Paleo ‘Thanksgiving’ Meatballs

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This post title would perhaps have you asking two very serious questions.

1. Why is an Australian posting a Thanksgiving recipe when it’s not celebrated in his home country?

2. Why would an Australian be posting a recipe with the word ‘Thanksgiving’ in it AFTER Thanksgiving?

Healthy {delicious + juicy!} Oven Baked Meatloaf Muffins- Say goodbye to dry muffins- Perfect for batch cooking + freezing! {paleo + gluten free!}


Well, hear me out. After reading blog posts, tweets, Facebook comments and even the media about Thanksgiving- Some epic FOMO happened. It was even worse than when I mentioned it in Monday’s post. Some of you suggested I throw a Thanksgiving dinner which sounded like a good plan but alas- due to some logistics, lack of desire to slave with a bird and a minor issue called ‘work’- It wasn’t a possibility. 

Last year, I posted a recipe for ‘Thanksgiving Meatloaf Muffins’ which were pretty much all the best parts of the Thanksgiving meal combined into a muffin. Think stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and even some cheeky cranberries. I had completely forgotten about that recipe until a couple of weeks ago when the blog world went Thanksgiving gaga. 

This year, I decided to have my own thanksgiving dinner which was pretty much making those same muffins- but with what I had on hand. 


Last year- Ground Turkey.

This year- Ground lean beef. 

Last year- Mashed sweet potato.

This year– Mashed pumpkin. 

Last year- A stuffing mixture.

This year- Coconut flour to bind. 

Last year- Fresh cranberries.

This year- Dried cranberries. 

Last year- Make in muffin tins to make them puuuuuurty

This year- Fry them and cut the time by 40 minutes. They still are puuuuurty. 


So maybe not the standard Thanksgiving fare. Oh well, let’s just say I ‘Aussie-fied‘ it.

Okay. I was lazy. I had no ground turkey. I wanted to partake. I think fresh cranberries make balls soggy. Wait, what? 

These meatballs taste delicious regardless of seasonal or not. The combination of spices and the sweet and salty flavours take it to the next level. These pair well with some roasted potatoes with dinner to made during food prep and eaten cold, hot or over an ice cream sundae (don’t hold me to that). The best thing is- You can have fun with your thanksgiving leftovers now! 

Not only that- The beauty of these meatballs is how easy it is to adapt- You can use any ground meat and any mashed starch. Not paleo? Use breadcrumbs or even stuffing! Don’t have cranberries? Chuck…..I don’t know blueberries in it. Green beans. Anything! 

Maybe try not to add pumpkin or pecan pie in it. That’s all. 


Paleo Thanksgiving Meatballs

The best parts of Thanksgiving dinner meshed into a delicious meatball- Paleo, Gluten Free and perfectly customisable!
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Author: Arman


  • 500 grams ground beef can sub for any ground meat
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin can sub for any mashed starch
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1-2 tablespoon coconut flour sifted*


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, mashed pumpkin and egg. Add the spices and mix until fully incorporated. Slowly add the sifted coconut flour until the mixture is firm yet still moist. Form into golf ball sized balls and set aside.
  • Coat a frying pan generously with olive oil/butter/coconut oil and once heat on medium heat. When hot, add the meatballs to the pan and cook on high for 3-4 minutes before flipping cooking for another 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Continue the process until all the meatballs are cooked.
  • Serve immediately or allow to cool completely before freezing or refrigerating.


All brands of coconut flour differ- You may need more or less to achieve the texture to form meatballs.
I used standard ground beef- If you use a leaner cut, it would require slightly less cooking times.
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!




50 thoughts on “Paleo ‘Thanksgiving’ Meatballs

  1. Yummy!! I love the flavour combination, and the herbs that you used. I have been suffering with you from feeling like being the only one who’s not having a thanksgiving feast! Poor us.
    What is regular ground beef that you use? (Fat ratio). Here it’s 18% fat. The reduced ones have weird additives in them though… I guess I would make these with my beloved hokkaido squash/pumpkin and oats as “bread crumbs”. They would be the perfect thing to take with me to uni and make everyone jealous who dares to watch me eat! 😀 have a nice weekend, dude!

    1. Promise me next year we’ll have our own Thanksgiving meal- somewhere- even if it means over Skype haha!

      Hmm…I think our regular ground beef is what they call 3 star mince- I think the fat ratio is higher than 18%.

  2. My one change would be ground turkey, I mean HELLO thanksgiving. But I would never question any thanksgiving recipe, they are all welcome in my book—it’s my favorite holiday!

    1. Urgh, Dannii this is why we’re mates. But we’d be better mates if yo made those meatballs for me.

      They just opened up a restaurant here called the ‘Meatball and Wine Co.’ Hello.

  3. It’s so strange to me to see how much the world knows about my culture, when I’m in a different country learning about traditions I didn’t know existed. Thanks to American media!

    These look great- I’ve never added cranberries to a meatloaf/meatball, but sounds delicious 🙂

    1. It’s the perfect sweet/salty combination- and just so ever tart!

      PS Hi From Malaysia- about to head off now it’s boiling!


    I’m sorry that I will never make these because, well, meat. But they DO look delicious! Off to stalk all your non-meaty posts that I missed…BRB.

    1. Those are your favourite kind, aren’t they. Geebuz.

      Next year when we run the NYC marathon together, I’m making you these.

  5. Of course you would post paleo pumpkin-fied meaty balls. The Hubby would probably like them. Whatevs.

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