The Real Food Guide

Easy paleo baked meatball recipe


easy paleo meatball recipeNeed a quick healthy meal, or a lunch idea for the kids that’s full of good fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and most importantly, flavor? Well, look no further, because this easy paleo baked meatball recipe fits the bill. It’s free of flour, breadcrumbs or other filler and it’s egg-free. The secret is in a mix of quality ground meats (namely grass-fed beef and pastured pork), and some good quality liver, kidney or other organ meat. Now, if you can’t get your hands on grass-fed or pastured meats, don’t fret, you can still make these meatballs with whatever quality of ground meat that you can get, just try and prioritize your cuts of meat as best you can. Case in point, I made this particular batch of meatballs with a mixture of ground grass-fed beef, grass-fed beef kidney, and conventionally raised lean-ground pork. Since I buy a half a grass-fed beef for my family of three,  it’s fairly economical when bought in bulk, but the price of pastured pork doesn’t fit into our food budget very well.

Organ meats like liver, kidney or heart, might not go over as well on their own, so meatballs combining both ground meat and organ meat make offal much more palatable. Now, if you’re hesitant about including organ meat, you can always skip them, and just do straight ground meat, but there are plenty of reasons to include some if you can. Firstly organ meat, like other meat is abundant in B-vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc and selenium. Heart is full of co-enzyme Q10, and liver is rich in vitamin A. My recommendation is to only add as much as you’re comfortable with – freeze the organ meat, and grate it into your mixture of ground meat. So while the recipe calls for about 1/3 cup of grated organ meat, you could certainly start with 1/4 cup or less just to get over the heebie-jeebie mental factor of eating offal.

Finally, the best part about meatballs is that they’re just screaming for a sauce or condiments. For my son’s lunches, he gets a small container of ketchup or honey mustard to dip them in. For grown-ups a little hot-sauce is always good, and condiments certainly help in masking any trace flavor of the organ meat.

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How to cook gluten-free meatballs

How to cook gluten-free meatballs


  • 1lb ground beef (grass-fed beef preferred)
  • 1lb ground pork (pastured pork preferred)
  • 1/3 cup frozen, grated organ meat - liver, kidney, heart, tongue etc.*
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce, or gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix in all ingredients. *Note that the frozen, grated organ meat is optional – you can use less if desired, or omit.
  3. Roll into balls of about 1" in diameter.
  4. Place on a large non-stick baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!

This post was shared with Fight Back Friday.

Vivian is the founder of the Real Food Guide and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) who believes that each individual needs to go on their own Real Food Journey to find what works. While she herself eats a diet of real food (aka a paleo diet), some people may find that they can flourish on a vegetarian diet instead. However, universal to optimal health and well-being is good quality, nutrient-dense, Real Food.

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October 2 |

4 thoughts on “Easy paleo baked meatball recipe

  1. I make various flavors of baked meatballs all the time but for some reason I have never thought to add organ meats to them! Thanks for the tip :-)

    • It works well because it’s grated and the flavor isn’t overwhelmingly “offal”/awful ;) for those that want the nutrition but are squeamish or don’t care for the taste. Glad you found it useful.

  2. Kate Koger says:

    What a brilliant idea and way to add organ meat to food. I am going to give this a go as I am not a huge fan of it (except for pate) but would love to eat more (and get our kids to eat more of it too!!). Thank you!! :D

    • Taste-wise, one of the easiest organ meats to integrate is heart – it tastes like “dark meat”, which when you think about it, makes sense, since the heart is a muscle that gets the best blood supply. It was a huge psychological barrier for me though, to get over, but it’s one of my favorite in terms of taste. Liver is more common, but has a very distinctive taste, so I like doing grated liver in meatballs, so that you don’t taste it as much.

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