Now that it is officially fall, I’m really starting to get in the mood for fall foods.
You know how when the weather starts to change, you start to crave hearty, delicious meals that really stick to your ribs and make you feel warm and cozy? These paleo meatballs are perfect for just that.
Really, they’re great any time of the year, but for some reason, these really hit the spot for fall.
Trying New Foods Can Be Fun
We’ve been strictly gluten free for almost a year now, so I don’t make a lot of pasta, but out of nowhere, my daughter kept asking for spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
My husband hates any type of meat in the form of ball or loaf, especially if there is beef in it… which is a pretty funny thing to type out, now that I’m looking at it. So with these dietary considerations, I wasn’t very experienced in the spaghetti and meatballs department.
But one day when I was meal planning, August started begging me to make meatballs, and for some reason, I said, “sure, why not.”
That night, I whipped up these bad boys, and they turned out amazing. So flavorful, so moist, and the perfect texture. My husband even liked them, and said I could make them again.
Whoa. That is a huge accomplishment in this house.
The best part is, in addition to being just plain delicious, these are great for meal prep. Make these ahead of time and pack them into your lunch with pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, or even potatoes. Boom – you have an easy and healthy meal.
So yummy and delicious, these gluten-free meatballs will become a family favorite. And no one will even know that they are gluten-free or paleo; they will just ask you for the recipe.
Tips For Making Paleo Meatballs: Add the meat to the bowl first, and then add the remaining ingredients. This helps so the ingredients get incorporated into the meat, instead of all getting stuck to the bottom of the bowl. A small scoop can help you get uniformly-sized meatballs, but is totally optional. If you want this recipe to be nut-free, you can sub the almond flour for a gluten-free 1-for-1 flour. These can be fried or baked. Baking will take a little bit longer than frying, so plan accordingly.
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Tools you will need:
Garlic press – this is one of my most favorite kitchen tools.
Scoop – totally optional
Baking sheet – if baking. I love my stainless steel baking sheet.
Wire rack – if baking. Optional but it helps the juices fall below the meatballs rather than them siting in them.
Skillet – if frying
Ingredients For Paleo Meatballs
Ground beef – I always try to opt for grass-fed beef because it is a healthier choice.
Eggs – this is a binder to help add moisture and keep the meatballs together. I always try to get pasture eggs whenever possible, because they have more nutrients then the regular store-bought eggs.
Almond meal– or gluten-free 1-for-1 flour (FYI, this would make it not Paleo or Whole30, just gluten-free)
Onion and garlic – this gives it such a great flavor. If you are not a fan, you could diced this up by using a cheese grater so it is so fine it is almost unnoticeable.
Italian seasonings, salt and pepper – to make these meatballs flavorful and delicious.
Pasta sauce – optional. I like to cook the pasta sauce in some of the meatball juices and place the meatballs in the sauce to finish cooking for a few minutes.
Are paleo meatballs healthy?
Yes! This recipe is made from healthy real food ingredients. Make them healthier by using grass-fed beef and pastured eggs.
Beef is packed with nutrients like iron, protein, B12, B6, zinc and much more. Grass-fed beef has more omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLAs) which have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, and heart disease (source).
What makes them gluten-free and paleo?
Instead of using bread crumbs, like most meatball recipes, this one uses a little bit of almond meal. You could also use gluten-free 1-for-1 flour, but they wouldn’t be paleo or Whole30 anymore, just gluten-free.
Can these meatballs be baked in the oven?
Yes! You can fry them up in a skillet with a little oil or bake them in the oven. If baking them in the oven they will be a little dryer.
What can I substitute for almond meal?
If you don’t have almond meal or if you have an allergy, you can substitute 1.5 tbs gluten-free 1-for-1 flour. They will not be paleo anymore, FYI, but they will be gluten-free.
What do you serve paleo meatballs with?
Serve with carrot or zucchini noodles if paleo. I also like to serve it with a paleo marinara sauce.
Or if you are just gluten free, serve with gluten free spaghetti.
How To Make Paleo Meatballs Finely chop the onion and place garlic in a garlic press (or mince). In a medium to large bowl, add ground beef, eggs, seasonings, garlic, onion, and almond flour. Mix with your hands; it’s so much easier that way than doing it with a spoon or spatula. Make small balls about the same size, and place them in a hot frying pan with a little bit of oil on medium-high heat, or place them on a baking rack on top of a baking sheet if you’re going to bake them. Turn meatballs every 3-4 minutes when they start to turn golden brown. Continue flipping until all sides are brown and cooked. I usually flip them 4-5 times. If baking: preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes. They should start to turn slightly brown and be even in color. Serve with zoodles if paleo, or gluten-free spaghetti if you’re gluten-free. Or regular spaghetti if you’re not on any kind of restriction. Want more healthy meal ideas: Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas Italian Beef Recipe – Quick And Easy Chicago Style Healthy Baked Carrot Fries Recipe Instant Pot Beef And Broccoli- Easy Healthy Recipe Easy Gluten Free Chicken And Dumplings Paleo Meatballs Recipe Card
If you try this recipe and love it, I would greatly appreciate you coming back and giving it 5 stars! Please and thank you!
1 lb ground beef 2 tbs onion (finely minced or grated) 2 cloves garlic (finely minced – grate or use garlic press) 1 large egg 1.5 tbs almond meal 1 tbs Italian seasoning 1/4 tsp salt 1 jar pasta sauce (paleo friendly)
Finely chop the onion and place garlic in a garlic press (or mince).
In a medium to large bowl, add ground beef, eggs, seasonings, garlic, onion, and almond flour. Mix together well.
Make small balls about the same size, and place them in a hot frying pan with a little bit of oil on medium-high heat, or place them on a baking rack on top of a baking sheet if you're going to bake them.
Turn meatballs every 3-4 minutes when they start to turn golden brown.
Continue flipping until all sides are brown and cooked. I usually flip them 4-5 times.
Optional step: I like to place meatballs on a plate and pour out any extra juices leaving a tablespoon or two left in the pan. Add marinara sauce into pan and place meatballs back in. Cook until sauce is bubbly.
If baking: preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes. They should start to turn slightly brown and be even in color.
Serve with zoodles if paleo, or gluten-free spaghetti if you're gluten-free. Or regular spaghetti if you're not on any kind of restriction.
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