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The Perfect Paleo Meatballs

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The Perfect Paleo Meatballs – Comfort food done right! This paleo meatball recipe is packed with flavor without any fillers. The end result is tender, light, and bursting with flavor! 

Comfort food done right. These perfect paleo meatballs are loaded with flavor (and no fillers!).


I know it’s a bold statement to make, but these paleo meatballs are exactly what I’m looking for in a meatball recipe. And here’s what I love about them: there are no fillers– no eggs, no breadcrumbs, nada. Simple seasonings, fresh herbs, and a little veggie power make these paleo meatballs tender, light, and bursting with flavor.

The hunt for the perfect meatball is over. These tender meatballs use veggies instead of eggs or breadcrumbs. They're so light and delicious!

I took my favorite method for adding veggies to meatballs from my Chicken Zucchini Popper recipe and gave the recipe an Italian spin. I used grass-fed beef and added plenty of fresh basil, garlic, and seasonings to re-create my favorite meatballs in marinara. The end result was light (not dense at all!), and so flavorful. I was blown away by the amazing texture and flavor.

Another plus is that these paleo meatballs are allergy free, so there’s no gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nuts, etc. to worry about if you’re having company over or taking a meal to a friend. I love them plain with a side salad, but there are loads of ways to enjoy them. Depending on your dietary needs, you could serve these over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or pasta, or tuck them into a bun for meatball subs.

Comfort food at its best - the perfect paleo meatball is finally here! Tender, juicy, and full of flavor!


Tools of the trade

If you’re using a food processor (which I recommend) this will be SO easy. You can use the grating attachment for the zucchini (which you can grate in seconds), and then switch to the metal S-blade to pulse together the ingredients a bit.

Also, by pulsing the veggie mixture a bit before stirring it into the beef, you’ll get a finer texture and the meatballs will be even more tender and juicy. If you don’t have one, they’ll still totally work.

Also, cookie scoop makes getting perfectly-sized paleo meatballs a cinch. I don’t love handling raw meat and this minimizes the amount of time I have to get my hands in the mix.

Freeze it!

Paleo meatballs make a dynamite freezer meal. You can put them into an 8×8″ pan or a 9×13″ pan (I prefer the larger pan), cover it with foil, and freeze uncooked. When you’re ready to cook, you’ll want to add an additional 15-20 minutes to the cook time.

Likewise, if you have leftovers and want to freeze them, it works like a charm.


If you’d like to substitute ground chicken or turkey in place of the beef, it will work just fine! I don’t personally care for ground turkey, but I love these with chicken, too. Also, if you’re not paleo or doing Whole30, I have no doubt these would be amazing sprinkled with mozzarella or parmesan.

Don’t skip the most important step!

Be sure to squeeze some of the liquid out of your zucchini in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. This will give your paleo meatballs the very best texture.

Like this recipe? You might also like:

Say hello to comfort food done right. These are the PERFECT paleo meatball.
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Baking dish full of One Lovely Life's perfect paleo meatballs in marinara.

The Perfect Paleo Meatballs

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  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


The perfect paleo meatballs! These yummy paleo meatball recipe is packed with flavor without any “fillers.” Don’t miss the notes for perfect meatballs!  


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1.52 cups grated zucchini (excess water squeezed out)*
  • 34 Tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 23 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 23 cups of your favorite marinara sauce


Food processor directions:

  1. Fit the processor with your metal S-blade. Place green onion, grated zucchini, basil, and garlic in the bowl of the processor and pulse to break up a bit. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper, and pulse to combine. Try not to over process, but to get the ingredients combined.

Standard preparation directions:

  1. Place sliced green onion, grated zucchini, minced basil, and minced garlic on a cutting board. Mince with your knife further, until the veggie mixture is very fine. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper and stir with your hands or a fork until the veggie mixture is well distributed.

To bake:

  1. Scoop mixture and roll into meatballs. (I got 20 meatballs out of my mixture). Place in a baking dish (I use a 9×13″ pan) and pour sauce over meatballs to coat. Shake the pan a bit to distribute the sauce.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.


Don’t Forget!!! Be sure to squeeze some of the excess moisture out of your zucchini with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. This will prevent your meatballs from falling apart and will give them the best texture.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish, Meatballs
  • Method: Baking, Oven
  • Cuisine: American, Italian American


    1. Laura – If you cooked them and then added them, I think they’d hold up well. If you try to cook them in the stew, they might break down if you keep stirring the stew over and over as it cooks. Does that make sense?

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