Perfect Whole30 Italian Meatballs

Perfect Whole30 Italian Meatballs It’s been a mission of mine for a while to achieve perfectly delicious, moist, and simple classic Italian meatballs that are Whole30 compliant. I think I finally found the perfect combination and they are just to die for. Plus, talk about one that the whole family can enjoy, my kids LOVE these Perfect Whole30 Italian Meatballs just as much as we do. I serve mine over zoodles, spaghetti squash, or sauteed kale while I serve my kiddos with Jovial Brown rice pasta

I also finish cooking mine in the sauce, which contributes to their tenderness…but if you are feeling lazy and want to bake them in the oven that is totally fine. I can’t promise you that they are as good as frying them in oil.. I mean, I think that is pretty obvious; however, they’ll still be delicious!Perfect Whole30 Italian Meatballs

I also make my own sauce but I highly recommend Rao’s Homemade Marinara if you are opting for store bought on a busy weeknight. It’s the ONLY store bought marinara that is of homemade quality, in my opinion!Perfect Whole30 Italian Meatballs

So go make these absolutely scrumptious Perfect Whole30 Italian Meatballs and sauce to comfort the bellies of your family and friends. 

Perfect Whole30 Italian Meatballs
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
For the Meatballs
  1. 2 lbs. ground beef
  2. 2 eggs, whisked
  3. 1 tsp. kosher salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  5. 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  6. 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  7. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 1/2 cup almond flour
  9. 1 tbsp. cassava flour
  10. 2 tbsp. olive oil, for frying
For the Marinara
  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1/4 yellow onion, finely diced
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  5. 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
  7. 28 oz. whole, peeled tomatoes (preferably san marzano)
  8. 15 oz can tomato sauce
  9. 1 tsp. dried oregano
  10. 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  11. 2 large basil leaves, chiffonade
  12. 1/4 cup beef broth
For the Sauce
  1. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, crushed red pepper and season with a little salt and pepper. Saute until onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste and saute 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Add the whole peeled tomatoes and using a wooden spoon break up the whole tomatoes by mashing them up. They will continue to fall apart while cooking so they don't have to be perfect. Just break them up as well as you can.
  4. Add in the tomato sauce, oregano, parsley, basil, beef broth and a little more salt and pepper.
  5. Once the sauce reaches a boil, reduce it to a slight simmer and let cook.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the meatballs (method below) and once the meatballs are browned, add them to the sauce (with the excess oil from the frying pan or baking sheet for extra flavor) and simmer, uncovered for 15-20 minutes with the meatballs in the sauce.
For the Meatballs
  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil. Using your hands, mix the meat until it is well combined.
  2. Scoop out 2 tbsp. of meat and roll into meatballs. Set aside on parchment paper and continue to roll meatballs until all are done.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Set meatballs in the skillet (you may need to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your skillet, don't overcrowd the pan) and fry meatballs on 2 sides until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. The meatballs don't have to be cooked through, they will continue to cook in the sauce.
  4. Add browned meatballs to the sauce and let simmer until fully cooked through, another 15-20 minutes.
  1. You can bake the meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. They should be almost, but not completely cooked through. Add meatballs to the sauce (and any fat in the baking sheet) and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and tender.
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  • Reply
    February 21, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    hi there, i have arrowroot flour already in the pantry. can i use that or do i need to buy almond flour & cassava flour? thanks!

    • Reply
      February 23, 2022 at 2:02 pm

      Almond flour/cassava flour I find to be more like ‘breadcrumbs’– but you can definitely use arrowroot flour to bind the meatballs and hold them together

  • Reply
    Kim Dillingham
    January 22, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    How many does this serve? I couldn’t find that info anywhere but maybe I just missed it. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Anna H
    January 10, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Alex! I am wondering what size pot you use for this recipe? Thank you!

    • Reply
      January 10, 2022 at 5:34 pm

      Hi! This is a 5qt Dutch Oven

  • Reply
    Caroline Champion
    October 4, 2021 at 5:07 am

    For this recipe can you just put the raw meatballs in the sauce to cook all the way instead of having to brown them first?

    • Reply
      October 4, 2021 at 11:28 am

      I find that the browning helps add flavor and hold the meatballs together.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    These were delicious! I only made the meatballs and served with Rao’s jarred sauce, but my kids gobbled them up! Thanks! Great recipe!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Hi there!
    Is there a way to make these 1 day in advance of when I am serving to a group? I was thinking about making the meatballs + sauce in my large enameled pot with lid, so was wondering if I could keep it in there and reheat later? Or would it be better to roll out the meatballs in advance and then bake/throw them into the premade sauce the day-of?

    • Reply
      January 31, 2021 at 8:53 pm

      absolutely this is actually even better the next day!! cook it all the way, and yes, you can just reheat on the stovetop and let it simmer until ready to serve!

  • Reply
    January 9, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Hi, could I sub something for the cassava flour? I’m not gluten free so could I add all purpose flour or Pablo bread crumbs? I just don’t want to buy a whole package for 1 tbsp. Thanks!

    • Reply
      January 9, 2021 at 11:56 pm

      yees flour or bread crumbs both would work!

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