Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recipe: AMAZING Paleo CrockPot Meatballs!

I LOVE CrockPot cooking - who wouldn't! There's nothing like spending 10 minutes of prep time in the morning, and having dinner ready by the time I'm done lifting or coaching in the evening!

My CrockPot has been working overtime the last few weeks - I've experimented with several different recipes - some have been great, and others well. . . not so great. . . but I made a CrockPot Meal today that was absolutely TO DIE FOR!!!

It was so good, I had to share the recipe! I used the recipe that I found here as a starting point, and made some modifications.

AMAZING Paleo CrockPot Meatballs

Meatball Ingredients:

1 lb GrassFed Ground Beef (mine is approx 85% lean)
1/2 lb Lean Ground Pork
1 Stalk Celery
1 medium-sized Carrot
1/4 Vidalia Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Omega-3 Eggs
1/4 Cup Almond Meal
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt to taste (about 1-2 tsp?)**

Sauce Ingredients:

1 16 oz can Organic Diced Tomatoes
1 small can Organic Tomato Paste
1 handfull fresh basil leaves, torn
5 cloves garlic, minced
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste


Coursely Chop Celery, Carrot, Onion, and 2 Cloves Garlic in Food Proccesor. Combine chopped vegetables with the rest of of the meatball ingredients, and mix well (knead with your hands). Form into large Meatballs, and place in the bottom of a lined Crockpot.

Mix together Sauce Ingredients, and pour over meatballs in Crockpot.

Cook In CrockPot for 8 hours on low.

I served mine with Roasted Brussel Sprouts tonight, and it was soooo good! It took self control not to go back for another helping!

On 9/20/2010 I added "Sea Salt to taste" to the meatball ingredients. I made these last week, and didn't realize until after I tasted them that I'd left that out of the ingredient list initially. . .oops! It makes a BIG difference in the flavor. They were fairly bland w/o a little sea salt.


Diablo DD said...

Thanks for this awesome recipe! I can't wait to try it out! Although I'm not sure about the "lining" you used in the crock pot.....what did you use for that? Also, did you use any liquid? Like water or chicken stock? I cannot wait to try this!!

Donna D

Christie said...

Hi Diablo - I think the company is Reynolds, but I'm not sure - but they make crock-pot liners. They are basically just plastic bags that line the crockpot and tuck under the outer edges, but they make cleanup SO MUCH EASIER! :)

I don't use liquid - actually, I used fire roasted diced tomatoes, and even drained most of the excess liquid off - the sauce mixture on top of the meatballs makes them very moist - no need for any added liquid. I actually just polished off the last of my leftover meatballs from Friday night. . I swear they're even better as leftovers :)

Let me know how yours turn out!

Diablo DD said...

Thanks Christie! I will let you know how mine turn out! I'm just starting to use my crockpot....your idea of using the liner is a new one for me...i love the idea of anything that helps on the cleaning process!

Thanks again!

John Frazer said...

We've made these twice now, and they were good both times but I have some suggestions.

The first time, I wasn't confident that the meatballs would stay together during cooking, so I browned them in a little olive oil first. (It turns out I was probably right to worry since I'd forgotten the eggs, almond meal and seasonings in the meatball mix.) That time, the sauce was too thick and kind of sat on top of the meatballs instead of running down and cooking in.

The second time, I didn't brown the meatballs (but at least I remembered all the ingredients). I also thinned the sauce with a little red wine (maybe 1/4 cup). The fat in the meat cooked out and made the dish look a little greasy, so I skimmed some of it off before serving.

The meatballs were delicious both times, but next time, I'm going to brown the meatballs and also thin the sauce a little. That should get a good moisture level without the greasiness.

Thanks for the recipe!

John Frazer said...

P.S. I'd never heard of crock pot liners but have never had trouble getting mine clean in the dishwasher.

Christie said...

Hi John - Thanks for the feedback :)

The idea of browning the meatballs a little before placing in the crockpot sounds like a great one - Thanks for that!

As for the wine - that sounds absolutely amazing too! Right now I'm staying Whole30 compliant so I'm not using wine even in my cooking, but I'll have to try that in a month or so when I start re-introducing things in small quantities.

Also, I'm editing the recipe - I think I must have left out "sea salt" as one of the ingredients to the meatballs! I made them again last week and they were REALLY bland. . . I followed the recipe that I had posted here though. It wasn't until after they had already cooked and I'd tasted them that I realized that I used some sea salt in the seasoning mix that I used to form the meatballs - it really makes a big difference in the flavor!

Thanks again for the feedback, and have a great week :)

John Frazer said...


You could easily get the same benefit (thinning the sauce) with water. I'd be surprised if I used even 1/2 cup of wine.

Another option (which I may well try next time) is to use a 28-oz. can of tomatoes.

Or, since these store and reheat so well, I may double the amount of meatballs and use one 28-oz. can and one 14-oz. can of tomatoes.

A bigger recipe would also fill the cooker more, which is supposed to be a good thing. (But then I'd definitely want to brown the meatballs to keep them from sticking together.)

EasyLow said...

Thank you for sharing this very awesome recipes and tips of yours. I can't wait to try this when I got home...Cheers!