Keto Paleo Recipes Whole30

Sticky Asian Meatballs (W30, Keto, Paleo)

I love a good meatball, especially my new Sticky Asian Meatballs. You won’t even believe that these are Whole30 and Paleo compliant. They serve as a great family dinner served on top of cauliflower rice or as a great appetizer for a party or social gathering. The sauce is the best part of this dish. It really steals the show.

Sticky Asian Meatballs

I always love cooking with Asian flavors such as ginger, sesame seed oil and coconut aminos. I’ll have to admit, Chinese takeout used to be one of my favorite options on a Friday night. Now that we live Paleo, we only do real takeout on rare occasion. I love to indulge every now and then, but I don’t love making it a habit.

When creating recipes, my mission is to take my favorite unhealthy dishes and twist them in a healthy way. For example, these Asian Meatballs came from an unhealthy favorite. These meatballs have become a family favorite that is on our menu on a weekly basis.

I usually get a ton of questions about recipes so below I am here to answer a few!

Can I substitute anything for the arrowroot flour?

If you are living Paleo and needing another substitute for arrowroot, I suggest using tapioca flour. It serves as a thickening agent and will work almost identical to arrowroot. I like arrowroot better because I feel like it dissolves smoother and doesn’t leave a lot of chunky pieces. For Keto, I love using Xantham Gum. Another great option is potato starch, which is not considered Keto, but is Paleo.

Sticky Asian Meatballs

What do you use thicken the Asian sauce?

Arrowroot flour is such a great alternative for real flour to thicken Paleo sauces. I have recently found that arrowroot is my favorite because it dissolves better and doesn’t get gummy. They both are great and get the job done, but I prefer using arrowroot for all of my Paleo and Whole30 recipes.

For Keto, I simply substitute 1/4 tsp xantham gum instead of using arrowroot or tapioca. Those 2 flours do have a higher carb count, while xantham gum does not.

Sticky Asian Meatballs

My sauce won’t thicken. What can I do?

 The biggest tip to thickening your sauces is to allow it to simmer and get hot (be patient). As the sauce heats after adding the arrowroot flour it will thicken, it just may take a few minutes.

If your sauce still won’t thicken after a few minutes, feel free to add another tsp or 2 dissolved in a little bit of water to the sauce. Dissolving the arrowroot flour in water first allows it to thicken smoothly without any chunks.

Sticky Asian Meatballs

Do these meatballs freeze well?

Yes! Simply add them to a gallon size freezable baggie or a freezer proof container and keep for up to 3 months. Thaw, heat and serve. For instance, if you want to save time in the kitchen, make a few batches of these meatballs and freeze. Remove from the freezer, heat up and serve over veggies. During those busy weeks, pulling something quick and healthy out of the fridge will save you.

What else can you serve with these Sticky Asian Meatballs with that will make it a meal?

I love adding these on top of cauliflower rice cooked in sesame seed oil along with veggies. These meatballs also serve as a great meal prep option and will stay good in the fridge all week long.

Sticky Asian Meatballs

In conclusion, if you are looking for a recipe that is sure to please everyone in the family, give this one a try. To clarify, I know how easy it can be to run through a Chinese drive thru after work to grab dinner. However, I have created a recipe that is not only delicious, but that is super quick to make.

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Sticky Asian Meatballs

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Sticky Asian Meatballs

  • Author: Ashley McCrary
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2021 meatballs 1x


Who needs take out when you can make these delicious Asian Meatballs with sticky Asian sauce topped with green onions and sesame seeds. This dish is Whole30, Keto, Paleo, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free.



Asian Meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground beef (90/10)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (see notes*)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (add more if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • green onions (chopped, for garnish)

Asian Sticky Sauce

  • 1 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp teaspoons arrowroot powder (dissolved in 1 1/2 tbsp of water *See notes for Keto option)
  • OPTIONAL: 1 Tbsp Honey or Monk Fruit Syrup (Remove for Whole30)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and coat a baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. Add all the meatball ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Form the meatball mixture into golf ball sized balls. Place each meatball on a sheet pan. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until they are cooked through.
  4. Add all of the sauce ingredients except for the arrowroot flour (Sub tapioca flour if needed) to a skillet and heat on medium/high heat. Once the mixture is hot, add in the arrowroot flour dissolved in water. Stir frequently. As the sauce heats, it will begin to thicken, (This may take a few minutes).
  5. Transfer the cooked meatballs to the sauce and allow to come together for a few minutes.
  6. Serve over cauliflower rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.


