Meatballs in Marinara Sauce (Whole30 and Paleo Friendly)

Meatballs and Marinara Sauce.jpg

Many of my family favorites include the savory taste of marinara sauce. Whether it’s spaghetti, lasagna or soups there is just something about the taste of tomatoes combined with Italian herbs and spices.

This dish is stress free and kid friendly! A large batch of these meatballs and marinara sauce will go a long way and provide leftovers for the week. Serve with veggie noodles or over a sweet potato. Sometimes for the kids I use egg noodles just because!

This recipe can be sped up or slow cooked all day in a crock pot. Whichever fits your lifestyle best you can’t go wrong!


·     1 lb. ground beef

·     1 lb. ground turkey

·     1 egg

·     ¼ cup blanched almond flour

·     ¾ tsp sea salt divided

·     2 tsp onion powder

·     ½ tsp garlic powder

·     1 tbsp Italian Seasoning blend

·     1 generous pinch crushed red pepper (adjust according to your liking)

·     1 tbsp parsley

Marinara Sauce

·     32 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes

·     1 – 6 oz can tomato paste

·     ¼ medium onion chopped

·     4 Tbsp fresh garlic

·     2 bay leaves

·     1 tbsp Italian seasoning

·     1 drop basil vitality oil or 1 tbsp basil

·     2 drops of oregano or 2 tbsp oregano


1.    In a small bowl mix together almond flour, ½ tsp of sea salt, onion and garlic powder, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper.

2.    In large bowl, add the ground beef and ground turkey and sprinkle evenly with the remaining sea salt. Add the egg and almond four mix and parsley. Gently mix with your hands until the mixture binds and is evenly distributed.

3.    Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your broiler to high. Form the meat mixture into even meatballs and arrange on the baking sheet. Should make 20-25.

4.    Broil 2-4 minutes if you are planning to slow cook all day. Broil 8-10 minutes if you want to speed the meal up. Broiling releases some of the grease.

5.    Add the meatballs to the slow cooker, leaving behind the fat. Top the meatballs with the sauce and give a gentle stir.

6.    For your slow cooker, cook on low for 4 hours. To speed things up, cook on high for 60-90 minutes.

7.    Serve when ready to eat with anything you want. Zucchini noodles, sweet potato noodles, roasted veggies, potatoes or even eggs. Sometimes for kids I will use egg noodles.

Marinara Sauce

1.    Combine all ingredients in food processor and puree. My family does not like chunky tomatoes or onion, so this step is a must for me! Taste as you go and if you think it needs a little something more, add it.

2.    Pour over meatballs and stir gently.

3.    To speed things up you could also heat on the stove in a large skillet stirring frequently.

4.    To make things even quicker, use your favorite pre-made sugar free marinara sauce such as Muir Glen.

There are so many options and variations of this recipe. Have fun making it your own. You could also make these meatballs and marinara sauce as an appetizer for a potluck or family get together!



Lisa McQuillen