I’ve long been obsessed with the sheet pan meatball technique.
They get very crispy, especially if you use a higher fat protein like pork or beef. And there’s so much less hands-on work and mess than pan-searing them. I honestly, have not made a meatball stove-top in almost a decade.
But recently, I was wondering about how I could make my meatball dinners even easier. What else could I put on the pan to fill the extra space? Would the meatballs still be intact and delicious if they roasted on a bed of vegetables, like/as my usual chicken sheet pan dinners?
Well, friends. I’m so happy to report the answer to all these burning questions in today’s paleo sheet pan meatballs recipe.
Since ‘tis the season for roots, I made a mix of carrots, beets, delicata squash and sweet potato for the bottom of my sheet-pan. If you’re low FODMAP, you can omit the beet and add more carrots or parsnips. But now that I’ve diversified my diet, I love eating small amounts of lots of different veggies. And sheet pan meals are one of the simplest ways to go about it.
I don’t love tomato sauce with root vegetables. It always seems like too much of a seasonal mashup to make sense. So I knew I wanted to drizzle these meatballs with an herb-based sauce. Instead of a pesto, I went with a bright, zippy salsa verde which gets its acid from lemon juice and capers. I added some kale in addition to the herbs to bulk it up even further.
In this recipe, since there are so many elements, I wanted to save some time by using the herb sauce as a flavoring in the meatballs themselves. So instead of chopping garlic and herbs, you get to let the food processor do the work for you and add it directly to your meat mixture.
Full disclosure: the balls don’t get crispy on the bottom (just the top) when they don’t have full contact with the sheet pan. But I thought they were delicious nonetheless and it was worth it to have the sweet vegetables caramelize in the residual fat from the balls.
To make the meatballs paleo, I used almond flour and chia seeds. You can easily omit the seeds or the egg if they don’t agree with you. I’ve made meatballs every which way and you can’t really screw them up. Also feel free to sub turkey or chicken, or use all beef instead of the combination of beef and pork.
If you’re looking for an easy fall weeknight dinner, this paleo sheet pan meatballs recipe with root vegetables and salsa verde is incredibly delicious and versatile.
Read on for the recipe and let me know if you have any more sheet pan recipe requests in the comments!
With health and hedonism,
Sheet Pan Paleo Meatballs with Root Vegetables and Salsa Verde (Low FODMAP Optional)
For the kale salsa verde:
For the sheet pan:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Make the salsa verde: In a blender or small food processor, combine the kale, herbs, garlic (if using), olive oil, lemon juice, capers, sea salt and red pepper. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
On a parchment-lined sheet pan, arrange the carrots, sweet potato, delicata and beets. Drizzle with a scant amount of olive oil and season with salt. Toss to combine and arrange in an even layer.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork, egg, almond flour, chia seeds, sea salt, and smoked paprika. Add ¼ cup of the salsa verde to the meatballs.
With clean hands, mix the meat with the other ingredients until loosely combined. You don’t want to overly break up the meat. Form the mixture into 2-inch balls (1/4 cup measure or an ice cream scoop works well for portioning) and roll in your hands until round and smooth. You should have a dozen balls.
Arrange the balls on top of the vegetables and bake in the oven until cooked through and beginning to brown on the top, about 25-30 minutes.
When the vegetables are caramelized and the meatballs have browned, remove from the oven and drizzle with the salsa verde. Enjoy!