Cast Iron Mushroom Meatballs paired with Cabernet

I love a dish baked in a cast iron skillet – it feels rustic and cozy, and always brings a nice crispy edge to whatever you’re cooking. Read below to discover a whole-food-based (no fake meat products here!), vegetarian cast iron meatball recipe that you’ll be enjoying now and all throughout the winter. It’s hearty, comforting, and cheesy. Pair it with a Cabernet Sauvignon and you’ll wonder why anyone bothers with beef anyway.

cast iron meatballs with mozzarella cheese

Mushroom Meatballs are Superior

I swear, these mushroom meatballs make beef obsolete if you’re still including it in your diet. Not only do you not need to worry about cooking the meatballs through all the way (no need to worry about scary bacteria from under-cooked meat!), they also remain perfectly moist thanks to the nature of the mushrooms.

Conveniences aside, these meatballs are also so delicious and comforting! Plucking a meatball from the cast iron skillet with layers of melted mozzarella stretching from pan to plate – so good! Especially as temperatures cool, I’m looking for dishes that feel cozy and warm. You can even use this mushroom meatball recipe in other dishes. I share some pasta ideas here that pair beautifully with a nice Barolo.

These mushroom meatballs are actually very low-carb, if you happen to be into that. No shame in carbs – they’re great! But the use of almond flour in this recipe not only provides the health benefits of almonds, it also eliminates the high-carb breadcrumbs that are common for meatballs. Sometimes I do use breadcrumbs in this recipe though and they are totally interchangeable here.

cast iron meatballs with red wine

Pair it with: Cabernet Sauvignon

Shiitakes and Cabernet are the perfect match. Anything with umami meatiness is made even better with a highly tannic wine like Cabernet. Shiitakes help to mellow and balance the severely gripping tannin of a Cab. If you want to branch out, try another varietal that has high tannin for a similar effect.

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Cast Iron Mushroom Meatballs

  • Author: Sydney
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner entree
  • Method: Cast Iron
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Hearty, comforting, and cheesy, these shiitake mushroom meatballs are conveniently low-carb with the use of almond flour instead of bread crumbs. 


  • 1 lb shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 cups almond flour (bread crumbs can be used)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp tsp rosemary
  • Marinara sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese 
  • Parmesan, freshly grated 
  • Basil for garnish
  • Optional: spinach for extra greenage


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Coat a pan in olive oil, and bring heat to medium.
  3. Finely dice onion, and sautee in oil for roughly 7 minutes.
  4. Dice mushrooms, and add to the pan with your three cloves of minced garlic. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions start brown.
  5. Remove mushrooms and onions from heat, and allow to cool.
  6. Add the almond flour, eggs, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.  Mix it all together. If you want a really even texture, you can blast this mixture in a food processor blender, but it’s not necessary.
  7. Mold the mixture into your “meat” balls.  Coat the balls in almond flour (or bread crumbs if you wish).  Place them spaced out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30 minutes, or until they are firm and hold their shape.
  8. While the mushroom meatballs are baking, bring your cast iron pan to medium-low heat with about 1/3 to 1/2 of the marinara sauce.  If you want to add some extra veg, add a handful or two of spinach and let it cook down in the marinara sauce.  
  9. Once mushroom meatballs are ready and spinach is cooked down, carefully place the meatballs in the cast iron pan.  Add the remaining marinara sauce over the meatballs.
  10. Slice mozzarella and add a bit to the top of each meatball.  The more the better, honestly. 
  11. Switch the oven to your broil setting.  Place the cast iron pan on the top shelf of your oven and it broil until the cheese browns and bubbles.
  12. Finally, take the cast iron out of the oven, garnish with some fresh basil, and serve!  Be careful – that pan will be HOT.

Keywords: mushroom meatball, low carb meatballs, vegetarian low carb diet, low carb dinner, low carb, almond flour, vegetarian meatball, cast iron meatballs



  1. Riley Hanline
    August 16, 2021 / 6:42 pm


  2. Catherine Peebles
    March 22, 2021 / 11:26 am

    One of my favorite (if not my favorite) Wholesomm recipes! I am always craving Italian food, and this recipe definitely satisfies that craving. The dish feels healthy without compromising indulgence! The mushrooms also give that meaty flavor you’d expect with ~meatballs~ which is why they’re my fav!

    • Sydney
      March 24, 2021 / 2:25 pm

      My boyfriend agrees with you 😉 This recipe is his absolute favorite because they resemble meatballs while still being a whole food and pretty healthy!

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