I am reposting this recipe for 3 BIG reasons:
1. I have uploaded a new feature on this wonderful blog in the last month, My Recipe Book. What that means is you can now log in to my site and have your own virtual Recipe Book where you can archive your favorite Our Full Plate recipes. Now I know what you are thinking, they all are your favorite; how ever are you going to narrow it down? 🙂 A girl can dream, right? If you missed the post, click here and check it out for step by step instructions on how it works. This fancy option (kuddos to my web designer Hubby for introducing me to this option) will make accessing your fave recipes a piece of cake. Anyway, back to my amazing meatballs. During my first blog post on Our Full Plate I included the meatballs along with 2 other crock pot meals so I wanted you all to have the meatballs on it’s own blog post so you can add them to your recipe book separately if you wish. After all, you will realize it too after you taste them that they do merit their own blog post.
2. I need to reiterate how much I depend on this meal. I love making it in large amounts since this is honestly my fave go-to recipe when I have nothing else planned for dinner. Make it, triple, quadruple it so you have it for when you are in a pinch and need a healthy meal during the craziest of days.
3. I updated my meatball recipe to be more Paleo-ish since my first post a few months back. In this Crock Pot Paleo Italian Meatballs 2.0 I have omitted the Panko breadcrumbs altogether and I substituted almond flour for wheat flour and you can’t tell the difference. The last thing left to take out to make this meal 100% Paleo is the Parmesan cheese. I leave it out now and the meatballs are still so moist and tasty.
Original Post Below:
Crock Pot Paleo Italian Meatballs=Heaven
Ok this meal is hands down my favorite crock pot recipe in my repertoire right now. My family loves it and can’t get enough of these yummy meatballs. My friend, Marilyn, made it for me last year when I was at Army Training at Ft. Huachuca and I have not stopped making it since then. Julian, my 2 year old, can seriously eat 4 of these yummy meatballs in one sitting on his own so it is truly both a kid and adult crowd pleaser. Marilyn found this recipe on A Year of Slow Cooking. (By the way, BEST website EVER if you are looking for new crock potting ideas). My favorite part about the recipe is the sauce. Seriously the sauce is two ingredients: tomato paste and broth. I recently used a store bought tomato sauce for another recipe I made and I couldn’t believe how sugary jarred sauce is compared to this wonderful and simple “sauce.” After this recipe, you may never buy another jar of Ragu or Prego sauce again.
My adaptation for this recipe is when I prepare this recipe I make enough to feed an Army. Yes you read it correctly, an Army. I literally quadruple the recipe and then divide the meatballs into 3 gallon freezer bags (remember my boys are small but they can E-A-T so I rather have 3 “bigger” portions than 4 little ones). The reason I do this is because if I am ever in a pinch during the week and I have no dinner planned (yes, hate to break it to you, I am not perfect), I can take a bag of these yummy meatballs out of the freezer, dump it in the crock pot, make the quick and easy sauce and viola, I have a yummy meatball dinner waiting for me. Please note, if you want to prepare this meal for the day of, just take one of the servings and put in freezer for 2-3 hours before you place it in the crock pot to cook. The meatballs need to be somewhat frozen to help hold it’s shape in the crock pot.
So below I wrote down the measurements for the original recipe and then for my Army super sized/ “save the day” portion in parentheses.
- ¼ cup (1 cup) chopped of Italian Parsley
- 1.5 (6 lbs) pounds of lean ground beef (I always use 90-96%)
- 4 slices (16 slices/ 1 package) of smoked raw bacon, diced (I tried using turkey bacon once and it was good but not the same as the good stuff. And in my opinion if you are using lean meat I think you can splurge on the real bacon)
- ¼ (1 cup) cup of grated Parmesan cheese [OMIT IF YOU ARE PALEO]
- 2 eggs (8 eggs)
- 2 tablespoons (8 TBL) of dried minced onion flakes
- 1 tablespoon (4 TBL) of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon (2 tsp) of kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon (2 tsp) of ground black pepper
- Additional ingredients used during preparation:
- 1 cup Almond flour (I used to use whole wheat flour to roll out the meatballs but now I use almond flour and they are pretty tasty. Feel free to chose your flour of choice)
- Additional ingredients used for each gallon size bag you make and put into your crock pot:
- 2 cups chicken broth (I use warm water and half a bouillon cube)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- In the biggest mixing bowl you have, combine the chopped parsley, ground beef and diced bacon. Add in Parmesan cheese, eggs, and the dried spices and COMBINE WELL. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
- After the meat is mixed thoroughly, roll meat into golf size balls.
- Once you have the meatballs all rolled out, go ahead and roll the meatballs into the almond/ whole wheat/ or plain flour. What I did was just pile them all up on my cutting board and then divide them into your gallon size bags and put into the freezer for a rainy (or busy) day! Again, if you want to make the meal the day of just put one serving in the freezer and freeze for 2-3 hours before putting it in the crock pot. If you are saving them for a rainy day then keep the meatballs in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When you are ready to cook the meatballs, place the frozen meatballs in your crock pot.
- Mix the 2 cups of broth with the tomato paste and pour over the meatballs and cook for 8-10 hours on low. Prepare to be wowed!
So don’t forget to serve it over my roasted spaghetti squash or roasted acorn squash. You will never long for pasta again! Scouts honor! Now go, get started! As always, let me know if you are a big fan like I am after tasting this meal for yourself.
See your Recipe Book.