Baked Italian-Style Paleo Meatballs {Gluten-Free}

Meatballs are hearty, versatile, and delicious. 

Unfortunately, most meatball recipes are also full of breadcrumbs or dairy, which means it won't work for paleo (or keto) dieters.  

For the love of meatballs everywhere, our test kitchen developed a tasty, satisfying and, best of all, healthy paleo meatball recipe that will be enjoyed by everyone. 

This recipe leaves out the grains and cheese and provides a nutritional boost with the breadcrumb substitutes that are used. 

Go straight to the recipe

Paleo meatballs

What to Use Instead of Breadcrumbs

Traditional meatball recipes use heavily processed breadcrumbs that are packed with grains and carbs that aren’t paleo-friendly.

This recipe skips the breadcrumbs in favor of flaxseed meal and shelled hemp hearts. These not only make the recipe gluten-free, but these two seeds are packed with nutrients, so it also makes the recipe healthier.

If you don’t have hemp on hand, you can substitute with more flaxseed meal. However, the nutty flavor and premium texture of the hemp perfects this paleo meatball recipe.

Paleo meatballs

What to Pair With This Recipe

Meatballs are great on their own as an appetizer or snack, but they’re usually served as a protein in a dinner meal. 

Pair this recipe with delicious paleo side dishes, like: 

You can also add to any soup or salad recipe to boost your protein intake. These meatballs go well with our Dijon Roasted Beet Paleo Salad or crumbled in Butternut Squash Soup.

Paleo meatballs

Baked Italian-Style Paleo Meatballs Recipe

Recipe Information:

  • Yield: 4 servings (12 meatballs)
  • Serving size: 3 meatballs
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • ¼ cup shelled hemp seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. With your hands, combine ground beef, seasoning, garlic, onion powder, salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste in a large bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop, and roll each meatball in your hands. Place on a lightly greased sheet pan. You should end up with 12 meatballs.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until cooked all the way through.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 330.5

  • Fat: 22.5g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 4g 
  • Fiber: 2g 
  • Net Carbs: 2g 


  • Fat: 61%
  • Protein: 34%
  • Carbohydrates: 5%


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