Citrus-Bison Meatballs with Crispy Sweet Potato Noodles

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Of all of the types of protein available to me, I eat red meat the most since it is high in the nutrients I tend to lack from my vegan days, especially iron and zinc (if you are worried about red meat being inflammatory, etc., I recommend this article series by Chris Kresser – Red Meat Report). I by no means eat a ton of it, but I am sure to include it at least a couple of times a week, especially liver, instead of taking supplements for the aforementioned minerals.

Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom introduced me to bison as an addition to my beef and lamb routine, and I am loving it! It tastes very similar to lean beef, although slightly sweeter. If you can’t find any locally, Tropical Traditions sells grass-fed bison on their website. Bison liver, compared to beef liver, is extremely mild in flavor–if you are having a hard time finding liver palatable, I suggest trying this recipe with some bison instead of beef liver (you can find bison liver here). I bought a box of ground bison as well as bison liver online a few months ago, and have really enjoyed the addition of a new protein in the rotation.

These meatballs are cooked in a sauce made from citrus and coconut aminos. While the crispy sweet potatoes are fantastic, you could also serve them over cauliflower rice, zoodles (zucchini cut with a spiralizer and then sauteed briefly), or spaghetti squash. They make a great addition to a batch-cooking routine, and if you would like to store them longer term they can be glazed with sauce and frozen. Keep some in the fridge for a high-protein snack during the week, or to have with breakfast! And if you can’t find bison, this recipe tastes great with ground beef–I served these made with beef as an appetizer for my cookbook release party!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Citrus-Bison Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons solid cooking fat
  • ½ yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 pounds ground bison
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 orange, juiced (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  1. Heat half of the cooking fat in the bottom of a skillet on medium heat. When the fat is melted and the pan is hot, add the onion, and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for a minute, just until fragrant. Remove from heat and place onion mixture into a bowl. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. When the onion mixture has cooled, add it to a large bowl with the ground bison, thyme, and salt. Gently mix with your hands until everything is well incorporated. Form into 1-1/2" meatballs (about 20 total).
  3. Place the rest of the cooking fat in the bottom of the skillet you used for the onions on medium heat. When the fat is melted and the pan is hot, add the meatballs. Brown for three minutes on one side, flip, and add the orange juice and coconut aminos. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until cooked throughout. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Leave the remaining juices in the pan and turn up to medium-high heat. Let the sauce reduce about ½, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Serve on a bed of crispy sweet potato noodles and glazed with sauce and fresh thyme.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Crispy Sweet Potato Noodles
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the sweet potato into long, flat ribbons. Alternately, you could spiralize it with a vegetable spiralizer.
  2. Heat half of the solid cooking fat in the bottom of a wok or skillet on medium-high heat. When the fat has melted and the pan is hot, add half of the sweet potatoes. Let them cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, being sure not to stir them too often to ensure that they brown on the bottoms.
  3. Add the other half of the solid cooking fat and repeat with the second batch of noodles.

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness and a co-teacher of AIP Certified Coach. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Nutrition, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos by following her on Instagram.


  • Saskia says

    These look really yummy! I get my bison from Full Circle Bison in Oregon. They frequently have great deals with free shipping to areas West of the Rockies. I highly recommend them.

    • Mickey says

      Thank you for the recommendation! I will look into them when I go to stock the freezer again!


  • Stephanie says

    Hey Mickey I really appreciate your blog. I am totally overwhelmed right now. Trying to figure out what to feed me and my family. I am sticking to the protocol exactly and want my family to eat regular Paleo. Every time my daughter asks for a snack a start crying we ate very healthy before but yogurt, kefer, GF crackers where some of the snacks I feel horrible taking away . But anyway to my question. I have started reading the paleo approach but am still in the beginning. So on an the autoimmune protocol can I have honey (organic raw) and geletin (Bernard Jensens 100% Bovine Gelatin). And if not is it ok to have that on the regular paleo diet? Thank you for your time!

    • Mickey says

      I’m sorry to hear about your daughter… I don’t have kids so I haven’t had any experience with Paleo childrearing. Have you looked into and Both awesome resources, and I am sure those gals have a podcast or blog posts about Paleo snacks for kids. As far as you on AIP, honey is OK in moderation and gelatin is also ok. Good luck!


  • Teri says

    I made these last night and they were delish! My husband loved them and so did my 5 year old. So a total win for me! I served them with spiraled sweet potatoes and am looking forward to the leftovers. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Tina says

    Just got my order of Bison meat From US Wellness. Can’t wait to try these. Thanks!!

  • Anita says

    Hi Mickey, I cannot tolerate any coconut aminos or vinegars right now – I was wondering if I could make this dish without the aminos and if there is a substitute you could recommend?

    By the way, I have your hardcover cookbook – love it! And the cover is so beautiful, I keep it on display in my kitchen as inspiration!

    • Mickey says

      Anita, yes you can make them without the aminos, they should taste fine without. Thanks for your compliment on the book!

  • Erin C says

    Oh wow, were these good! That salty-tangy-sweet sauce with bison is just perfect!

