5 Napkin Meatballs with Rosemary Aioli

Inspired by 5 Napkin Burger


Makes about 20 meatballs


1 lb / 453 gr grass-fed organic ground chuck

4 medium onions, chopped (should yield about ½ cup caramelized onions)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large egg

¼ cup / 0.9 oz / 25 gr almond meal (or gluten-free breadcrumbs such as Gillian’s)

¼ cup / 1 oz / 28 gr grated Gruyere cheese (if you can’t find Gruyere you can use Emmentaler)

2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt, divided

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Rosemary Aioli

1 cup / 5.6 oz / 160 gr mayonnaise (make your own paleo mayo with this recipe)

2 cloves garlic

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


To make caramelized onions, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring every now and then, until onions are soft and golden brown, about 40 minutes.

In a bowl combine Gruyere, egg, caramelized onions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Add beef and almond meal (or GF breadcrumbs) and mix gently.

With dampened hands form into 20 balls.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large (preferably non-stick) skillet, over medium heat.

Add meatballs, and cook, turning gently, until browned all side and cooked through, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Rosemary Aioli

Coarsely chop garlic, and gather into a pile; sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place flat side of knife blade on top of garlic, with sharp side of blade away from you; press down firmly while pulling knife toward you to create a paste.

Holding rosemary sprigs at their top, slide your fingers down it, to the bottom, to strip off the needles and finely chop them.

Whisk mayo, garlic, rosemary and lemon in small bowl to blend.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The rosemary aioli can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.)