{Video instruction on the blog!} These butternut squash & beef meatballs are paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free. Wonderfully delicious and moist! They are a healthy and seasonal take on the traditional Italian meatballs in marinara sauce. Great recipe for the picky eaters too to hide some veggies in the meatballs. Can also be made with other winter squashes.

The Best Paleo Meatballs: Butternut Squash & Beef Meatballs in Marinara

A healthier alternative to traditional meatballs; but nothing short of taste! These paleo and gluten-free meatballs are so delicious and moist. It will sure be your top go-to meatball recipe.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 510 kcal
Author Yang


  • 2 1/4 cups ground beef, approx. 1 lb.
  • 2 1/2 cups butternut squash, approx. 1 lb.
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 5 cups marinara sauce


  1. Remove seeds and skin of the butternut squash. Make sure to use the smaller setting of the shredder to finely shred the squash. You want the strands of the squash to be very thin so that they can be well integrated with the meat after mixing. The amount called for in the recipe is based on shredded butternut squash with seeds and skin removed.

  2. I love the flavour of rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil. Either fresh or dried will work. I usually chop them down very fine or pulverize in a spice grinder if the herbs are too coarse, especially the rosemary. If you don't have a collection of individual herbs, you can use an Italian mix instead.

  3. Finely mince 4-5 cloves of garlic.

  4. Mix everything except for the marinara sauce listed in the ingredients section above, to make the mixture of the meatballs. At this point, the mixture should be as soft as possible without losing the shape when made into meatballs. Firmer mixture results in less tender meatballs once cooked.

  5. Shape meatballs by hand to roughly 1.5 inch diameter size and place in a baking dish. The meatballs should not be touching each other. I usually make 20 meatballs with the amount of ingredients in this recipe.

  6. Bake the meatballs in a pre-heated oven at 375ºF for 20 minutes.

  7. Pour your favourite marinara sauce over the meatballs. If you use an unsalted plain tomato sauce, you can add more salt, herbs and minced garlic to taste.

  8. Bake the meatballs at 375ºF for another 40 minutes.

Recipe Notes

  1. Calorie calculation is based on 1 serving.
  2. See recipe video above.