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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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- 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
- Preheat oven to 400 F and coat a baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray.
- Add all the meatball ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined.
- 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.
- 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).
- Transfer the cooked meatballs to the sauce and allow to come together for a few minutes.
- 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.)