10 Paleo Meatballs Recipes To Make Tonight

Make sure to bookmark these keto and paleo meatball recipes if you’re bored with your current go-to recipe. These are all delicious, healthy and easy to make for dinner, lunchboxes or on-the-go snacks.

10 Paleo Meatball Recipes To Make Tonight
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I LOVE MEATBALLS! The succulent beef meatballs braised in traditional Italian tomato sauce, the spicy Lebanese kofte, the Swedish meatballs from Ikea, and my grandmother’s fluffy pork rissoles – I love them all equally and unconditionally. They are easy to make, ground meat is affordable and there are as many varieties of meatballs as there are cuisines in the world.

Plus, once you take out the breadcrumbs or other grain-based fillers, all these paleo meatballs are healthy and nutritious. You can eat them with salads, vegetables, dips, mashed sweet potatoes, or as a snack on the go.

In this post, I am sharing some of my favourite paleo meatball recipes, many of which are also Whole30 and keto-friendly. All of these are grain-free and gluten-free, but some contain a little dairy, which you can omit. A couple of sauces contain wine, which you don’t have to use either. Cooked wine contains a lot less alcohol than the regular glass, so I personally still cook with wine but that’s totally up to you.

Basic Paleo Meatballs

Frying the meatballs
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Makes 12-14 meatballs

1/2 medium onion, grated or finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
300 g / 0.6 lb each ground beef mince
300 g / 0.6 lb ground pork mince
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, finely diced or grated
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Ghee, coconut or macadamia oil for frying


Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Combine the of the ingredients with the pre-cooked onion and mix thoroughly using your hands. Knead the mixture for a minute to work the protein in the meat to bind everything together.

Wet your hands and roll the meat mixture into small balls (somewhere between a table tennis ball and whole walnut. Heat a large frying pan with a dollop of with ghee or coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, without overcrowding the pan, and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Turn over to other visibly uncooked sides and give them another minute or two. Total cooking time should be about 12-13 minutes. Remove from the pan and let the meatballs rest for a few minutes before serving.

Another method is to brown the meatballs for 2-3 minutes on each side and then finish them off in an oven at 175 C / 350 F for about 10 minutes.

Meatballs are best served with a sauce, that’s why you will often see meatballs braised in tomato or wine sauce, or served with a condiment on the side. These basic meatballs are delicious with some tomato relish or with creamy mashed sweet potato or cauliflower.


Lamb Harissa & Almond Meatballs

These are inspired by The Burke Street Bakery’s sausage rolls with a similar same filling.

600 g / 1.3 lb lamb mince/ ground lamb (you can use 300 g each pork & beef or just beef)
3 tablespoons harissa paste (you can use a store-bought or make your own harissa)
2/3 cup almonds, toasted in the oven or frying pan until golden brown
2/3 cup dried currants or cranberries
1 + 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


To make the meatballs, crush or grind the almonds into crumbs using a food processor or mortar and pestle. Combine with lamb, harissa, dried currants, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Roll and cook as per the basic recipe. Serve with your favourite condiment and vegetables.

Simple Italian Meatballs In Tomato Sauce

Tomato paleo meatballs
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For the meatballs

300 g each beef mince/ ground beef (0.7 lb)
300 g pork mince/ground pork (0.7 lb)
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf basil or parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 garlic cloves, finely diced or grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Ghee or coconut oil for cooking

For the tomato sauce

1 medium onion, finely diced
150ml dry red wine
400ml canned diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon mixed dried Italian herbs or extra chopped parsley/basil and oregano
Pinch of black pepper
Fresh basil


To make the meatballs, mix the ingredients and roll the meatballs as per the basic recipe. Brown the meatballs in a dollop of coconut oil or ghee in a large, deep frying pan or a saucepan, 2-3 minutes each side. Remove pre-cooked meatballs to a bowl.

Add a little extra coconut oil or ghee to the pan and add the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring a few times. Add the red wine, stir and let it bubble away for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, salt, herbs and pepper and bring to boil. Add the meatballs, stir through and braise in the sauce over medium heat for 10 minutes. Serve with zucchini spaghetti or a side of vegetables and some fresh basil.