  • Rhonda says

    Mickey, I have noticed that you use the sweet noodles in several recipes. Do you use white sweet potatoes? The pictures you post of the noodles don’t look an orange color like regular sweet potatoes.

    Also, I have made the liver pâté’ several times and it is a huge favorite at our house. Thanks

    • Mickey says

      Hi Rhonda,
      Yes, I use the white ones because my husband turns orange when he eats too many of the regular ones 🙂

      I’m happy you like the pate!


  • Jeremy says

    Agree with you about tasty bison liver… It was the first organ the Native Americans went for when they killed a buffalo, they knew. Liver also tastes great along with grass-fed bacon, I think. Thanks for the recipe!

  • liskev says

    Is that one tablespoon of FRESH Thyme or dried Thyme? I also plan to cut this recipe in half (only have one pound meat thawed ready to go!) do you think it will be a problem to cut recipe in half?

  • Becca says

    Oh my gosh! I made this over the weekend and it was so delicious. I’ve been AIP for almost 40 days now. Nearly everything I have made as been from Mickey’s AIP cookbook. This past weekend I decided to branch out and pull some new recipes from this website as well as Paleo Mom’s site. My husband and I even went out and bought a spirooli to spiralize the sweet potato. So many of the dishes from the cookbook are really yummy, but this bison dish is my favorite of them all so far!

    Mickey, my wish is that your cookbook will be so amazingly successful that you’ll write another one. I’ve been telling my friends about you and a few have said they’re going to buy your current cookbook. Here’s to huge success for you. I don’t think I could’ve done this without your help.

    BTW, I’ve lost 10 pounds, and I no longer have depression, extreme fatigue, brain fog, constipation, or headaches every morning. 🙂

    • Mickey says

      Thank you so much for letting me know it has helped you! Thank you for telling your friends, and I wish you continued success on your journey 🙂


  • Becca says

    Oh my goodness! This is now my very favorite AIP recipe that I’ve had so far. As of today, I have been on a strict AIP diet for 40 days. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 41 days ago. My doctor told me to do this diet right away and recommended Mickey’s cookbook. Nearly every single recipe I’ve eaten has been out of that book. This past weekend I decided to branch out a little bit. I pulled this recipe along with a couple of others from this site and Paleo Mom’s site. This is, hands down, the most delicious so far. And that’s saying a lot, becuase I’ve been quite impressed with the yumminess of all of these AIP recipes. I haven’t felt deprived at all.

    Mickey, I hope your cookbook is hugely successful and that it motivates you to create another one! I’ve been doing my part to assist with that. I’ve shared my story, your story, and the name of your cookbook with a number of my friends. You are a lifesaver. I’ve lost 10 pounds (so far), and I no longer have fatigue, depression, constipation, headaches in the mornings, or brain fog. And did I mention how impressed I am that the food’s so yummy? I don’t think I could’ve done this without your help. Thank you.

  • Debby Burke says

    Hi Mickey, I too have hashimoto’s, Celiac, Adrenal Fatigue and multiple food sensitivities and i am malnourished. I cannot tolerate any ferments at this time, do you have any suggestions for replacing that taste? I know there is nothing that will really replace it but just close would be wonderful! I’ve tried sumac as a spice but I can only tolerate a very small amount that doesn’t add alot of flavor. I also cannot tolerate citric acid of any kind, garlic or onions. Any ideas?
    Thanks so much for sharing your life and recipes, it is encouraging to me to know someone is getting better with all of this. 🙂 Oh, what about using fresh curry? Is it AIP legal?

    • Mickey says

      Hi Debby,
      It is hard to replace the taste of ferments because their flavor is produced by the bacteria, which is most likely the reason you can’t tolerate them. Can you tolerate vinegar?

      Fresh curry (the leaves of the plant) is fine on AIP, but the pre-mixed spice blend is not due to it usually containing seed and nightshade spices.

      Hope it helps, and good luck!


  • Jasmine Franklin says

    These are so good! I made them a few weeks ago with ground beef (what I had on hand), and we had to ration ourselves to make sure we had some for lunch the next day. I’m making them tonight for company and my fiance and I can hardly wait. It’s a nice change from usual burgers and meatballs. Thank you!

  • Yvonne Locke says

    Hi Mickey,
    I would love to try these bison meatballs, especially after all of the wonderful comments. I currently cannot eat ginger. Is there something I can replace it with or omit without loosing too much of the flavor?
    Thank you,

    P.S. I am LOVING the cookbook…can’t wait for the second one (hint, hint).

    • Mickey says

      I would up the garlic, and they will taste great!

      Thanks for your comment about the book… 😉


  • […] Citrus-Bison Meatballs with Crispy Sweet Potato Noodles – Autoimmune Paleo […]

  • […] 3: Meatballs served over sweet potato noodles: this dish looks so great and the best part is you get to incorporate the fat of your choice in […]

  • So I ended up making them with coconut oil… worked great! Also, I couldn’t find bison so used grass fed ground lamb instead.
    As my first meat cooking attempt in years…I’dd say it was a success!
    One question… how would you recommend heating up leftovers? No microwave in dis house…..

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Congrats on your meal! I usually heat up my leftovers in a skillet on low heat 🙂

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