  • For Keto, sub 1/4 tsp xanthan gum 
  • If you are sensitive to salt, you maybe only want to do 1/4 tsp of salt in the meatballs compared to the 1/2 tsp, or remove the salt all together. The coconut aminos is already pretty salty. So just use your judgement. You can also add a touch more water to the sauce to tone it down if needed.
  • Feel free to add 1 tbsp of honey or Monk Fruit Syrup if you are NOT following a Whole30. 
  • Category: Main Dish/Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Asian

This was calculated with 1/4 tsp of xantham gum instead of arrowroot flour.

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Comments (30)

  • Seriously the BEST recipe!!!!!

  • My husband and I are on day 2 of our first Whole30. I hate cooking and never have high hopes of new, healthy recipes. This meal was SO good!

  • Made this recipe with ground turkey – because that’s what I had in my freezer and added some chopped shiitake mushrooms. They were a-maz-ing! The sauce is so flavorful! Will definitely make again!

  • These were amazing! Definitely a keeper!

  • These were the BEST meatballs I have ever had!! They were easy to make and so delicious with garlic cauliflower rice. Definitely sharing this recipe.

  • I made these for dinner the other night and they were a big hit!

  • These look awesome!! My husband has a nut allergy what do you think would be a good substitute for the almond flour? Maybe coconut?

    • Coconut would be a great option

  • OMG! These are delicious and so easy to make!!!

  • Just made these tonight and ate with cauliflower rice and they’re amazing!!! Great recipe! All these flavors taste wonderful together. Even my almost 2 year old loves it! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • This makes so me happy! Thank you

  • These were so delicious!! We have nut & egg allergies so I used cassava flour and a small scoop of gelatin & they came out great!

    • I am so happy you loved this recipe! Thank you

  • These were so incredibly delicious. My husband and I fought over the leftovers. We avoid gluten and soy so we don’t get to indulge in Chinese takeout anymore. It came together very quickly, under an hour start to finish. I promise you will not regret trying this recipe. Making again two weeks later and I am already looking forward to dinner tomorrow!

    • I am so happy to hear it was a hit! Thank you!

  • The absolute best!! We make these all the time! They are delicious and so easy to make!! Even my picky toddler loves them and he won’t eat anything!! Definitely give these a try!

    • This makes me so happy Brit. Thanks for taking time to let me know how much you love this recipe.

  • These are my favorite meatballs. So flavorful! Definitely try them.

  • This recipe was so good!

    • So glad you loved it!

  • I came across Ashley and her amazing recipes during a whole30 takeover sometime last year. I was immediately drawn to her because of her sweet and southern demeanor. I must preface this by saying that I have never done a whole30 and quite possibly never may so I adapted this recipe to accommodate what I had in my pantry. Instead of coconut aminos I replaced with soy sauce (no salt added- be careful if you do used salt as it may get overpowering). I used to be a firm believer that you had to first saute your meatballs to get a crispy outer skin but this recipe immediately proved me wrong! Placing them straight into the over saved me so much time and still gave me that nice seared outer layer. So so good! I served mine with rice and bok choy. The sauce is delicious and served nicely over some veggies. Thank you for your content!!!

  • This is one of my absolute favorite recipes!! The sauce is to die for. I have made this sauce by itself too to put over tuna steaks and shaved brussel sprouts. Amazing. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us!

    • Julia, this is great news. Thank you so much!

  • This recipe was da bomb

    • Thank you Sammie! So happy to hear!

  • These are the best!! Seriously amazing. Kids love them and they are in constant rotation at our house! Thanks for always making healthy and yummy recipes for us! Your the best

    • I am so happy it is a family hit. Thanks you for the 5 star rating.

  • This recipe is SO fantastic! My kids are very picky eaters and the oldest asked me to make them this week so you know it’s a winner!

  • I made these last weekend and they were seriously delicious! I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by Whole30 and struggling with what to make, and these meatballs were perfect. I love that it does not require a million different or expensive ingredients, and is so easy to make! Love love LOVE! My husband, who is not doing Whole30, basically licked the pan clean. Thank you for the great recipe!

    • This makes me so happy. I really appreciate you sharing. Thank you!


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