Paleo Italian Meatballs

Paleo Italian Meatballs are made with a mixture of ground beef and ground turkey with Italian seasonings, all smothered in a homemade marinara sauce. One of the healthiest meatball recipes, these are grain free, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free.

Meatballs are the ultimate comfort food in our family.  We’ve already shared with you our gooey mozzarella stuffed meatballs. And our grandma’s tangy, chili sauce meatballs. And don’t forget our classic meatball recipe that the kids go crazy for. 

Today, however, I’m sharing with you healthy, paleo Italian meatballs. So you can have a little bit of healthy and happy together. The best of both worlds.

meatballs with sauce

Paleo Meatball Recipe

You might wonder how a paleo meatball would need a recipe. Just roll some ground beef or ground turkey in a ball shape and cook it in sauce, right?  That would certainly be one way to do it.

The meatball recipe I’m sharing with you today is a little more special than just plain meat. It’s actually a combination of ground beef and ground turkey. You can use all beef, or all turkey, if you’d like. Changing the meat will change the flavor just a bit, but use whatever kind of ground meat is your favorite.  For healthy meatballs, our favorite is a combination of turkey and beef.

Note: We like to use lean ground beef and ground turkey. Please know that because of the lack of fat, these meats can make the meatballs seem dry. To prevent this, make sure you don’t overcook the meatballs in the oven, and then simmer the meatballs low and slow in sauce to keep them tender.

Can you use almond flour instead of breadcrumbs in meatballs?

Most meatball recipes call for breadcrumbs or some type of binding agent. But what do you use if you are on a paleo diet or doing a Whole30? Yes, you can use almond flour! The almond flour helps the meatballs hold their shape.

How to Make Paleo Meatballs

Mix the meatballs.

When making meatballs (or meatloaf or any type of ground meat dish), it’s important not to overwork the meat. If you mix and compact the meat too much the meatballs may seem dry after cooking.

  • In a large bowl, mix together the ground meat, eggs, seasonings and almond flour until well combined.
bowl of meatball mix

Shape the meatballs.

  • Form meatballs about 1 1/2″- 2″ in diameter. There will be about 30 meatballs if you make them this size. We like meatballs big!
unbaked meatballs

Bake the meatballs.

  • Bake on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray (or a nonstick sheet) at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes. The exact amount of time will depend on the size you made the meatballs. Check the internal temperature of the meatballs. They are done when it reaches 165º Fahrenheit.

**We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test meatball temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING.  Get it here.**

cooked meatballs

Slow Cooker Meatballs

When we make meatballs, we love to bake the meatballs first Then we put the meatballs in a slow cooker along with some homemade marinara sauce and let them simmer on low for several hours. The sauce keeps the meatballs tender and flavorful, and dinner is ready when you need it.

Can you cook meatballs in a frying pan?

Yes! If you don’t have an oven or don’t want to turn on an oven, you can cook the meatballs in a skillet on the stovetop.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Allow the oil to get hot, then place the meatballs in the pan (over medium heat) and turn them to brown on all sides.

After letting them cook most of the way through (about 12-15 minutes), we drained off any fat, added our marinara sauce and allowed them to simmer in the sauce for another 15-20 minutes or so til they were no longer pink inside.

Actually, you can let them simmer in that marinara sauce in a covered pan on low heat for longer if you’d like.  It just makes them all the more yummy.

Both the oven and stovetop cooking methods yield great results.

meatballs in sauce in pan

Whole30 Freezer Meatballs

One thing we love about these paleo meatballs is that they freeze well.

  1. Make up the meatball mixture and bake them according to the recipe below.
  2. Place the cooked meatballs onto a parchment paper lined baking pan or cookie sheet and transfer to freezer.
  3. Pull the Paleo Italian meatballs out when you are in need of a healthy slow cooker meal.
  4. All you’ll do is add them to the crock pot in the morning, along with your favorite sauce. Turn on low power and you’ll come home to a nice, hot comfort meal!

What to Serve with Paleo Meatballs

I’ll be honest…I can eat a bowl full of these meatballs and sauce just by themselves. For breakfast, lunch or dinner!

They are great with zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, or spaghetti squash. We’ve also served them over baked sweet potatoes and roasted potatoes.

A close up of a bowl of meatballs

Other Paleo Dinner Recipes

We’ve taken so many of our old fashioned comforting dinner recipes and turned them into paleo recipes. We think you’ll love these!

Paleo Italian Meatballs
Paleo Italian Meatballs

Paleo Italian Meatballs

4.75 from 4 votes
Paleo Italian Meatballs are an easy healthy family dinner option. Make in advance and reheat in the slow cooker!
Servings 30
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 6 cups Spaghetti Sauce

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix together the ground meat, eggs, seasonings and almond flour until well combined.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Form meatballs about 1 1/2"- 2" in diameter. There will be about 30 meatballs.
  • Bake on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray (or a nonstick sheet) at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes.
  • Pour the spaghetti sauce in a large saucepan and set it to medium heat. Add the meatballs. Heat the sauce through and allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for 20 minutes before serving.
  • You can also place the sauce and meatballs in a slow cooker set to low and allow them to simmer for 6-8 hours. This is our favorite way to prepare the meatballs.
  • Serve the meatballs over spaghetti squash.
  • If you don’t need all the meatballs at once, you can allow the meatballs to cool and freeze them in ziploc bags.

Notes

If you’d like, you can cook these meatballs in a large frying pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Turn the meatballs and brown them on all sides. Cook for 12-15 minutes until they are thoroughly cooked and no longer pink inside. Add the spaghetti sauce directly to the saucepan and allow them to simmer for 20 minutes.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 30 meatballs, with 1 serving being 1 meatball (no sauce). Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 105
Keyword easy meatball recipe, healthy recipe, paleo recipe
A close up of food, with Meatballs

About Lizzy T

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Kristi
3 years ago

This looks good! I don’t have any coconut flour, but have some almond flour and tapioca flour. Would either one of those work in this recipe?

Heather D.
2 years ago

5 stars
My son was having a lot of health issues and we found out he needs to be gluten free. Through searching for recipes I found this and my son LOVES them! We pair them with spaghetti squash, GF pasta or GF hoagies for meatball subs. Thank you so much!!

Kaethe
3 months ago

Can I use chickpea flour instead? I don’t have almond flour