Whole30 & Paleo Meatballs with Almond Flour
Whole30 & Paleo Italian Meatballs – Turkey & Beef
How to Make Paleo Meatballs with Almond Flour & Marinara Sauce
Simple, saucy, and flavorful—these paleo Italian meatballs have some marina sauce baked right in! Made with turkey or beef (or both), they turn out deliciously tender and juicy. Perfect served with your favorite pasta, or on skewers with sauce for dipping! Learn how to make keto, whole30 & paleo meatballs with almond flour, with just 1g net carbs per serving.
Personally, I had both ground turkey and beef at home, so I combined the two to make a double batch of mini meatballs. Of course, you’re welcome to make your paleo meatballs with whichever ground meat you prefer, in whatever size suits you. Turkey or beef, mini or regular size, served with spaghetti or spiralized veggies—you can’t go wrong!
What can I use instead of breadcrumbs for gluten free meatballs?
Similar to meatloaf, a meatball recipe typically needs breadcrumbs and eggs to bind the meat together. But, there are also alternatives to breadcrumbs that you can use for gluten free, keto, or paleo meatballs. If you’re just looking for a gluten free option, quick cooking oats are an excellent choice. For keto, paleo, or whole30 meatballs like these, almond flour is your best option. Not only is it low in carbs, but it’s also rich in dietary fiber and offers some fats as well.
You could try using coconut flour instead of almond flour, but you’d need to adjust the recipe somewhat. Since coconut flour tends to be denser and more absorbent, you’d only need to use 2-3 Tbsp and you’d likely need to add some liquid—either additional sauce or even another egg. It might require some experimenting! My personal preference is to make these paleo meatballs with almond flour.
What is the secret to good meatballs?
In my experience, it’s hard to go wrong when making meatballs! And there’s plenty of room for flavor variety and creativity. For best results with these whole30 meatballs, here’s what I recommend:
- Choose tasty meats. The best meat for meatballs is whatever ground meat you enjoy! Fattier meats like ground beef or pork will make your keto meatballs more tender, but turkey meatballs can be just as delicious. (Or, try combining beef and turkey like I did!)
- Add some moisture. While some recipes include milk, I decided to use a no-sugar-added marinara sauce to give these paleo Italian meatballs some additional juiciness and flavor!
- Form meatballs gently. No need to tightly pack each meatball or overwork the meat—otherwise they might crumble when cooked. Just scoop and gently roll each ball between your palms, then place into your prepared baking dish once it’s roughly spherical.
- Bake rather than pan fry. Pan fried meatballs can be scrumptious, but this cooking method can also be more variable. By baking your whole30 meatballs in the oven, they’ll cook through more consistently and evenly.
Is it better to bake paleo meatballs or pan fry?
Generally, you can bake meatballs in the oven or fry them on a pan—either way, they’ll turn out delicious! Personally, I prefer to bake in the oven at 400°F for 20 minutes or so. For me, this is the simplest option, they can all cook at once, and they’ll cook through evenly. If you love the crispy crust on the outside of pan fried meatballs, go for it! (Or, try broiling your baked meatballs for ~5 minutes at the end!)
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Check out my Keto, Paleo & Vegan Bento Box Lunches video to see how this recipe is made!
Whole30 & Paleo Meatballs with Almond Flour
- Preheat oven 400°F (200°C).
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until integrated (with hands is best).
- Use a small cookie scoop (2-tsp) to make mini meatballs. (Or use a medium 1½ Tbsp scoop for larger meatballs.)
- Add to a glass baking dish or prepared sheet pan and bake 20 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite pasta and sauce, or on wooden skewers with sauce for dipping!
- Yields 50-56 mini meatballs, or 28-32 larger meatballs.