Bacon-Jalapeño Balls with Everything Carrots

The Best of the Burger in a Ball


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less

Well Fed Weeknights

By Melissa Joulwan

Published 2016

  • About

These meatballs take all the best parts of a standard diner burger— crispy bacon, spicy jalapeños, juicy beef, secret sauce, seeded bun—and deliver them in an easy-to-make, pop-‘em-in-your-mouth meatball. It’s a burgers-and-fries combo that makes you feel good, inside and out! The “everything” blend on the carrots works equally well on parsnips or slow cooker potatoes.

Total time: 45 minutes
Hands-off time: 15 minutes



  • ¼ medium yellow onion
  • ½ medium jalapeño
  • pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

“Everything” Carrots

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • teaspoon poppy seeds
  • teaspoon sesame seeds
  • teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • pounds carrots

Special Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup light-tasting olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ yellow onion
  • ¼ cup pickle slices


  • 2 rimmed baking sheets, grater, pint-size Mason jar, stick blender



Preheat the oven to 450F and line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cook the bacon

Cut the bacon crosswise into ¼-inch-wide pieces. Place it in a cold, nonstick skillet, and fry over medium-high heat until crisp, 3–4 minutes. While it cooks, grate the onion and mince the jalapeño. Remove bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Pour the grease out of the pan, leaving whatever clings to it, and return it to the heat. Add the onion and jalapeño to the skillet; sauté until the jalapeño is soft, 1–2 minutes. Set the skillet aside to cool.

Prep the carrots

In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Peel and crush the garlic and add it to the bowl. Cut the carrots into ⅛-inch-thick strips and add to the bowl. Toss until the carrots are coated with seasonings. Spread carrots on a baking sheet and pop it into the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.

Roll the meatballs

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, paprika, bacon, and the cooked onion and jalapeño. Measure a 1-tablespoon scoop of meat and roll it into a ball. Place the meatballs on the second baking sheet. When the timer rings, reduce the oven to 425F and slide the meatballs into the oven. Bake 10–15 minutes, until meatballs are browned and carrots are crisp-tender.

Make the sauce

Smash and peel the garlic cloves and place in a pint-size Mason jar. Add the egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of oil, the lemon juice, vinegar, tomato paste, paprika, mustard powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Whirl with a stick blender until puréed. Then, with the blender running inside the jar, add the remaining ½ cup oil; blend until smooth. Mince the onion and pickles, then stir them into the sauce with a fork.

To serve

Pile carrots and meatballs on each plate. Drizzle the meatballs with special sauce.