The Best Egg-Free Meatballs (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

What’s Inside: These Paleo meatballs are egg-free, gluten-free, Whole30-approved, and AIP-friendly! Just form the balls, bake them in the oven with your favorite sauce, and serve. This is the perfect appetizer on its own or busy weeknight meal when paired with sides like ghee-roasted Brussels sprouts or spaghetti squash.

how to make meatballs without egg

Can You Really Make Paleo Meatballs Without Eggs or Breadcrumbs?

Missing Grandma’s moist on the inside, crispy on the outside meatballs? You CAN easily make them Paleo, AIP-friendly, and gluten-free, which means omitting eggs and breadcrumbs.

And for good reason! These two ingredients serve as the binding agents in these meat-centric meals, and without them (or a fit substitute), the result can be a lifeless, dry ball of meat. No thanks!

But what if I told you I knew the way to achieve a tender, firm, delectable, AIP-friendly, Paleo, Whole30-approved, gluten-free meatball that will please everyone?

The trick to making these fork-tender, gluten-free, egg-free meatballs is my secret weapon — arrowroot starch.

Bonus: Download The 20-minute AIP/Paleo Meal Prep System: Flexible Meals Everyone Will Love (Even The Picky Eaters)
how to make meatballs without egg

What Exactly Is Arrowroot Starch?

If you’ve been on the Paleo diet or AIP diet for a while, you’re likely familiar with this staple ingredient. (It’s a consistent find in my pantry.) But if this is a new food for you, fear not.

Arrowroot starch — also called arrowroot flour or arrowroot powder is made from, you guessed it arrowroot. But what exactly is arrowroot?

  • Arrowroot is a white, flavorless powder used to thicken sauces, soups, gravies, and even fruit pie fillings that’s comprised of starches extracted from various tropical tubers, including the arrowroot plant.
  • Arrowroot is easily digestible.
  • Arrowroot starch is similar in use to cornstarch in function and purpose, and has twice the thickening power of traditional wheat flour.
  • Arrowroot is neutral in flavor and adds a glossy finish to the foods and dishes it’s cooked with or in.
  • Arrowroot starch is naturally gluten-free, vegan, Paleo, AIP-friendly, and Whole30-compliant.
  • Lastly, arrowroot has an extraordinarily long shelf life — up to three to four years!

Arrowroot powder is sold at most grocery stores, and you can also order it online here or here (my personal fave to save some $$).

how to make meatballs without egg arrowroot starch

What To Serve with These Paleo Meatballs

Treat these babies like you would any ol’ meatball! Serve on a bed of grain-free pasta, some creamy mashed cauliflower, or spaghetti squash with your favorite marinara sauce or pesto as an alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatballs.

And you can always keep it simple by serving them as an entrée with any of these delicious sides:

how to make meatballs without egg

Key Ingredients for Egg-Free Meatballs

  • Ground Meat: This recipe calls for 1 lb. ground beef, but you could easily substitute that for any ground meat of choice, like turkey, chicken, pork, or a combination. The fattier the meat (like beef or pork) will be a bit moister and it’s traditional to use those two or mixing them together for that reason. It also makes for a softer meatball, but thanks to how we’re cooking them by searing and baking with a cooking liquid– even using ground poultry will give you a moist center.
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper: To taste, plus more for garnishing, if desired (omit pepper for AIP).
  • Garlic Powder: To taste (You could start with 1 teaspoon)
  • Arrowroot Starch: Just 2 tablespoons of this tasteless binding agent will do the trick for a slightly crisp exterior and well-formed ball.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: For browning your meatballs to achieve a nice crust before baking in the oven.
  • Sauce or Broth of Choice: I love using Rao’s marinara sauce, this pesto, or just plain broth!
  • Chopped Basil and/or Parsley: To garnish before serving.
how to make meatballs without egg ingredients

How To Make Meatballs Without Eggs

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Season your ground meat with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. Then, portion it out to create 6-8 evenly sized meatballs.
  • Sprinkle the arrowroot flour on a clean surface, and lightly roll each meatball into it. (Don’t mix into the meat with the spices.)
  • Set prepped meatballs aside on a plate.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil to completely cover the surface area of the pan and prevent meatballs from sticking.
  • Add prepared meatballs to the skillet and brown on one side. After 3-4 minutes, roll them over once to brown on the next side for 2 more minutes.
  • Pour in your sauce or broth, being careful not to cover your meatballs and instead surround them.
  • Place your skillet in the oven to finish via baking for 8-10 minutes.
  • Check the internal temperature of the meatballs using a meat thermometer to confirm doneness, and serve when ready. Enjoy!
how to make meatballs without egg zoodles

How To Store, Freeze, and Reheat Egg-Free Meatballs

  • To Store: Place cooked meatballs in an airtight container or Ziplock bag and store in your refrigerator for up to three days. Store sauce and sides separately and assemble when ready to eat.
  • To Freeze: Store cooked meatballs in a freezer-safe airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to three months in the freezer.
  • To Reheat: Allow frozen meatballs to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat by zapping in the microwave at 30-second intervals until warmed through, warm in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until warmed through (flipping occasionally), or warm in the oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or so (until — you guessed it — warmed through). Serve with desired sauce, broth, and/or sides.

