healthy meatball recipe (paleo & gluten-free)

Meatballs are one of those classic comfort foods that just make you feel good! But this healthy meatball recipe will make you feel even better! They’re juicy, full of flavor, and good for you!

healthy meatball recipe

what to serve with this healthy meatball recipe:

These meatballs are good enough to eat without pasta. In our house, we love serving them with roasted broccoli or spaghetti squash. But a serving with your favorite pasta is also a great option! If so, I’d recommend an additional jar of sauce for the pasta.

what’s the secret to perfect meatballs?

Oil your hands: This is completely optional, but oiling your hands and rolling the meatballs together will hold the moisture inside, while making outside slightly caramelized while baking. Delicious all around!

Don’t pack too tightly: When shaping your meatballs in to balls, don’t pack the meat together too tightly or it will make your meatballs tough or chewy. Gently roll them together, shaping without much pressure.

Bake on a wire rack: I prefer to bake on a wire rack so when the meatballs release the fat, they don’t sit in it. Many times the fat will pool at the bottom of the meatballs when baking.

Caramelize the outside: Cooking meatballs in a frying pan can be tricky because the outside often gets burnt before the inside cooks (not to mention the oil splatter). To get that caramelization, you can either pan-fry them for a few minutes to get a nice crisp, then add them back in the oven for the remaining cook time. OR bake as directed and broil at the end to caramelize the outside. This is an extra step but can take your meatballs to the next level if you have the time!

healthy meatballs in tomato sauce

Lexi Finke
This is a quick and easy dinner that can be made in under 45 minutes. Juicy, protein-packed meatballs served with a tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil. I love serving these with a brown rice pasta, or cut the carbs and serve with some roasted broccoli or spaghetti squash.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 16 meatballs
Calories 90 kcal


  • 1 lb lean ground beef (can substitute ground chicken, turkey, or pork)
  • 1 lb lean ground pork (can substitute ground chicken, turkey, or beef)
  • 2 tbsp almond flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 jar tomato sauce (I like Rao's brand- or another low sugar/sugar-free option)
  • fresh mozzarella slice
  • fresh basil leaves
  • red pepper flakes optional, to taste


  • Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees (F). On a large baking sheet, add a wire rack if you have one.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the 2 pounds of ground meat of choice with eggs, flour, and seasonings until well incorporated.
  • Portion into 1-inch meatballs (about 2oz each). Add to the baking sheet with a wire rack, evenly spaced. The wire rack allows the excess fat to cook out of the meatballs.
  • Bake the meatballs for about 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked through
  • Once baked, transfer to a stove-top pan or cast-iron skillet and add tomato sauce of your choice. Coat & cover the meatball in the tomato sauce.
  • Add fresh mozzarella, and cover the stovetop pan with a lid. Warm on the stove on medium heat until sauce simmers and cheese is melted.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves & enjoy!


Calories: 90kcal
Keyword gluten-free, meatballs, quick dinners
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