Try my Baked Chicken Meatballs In Spiced Tomato Sauce here.


Truffle Oil & Pecorino Cheese Chicken Meatballs

500 g / 1.2 lb chicken mince
1 cup finely chopped button mushrooms
1 tablespoon truffle-infused oil
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino  cheese (you can also use aged Parmesan or remove cheese completely)
2/3 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of black pepper
1 egg (optional)

Combine all ingredients, roll into meatballs and cook as per the basic recipe.

Turkish Lamb Kofte (meatball sausage)

10 Paleo Meatballs Recipes - Turkish Lamb Kofte
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1.3 lb lamb mince/ ground lamb (you can use 300 g each pork & beef or just beef)
1 medium onion, grated or finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch of red chilli pepper/flakes
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Allspice powder (optional, but very nice)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 egg (optional)


Mix the ingredients in a bowl and roll into elongated meatballs (see image). Flatten slightly (you can use a fork or the edge of a knife to make small indents in the patties).  Cook on a lightly oiled barbecue grill, or in a chargrill pan, for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve with tahini yoghurt or a babaganush dip and a large garden salad on the side.

Mexican Meatballs With Guacamole & Fresh Lime

500 g  / 1.1 lb ground minced beef
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
3 garlic cloves, finely diced or grated
1/4 cup finely chopped pickled jalapeño peppers
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander seed powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt


Combine the ingredients and roll into small meatballs or patties. Cook as per the basic recipe. Serve with freshly made guacamole and drizzle with fresh lime juice. You can also break these meatballs apart and serve in lettuce cups as ‘tacos’.

Learn how to make my leek & jalapeño guacamole.

You can also try my spicy chipotle meatballs here.


Leek, Bacon & Chicken Meatballs

500 g / 1.1 lb chicken mince/ground chicken (turkey would also work well here)
1 cup finely diced bacon
1 cup finely chopped leek, white part only
1 garlic clove, grated
2/3 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg (optional)

Optional white wine sauce (contains dairy)
150 ml dry white wine
200 ml vegetable stock (just a little less than 1 cup)
1 tablespoon butter
Generous pinch teaspoon sea salt
A pinch of black pepper
2 tablespoons pouring cream
Fresh parsley, for garnish


Mix the meatball ingredients, roll into patties and cook as per the basic recipe. Remove meatballs to a bowl. To prepare the sauce, keep the frying pan over high heat and deglaze with white wine. Let it bubble away for a minute before adding the vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the butter and cream. Stir to further thicken the sauce. Add the meatballs back and stir through for a minute. Toss through some fresh parsley before serving.

Pork, Fennel & Apple Meatballs

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600 g / 1.3 lb pork mince/ground pork
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, grated or finely diced
1 small green apple, peeled and finely diced
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
1 egg

Optional sauce

1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Pinch of sea salt & ground pepper
1 teaspoon butter or ghee
1 tablespoon pouring cream (option)


Mix the meatball ingredients, roll into large or small patties and cook for 4-5 minutes each side, or longer, if needed. You can finish them in the oven as well. If making a sauce, remove the patties to a bowl and set aside.

Deglaze the frying pan with white wine and let it bubble away for a minute. Add the stock, tomato paste, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir for a few minutes, then add the butter or ghee and let it thicken and become glossy. Add some cream for extra richness and flavour, if you allow dairy. Add the meatballs and toss through the sauce before serving.

Also, try these simple baked apple and pork meatballs.


Swedish Meatballs (sauce contains dairy)

Swedish meatballs (gluten-free)
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1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or macadamia oil
300 g each beef mince/ ground beef (~0.7 lb)
300 g pork mince/ground pork (~0.7 lb)
1/2 teaspoon ground Allspice powder
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 egg, plus 1 extra egg yolk

For the sauce

1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef stock
2/3 cup heavy pouring cream or single cream
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder or tapioca powder/flower


Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion in ghee or another type of fat until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Combine the onion with ground meat, spices and eggs and mix well together. Roll into small balls and cook for 4-5 minutes each side, then transfer to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.

