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Easy Meatballs & Grain-free Pesto Risotto (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP friendly)

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Packed full of flavor and textures, this grain-free risotto uses Shirataki (Miracle) Rice made from seaweed, smothered in a creamy avocado-pesto sauce making it resemble a creamy risotto taking no time to make at all! Topping this off with perfectly cooked meatballs and greens rounds out the meal for a filling, nutritious meal you can make quickly for any weeknight dinner. 

My love of pesto runs pretty deep, guys. It adds so much flavor to everything and is so versatile. I’ll take any chance I can to toss greens with it, add it to avocado toast, and of course any pasta or pasta-like dish is heaven with pesto! And then there’s pizza, or lasagna… don’t even get me going!

Well today I’m using Miracle Rice which is made from seaweed and serves as a great vehicle of texture to hold my creamy pesto which I mixed with avocado since this rice doesn’t exactly absorb anything like a real grain would. It worked out perfectly well. For an in-depth look at Miracle Noodle nutrition and how it might blend with a Paleo/AIP diet, see this article.

Then, meatballs. I’ve seen these done so many ways, with eggs, flour, etc. – honestly, it’s not necessary. All you really need is ground meat, seasonings of your choice and a hot pan. I really like adding broth before popping the pan in the oven to make them extra moist in the middle and it works like a charm. I also prefer to use grass-fed bison, lamb or turkey meat, as beef is usually too heavy for me. Plus, I think they taste better! I highly recommend trying new kinds to switch it up.

Easy Meatballs & Grain-free Pesto Risotto

No ratings yet
A simple meal that cooks in just about 30 minutes, packed full of flavor and textures while being easy to digest. Using miracle rice (shirataki) makes this grain-free. Try this for a fast weeknight dinner!  (AIP, Paleo, Low FODMAP friendly)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 2
Calories 535kcal



  • 1 lb. ground meat try something new like: bison, turkey, or lamb
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp dried rosemary
  • sea salt & pepper as a reintroduction to taste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup bone broth or stock

Pesto Risotto:

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves rinsed and torn
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes/powder
  • pinch sea salt to taste
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 garlic clove or omit if you can't tolerate for low FODMAP
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 pack shirataki miracle rice 8 oz.

also shown:

  • mixed greens with radishes


  • Pre-heat the oven to 400f degrees. To a mixing bowl, prep ground meat by adding all seasonings and mixing with ground meat well with your hands. Add more seasonings as you see fit (for example, if using turkey - you might want more for flavor).
  • Next, roll the ground meat into balls, the smaller they are the quicker they'll be to cook. I usually end up with them an inch wide or so. Set aside prepped meatballs on a plate.
  • To a hot oven-safe skillet or a lipped cast iron pan, add coconut oil over medium-high heat. Place meatballs in the skillet making sure there's enough oil coating the pan so the meat doesn't stick.
  • Let meatballs cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side you placed them on, and then roll them onto the opposite side making sure it has a nice crisp brown before turning over. Let them cook for another 3-4 minutes on the 2nd side.
  • Now, turn off the stovetop heat and add the bone broth or stock to the pan. It will sizzle a bit, carefully transfer the pan to the oven and let bake for approx. 8-10 minutes until fully cooked. The meatballs should be slightly crispy on the outside and moist and soft on the inside.
  • While the meatballs are cooking, make the pesto: combine basil, nutritional yeast, salt, olive oil, garlic and vinegar in a food processor and mix. Once it's all combined, add in the avocado and pulse until creamy. Set aside.
  • Now add rinsed miracle rice to a small pot with a 1/2 tsp of olive oil, stirring it for approx. 5 minutes over a medium-low flame. Then turn off the heat and add your creamy pesto over the rice, stir with a wooden spoon to coat everything well and plate.
  • Add cooked meatballs over your risotto and optionally add in some mixed greens for some freshness and crunch! Enjoy!


Nutrition Calories: 535 Protein: 22g Totalcarbs: 7.1g Dietaryfiber: 4.6g Fat: 48g
Diet: American
Course: Main Course

Tags: paleo, AIP, low FODMAP, main, dinner, easy dinner, paleo meatballs, AIP meatballs, AIP risotto, grain-free risotto, miracle rice risotto, AIP pesto


Hope you enjoy!
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-Alison Marras
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