The BEST Whole30 Italian Meatball Recipe with Marinara

Let me start by saying, I’m 50% Italian.

The Whole30 lifestyle is probably shamed by my fellow Italians because of the lack of bread, pasta, and other deliciously terrible-for-you foods that the culture is known for.

Meatballs typically have breadcrumbs, sometimes cheese, and other additives that aren’t in line with the way I choose to eat. If you are living the Paleo or Whole30 lifestyle – then this is the recipe for you – it won’t feel like you are sacrificing!

I’ve been making this meatball recipe for what feels like forever. I originally threw a bunch of ground beef and ingredients together hoping it would work out. It did – and this is by far the FAVORITE meatball recipe in our house.

No, seriously. My husband even requested I make this recipe {while we weren’t particularly following the Paleo lifestyle} for a Christmas Eve appetizer last year. He’s not exactly a health nut, so I thought the request spoke volumes for how amazing these meatballs really are.

Not only are the delicious, they are SO EASY – with minimal ingredients. Plus {BONUS} they are BAKED!!!

Again, my Nonnie is probably rolling over in her grave as I bake meatballs.

I made a simple red sauce to serve over the meatballs. You could eat these with zoodles, spagetti squash, crispy potatoes (mashed potatoes), or maybe TJ’s Cauliflower gnocchi if you aren’t on a round of Whole30. No matter what you serve with them – the meatballs will be the star of the dish. I PROMISE.

You could cut this recipe in half to serve 4-5, but we always make the full batch to ensure lots of leftovers! A great meal-prep item to get you through the week!

The BEST Whole30 Meatballs with Marinara

Difficulty: Easy
Cooking time




  • 2 lb ground beef

  • 1 lb ground pork

  • 1 Tb Italian Seasoning

  • 1 egg

  • 4 tsp dried parsley (or 2 TB chopped fresh)

  • 2 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp black pepper

  • optional: 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 cup onion, diced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 TB olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400*F and line sheet pan with parchment paper or coat with olive oil to prevent sticking
  • In large bowl or stand mixer, mix together beef, pork, Italian seasoning, egg, 2 tsp dried parsley, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and optional red pepper flakes
  • Form mixture into 1-1.5″ uniform balls (approximately 42 total).
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
  • Heat olive oil in large pot on medium heat.
  • Add onions and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Lower to medium-low and add crushed tomatoes and remaining spices (1/2tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp parsley, & bay leaf)
  • Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add meatballs to sauce or simply serve the sauce over meatballs. Enjoy!!

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