Baked Paleo Meatballs are easy to make from scratch using a handful of gluten free and grain free ingredients. Baked until they’re crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, you can count on these meatballs whenever you’re craving a delicious and satisfying Whole30 dinner!
If you’re finding that your usual paleo and Whole30 dinners aren’t as exciting as they used to be, use these Baked Paleo Meatballs to change things up. They’re a fantastic way to fight food boredom and are easy to throw together in a pinch! The juicy and meaty bites served over a bowl of cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles are too good to resist.
These paleo meatballs take about 30 minutes from start to finish. Made with a simple mix of ground beef, garlic, almond flour, and herbs, they turn out perfectly seasoned with a tender and moist bite.
The juicy and savory flavors pair perfectly with kale pesto for dinner, but can even be frozen and brought out at the party when you need a quick and easy appetizer.
If you’re looking for more paleo and whole30 meatball recipes, be sure to check out my Italian chicken meatballs and paleo turkey meatballs.
- They’re low carb, paleo, and keto-friendly thanks to the short list of dairy, grain, and gluten free ingredients.
- Having these meatballs on hand is super convenient. They’re great for easy dinners as well as healthy party appetizers.
- The meatballs are baked instead of pan-fried, which means less babysitting in the kitchen!
- Ground beef - For moist, juicy meatballs, use ground beef that is 70% - 80% lean. You can also use a combination of ground pork, ground veal, and ground beef here.
- Egg - To bind the beef, spices, and flour together.
- Herbs - I used a mix of fresh parsley, dried basil, and minced garlic to flavor the meatballs. Feel free to replace the herbs with oregano, thyme, or pre-mixed Italian seasoning.
- Almond flour - Almond flour is a fantastic paleo and Whole30 substitute for breadcrumbs, which are typically used to keep the meatballs intact. You can use crushed pork rinds as an alternative to almond flour or regular or Italian-style breadcrumbs if you aren’t Whole30 or paleo.
Step 1: Make the meatball mixture. Add all of the meatball ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, combine the ingredients without over-mixing.
Step 2: Form into balls. Next, gently roll the mixture into balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step 3: Bake and serve. Bake until the meatballs are fully cooked. Serve over cauliflower rice with your favorite sauce or pesto and enjoy!
Expert tips and FAQs
- There’s no coming back from overworked meatballs, so do your best not to fuss with the mixture too much.
- Serving a crowd? After baking the meatballs, add them to your slow cooker with your favorite sauce and simmer on low for a few hours.
- Frozen meatballs do not need to be thawed before being slow cooked or simmered in sauce.
How do you serve paleo meatballs?
My favorite way to serve paleo meatballs is over a bowl of cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, mashed cauliflower, spaghetti squash, or roasted vegetables with sauce on top. They pair really well with a variety of sauces, with my favorite being either kale pesto or almond pesto. Feel free to mix things up and use sugar-free tomato or marinara sauce instead!
How long does it take to bake meatballs?
1-inch and 2-inch meatballs will take about 15 to 20 minutes to bake in a 400ºF oven. When baking at 350ºF, beef meatballs will take about 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
What is the best temperature to bake meatballs?
Paleo meatballs are perfect when baked at 400ºF in the oven. The high temperature helps achieve a light and crispy outside while the inside stays moist and juicy.
Can you pan-fry the meatballs instead?
If you prefer cooking your meatballs in a skillet, follow the instructions below:
- Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet in a single layer (working in batches if necessary) and brown on all sides.
- Once browned, add about a ½ cup of paleo-friendly sauce (or broth) to the skillet. Lower the heat, cover, and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes (or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF).
Can you make the meatballs without eggs?
Meatballs need an egg or an egg alternative to help the ingredients bind together and hold their shape. This recipe was tested with a regular egg but a flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flax + 3 tablespoons of water) should also work.
- Refrigerator: Store the meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezer: After cooling to room temperature, freeze the meatballs on a baking sheet until they’re solid. Transfer the frozen meatballs to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 2 or 3 months.
More paleo beef recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Baked Paleo Meatballs
for the meatballs:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup almond flour
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add all of the meatball ingredients to a large mixing bowl, then use your hands to gently combine, being careful not to over-mix.
- Use your hands to roll the mixture into meatballs, approximately 2 tablespoons each, placing them directly onto the lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the meatballs for 18-20 minutes. Serve over cauliflower rice with your favorite sauce (or pesto). Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in January 2019. It was updated with new text and photos in March 2022.
I absolutely loved this recipe.
The meatballs were super flavorful and I'm always in search of food to eat with cauliflower rice!
Hi Erin! My husband and I have made this recipe a few times, and we both agreed it’s one that will go in our dinner rotation 🙂 Here are a couple modifications we’ve made after some trial and error:
-1/2 onion diced was way too much for our tastes (and for the meatballs to stay together). I’d recommend no more than a quarter finely diced or even grated.
-Adding fresh parsley adds a bit more green to the meatballs— it alters the taste (in a good way!) a bit, too.
Thanks again for the recipe!
Love those modifications--thanks for the comment!