Ground Beef Meatballs


Meatballs are becoming a staple at my house for several reasons.  The kids will always eat something made with ground beef and we generally have a lot of it stored in the freezer since we purchase beef as part of a cow share about once a year.  It gives me another way to use all the delicious tomato sauce I make in the fall with the tomatoes from our garden.  And I like that the healthy fats released during cooking can be stirred into the tomato sauce and aren’t wasted.


I prefer to use leftover rice or quinoa as a filler rather than those highly processed bread crumbs that come in a can.  If I’m in a pinch and don’t have a whole grain to use, I will put a piece of bread in the blender to make my own bread crumbs.  If you are eating GAPS, Paleo, or are otherwise totally grain-free right now, you can skip the filler all together.


And while I would prefer to use real chopped onion in the meatballs, they can interfere with the texture of the meatball and the kids notice them, so I use the onion powder.  But I can get away with finely shredded carrots or zucchini going unnoticed by the kids, which I like because I’m always scheming to making our foods as nutrient dense as possible.

Fairly difficult
Fairly cheap

Ground Beef Meatballs
Preparation time
Cooking time


For 4 Person(s)


  • 1 pound(s) grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 whole pastured egg
  • 2 tablespoon(s) soaked rice or quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon(s) finely shredded carrot (or zucchini)
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) pepper
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Italian seasonings
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) onion powder
  • 1 large jar(s) tomato sauce
  • shredded Parmesan cheese (for topping)

Ground Beef Meatballs Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crack an egg into a large mixing bowl and beat it.
  3. Carefully add the ground beef.
  4. Add the rice, shredded carrots, and seasonings to the bowl.
  5. Thoroughly mix ingredients together using a spoon or your hand.
  6. Set a large cast-iron or stainless steel skillet to heat.  Skillet should be oven safe.
  7. Begin forming the ground beef mixture into balls and place them in the heating skillet.  I usually make mine about the size of a golf ball.
  8. When all the meatballs are made, place the skillet in the oven and allow them to bake for 20-25 minutes.  Do not open the oven during the baking time because it lets out heat and slows down the baking process.
  9. After the baking time, carefully take the hot skillet from the oven and set it on the stove at a medium-high heat.
  10. Pour a jar of tomato sauce of your choice over the meatballs and stir everything around.  Be sure to bring the sauce to a boil before serving.
  11. Serve with a side of pasta (we use brown rice pastas) or serve them on their own with a side salad.

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