Bacon Wrapped Meatballs with Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil and Walnut Pesto

Bacon Wrapped Meatballs with Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil and Walnut Pesto
  • Sumo

I love meatballs. My Italian father-in-law used to always make us meatballs with marinara sauce when he was visiting. I loved that man and boy, could he cook. Tonight we decided to make meatballs, but I wanted to try something new. These turned out even better than I thought they would and I’ll be making this variation again. They even look special enough to serve at a dinner party. You’ll just have to trust me on that one because my food photography skills are seriously lacking. Natural light is the best when taking food pictures and I just don’t get much of that here. It’s totally dark when I get home and start making dinner. My wish list for Christmas includes a prime lens for my camera and Lightroom 4 photo editing software. I’m hoping those two things will make me look like I know what I’m doing (even though I don’t).

Meatball Ingredients (for 12 meatballs)

  • 600 grams (about a pound) of grass- fed ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 12 pieces of bacon
  1. Put all of your ingredients (except the bacon) into a large mixing bowl. Now dig in and get your hands dirty! Combine it all by hand until well mixed.
  2. Roll into balls. Ours were slightly larger than golf balls.
  3. Wrap each meatball with a piece of bacon and secure the bacon in place with a toothpick.
  4. Place your meatballs on a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated 200C (400 F) oven for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and spoon 1 tsp of pesto on top of each meatball.
  6. Return to oven for another 5-10 minutes.

    Pesto on and ready to go in the oven again

Pesto Ingredients

This pesto recipe is loosely based on this one over at Everyday Paleo.

  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup of walnuts, unsalted
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Put everything in your food processor and pulse until you reach a pesto consistency. If it seems too thick, just add in a little more olive oil.


  2. This pesto would be good on just about anything (chicken, steak, inside an omelette, on celery or on paleo walnut crackers). You’ll have extra pesto, so now you know what to do with it!


These meatballs were awesome. We served them with grilled eggplant and a cabbage/carrot salad. I was pretty full after

two meatballs, but my husband ate five. That’s right. Five.

Almost elegant

I shared this over at Gluten Free Monday

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  1. Wow, this looks amazing! Canโ€™t wait to try this recipe VERY SOON!

  2. I made these last weekend and they were AWESOME!! Thank you for this recipe; I liken it to finding Jesus.

    • Hi Wagonist,
      Amen ๐Ÿ™‚ !!

  3. Can you use fresh garlic instead of powder?

    • Hi Kerrie,
      Absolutely! Use any quantity that suits your taste. I usually only use the powdered stuff if I’m out of fresh.

  4. These look awesome! Great call on the pesto too…


    • Thanks Gabi ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I tried these for dinner tonight with a salad of spring mix. The meat balls were very dry…I believe 30 minutes initially, (plus 5-10 more after adding pesto), is way too long. I would pre-cook the bacon slightly before wrapping the meatballs. I’d bake the meatballs for no more than 15 minutes initially. The second baking could stay at 5-10 minutes. Having said this, there was something not ‘quite right’ about the combination of flavors. Somehow, the flavor of the pesto just doesn’t meld well with the bacon and beef.

    • Hi Judy,
      Sorry it didn’t quite work for you.

  6. I made these sans the pesto & were amazing! thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Hi Lisa,
      Glad you enjoyed them ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I made these 2 days ago and… was a HUGE SUCCESS!! My husband, who’s always been funny and difficult about eating paleo, loved it! The flavours were just mothwatering.

    However, a few tips that might help. If you have a fan assisted oven – like me – only cook the meat balls for 15 minutes max, gas mark 180C, otherwise they will dry out and taste like cardboard. After 15 mins add the pesto and cook for 5 minutes, no more. The meatballs were tender and juicy and they just melt in the mouth. My 2 kids (15 and 12) gobbled it all down without any complaints! Thanks for this lovely recipe!

    • Hi Olivia,
      YAY!! Glad you and your family enjoyed this recipe! And thanks very much for the tips about using a fan assisted oven, I’m sure other readers will enjoy the special cooking instructions. Thanks for taking the time ๐Ÿ™‚


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