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Paleo Diet Recipes: Meatball Poppers Scores Big at Gatherings

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Paleo Diet Recipes: Meatball Poppers Scores Big at Gatherings

Written by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci

Have you recently been casing cookbooks and blogs looking for a good Paleo tailgating or potluck food?  

Stop the search! Meatball poppers are just the ticket. Take these to any gathering and you’ll score more points than MSU did against U-M in 2010 when the Spartans took down the Wolverines with a score of 34-17!

I appear often on television stations and have also hosted many community Paleo nights. For these types of events, it’s imperative that the finished product is easy to transport (I don’t cook it on-site).

This meatball appetizer (From my Paleo Cookbook for Dummies) is always on the menu, and everyone loves the taste explosion when they pop one into their mouth.   

Serve these with Moroccan Dipping Sauce and you’ve got one wining combo.


Prep time: 20 min • Cook time: 25-30 min • Yield: 12 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1/4 cup minced carrot
  • 1/4 cup minced walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line an 11-x 17-inch rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the beef, pepper, cayenne, and chili powder. Use your hands to mix well. 
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook until they’re translucent, about 4-minutes. Add the walnuts and sauté for an additional 2-minutes. 
  4. Set the onion mixture aside until it’s cooked enough to handle. Combine the cooled mixture with the meat and form it into 24 meatballs, roughly 1-inch in size. 
  5. Place meatballs on the lined baking pan and bake 25- to 30-minutes.  
  6. Serve warm with Moroccan Dipping Sauce if desired. 

Tip: These meatballs are the best grab and go snacks! Freeze these and stock up. 


Prep time: 5 min • Yield: 1/2 cup


  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet, hot or smoked paprika
  • Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  2. Continue whisking as you stream in the oil, then stir in the cilantro and parsley. 
  3. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate it if you’re not going to eat it within the hour. It keeps for two or three days in the fridge without diminishing its flavor. 

 Recipe compliments of Melissa Joulwan, author of Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat and The Clothes Make The Girl (www.theclothesmakethe girl.com)


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