Easy Mediterranean Paleo Meatballs

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These paleo meatballs are one of my weekly dinner go to’s during a busy week: they’re easy, require just a single bowl to prep and one skillet to cook, and are packed in flavor. Tons of fresh herbs and lemon zest brighten these up, making no dried spices necessary. 

While you don’t need everything on this plate to make this a full meal, I highly recommend this 5 minute dill yogurt sauce- my play on tzatziki.

I quickly chopped some red onion, cucumber, and red pepper (I would have added tomato, but didn’t have it on hand at the time) for a quick Greek side salad and used leftover homemade naan (use store-bought to make this quicker or serve with rice). Roasted carrot fries, while not quite as essential, are one of my favs and add in a smoky charred flavor that compliments the brightness of everything else.

Mediterranean Paleo Meatballs
Serves 3-4

  • 1/4 cup almond meal

  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb (I like to use 90% lean beef)

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt did 1 teaspoon

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion (use some of the leftover red onion for the greek salad)

  • Zest of 1 lemon (you’ll use the juice for the yogurt sauce)

  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs (I like to do a combination of mostly basil and cilantro with a bit of dill and oregano- use at least two different herbs if you can)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    1. If making roasted carrot fries, cut the carrots, toss them in oil, salt and pepper, and place them on a baking sheet. As soon as the oven hits 400, pop them in for about 20-25 minutes. They take longer than the meatballs, so to time this well, I’d pop them in before you start sauteeing the meatballs.

  2. In a large bowl, add ground beef, almond meal, egg, sea salt, garlic, onion, lemon zest, and fresh herbs. Mix well with hands (I like to wear disposable gloves during this) until everything is well incorporated. Divide into 16 equally sized balls (about a heaping tablespoon for each ball). Set aside.

  3. Heat a large oven-proof wide skillet to medium heat. Add in enough oil to generously coat the bottom., Add in meatballs and let sit to brown (about 2 minutes/side; rotate after 2 minutes). Once brown on the outside, place in oven to finish cooking.

  4. Bake until the meat reaches 155 degrees, about 5-10 minutes (this is quite varied because I’ve done this in a few ovens and they all took very different times (it will depend on the type of meat, the amount of fat in the meat, and the size of the meatball)- use a thermometer to help ensure perfect cooking or cut one in half to see that it is fully cooked).

Tangy Dill Tzatziki-Ish Sauce
Makes about 1/2 cup (can easily half or double)

  • 2 very packed tablespoons (probably 4 tablespoons unpacked)

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) plain 2% fat skyr or yogurt

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon worth)

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt, to taste (don’t skimp though! At least 1/4 teaspoon)

A note: This is quite strong on the dill, so you gotta like dill to enjoy this! I think you could easily sub in another fresh herb like basil, cilantro, or parsley if you have those on hand or are speaking to you more (you could also do a combo like the meatballs).

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork until yogurt and lemon juice are well incorporated into each other.

Greek-ish Salad

  • 1 pint baby tomatoes, halved

  • 1-2 cucumbers, diced

  • 1/2 red onion, diced

  • sea salt and extra virgin olive oil

  • optional: other half of lemon from the yogurt sauce

Directions: Toss tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion in a small bowl. Season with sea salt and lightly drizzle with olive oil and some lemon juice right before serving.

Roasted Carrots

  • 5 medium carrots, sliced in quarters lengthwise

  • sea salt

  • extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.

  2. Toss carrots in olive oil and sea salt and spread out evenly on a baking sheet.

  3. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, checking halfway through and tossing lightly to get all sides brown. Carrots should be slightly wilted and brown.

Join the Conversation

  1. Make this recipe when you are in the mood to zone out and meditate in the kitchen. While it isn’t a quick prep recipe, it does cook fast! Things to note about Kate’s recipes in general: you can experiment and play with subbing out various ingredients to your liking and I love that about her recipes. I made this with lamb, added cayenne to the meatballs cuz I like a lil heat. Next time, I plan to grate the onions and add more because again, I like them …a lot! I used mint and cilantro as my herbs cuz it’s all I had. So I would change that up for next time to use basil. This is an advanced beginning recipe in my opinion. 5/5 love the flavor combination!

    1. Oooh Matt would be all about this with lamb! Love the adjustments you made!!

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