reply posted by DJ on 6/20/2015
Yep! Just be sure to use a whole milk, low-moisture mozz. Really, any low-moisture/hard cheese will work just fine. Enjoy them!

These Burger Balls are PURE AWESOMNESS!!!  Being new to the low carb diet (due to diabetes), I have been looking for new recipes to try!  Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!!  I have so much to learn!

 Ellen Chismudy  3/10/2015


---Reply posted by DJ on 3/10/2015
Awesome! Glad you liked them, Ellen! Sorry about the diabetes, but it's quite manageable. I think you'll find this is an interesting and varied way to eat. Fret not! Please let me know if you have any questions. Here to help! :)

ha ha ha, I clicked on this recipe because of the name

 Robin  3/2/2015


---Reply posted by DJ on 3/5/2015

Fantastic, Monique! I'm glad the two of you enjoyed them! Also ... I often see Paleo+Dairy as being called "Primal" ... The more ya know! ;)

 DJ  12/1/2014


I made these tonight and they were insanely good. I was so impressed with how they turned out! I was craving a burger and these really hit the spot with the Paleo-ish (I still eat cheese) lifestyle my husband and I have adopted. Thank you so much for posting this! It's recipes like this that help me stay with this way of eating and still enjoy life to the fullest!

 Monique  10/22/2014


I love everything you just said, Robin. Thank you for sharing. I'm smiling like a buffoon, right now! :)

 DJ  10/10/2014


These burger balls are great! We loved the cheese oozing out of them. Thanks DJ! I am really enjoying trying your recipes so far I have printed each one I have used and put them in a binder and dude You have a cookbook all of your own! :) I have started going though my own recipes ( I cook at a cafe ) and fixing them for low/no carb. And this Swerve is great my hubby has diabetes type 2 with a bad sweet tooth, I've been making the Fat Bomb for his after dinner snack and he hasn't even asked for cookies etc, we all love it! Again thank you!

 Robin  10/8/2014


Hi K ... I understand! It's hard to eat just a few! :)

 DJ  8/21/2014


Hi mrsb. The recipe is calculated so that each person gets about 1/2 lb of burger balls. If memory serves, it's about 4 balls per person ... for a recipe of 24 total balls. Sorry for the delay in my response!

 DJ  8/21/2014


I'm glad the carb count is low because I'm pretty sure I ate two servings! Scrumptious! I had them with 2 dill pickle slices and sautéed red and yellow peppers. I'm already looking forward to eating more tomorrow!

 K  8/17/2014


Making 2" size, how many meatballs do you estimate is a serving? Also wanted to just tell you what an inspiration you are to me. I have been falling low carb for 2 months now and following your blog and recipes has been so helpful. Thank you so much!

 mrsb  8/16/2014


There are only 3 macronutrients, Ronda. As one drops, another needs to rise (or you just have less food). As a result, typically low or non-fat ingredients have higher carb counts, as they replace the fat with carbs for bulk and flavor. This is why non and low-fat foods are usually avoided on a low-carb diet. I encourage you to do whatever works for yourself and your body, but I tend to think a good whole pork belly bacon and full fat cheese is going to function better in my own body. With less carbs, there's less insulin, so the fat isn't as quickly stored for later use. It's just nore quickly burned for energy. Food for thought ... thank you for your feedback! :)

 DJ  4/29/2014


I would use Turkey Bacon to reduce fat content in these. You could also use lowfat cheese in them. They look like a yummy treat to make and enjoy as an appetizer!

 Ronda Reed  4/29/2014


Lisa, no, unfortunately. Because of the cheese in the middle, these are a bit fuzzy. You could probably make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them, and then cook them from frozen. I'd bet that would work!

 DJ  4/1/2014


Any successful way to make a day ahead and reheat in oven/crock pot?

 Lisa  4/1/2014


Interesting, Lori! I'll bet that was quite tasty! :D

 DJ  2/17/2014


I just made these with venison burger and froze my cheese! They were awesome! Thanks for sharing!

 Lori  2/16/2014


Thank you for the kind words, Lorrie Lou! My pleasure!

 DJ  1/14/2014


I should add... The flavor was great, and I'll definitely make them again. I'll just keep the cheese in the freezer longer. Thanks for another great recipe. We appreciate all of your effort and time you've put into this site. :-)

 Lorrie Lou  1/14/2014


Lorrie Lou, I'm so sorry! Yes, the freezing does help, as does a very good job of "sealing" the balls on your fists. I'm glad you were able to salvage them! Thanks for reminding us! :)

 DJ  1/13/2014


So..... Made these tonight. Family had quite the gigglefest as I pulled the pan from the oven. We had a nice pan of cheeseless balls. Guess I should've really solidified those cheese cubes before stuffing them into the balls. All is well. We just scooped all the cheese up and threw it on top. :-)

 Lorrie Lou  1/13/2014