Meatballs with Marinara

My kids love this and it’s a great way to get liver into their diet. Liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods and you can’t even taste it in this recipe. My kids prefer meatballs with marinara over bolognese, but this bolognese recipe is a much less time consuming recipe than making meatballs. I serve this on spaghetti squash or occasionally we have it with quinoa spaghetti. It’s also great by itself. I double this recipe so I have leftovers for lunch or to freeze.

fullsizerenderSpaghetti Squash:

  • 1 spaghetti squash


  • 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 lb of minced or ground chicken livers
  • 2 tablespoons fennel (this is a key ingredient)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (I like fire-roasted Muir Glen)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed

If you want spaghetti squash with your meatballs, preheat oven to 350. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and place cut side down on a baking sheet and cook for 20-35 minutes depending on size. Cook until squash is soft. You can leave them turned over out of the oven and they will stay warm. When you’re ready to serve, scrape out seeds and use squash as noodles.

For marinara, melt coconut oil and stir in the garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning, fennel, and dried basil and cook until garlic is translucent but be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes while you make meatballs.

While marinara is simmering, combine ground beef, liver, fennel, oregano, Italian seasoning, dried basil, salt and pepper. Roll mixture into small balls. Heat oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs until fully browned. Add meatballs into marinara and cook another 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Adjust salt and pepper. Stir in chopped basil leaves and serve.


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