Whole30 Cocktail Meatballs {Gluten Free, Paleo & Low-Carb}

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These Whole30 Cocktail Meatballs with a BBQ Cranberry Glaze are an easy appetizer that double as a meal when served with cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash.

Cocktail Meatballs On Plate With Toothpicks In Each One


Need a last minute appetizer? No problem! Need one that’s gluten free, Low-Carb, Paleo, and/or Whole30 approved? I’ve got you covered!!!

These little meatballs are full of flavor, can be prepared in only 30 minutes with a few simple ingredients, and are a perfect appetizer for any shower or party. I made theseย for my sister’s bridal shower a few weeks ago and they were a HUGE hit! The guys were even trying to come in and sneak them ๐Ÿ™‚

They can also double as dinner! Simply serve with some cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or a simple salad and dinner is covered ๐Ÿ˜Š Here are the easy steps:


Whole30 Cocktail Meatball Instructions:

Meatball Ingredients In mixing bowl

Start by making the meatballs: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground beef (can substitute chicken or turkey), egg, almond flour, onion flakes, garlic powder, celery salt, salt, and pepper.


Meatballs on broiler pan

Roll the mixture into small meatballs and place on a greased broiler pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. While they’re cooking make the sauce…


cocktail meatball sauce:

Meatballs simmering on stove in sauce

In a large stockpot or slow cooker, add 1 1/2 Cups of BBQ Sauce (I prefer Tessamae’s BBQ Sauce or Primal Kitchen BBQ Sauce because they are Whole30 and Paleo Approved), a 12 oz bag of cranberries, powdered erythritol for Keto or orange juice and chopped dates for Whole30, salt, Worcestershire sauce (can be omitted for Whole30), orange essential oil or zest, and water to thin out as needed.

Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes. Then, use a potato smasher to mash the cranberries, or if you prefer a smoother sauce blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend until desired consistency. Then, add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

Now that you’ve seen how easy they are, it’s time to party! Go ahead and accept that last minute invite or invite guests over and connect over these perfect cocktail meatballs ๐Ÿ˜

Looking for more Whole30 recipes? Check these out!!!

Meatball Soup

No-Fail Mayo

Stuffed Bell Peppers

main picture of cocktail meatballs

Whole30 Cocktail Meatballs {Low-Carb, Paleo, & Gluten Free}

These Whole30 Cocktail Meatballs are an easy appetizer that double as a meal when served with cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, dairy free, Dinner, gluten free, keto, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktail meatballs, gluten free appetizer, gluten free meatballs, paleo appetizer, paleo appetizer meatballs, paleo meatballs, paleo party meatballs, party meatballs, whole30 appetizer, whole30 appetizer meatballs, whole30 meatballs, whole30 party meatballs
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 18 meatballs
Calories: 94kcal
Author: Cassidy

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  • 1 Lb. Ground Beef can substitute chicken or turkey
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 C Blanched Almond Flour or Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
  • 8 Tsp. Onion Flakes
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. Celery Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Pepper


  • 14 oz Cranberry Sauce can use store-bought or the recipe below
  • 1 1/2 Cup Tessamae's BBQ Sauce (or Primal Kitchen) or 12 oz Chili Sauce but is NOT Paleo or Whole30
  • 1 Tbsp. Worchestershire Sauce omit for Whole30
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt

Homemade Low-Carb or Whole30 Cranberry Sauce:

  • 12 oz Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener, powdered OR Powdered Swerve OR FOR WHOLE30 USE 1/2 Cup Orange Juice and 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Pitted Dates
  • 3-4 Drops Orange Essential Oil, use therapeutic grade for consumption or 1 Tbsp. Orange Zest (can omit for Whole30 version)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 Cup Purified Water or as needed to thin


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix together all the meatball ingredients. 
  • Roll into small meatballs and place on a greased broiler pan. If you don't have a broiler pan, you can place a greased cooling rack over a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
  • In a large pot or crock pot, mix together all of the sauce ingredients. Simmer 15-20 minutes. Use a potato smasher to mash the cranberries, or if you prefer a smoother sauce blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend until desired consistency. Taste and add additional sweetener or seasonings as needed. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CassidysCraveableCreations or tag #CassidysCraveableCreations!


Nutritional Info uses Tessamae's BBQ Sauce, low carb options, and a heaping amount of sauce per meatball.
  • Meatballs can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept covered in the fridge.
  • Meatballs can be frozen for up to 2 months (without sauce). Allow to thaw overnight in fridge before reheating.
  • To reheat for a party, consider adding them to a slow cooker (on low or high) with the sauce until heated through.
  • Granulated Lakanto Sweetener can be used but it tends to crystallize when re-heated so I prefer to use the powdered variety.
Nutrition Facts
Whole30 Cocktail Meatballs {Low-Carb, Paleo, & Gluten Free}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 94 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 104mg 4%
Potassium 156mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 19g 6%
Dietary Fiber 12g 48%
Sugars 1g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 0.6%
Vitamin C 6.3%
Calcium 1.5%
Iron 5.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate and may vary.

pin cocktail meatballs for later:

Whole30 Meatballs Pinnable Image


Posted December 29, 2018 by Cassidy in Keto, Paleo, Sides & Appetizers, Whats For Dinner?, Whole30 / 11 Comments


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11 responses to “Whole30 Cocktail Meatballs {Gluten Free, Paleo & Low-Carb}

    • I don’t know without trying it. You probably could, but I would use a little less. All purpose flours seem to be more absorbent than almond flour, I’m just not sure how much less. If you give it shot let me know how it turns out!


  1. Yolanda Solis

    can I use Namaste organic flour blend ,instead of almond flour. it contains sweet rice flour,brown rice flour,tapioca, arrowroot,starch,sorghum flour and xanthan gum.

    • I’d imagine you could, but I just can’t say for sure without trying it. You might try using just a bit less though, because the flours in the blend are bit more absorbent that almond flour so I’m worried about them turning out too dry. If you try it come back and let me know how they turned out!!!


  2. Mae

    Would you be able to tell me what chili sauce you used for this recipe? I only ask because there are some sauces that are more spicy, and others that are more sweet and I want to ensure I’m getting the right kind. Thanks!

  3. Rena

    These are much better than the typical grape jelly version! CHANGES: I boiled the meatballs in low salt chicken broth until they turned gray and floated for several minutes, then drained them and added them to the sauce. Boiling them makes for a moist, rounder, and not flat on the bottom or burned, meatball. Also, half the ground beef can be replaced with ground pork or turkey and the results are a very nicely textured meatball that still tastes beefy enough for the guys. BTW the crumbs are not necessary to “make” the recipe, but the crumbs do make for the meatballs lighter if you use only ground beef. Thanks!

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