Pastured Pork Meatballs Recipe

by Sarah Main Course, RecipesComments: 32

Pork meatballsMy kids are in love with the pork meatballs I make from quality pastured meat I obtain from a local farm.  This tasty, nutrient dense meat comes from happy pigs that are free to run around outside in sunlight that is rich in UVB rays which pigs use to produce Vitamin D.

These happy hogs compare with the unfortunate and miserable animals from huge hog confinement operations known as CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). Believe it or not, a single CAFO building housing confined pigs might hold 1,000 or more sows or 10,000 or more market hogs!  These poor animals don’t even have enough room to turn around in most cases!

Do you want your pork to come from these animals?  I sure don’t!  There’s no way I want one red cent of my food dollars to go to the companies that treat animals this way not to mention that this type of industrialized farm is detrimental to the environment and the food produced from it will not compare with the nutrition from hogs living outside in the fresh air and sunlight.

When you make the effort to obtain truly pastured meat from happy hogs to make pork meatballs, you will be delighted to discover very little seasoning is required as the taste is fabulous and rich all on its own.

These pastured pork meatballs can be served alone with veggies cooked in butter (my usual way) or can be used for that occasional bowl of spaghetti and meatballs if you desire.  Another idea is to slice them in half, add a homemade marinara or pizza sauce, melt some cheese on top and serve on sourdough buns.

Leftover pork meatballs are great to pack in lunchboxes the next day too.  My problem is that most of the pork meatballs are gone so fast I don’t have hardly any leftovers.  I had to practically arm wrestle my teenager to snap the picture above before all the meatballs were gone from the baking pan!

Pastured Pork Meatballs

Makes about 30 meatballs


1 – 1 1/2 lb pastured ground pork

1 egg

2 slices sourdough or sprouted bread (sources)

1/4 cup traditionally brewed soy sauce (sources)

1/2 tsp sea salt (sources)

1/4 tsp pepper


Place bread slices in a food processor and pulse until you have made bread crumbs.

Place ground pork in a bowl and mix in bread crumbs and egg with your hands.  Add sea salt, pepper and soy sauce and mix again.

Form meatballs with your hands slightly smaller than the size of a ping pong ball.   Place meatballs on a stainless steel baking pan or a glass baking dish and bake on 350F until browned and thoroughly cooked (about 40 minutes).

Serve immediately.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (32)

  • Lou Cattano via Facebook

    Small amounts of unpasteurized soy sauce aren’t really a problem, but cooking with it is reckless. It should only be used as a condiment after cooking has taken place. Otherwise it is like cooking a kombucha or cooking lacto fermented vegetables with the added benefit of toxic soy. Dead, lifeless, and void of all useable nutrients associated with raw fermented foods.

    May 29th, 2014 6:44 pm Reply
  • Lou Cattano via Facebook

    Why would you advice cooking unpasteurized soy sauce? You are killing everything good about it and it not only completely defeats the purpose but leaves you ingesting cooked, toxic soy.

    May 28th, 2014 6:48 pm Reply
  • Sharon

    I grew up on a farm and we raised pigs. I still eat pork on a regular basis, but only pastured. Taste wonderful. No health problems and we love pork!

    May 28th, 2014 6:39 pm Reply
  • Lori Toro Finger via Facebook

    Also good as meatloaf

    May 28th, 2014 6:02 pm Reply
  • Laura

    Do we need to soak our pork before cooking this? and how much vinegar and for how long?

    Q. Why is pork not included in Nourishing Traditions?

    A. It was left out in deference to co-author Mary Enig, who is Jewish. But she agreed to include some pork recipes in Eat Fat Lose Fat. I think pork needs to be carefully prepared by soaking in something acidic–usually vinegar–this is how it is done in China–or curing in some way, tantamount to fermentation.

    September 13th, 2013 12:41 am Reply
  • Mandy

    Darla, we make ours with Braggs Liquid Aminos, too…so delicious! 😀

    March 18th, 2013 11:35 pm Reply
  • Darla

    I made these tonight and they were delicious! I used Braggs liquid aminos. Is that a traditionally brewed soy sauce or is it no different than regular? Thanks for the recipe!

    November 5th, 2012 10:43 pm Reply
  • Joe

    Great recipe! Thanks.
    Wondering where you get pastured pork? I saw you are in Central FL and so are we. Could you tell where the farm is?

    October 27th, 2012 5:44 pm Reply
  • Diana Guillen

    Sarah, is there any reason why you bake instead of frying them? Thanks so much for all your recipes!

    October 27th, 2012 8:21 am Reply
  • Abby

    Just made these last night! I like to add fish sauce and fresh parsley to mine – so yummy…

    October 26th, 2012 3:51 pm Reply
  • Jacqui Rao

    We don’t eat pork. I was wondering why you do as it’s considered an un-edible animal, kind of like eating a dog. A pigs natural diet is rotten stuff. We see pigs cleaning up the rubbish in India all the time. Thanks for the recipe though and will try it sometime with beef or goat meat…

    October 26th, 2012 2:27 pm Reply
  • Lana

    Hi-I live in central Florida, what is the name of the farm your pastured pork comes from?

