Bacon-Jalapeño Burger Balls
“Bunless burgers are kind of the go-to for an easy weeknight, paleo meal, but your tastebuds deserve better,” said Melissa Joulwan, author of Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat. “These meatballs take all the best parts of a burger—crispy bacon, spicy jalapeños, secret sauce, juicy beef—and deliver them in an easy-to-make, pop-‘em-in-your-mouth meatball.”
Joulwan’s Whole30 compliant burger balls take about 35 minutes total to prepare and cook, and can be paired with a simple salad or, if you’re up for the complete burger and fries experience, her sweet potato fries.
- 4 strips sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon
- 1 tbsp grated onion (about 1/4 medium onion)
- 1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup minced dill pickle
- 1/4 cup minced raw tomato
- 1/4 cup minced raw onion
- 1/3 cup mayo (preferably homemade)
- 1 tbsp ketchup (preferably homemade)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- dash cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425º and cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cut the bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch wide pieces. Place the chopped bacon in a large, cold skillet, turn the heat to medium-high, and fry the bacon until it’s crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Pour the grease out of the skillet, leaving whatever clings to the pan, and place it back on the heat.
- Add the onion and jalapeño to the pan and sauté until the jalapeño is soft, 2-3 minutes. Set the pan aside until the veg are cool to the touch.
- In a large bowl, place the ground beef, salt, pepper, paprika, bacon, and the vegetables from the skillet. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the water with cream of tartar and baking soda. Pour into the bowl with the meat and mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Moisten your hands with cold water and shake to remove excess. Measure a rounded tbsp of meat and roll into a ball between your palms, then gently flatten it a little bit so it’s almost like a mini burger patty (that will make it easy to top with relish later). Line up the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Slide the meatballs into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and cooked through.
- Make the relish. Mix all the minced ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Make the Awesome Sauce. Mix all the ingredients together in another small bowl and refrigerate until it’s time to eat.
- Serve the meatballs topped with a little relish and a drizzle of Awesome Sauce.
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!Back to top