Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Whole Food Eating

Categories: Main Dishes - Beef    

These juicy meatballs are loaded with flavor, and are topped with a tasty tomato sauce. Serve with some rice and a green salad for a tasty complete meal.

Meatballs with cherry tomato sauce on a plate garnished with sweet peppers and celery leaves
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 45 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Makes: 4 servings Difficulty: Medium

Gluten free Dairy free option Grain free Soy free

One good idea is to double the ingredients for the meatballs, and freeze 1/2 of them for another day, uncooked.

Use all organic ingredients, and ensure any dried spices are labeled certified gluten free, and any packaged items are labeled gluten free.

1 small Egg
3 tablespoons Celery, finely diced
1/4 cup Onions, finely diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sea salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Black pepper
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 pound Ground beef
2 tablespoons Coconut oil
2 tablespoons Butter or meat fat
1 small Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 small stalk Celery, diced
1/2 small Red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (optional)
14 oz. can Tomatoes
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Ground beef: You can use another ground meat of your choice, such as chicken or pork. You can also combine 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground pork. Don't use lean meat; the meatballs will be dry and will burn too easily, especially when pan fried.
  • Coconut oil: Choose organic coconut oil. You can use processed oil, as it has less of a coconut flavor, but be sure to avoid oil that has been processed with chemicals.
  • Dairy free: You can use meat fat instead of butter if you have it, such as tallow or beef fat drippings. You can skip this if desired, though you'll get a little less browning when frying the onions and garlic. Just use more coconut oil.
  • Coconut oil and butter: Butter produces a better browning on the ingredients in the sauce, but tends to burn. Coconut oil doesn't brown as well. However, when used together, an excellent browning is able to be achieved, yet it won't burn. This pairing is excellent for this kind of use. If using a meat fat instead of the butter, you can skip the coconut oil, if desired.
  • Tomatoes: Use organic tomatoes, so you avoid red dye, which is not always labeled. Tomatoes can be any kind, the choice is yours - whole, peeled, chopped, diced, cherry, etc. Look for tomatoes that are only tomatoes with possibly tomato juice and / or salt. Avoid other additives, as some can cause stomach upset (such as citric acid).
  1. These can be baked in the oven or pan fried.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, then add celery, onions, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin and combine.
  3. Add ground beef to egg mixture, and combine well.
  4. Form into about 20 meatballs.
Baking meatballs:
  1. Place meatballs in a baking pan, and place into a preheated 350 F oven. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes. There may be a mesh type structure that forms around the meatballs. This is from the eggs. It's perfectly fine to eat, just toss it into the sauce with the meatballs.
Pan frying meatballs:
  1. Heat pan on medium high. Place meatballs in pan and fry until browned. Flip and fry the other side. Check that they are cooked all the way through. When done, remove from pan and add to sauce.
Tomato Sauce:
  1. Heat butter and coconut oil in a wide saucepan. When melted and starting to bubble, add the onions and garlic. Fry until onions are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add celery, and cook 5 more minutes.
  2. Add the red bell pepper, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir and cook for 2 to 5 more minutes, to blend flavors.
  3. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Heat for 10 to 30 minutes, cooking until the desired thickness is achieved. It can be thick or thin. When ready, add meatballs and toss to coat well.
  4. You can top the meatballs with some diced green onions or freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve with rice or potatoes, and some steamed veggies for a delicious and tasty meal.


FREE Guide
10 Steps to Healthy Gluten Free Eating
GF 10 Steps Guide
The 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular Member only tips to get you started on the road to living healthy without gluten.
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