Paleo Seafood Balls with Homemade Tartar Sauce

A kid-friendly riff on fish sticks. We made tartar sauce from scratch, I highly recommend you do the same. If you’re deathly afraid (which you shouldn’t be) of making mayo, substitute the homemade mayo for store bought, but DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, buy store bought tartar sauce. It’s so gross…so, so gross. These seafood balls are cheap, cheap, cheap. I swear they could pass for crab cakes. We used cod (a cheap, easy to find, flaky, white fish that tastes way better than tilapia) and shrimp. Another nod to cod: you can find it wild-caught! Feel free to play around with the ratio of cod-to-shrimp, but do keep the total weight around 2 pounds.


  • 1 1/2 lb cod
  • 1/2 lb shrimp
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 T fresh parsley
  • 2 T Old Bay
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T tartar sauce
  • 1/2 c almond flour

Breading Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 c almond flour
  • 1 t salt

Tartar Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 recipes mayo (or use 3/4 c store-bought)
  • 3 T pickle relish
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • salt


For the tartar sauce:

In the smallest bowl of your food processor, blend all ingredients and stick in the fridge to chill while you make the seafood balls.

For the seafood balls:

In the largest bowl of your food processor, add all the ingredients (except the breading ingredients) and mix until everything has turned into a fine paste.

Heat a non-stick or cast iron saute pan with a few tablespoons of fat over medium-high heat.

In one soup bowl, mix together the egg and water. In another soup bowl, toss together the almond flour and salt. Scoop the seafood mixture into small balls. Drop and roll the seafood balls in the almond flour mixture, the egg mixture then in the almond flour again.

In batches, place the seafood balls in the saute pan and saute, until the balls are brown and crispy on all sides–about 3-4 minutes on each side.


22 responses to “Paleo Seafood Balls with Homemade Tartar Sauce”

  1. I am looking forward to cooking this recipe – I live in the UK and will not be able to find Old Bay seasoning. Is there anything else I can substitute it with? Many thanks

    1. i’m looking at the ingredient label and it says:

      celery salt, red pepper, black pepper and paprika.

      i would definitely say those ingredients sum up what Old Bay tastes like. hope that helps…

      1. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I will try that – thank you for your reply

  2. I love your recipes! All of them!! I made these last night and they were wonderful! A lot like crab crakes for sure! I run a nutrition blog for my gym and post your website on their often along with all the wonderful recipes you come up with. Thank you for the posts and ideas! I really enjoy them.

    1. thank you so much juli. what kind of gym are you running? crossfit?

  3. Megan
    I actually don’t run the gym, just the nutrition blog with one of my friends and fellow athletes. I work at CrossFit FlexGym in Lakewood, CO and train there as well. I found out about your blog through another CrossFit athlete and have been addicted to it ever since! The bakies are one of my favorite things to make for myself and also take to parties! I’m looking to make the cupcakes this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ You just have the best recipes and ideas! Wish i had a brain like that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I LOVE this recipe….I made them Wednesday night and my entire family loved them (kids included…which is rare)!
    Meg….I just joined CCF three weeks ago and found your website and absolutely love it. Thanks so much for all of your great recipes and nutrition information.
    Hope to meet you soon at CCF.

    1. awww, thank you so much! i’m sure i’ll be seeing you at CCF soon!

  5. I assume the cod and shrimp are cooked before you blend them with all the other ingredients?

    1. Yvette…they’re raw when you blend…you need a shrimp/cod + all other ingredients paste that sticks together and balls up. They’re not cooked until they are coated with the almond flour and pan fried in your fat of choice. We’d recommend rendered bacon fat, butter, or coconut oil…probably in that order.

      1. Got it! Thank you! Can’t wait to try these.

  6. Just made these tonight and even Lee ate them, which is rare. He won’t eat the tartar sauce so I didn’t make any and just substituted some of your mayonaise for the tartar in the recipe. Any other sauce suggestions? I actually dipped mine in the red pepper garlic sauce stuff, but Lee wasn’t a fan of that either. Any suggestions for sauce for my picky picky husband would be great!

    1. what about old bay, lemon juice and mayo mixed together?

  7. That just might do the trick. I’ll try it! Thanks girl!

  8. Just found these! Can’t wait to make them. The kids will love them. Thanks!

    1. hope they (and you) enjoy!

  9. Paul Cleary

    Do you make the Tartar Sauce first, and put that in with the seafood balls. Or when you say “In the largest bowl of your food processor, add all the ingredients (except the breading ingredients)”, do you mean excluding the Tartar Sauce.

    Also, what size saute pan do you use, and how much butter would you recommend?

  10. I tried these tonight and they turned out great. But after using like half the mixture I ran out of almond flour. But I turned the other half of the mixture into some sort of fish burgers which also tasted great ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for another great recipe!

  11. Nice recipe! I’m sure our fans would enjoy it if you could share any more of your recipes or inspiration on our fanpage at
    Thank you for the great-looking seafood recipe!

  12. Very Tasty!!! had a couple balls left over…chopped them up in my scrambled eggs in the morning….AWESOME!!!!!

  13. I didn’t buy shrimp. Could I leave it out?

  14. Approx. how many does this make or serve?


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