Deglaze the frying pan with white wine and let it bubble away for a couple of minutes before adding in the stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer the liquid for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly. In a ramekin or a cup, dissolve the tapioca flour in a little bit of warm water or the sauce itself and add to the broth. Stir through and add the cream. Return the meatballs and stir through. Cook together for another minute or two, stirring a couple of times.

Serve with mashed cauliflower or sweet/white potato and vegetables. Traditionally, Swedish meatballs are also served with lingonberry sauce but you can easily make some paleo cranberry sauce or another type of berry relish.

French Meatballs A La Steak Tartar

300 g each beef mince/ ground beef (~0.7 lb)
300 g pork mince/ground pork (~0.7 lb)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons small capers
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free version)


Combine all ingredients and roll into patties or balls. Cook as per the basic recipe. Serve with a homemade hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise or hot mustard and some mini gherkins.


And even more meatballs…

Best Whole30 Meatballs

Fried Chicken Meatballs with Collard Greens

Fried chicken meatballs
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Turkey Rissoles With Cranberry Pesto

Turkey rissoles
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Do you have a favourite meatball recipe? Share with me in the comments.



10 Mouthwatering Paleo, Keto & Whole30 Meatball Recipes
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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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  1. So many meatballs! We make these at least once a week, and I love having left overs for quick lunches!
    I was looking to “spice” mine up so I’ll be trying all of these.

  2. I am wondering which blogging platform you’re using? I’m new to blogging and have been thinking about using the Vox platform. Do you think this is a good platform to start with? I would be really thankful if I could ask you some questions through e-mail so I can learn a bit more prior to getting started. When you have some free time, please be sure to get in touch with me at: [email protected]. Thanks alot 🙂

    1. The answer is at the foot of this page. As you’ll find on every single blog on the net.

      Theme: Coraline by Automattic. Proudly powered by WordPress.


    I am particularly partial to the versions with parmesan in them. Paired with parsley and braised in tomato/basil sauce. Amazemeatballs.

  4. I lovelovelove your blog!
    I have been drooling over your recipes (and photos!!) and when this post came up I felt the need to comment. Of course 🙂

    How long have you been paleo-ing?

    1. Thanks Mia 🙂 I got into paleo-ing late 2011. I was doing the 4-hour body diet for a little while and was already avoiding bread/pasta/rice but eventually got into paleo after my friends started eating this way. I am probably 80/20 paleo and I eat a little dairy. Are you a paleo newbie or an old devotee?

  5. I’ve tried both the chicken, leek, bacon and mexican meatballs – LOVE!!!! My daughter loves meatballs so finding this page was awesome – Thank You! Served the chicken ones with salad and asparagus. Served the mexican ones with corn tortillas, guacamole, sour cream (not paleo – I know but at least no cheese!), salsa, lettuce and corn. Ate as taco and by self – both ways awesome but especially good in tortilla with all the fixings – incl. the corn which I tossed with vegan butter, herbs and paprika.

    1. Yum! Mexican meatball tacos sounds like a great idea although I think i’ll stick with real butter, it’s mostly fat so I’m not too worried about lactose etc. And I do give in to some corn every now and then.

  6. Amazing issues here. I’m very satisfied to look your article.
    Thank you a lot and I’m having a look ahead to touch you.

    Will you please drop me a mail?

  7. These 10 recipes are so great. So many to choose from!! and great that you’ve even done different cuisines with mexican and turkish meatballs.
    All the ingredients are easy to buy and so quick to make.
    It’s much more healthier to oven cook meatballs than to fry them. What temp should the oven go on and how long for?
    Some of the sauces you have included, include red wine/white wine but when switching to paleo one thing to avoid is alcohol, is the wine necessary or is it just for taste?

  8. Great recipes! I do have one questions for you. In your basic recipe, you list
    300 g each beef mince/ ground beef (0.7 lb)
    300 g pork mince / ground pork (0.7 lb)
    Do you mean 330 g beef mince AND 300 g ground beef? Or do you mean 300 g beef total, as indicated for the pork?

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