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Paleo Pumpkin Meatballs

in Entrees, Recipes, Snacks

Meatballs kicked up a notch with pumpkin make for the perfect fall-inspired meal.  Pair these Paleo Pumpkin Meatballs with your favorite comforting sides!

pumpkin_meatballs 5 graphicA couple of months back, I tried these meatballs for the first time.  I was on the hunt for AIP Paleo recipes, the flavors sounded delicious, and the balls sounded simple enough to throw together.  Ever since then, I have been hooked on and continuously craving meatballs.

pumpkin_meatballs 4While everything about Alaena’s recipe is pretty perfect, a few weeks ago I was craving something a bit more cozy, fall-inspired, and even more veggie-packed.  And when October rolls around each year, it is hard not to instantly think of pumpkin.

pumpkin_meatballs 3Pumpkin goes great in oatmeal and it was made for pie.  But did you know that it also tastes crazy good paired with grass-fed ground beef?  Well, it does.  So good.

I also threw in some fresh garlic and ginger, along with two of my favorite fresh fall-inspired herbs: thyme and sage.  While you could totally used dried herbs, I highly recommend sticking with fresh.  I truly believe it makes a difference in the taste.

pumpkin_meatballs 7Your favorite traditional meatballs just got oh-so fancy.  These essentially prove that almost everything tastes better with pumpkin, dontcha’ think?

pumpkin_meatballs 8Paleo Pumpkin Meatballs
AIP, Whole 30, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Nightshade-Free

Makes 12-14 meatballs (3 to 4 servings)


1 pound grass-fed, organic ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
12 leaves of fresh sage
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


1. Combine sage, thyme, garlic, and ginger in a food processor.  Process for approximately 20 seconds, or until finely diced.

2. Using your hands, mix together the beef, pumpkin puree, processed herb mixture, and seasonings in a large bowl.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

4. Form beef mixture into evenly sized meatballs.  You should end up with approximately 12 meatballs.

pumpkin_meatballs5. Bake meatballs for 15 minutes.  Flip carefully.  Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

pumpkin_meatballs 6While these bad boys are delicious all on their own, I highly recommend serving them with my parsnip “rice” (seen above).  The two make for the perfect pair.

pumpkin_meatballs 2Fall-inspired #Paleo Pumpkin Meatballs #glutenfree #aip #Whole30 Click To Tweet

Are you a meatball person?  Have you ever added pumpkin to yours?
What is your idea of comforting fall food?

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{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine October 19, 2015, 5:18 pm
    Girl, put pumpkin in EVERYTHING! The perfect "moisture" too!
  • Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl October 19, 2015, 5:56 pm
    Turkey pumpkin meatballs here I come! Can't believe you figured out a gluten, nut, dairy free meatball recipe :) Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl recently posted...An Autumn Weekend and Returning to “Real Life”My Profile
  • Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate October 19, 2015, 7:50 pm
    Whoa, I need to make these ASAP! I'll let you know how they turn out ;)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 20, 2015, 7:29 pm
      Yes, you sure do! I hope you love them!
  • Alli O October 19, 2015, 8:14 pm
    Looks delicious!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 20, 2015, 7:38 pm
      Thanks so much! I happen to think they are! :)
  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul October 19, 2015, 10:56 pm
    I would love a chicken or turkey version of this!! Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted...Weekend SnapshotsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 20, 2015, 7:30 pm
      I bet they would be delicious with either one. I think I'll be trying that out next!
  • rachel @ Athletic avocado October 20, 2015, 6:09 am
    pumpkin in meatballs acutely sounds fantastic! Totally trying this :) rachel @ Athletic avocado recently posted...Paleo Apple Pie Breakfast PizzaMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 20, 2015, 7:32 pm
      It is an unlikely, but delicious combination. I hope you love them as much as I do!
  • Kaye October 20, 2015, 9:04 am
    I am a fan of meatballs and I love that these don't have eggs! I love eggs but I want to enjoy them in their egg form, lol. I'm buying pumpkin 4 cans at a time right now, I want to try all of these recipes! Kaye recently posted...Streets of CharlestonMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 20, 2015, 7:33 pm
      This is totally the time to stock up on pumpkin, right?! Smart move! I hope you use some of that pumpkin for these meatballs :)
  • Liz October 20, 2015, 10:24 am
    What a good idea!! I've never included pumpkin with a meat based recipe. I bet this makes the meatballs so moist and yummy! Liz recently posted...Spaghetti Squash Pizza BoatMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 20, 2015, 7:34 pm
      Yes, it totally does! No dry meatballs here! ;)
  • Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious October 20, 2015, 12:43 pm
    I love these! I'm not a beef person but I'm sure this would totally work with turkey or chicken. Recipes with simple ingredients are the best ones. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted...Apple Peanut Butter Cookies With Flax & Chia {GF, Vegan, Low Cal}My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 20, 2015, 7:35 pm
      Yes! I'm sure the flavors would absolutely work with chicken or turkey. If you try it out, be sure to let me know!
  • Ashley October 20, 2015, 2:26 pm
    Oh I love the idea of adding pumpkin to meatballs!! That sounds amazing ... especially with all those fall herbs too! Hope you had a great weekend!! :) Ashley recently posted...Fall Wild Rice Breakfast BurritosMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 20, 2015, 7:36 pm
      Yes! These wouldn't be the same without the fresh herbs. Both the pumpkin and herbs are definitely the stars of the show!
  • Torry @ A World Without Wheat October 20, 2015, 2:52 pm
    I love all things pumpkin but I haven't ever seen them in meatballs - these look amazing! Torry @ A World Without Wheat recently posted...Food + Cleaning + Family DinnerMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 20, 2015, 7:37 pm
      It turns out that pumpkin works in even the most unlikely places. You should definitely give these a try!
  • GiGi Eats October 20, 2015, 9:44 pm
    Girl, YES YES YES! Pinning, trying tomorrow - eating ALL of it, YES! :D
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 22, 2015, 12:52 pm
      I LOVE the enthusiasm! It's hard not to be enthusiastic about pumpkin though, right?
  • Dani @ Dani California Cooks October 21, 2015, 4:50 pm
    YUM! Love the idea of adding ginger to these meatballs. I bet that pairs perfectly with the pumpkin. Dani @ Dani California Cooks recently posted...Intro to FermentationMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl October 22, 2015, 12:54 pm
      It really does! I never knew I loved ginger so much, but it is seriously awesome with the fall/winter herbs and pumpkin. Plus, it's good for you!!

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