I’ve never met a meatball I didn’t like. Large, small, over pasta, or just with sauteed spinach. I’ll take them all please.
This recipe proves that you don’t need breadcrumbs or parmesan to make amazing meatballs. You really don’t. These are Whole 30 and Paleo compliant. Plus they’re gluten free. So basically this recipe is completely guilt free. Who doesn’t want that?
What I don’t compromise on is flavor and you’ll find plenty of that here! Lots of garlic and fresh herbs. All my favorite things.
Plus I’m sharing my super easy marinara sauce as part of this recipe. Way tastier than a jar of store bought spaghetti sauce and better for you.
These meatballs and sauce are perfect over traditional noodles, spaghetti squash, or zoodles. Have you made zoodles before? You can quickly spiralize a zucchini and saute it in a quick 5 minutes! If you’re not in the mood for noodles (of any kind) try this recipe over wilted garlic spinach or simply with a side salad. Trust me, the meatballs and the sauce are good enough to stand alone. I may lick my plate if nobody is looking.
- FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- 2 lb lean ground beef (I use 93/7)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped (makes about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 egg
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 20 ounces crushed tomatoes (from a can)
- 6 good sized fresh basil leaves, chopped (makes about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped (makes about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a cast iron skillet saute your diced onions and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat. Cook until onion is translucent, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool some before combining your meatballs so you don't burn your fingers.
- In a large bowl, combine your ground beef, parsley, rosemary, egg, salt, pepper, and sauteed onion and garlic. Roll into meatballs the size you prefer. Mine are approximately 2 to 2½ inches in diameter. This produces 16 meatballs and perfectly fits my cast iron skillet.
- Add your remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to your skillet over medium high heat. Brown your meatballs on all sides (you may need to do this in batches so you have room to flip them). This takes 3-4 minutes. Remove meatballs from pan and set meatballs aside.
- Scrape up all the remaining bits in the skillet and leave in there. That's going to make your sauce even better. Add your crushed tomatoes (I buy the 24 ounce can but only use about 20 ounces), basil, oregano, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Place your browned meatballs in the sauce. Bake sauce and meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve with vegetables or over noodles/zoodles. Garnish with chopped basil. Enjoy!
Made this yummy recipe? I’d love to see it! Tag me on Instagram if you share a photo so I can check it out!