March Meatball Madness

March Madness, an American college basketball competition, is celebrated in office betting pools and beer-soaked bars across the U.S. Although I am firmly an NFL football girl — and a Fug Madness girl — I’m also a girl that cannot resist alliteration.

And meatballs.

So, along with my husband Dave (tall enough for basketball but really more of a reader) and some paleo friends, I shared paleo meatball recipes throughout the month, along with a little sprinkling of basketball lingo and slang because I am also a sucker for specialty vocabulary. Go ahead! You can call me a baller.

The New Players Recipes

In addition to the new meatball recipes I rolled out (see what I did there?!), I also shared a special edition of Tuesday 10 that makes the case for meatballs as the Franchise Player of your plate, explained the science behind meatball mixing methods, and offered an assist from Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice. Alley-oop!

jalapenobaconBacon-Jalapeno Burger Balls with Dill Relish & Awesome Sauce

meatballstripTuesday 10: Meatballs Are The Franchise Players of Your Plate

baksoBakso (Indonesian Beef Balls) from The Domestic Man

pestochickenChicken Pesto Meatballs in Marinara

meatballbannerCrockpot Italian Meatballs (with liver) from Stupid Easy Paleo

mixer_methodMaking “Meat Dough”

Basic-Meatballs-7178Classic Meatballs from Elana’s Pantry

rice_processAn Assist: Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice

gyoza_wellfed2Gyoza Meatballs from Well Fed 2

soup2 Gyoza Soup with Pork Broth from Paleo Periodical

cuban_wellfed2Cuban Meatballs with Pan-Fried Plantains from Well Fed 2

Highlight Reel Recipes

Here are some of my previously posted meatball recipes that are worthy of an all-star lineup!

Old School Italian Meat Sauce

Tender beef meatballs (along with sausage and pork) simmered in basil-tomato sauce

Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs
The traditional flavors of Thanksgiving, anytime and portable


Moroccan Meatballs
Succulent lamb meatballs simmered in a tomato sauce spiced with cumin and paprika

Czech Meatballs
Just the right touch of caraway and mustard with pork


Merguez Meatballs
Lamb seasoned with Merguez Sausage Seasoning — a French-Moroccan favorite

Bora Bora Fireballs
Tropical paradise on your plate: pork and pineapple, rolled in toasted coconut

Mad for Meatballs?

If you like meatballs as much as I like meatballs, you might want to check out Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat, which includes 15 meatball varieties, as well as instructions for cooking on the stovetop, the grill, and in the oven. Tips on freezing and defrosting, too!


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  • paprikapink says:

    So timely! We just invested in the food grinder attachment for our stand-mixer; a month of meatballin’ will give it the serious workout out needs.

  • Bring on the balls! I just got my meat delivery and seemed to have gone crazy on the mince (ground meat). Bring on the inspiration, lady!

  • Emily says:

    Oh I am so excited. I love balls. 🙂 I’ve made at least half of the variations in WF2 and uh…bacon-jalapeno burger balls with special sauce? YES PLEASE. Never before have I looked forward to March Madness, but never before has March Madness involved MEATBALLS!

  • Lynn says:

    The Thai Green Curry meatballs from WF2 have become a favorite all-time meal for my husband and I, plus all 6 of my kids eat them too (even one of my super-picky ones!). I’m looking forward to some new ideas this month.

  • DJDeeJay says:

    I’ve also made about half the meatball variations in WF2 and they’re fantastic. The Banh mi and Italian are my favorites so far. Can’t wait for even more ideas. Thanks for doing this!

    • Judy Hoctor says:

      Just made these banh mi meatballs. They are fantastic. My son just told me I need to put them on our permanent rotation.

      And although I’ve been making a family recipe for Italian meatballs for decades, the Italian ones are our family’s new favorite. I love how varying the protein and the spices make deliciously different flavors with no extra work!

  • MaGabLoTe says:

    I love your Moroccan meatballs! And so does family.
    Yesterday I bought a lot of organic ground meat to do some meatball recipe again, since they are easy to carry and for hubby to heat when I have evening classes.
    I guess I’ll wait for some of the new recipes then.

  • Noblepower says:

    It might be embarrassing how excited I am to hear that it’s March Meatball Madness. Then again, maybe it just shows I have good taste!
    Bring on the balls!

  • Jinny says:

    Oh how I love your balls! I’m so excited to see that it’s Meatball Madness March! I been needing some motivation to get me back on track and these will definitely do the trick!

  • Drstephaniedvm says:

    We love your meatballs!! I give your cookbooks all the credit for why when asked what they want for dinner my tow year olds usually say “Meatballs!”

  • johanna says:

    Love your sense of humor but I can’t believe there isn’t a Schwetty Balls recipe yet! And I think it needs to contain coconut aminos and chopped ginger–a little zip and a little zing… ooooo schwetty! Love love love both Well Feds, and we had Greek Balls for dinner tonight 🙂

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  • Anjelica says:

    Loving the meatball recipes 🙂 I have made Bora Bora Fireballs and Thai Green Curry meatballs so far. Both recipes were huge hits with my family! I have rekindled my excitement in cooking.

  • Denise says:

    I am so excited about finding your blog. We went Primal last year and we did great but I got so burned out cooking so much. I’ve gained back 12lbs since we kinda fell off the wagon the last six months. I can’t wait to try your weekly cook up. I’m thinking of doing meatballs instead of the stew/ chili. Any suggestion on which of these might be the most kid friendly? My almost five year old used to eat whatever we did but then we went Primal and she is having a hard time missing our old favorites. We have gotten in a bad habit of breading everything with tapioca flour for her sake. She won’t touch beef unless its my brother’s bbq brisket. I’m thinking meatballs might be the trick if I let her use her beloved chopsticks.

    • If BBQ is a favorite of your daughter, you might try beef meatballs seasoned with chili powder and paprika. That will make them taste BBQish. For 1 lb of meat, use 2 teaspoons paprika + 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.

      The pesto chicken meatballs are probably kid-friendly; they taste pizza-ish.

      Hope this helps!

  • em gee says:

    The cooking successes just keep coming! Thanks to your recipes. This is the cookbook my mom relied on…
    …so I did not learn at home.
    Just finished a big plate of Bahn Mi meatballs with the Thai variation of coleslaw and spaghetti squash. No extra sauce; I just tilted my plate so the coleslaw juice leaked into the squash. Yummy! Thanks Mel. My fridge is stocked (also made Cincinnati chili) and I feel like I have money in the bank.

    • Oh, man! I remember that cookbook! I’ve seen it in so many vintage cookbook stores… so funny!

      I’m so glad you’re having fun with the recipes. Your Banh Mi feast sounds awesome! And that reminds me that I should make those soon. I forgot about those! Enjoy the Chili!