    October 26th, 2012 2:06 pm Reply
  • Dorsey

    I too use the combo of good ground pork and pastured ground beef. I make them all up into the balls, cook them and then cool and freeze in small baggies…. 4-6 a bag since it is just my husband and I. I am always ready for spaghetti and meatballs……… or a good meatball sandwich…… or as you said, just served with veggies. :-) I also have my homemade sauce in small containers in the freezer so all bases covered..
    Another idea is use some of your frozen bone broth ad make a gravy for them. Again they can be served alone or on egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

    October 26th, 2012 1:56 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Hello Sarah,
    Looks delicious!! I was wondering too about eating fresh pork.
    It was my understanding that it has undesirable effects on the blood.
    The Farmstead Meatsmith said on one of the videos you posted on here that
    you can marinate or salt any cut of pork. In the study posted on the WAP website
    it said that cured or marinated pork did not affect the blood but fresh pork caused
    clotting type activity. What are your thoughts on this?

    October 26th, 2012 1:05 pm Reply
  • Bonny Busch Reckner via Facebook

    We love our pastured pork! Thanks for the recipe.

    October 26th, 2012 12:34 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Cannot wait to get home and try this!! We are on vacation visiting with family who do not agree with the real food concept. They refuse to read labels!! Anyway my 9 year old son was being given french toast with maple syrup and butter. He was sitting and looked at the label for the “maple syrup.” He exclaimed with horror that it had high fructose corn syrup. My father in law and son proceeded to have an arguement whether it was maple syrup or not. My son concluded his arguement that it couldn’t be maple syrup since that wasn’t even on the label of ingredients. So proud of my boy! My father in law argued about using common sense. My son said it wasn’t common sense to call it maple syrup if it isn’t even in there!

    October 26th, 2012 11:32 am Reply
    • Diana

      Haha, I hope my son ends up that way :) We went to my Dad’s for a BBQ and I asked if he’d like to have some of our organic no-filler beef sausages (just some herbs added). He said no, that he likes his beef sausages from the supermarket. I looked at the list of ingredients and it said it MAY contain lamb, pork, beef, venison, etc, – ‘may’ – what?! They were also called beef flavoured sausages. Seriously… sigh…

      October 27th, 2012 3:38 am Reply
  • Adrienne

    Hi Sarah,

    I read on WAPF’s site that pork should always be marinated in ACV. What are your thoughts?

    October 26th, 2012 11:30 am Reply
    • Beth

      Adrienne & Sarah,

      I am wondering the same thing about the pork. Is there a way to soak/marinate ground pork in ACV? It seems easy enough with chops, roasts, etc. Thanks!

      October 26th, 2012 4:08 pm Reply
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  • Maryann Tia Engel Goldman via Facebook

    My kids’ favorite lunch is leftover meatballs. I use grass fed hamburger and pork rinds in place of he breadcrumbs. I have to make 2lbs. for 4 people for dinner and lunches each time.

    October 26th, 2012 11:06 am Reply
  • Mandy Robinson via Facebook

    I don’t eat pork either, so I think I will make mine with ground beef or turkey.

    October 26th, 2012 11:01 am Reply
  • Tina Anneliese via Facebook

    Pork is a dangerous meat, thanks for the goat suggestion have never tried it! Need to see where I can find some!

    October 26th, 2012 10:42 am Reply
  • jessica Lara

    Pork meatballs are my favorite. You can do so many variations. I like parsley and kale added to my regular pork meatballs (also with an egg). But when I use the tamari I make them without breadcrumbs. Just egg, lots of cilantro, a Tbsp. coconut oil, tamari, ginger, scallions and/or green onions, etc. And I know it’s not the best for you, but a dash of toasted sesame oil makes them really really delicious. They taste just like potsticker/dumpling fillings without the breading. You can make a simple soy, rice vinegar, ginger dipping sauce too. They’re a hit around here and so easy. Oh and I bake mine for only 18 minutes at 400. They’re really tender that way.

    October 26th, 2012 10:38 am Reply
  • Douglas Panneton via Facebook

    yum,yum,yum,yum – I’ll take the sour dough with marinara sauce and some cheese please. with a tall glass of fresh milk please.

    October 26th, 2012 10:37 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    You can sub ground grassfed beef or buffalo if you like. I love goat meat but only eat it when I go to a local Indian restaurant.

    October 26th, 2012 10:28 am Reply
  • Anita Messenger via Facebook

    We don’t eat pork. Got any ideas for goat meat? We have three we’re taking to the butcher this weekend… :-)

    October 26th, 2012 10:27 am Reply
    • Saeriu

      I was just thinking to use goat meat to make these. We don’t have access to pasture raised pork, but we do to pasture raised goat. :)

      October 26th, 2012 3:10 pm Reply
  • Helen Kyriacou Rainey via Facebook

    Thanks again healthyhomeeconomist for a dinner idea today for the family! I happen to have a little package of pastured pork from the farm sitting in my freezer! 😀

    October 26th, 2012 10:27 am Reply
  • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    Never tried it with soaked oatmeal. I really like that idea! I made my chili with half pastured ground pork and half ground grassfed beef … will have to try for meatballs. I do like that flavor variation.

    October 26th, 2012 10:20 am Reply
    • Maggie

      Hi Sarah, I live in Ormond Beach,fl, can you tell me from which farm you get your pork from please, I can’t find it around here,maybe i can order maybe from online or I can drive by thanks

      October 29th, 2012 12:21 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth

    These are great – I usually do a mixture of pastured ground beef and pork and I substitute soaked oatmeal If I haven’t any bread on hand. I will try all pork next time. Thanks!

    October 26th, 2012 10:14 am Reply

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