Fennel & Onion Pork Meatballs (Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free)

IMG_0758I love a good meatball. Once, after a few glasses of wine, I even wrote a song about meatballs…an ode to meatballs, you might say. Now, while I’m not proud of that story (ok, I’m kind of proud), I am quite happy about my meatball obsession. It has produced some great meals and delicious recipes over the years, and last night resulted in what my husband called the “best meatballs yet” Considering all the varieties I’ve tried, that’s pretty good!

Last night’s were inspired by one of my new favorite vegetables: fennel! I’ve been loving fennel lately as an alternative to onion in sauces, meat dishes, etc. It has a really unique flavor (almost like licorice, but not quite, since I don’t like licorice) and really adds something to a meal.

In these meatballs, fennel is the perfect pairing for ground pork. We paired these with a creamy, coconut-based roasted garlic sauce, but they’d also be great with a simple red sauce or pesto sauce. Try them on zoodles or on a bed of mashed sweet potato. Eat them alone with sauce on the side as an appetizer. The point is, eat them!


Here’s how to make these in your kitchen:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Melt the cooking fat of your choice in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, onion and garlic to the pan and stir to coat in the fat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

3. Once the vegetables are cooked, add them to a large bowl along with the pork, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, eggs and arrowroot powder (be sure to spread the arrowroot powder evenly throughout the mixture). Mix to combine all ingredients thoroughly. The mixture may seem a bit wet, but do not add more arrowroot powder.

4. Roll the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. This should make 12-14 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a tinfoil-covered baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes (I did mine for about 37 minutes).

5. Eat and enjoy! Pair these with vegetable noodles, mashed root vegetables and/or a variety of sauces.


Let me know if you try these, and share how they worked out!


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