More Recipes To Try

If you enjoyed these Egg-Free Meatballs, then you’ll love these Paleo recipes:

Watch How To Make Egg-free Meatballs

5 from 15 votes
egg-free meatballs
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Ridiculously Delicious Eggless Meatball (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

These easy meatballs are eggless made without breadcrumbs and are Paleo, Whole30, and AIP-friendly!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Cuisine: American, Italian
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: AIP, paleo
Servings: 2


  • 1 lb ground beef or meat of choice (beef mixed with pork is another fave)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste (omit pepper for AIP)
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sauce or broth optional
  • Optional: basil or parsley to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Season meat and score it evenly to create 6-8 meatballs depending on how big you'd like them
  • Sprinkle the arrowroot flour on a clean surface and lightly roll each meatball into it, this helps as a binder in place of eggs
  • Set prepped meatballs aside on a plate.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet or another oven-safe skillet of choice, add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat (the oil should completely cover your skillet so the meat doesn't stick).
  • Add meatballs to the skillet and brown on one side, after a couple of minutes, roll them over once to brown on the next side for 2 more mins.
  • Pour in your sauce (you can optionally try broth!)
  • Next, place your skillet in the oven to finish for 8-10mins or so.
  • Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temp. to confirm doneness and serve when ready!


I love using marinara sauce, this pesto, or just plain broth!

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Recipe Rating

  • JessFebruary 25, 2021 - 3:45 pm

    I’ve never liked putting egg in my meatballs but wasn’t sure if it would work without it. You have shown me the ways! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • AngelaFebruary 25, 2021 - 3:49 pm

    Arrowroot is new to me, but it sounds like an ingredient that is handy to have in the kitchen.  Thanks for the great information. ReplyCancel

  • JennFebruary 25, 2021 - 3:56 pm

    These meatballs are every bit as delicious as you said they’d be! Going to be a new favorite in my house.ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasMarch 1, 2021 - 1:51 pm

      YAY-I’m so glad to hear it!ReplyCancel

  • Beth SachsFebruary 25, 2021 - 4:02 pm

    Love that these tasty meatballs are egg AND gluten-free. Perfect for my niece when she comes to stay!ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasMarch 1, 2021 - 1:51 pm

      Right?! simple is better anyway… 🙂ReplyCancel

  • ToniFebruary 25, 2021 - 4:36 pm

    It turned out so good!! It’s great that it comes ready to eat in just about 15 minutes! ReplyCancel

  • Alanna Taylor-TobinFebruary 27, 2021 - 5:07 am

    I was so intimidated to make meatballs (squeamish former-vegetarian here!) but I put some gloves on and made these and wow, they’re so simple and delicious! Dredging them in arrowroot flour is GENIUS. I can’t wait to make these again and play around with different flavors. Thanks for the great recipe Alison! ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasMarch 1, 2021 - 1:50 pm

      Ahh, thank you so much for trying and sharing, Alanna! I’m so stoked you enjoyed them and that they were worth the effort. Arrowroot is so clutch, adds a little crisp to the edges as well. xoReplyCancel

  • MirleneMarch 10, 2021 - 3:00 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Great tips for someone who is new to cooking ReplyCancel

  • klorMarch 10, 2021 - 3:27 pm

    Tried these meatballs and they’re amazing. Can’t even tell that it’s missing eggs and breadcrumbs. Thanks for sharing. ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasMarch 15, 2021 - 7:13 pm

      awesome, so glad to hear it!ReplyCancel

  • WandaMarch 10, 2021 - 3:45 pm

    I’ve never tried arrowroot as a binder, but I can’t wait to source some and give this recipe a try!ReplyCancel

  • ToniMarch 10, 2021 - 5:24 pm

    This is seriously amazing!! I love how tasty and delicious this is!! ReplyCancel

hey thereI'm Alison

I believe your healing journey with real food can be a stress-free lifestyle, filled with joy and flavor.