Meatballs with zucchini noodles
These slow cooker meatballs are browned first in coconut oil, then simmered with my chunky tomato sauce for lovely meatballs that meet many special diet needs. [Vegetarian and vegan readers, I have a link to a great meatless recipe below!]

When I switched over to the migraine diet and started eating fewer starchy foods, at first I was hungry. All. The. Time. The Husband even started joking that I must have a tapeworm, because I was ravenous. Once my body got used to eating meat and animal protein again, lots of high-quality saturated fat, and almost no grains—all very good for migraine brains—then I wasn’t nearly as hungry as before the big change. I always have grass-fed beef burgers from Trader Joe’s in the freezer, and I love to make meatballs or meatloaf and freeze extra servings for quick dinners.

You will need 3 cups of tomato sauce for this recipe.

I served these over zucchini “noodles” for a completely grain-free meal. You need a spiralizer to cut them like this; you can also hand cut them or use a mandoline. For best results, simmer the noodles in a little tomato sauce sauce for about three minutes to warm and soften them.

Suitable for:
low-sodium, migraine, gluten-free, paleo, grain-free, soy-free, GFCF, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:
vegan or vegetarian diets
You might also like:
Cindy’s Paleo Italian meatballs from Cindy’s Table (not low-sodium)
Vegetarian meatballs from Cookin’ Canuck (not GF or low-sodium)


Slow cooker meatballs | Paleo, migraine-friendly, low-sodium

Hearty meatballs; make extra to freeze!
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 45 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 16 meatballs


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil divided
  • 1 bunch onions (green) scallions, spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 24 ounces beef (grass-fed) ground, or a mixture of ground beef and ground pork, 85% lean
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds ground (35 g)
  • 2 eggs pastured
  • 1 tsp basil (dried)
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley (fresh) chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Turn your slow cooker to low and add 3 cups of tomato sauce.
  • Wash the green onions, remove the tops, bottoms, and any bad leaves. Slice thinly.
  • Peel and mince the garlic cloves.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
  • Sauté the onions and garlic about 5 minutes until starting to turn gold.
  • Turn out into a large bowl and let cool. Do not clean the pan.
  • Add the meat, eggs, sunflower seeds, the browned onion mixture, and the spices. Mix with your hands or a large spoon just until well blended. (Overmixing toughens the meat.)
  • Form 16 meatballs (about 2"/5 cm) with your hands or an ice cream scoop.
  • Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the onion pan. Heat to shimmering on medium-high heat.
  • Add meatballs and brown on all sides, about five minutes per side. Do not crowd the pan. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Add meatballs to sauce in slow cooker. Stir until each is coated with sauce. Put on lid and cook for 4-6 hours.


Per meatball:
  • 116 calories
  • 8 g fat
  • 2 g saturated fat
  • 1 g monounsaturated fat
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 31 g cholesterol
  • 37 mg sodium
  • 56 mg potassium
  • 1 g carbohydrate
  • 1 g fiber
  • 0 g sugars
  • 10 g protein
  • 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus
You can also bake these at 375F/190C/gas mark 5 for 20-25 minutes.