Whole30 Baked Meatballs


If you’re following the Whole30 program or simply seeking a wholesome and delicious meal option, Whole30 baked meatballs are a fantastic choice. These meatballs are not only easy to make but also packed with flavor and nutrition. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about making Whole30 baked meatballs, including the ingredients, preparation steps, and some helpful tips to ensure your meatballs turn out perfectly every time.

What is Whole30?

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s briefly discuss what Whole30 is. Whole30 is a 30-day dietary program designed to eliminate certain food groups that may negatively impact your health.

The program emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods while excluding sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, and certain additives. By focusing on nutrient-dense foods, Whole30 aims to reset your body’s habits and improve your overall well-being.

Why Choose Baked Meatballs?

Baked meatballs are a fantastic option for those on the Whole30 program for several reasons:

  • Healthier Cooking Method: Baking meatballs reduces the need for added fats and oils compared to frying, making them a healthier option.
  • Even Cooking: Baking ensures that the meatballs cook evenly and retain their moisture.
  • Convenience: Baking meatballs in the oven allows you to prepare a large batch at once, saving time and effort.

Ingredients for Whole30 Baked Meatballs

To make delicious and compliant Whole30 baked meatballs, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Ground Meat: You can use ground beef, turkey, chicken, pork, or a combination of these. Choose high-quality, grass-fed or organic meat if possible.
  • Egg: Helps bind the meatballs together.
  • Almond Flour: A Whole30-compliant alternative to breadcrumbs that adds texture and helps hold the meatballs together.
  • Onion: Finely chopped onion adds moisture and flavor.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic enhances the savory taste of the meatballs.
  • Fresh Herbs: Parsley, basil, or cilantro can add a burst of fresh flavor.
  • Spices: Salt, pepper, paprika, and other Whole30-compliant spices.
  • Coconut Aminos: A soy sauce substitute that adds a rich umami flavor.
  • Tomato Paste: Adds depth of flavor and moisture to the meatballs.

Step-by-Step Preparation

1. Preheat Your Oven

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This will prevent the meatballs from sticking and make cleanup easier.

2. Mix the Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, egg, almond flour, chopped onion, minced garlic, fresh herbs, spices, coconut aminos, and tomato paste. Use your hands to mix the ingredients thoroughly until well combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the meatballs tough.

3. Form the Meatballs

Using your hands or a small ice cream scoop, form the mixture into evenly-sized meatballs, about 1.5 inches in diameter. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly to ensure they cook properly.

4. Bake the Meatballs

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). You can use a meat thermometer to check the doneness.

5. Serve and Enjoy

Once the meatballs are cooked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes. Serve the meatballs with your favorite Whole30-compliant sauce or alongside a salad, roasted vegetables, or zoodles (zucchini noodles).

Tips for Perfect Whole30 Baked Meatballs

  • Choose Quality Meat: The quality of the meat you use will significantly impact the flavor and texture of your meatballs. Opt for grass-fed beef, organic poultry, or high-quality ground pork.
  • Don’t Overmix: Overmixing the meatball mixture can result in tough meatballs. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs add a burst of flavor that dried herbs can’t match. If using dried herbs, use half the amount called for in the recipe.
  • Check Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to ensure your meatballs are cooked through without being overcooked. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).
  • Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to create your favorite flavor combinations. Italian seasoning, cumin, and smoked paprika are great additions.

Whole30-Compliant Sauce Ideas

While the meatballs are delicious on their own, pairing them with a flavorful sauce can take them to the next level. Here are a few Whole30-compliant sauce ideas:

  • Marinara Sauce: A classic tomato-based sauce made with Whole30-approved ingredients.
  • Avocado Cilantro Sauce: Blend avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and a touch of olive oil for a creamy, zesty sauce.
  • Pesto: Use basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and nutritional yeast for a dairy-free pesto.
  • Coconut Curry Sauce: A rich and flavorful sauce made with coconut milk, curry powder, and lime juice.

Meal Prep and Storage

Whole30 baked meatballs are perfect for meal prep and can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for future meals. Here’s how to store them:

  • Refrigerator: Store cooked meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Freeze cooked meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and warm in the oven or microwave.


Whole30 baked meatballs are a versatile and delicious option for anyone following the Whole30 program or looking for a healthy and satisfying meal. With the right ingredients and a few simple steps, you can create meatballs that are packed with flavor and perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re meal prepping for the week or serving them at a family dinner, these meatballs are sure to be a hit. Enjoy experimenting with different herbs, spices, and sauces to make this recipe your own, and savor the delicious results of your culinary efforts!