Whole30 Meatballs

It's football season! I usually don't know who's winning or who I'm supposed to be rooting for, but I am all about the party food. The good thing about the Whole30 or paleo diet is that you can totally bring a dish that everyone will love, and you don't even have to tell them it's compliant!

It's not a party without meatballs! My favorite growing up was a grape jelly meatball crockpot recipe. In effort to replace this favorite recipe with a Whole30 approved version, you can trade in that jelly for an aioli sauce. This simple trade out keeps your favorite a main dish at the party and you will still be the MVP of the game!

Chef Marlon Alexander’s Whole-30 Meatballs

Makes about 32 meatballs



  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • a pinch cinnamon
  • 1-pound ground lamb (10% fat)
  • 1 cup fine almond flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted lightly
  • 1 package of butter lettuce (to use as a cup)



  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 egg yolks, organic if possible
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup extra light, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper



To make the meatballs:

  1. In a small non-stick skillet cook onion and garlic in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in mint, salt, allspice, and cinnamon. Add lamb, bread crumbs, egg, and currants and combine well. Form level tablespoons of lamb mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs, arranging on a tray as formed.
  2. In a small bowl roll half of meatballs, 1 at a time, in black sesame seeds until coated, transferring to a rack set in a shallow baking pan. Coat remaining meatballs with white sesame seeds in same manner, transferring to rack. Meatballs may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered loosely.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  4. Bake meatballs in upper third of oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden-brown and just cooked through.

To make the mint aioli:

  1. Mince the garlic, and then sprinkle the salt on top, and continue to mince and smash the salt into the garlic to form a paste.
  2. In a small bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, blend the yolks, garlic paste, lemon juice and mustard powder.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil to the yolk mixture in a very slow steady stream until the mixture is emulsified.
  4. Add the fresh mint and pepper and pulse until incorporated. Refrigerate. 


To assemble:

  1. Take one leaf of butter lettuce
  2. Take a small spoonful of mint aioli and delicately place the mix in the center of the lettuce cup
  3. Take one meatball and place on top of the mint aioli
  4. Garnish with a mint leaf (if desired) and ENJOY!

chef marlon alexanderChef Alexander Marlon Alexander specializes in clean local cuisine.

You can find more of his recipes and information below.





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