These paleo chicken meatballs only have 6 ingredients, are egg-free, super addictive and freeze great! They’re also whole30-friendly.
This is our favorite dinner recipe. We eat these at least once a week!
My husband has been telling me for about 2 years that I need to post this recipe ASAP but I never really wanted to do that on my other blog because so many readers are vegan. So here we go!
I started making them when my son was a baby and we were doing baby-led weaning. Plain meat was too difficult to eat and I found that by combining it with sweet potatoes, the result was perfectly soft.
For those, I made them in the Instant Pot so they stayed nice and soft. But today’s recipe is baked because I personally don’t need soggy meatballs. 😉
To crisp them up further, you can turn on the broiler for a bit. Under my broiler, I needed a few minutes. But I can imagine that only a minute or two are needed with other ovens.
Don’t walk away and ruin all your meatballs by burning them!
When I first made these paleo chicken meatballs, I really thought that they’d be disgusting. I was sooo wrong.
The sweet potatoes makes them slightly sweet and I have to say I’ve never had any kind of meat that’s more addictive. It sounds strange, I know, but when these come out of the oven, we can’t stop eating them.
I usually eat about a dozen before my husband realizes what I’m up to. They’re just SO good.
The recipe doesn’t yield that many (or at least not for me) so I always quadruple the recipe and freeze most of them. They’re great defrosted!
Not as delicious as straight from the oven with their slightly crispy exteriors but still awesome. And if you need them crisp, just defrost them and pop them under the broiler.
In Germany, ground chicken is really hard to find. All I can find is a mix of ground chicken + turkey. So that’s what I use. On the off-chance anyone in Germany is reading this, Alnatura has it in their frozen section.
I’ve never bought ground chicken in the US (I moved here after college) but it looks like you’ve got different fat percentages there. Go with the regular stuff.
Or if you use lean, then be prepared for them to be not as juicy as they’re intended to be. And you might want to grease the pan so that they don’t stick terribly to the pan.
You can use whatever spices and herbs you like. I’ve also made these paleo chicken meatballs with smoked paprika, hot paprika, and other spices but prefer them with just garlic and onion powders.
I think other spices just detract from the yumminess, but my husband prefers them with smoked paprika. I suggest making them as written first, and then you can experiment. 🙂
For those of you who find garlic and onion powders to be disgusting, fresh garlic would be great! Don’t add too much minced onion, though.
You don’t want them to fall apart. Maybe 1/4 cup?
The least messy way to make these healthy meatballs is by using a stand mixer to mix up the dough. If you’re making a larger batch, it makes it way easier.
When you’re done mixing them, the dough will be quite sticky. If you have issues, wash your hands and dry them well before forming the balls.
Or use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop. This is what I do. It goes way quicker, and they don’t look bad – just not as perfect as if you hand-roll each one.
You can also refrigerate the mixture for a few hours, which firms it up a lot and makes rolling easier.
You can use other olive oil or coconut oil in these. The coconut oil makes them slightly sweeter, and I love it.
Perhaps all the sweetness is why I can’t resist these chicken meatballs. That would make sense with my sweet tooth.
By the way, if you do want to make these for babies, you can up the sweet potato so that you have a 50 / 50 mix of ground chicken and sweet potatoes. Omit the salt and perhaps reduce / omit the garlic and onion (we didn’t use any). I made them into logs and cooked at high pressure in the Instant Pot for about 5 minutes.
For another easy recipe that uses ground chicken, check out my Chicken Apple Sausage Recipe. And for another tasty paleo chicken recipe, try this delicious-looking Roast Chicken with Apples. This Tuscan Balsamic Chicken also looks great!
If you try out these paleo chicken meatballs, please let me know how you like them! For another yummy gluten-free meatball recipe, check out these Turkey Swedish Meatballs! I’m super excited about this recipe and get so little feedback on here. So please. You’d make my day. 😀
Paleo Chicken Meatballs
- 1 pound (453 grams) ground chicken
- 1/2 pound (226 grams) peeled sweet potato
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) coconut oil or olive oil - I love the slight sweetness that coconut oil adds and much prefer these meatballs with that but you can use whatever oil you want
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
- Get out a large rimmed cookie sheet, roasting pan, whatever you want that'll fit 25 1.5" meatballs. No need to grease it (I had no issues with the meatballs sticking to my stainless steel roasting tray as a lot of liquid is released while cooking).
- Cook the sweet potatoes. You can use whatever your preferred method is. I peeled and cut mine into about 3/4" slices (if your sweet potato is huge, you might want to cut it in half lengthwise first), steamed them in my Instant Pot for 5 minutes, did a quick release and let them cool for a few minutes. You can also just peel and cut them into chunks and boil until tender.
- While they're cooking, add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl (if you want to use your stand mixer to make these, that's the quickest / least messy way). Mix them and then add in (but no need to stir in) the coconut oil. Adding still warm sweet potatoes will melt the coconut oil, making it easier to combine.
- Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, add them to the bowl and stir until combined with the seasoning + coconut oil. There should be no lumps of sweet potato. You can use a glass to smash them if that helps.
- Then add in the ground chicken and mix until well combined. It'll be very sticky.
- Roll into 1.5" balls. If you have issues, wash your hands and dry them well. Or use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop. You can also refrigerate the mixture for a few hours, which firms it up a lot and makes rolling easier.
- Place them on the baking sheet. They can almost touch. Bake for 20 minutes then turn on the broiler and broil for another 1-5. For me, 5 minutes was good. Depending on your oven, your meatballs may only need 1-2 minutes under the broiler. Please keep an eye on them and don't leave them while under the broiler!
Comments & Reviews
Jennifer Fisher says
These look delicious and I love the idea of making a big batch to freeze — I always need quick meals for my son who is dashing off from one sport to another.
Stacey Crawford says
I can’t wait to try these. Do you think ground pork will work as well?
That sweet potato is such a great idea! I love meatballs but chicken ones are always so dry so I can’t wait to try this.
These meatballs are so good! I love that the chicken is moist and every bite is ful of flavor!
Well these are on another level! Delicious and easy to make!
Maurice McEntire says
Nice one . Thanks for recipe.
Erin! I am so glad that I finally got on this mailing list. It’s so weird because I submitted my email address three different times- but it worked this time! I haven’t tried these yet but I can’t wait to try them because you’re a recipes never let me down. You are that one blogger I go to first to see if you have a recipe for anything I’m trying to make or bake! How do you think these would work with all ground turkey? (dark meat of course). Thanks!
Erin @ Food Doodles says
I have no idea what the issue is with the newsletter but I’ll be switching newsletter providers soon (not that that helps you after all the trouble! It won’t affect you, though, so you won’t need to sign up again). Sorry about that. 🙁 But I’m glad it finally worked! And I’m super happy to hear that I’m that one blogger for you. 😀 I think these would be great with all ground turkey. I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty positive. I’d love to hear what you think about them! I just popped some in the microwave from the freezer and thought I’d better check comments over here to see if anyone had feedback. I really love these things. 😀 Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Jean Choi says
I usually don’t love using chicken for my meatballs but these are great!