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Sticky Asian Meatballs (W30, Keto, Paleo)

March 14, 2019 | Author: Ashley McCrary

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

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.

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2021 meatballs 1x



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
  • Author: Ashley McCrary
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • 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.)

101 thoughts on "Sticky Asian Meatballs (W30, Keto, Paleo)"

  1. Stacey Brown says:

    Seriously the BEST recipe!!!!!

  2. Lindsey says:

    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!

    1. Becky says:

      I cannot say enough good things about this recipe. Amazing. I usually serve with cauli rice. It’s on a monthly rotation at my house. I personally omit the flour and add an extra egg (or 2 because I usually double the recipe for leftovers). I use xanthum gum instead of arrowroot because I don’t have that. Y’all, do yourself a favor and make this dish! You will not regret it.

      1. Ashley McCrary says:

        That’s what I’m talkin about……makin more for leftovers is a game changer. So thrilled to hear this is a monthly must!!! Thanks for sharing your kind words.

    2. Liz Hamill says:

      These are the perfect addition to your weekly menu! Whether or not you are doing Whole 30 or just planning for your family these will please even your pickiest little eater! I double the recipe to have lunches for the week!

      1. Ashley McCrary says:

        Awwwww…….thanks so much for the kind words Liz:-)

  3. Ivy Dillon says:

    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!

    1. Jordan says:

      Whole family loved it! Served them over cauliflower rice and the one, three and 32 year old devoured them! So easy and delicious.

      1. Ashley McCrary says:

        Thank you so much Jordan! I am so happy to hear this!

      2. Kandice Meyer says:

        Made this tonight from your cookbook! It was so delicious!!

        1. Ashley McCrary says:

          I am so happy to hear they were a hit. Thank you

  4. Chelle says:

    These were amazing! Definitely a keeper!

  5. Andrea Oliver says:

    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!

  7. Abby says:

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

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Coconut would be a great option

  8. Krista says:

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

  9. Kim says:

    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!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      This makes so me happy! Thank you

  10. January says:

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

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      I am so happy you loved this recipe! Thank you

  11. Amanda W says:

    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!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

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

  12. Brittany says:

    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!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

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

  13. Rachel says:

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

  14. Marin says:

    This recipe was so good!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      So glad you loved it!

  15. Lindsey says:

    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!!!

  16. Julia says:

    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!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

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

    2. Madelyn says:

      This recipe quickly became a regular for my family. Easy to make.. and the sauce is AMAZING! Your recipes are always a hit!!!

      1. Ashley McCrary says:

        Thank you so very much. This makes me so happy to hear!

  17. Sammie says:

    This recipe was da bomb

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Thank you Sammie! So happy to hear!

  18. Brianna says:

    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

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

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

  19. Heidi says:

    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!

  20. Andrea Musser says:

    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!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

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

  21. Tia says:

    Awesome easy recipe! Made this for my mother in law and now she craves it. Even has dreams about me making it again for her. Tried the recipe when I was doing a whole30 but now I keep it around because the whole family loves it even the kids. I always thought meatballs were something complicated to make but this recipe has proved me wrong. So delicious!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      YAY TIA…… that this recipe made your family favs list!!!!! Easy, PEEZY is my goal. Thank you so much for the kind words and review. Blessings your way;-)

  22. Patricia says:

    These were delicious and quick! A great week night dinner! I served it with riced broccoli!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Look at you Patricia!!! Love the riced broccoli idea. May have to use that one myself. Thank you for sharing your idea and kind words. Blessings your way;-)

  23. Emily Garrett says:

    Oh my goodness. This recipe gets made at least weekly in our household. My son (4), is the pickiest eater of all time and will make a happy plate each time I make this. I have not changed anything to the recipe and comes out perfect each time!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Hi Emily. I certainly know how hard it is to please the little ones. Thrilled to know you have a recipe of mine that makes life easier when preparing healthy meals for the family, especially the picky little ones. Blessing your way;-) Thanks for the kind review!

  24. Cindy says:

    This recipe is AMAZING. It is so delicious and so easy to make. The way the sauce thickens up is practically magic and you’d truly shock someone you served it to if you told them there was no sugar in it. Even my fiancé, who is extremely picky with “healthy” versions of things, said this was one of the best things I’ve ever made for us and he now requests it weekly.

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      YAY Cindy……I love it when the fiances/hubbies/boyfriends are satisfied. Over the moon that you loved these:-) Thanks for the kind words.

  25. Thi L. says:

    This recipe was so delicious and super easy to follow. My boyfriend loved them and often ask for me to make them. These meatballs are now in rotation in my household.

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      YAY Thi………I have officially made the rotation!!!!! Love when my followers find one of my creations that meets the needs of love ones:-) Thanks for letting me know it was a rotation must!!!

  26. Ashley says:

    We LOVE these meatballs!! They make a great meal prep for weekday lunches. So tender and juicy all through the week!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Hi Ashley…..thank you for sharing. Meal prepping can be not so fun it you don’t love the food you are prepping to eat the rest of the week. So glad you now have a recipe that you look forward meal prepping:-)

  27. Janine Lopez says:

    I made this recipe for my daughter after she had surgery. We all loved it and my 5 year old granddaughter had them again the next night. This was so easy to make and so tasty. 😋

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      YAY……that’s my goal Janine….EASY PEEZY and tasty. Hope your daughter is recovering well and is back on her feet soon. Thanks for sharing;-)

  28. Alex E. says:

    Loved these! I’m loving your recipes while doing whole30 this month. It’s been fun to have new recipes to try and these are a new favorite.

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Thanks Alex…….it really makes doing Whole30 so much easier and enjoyable if you don’t have to put recipes together yourself. Glad I could help!!

  29. Rebecca says:

    These were so good. As someone who only cooks for herself, I normally am over food by the last day. But I was actually sad to run out of leftovers on this recipe.

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Thanks so much Rebecca for the kind review!!!! Not all leftovers are winners. I agree with you about leftovers. This one definitely is a tasty treat the next day for sure:-)

  30. Kate says:

    Delicious! I served this with cauli rice and a bag of frozen stir fry veggies and it was so satisfying! Both my hubby and baby girl loved it too. Next time I’m going to double the recipe and stash half in the freezer.

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Love when you guys let me know how much the family enjoys the recipes. Nothing like doubling a recipe to eat the next day. Thanks Kate for your kind review:-)

  31. Kristen says:

    The sauce is everything! I like to make extra meatballs and freeze them for a super fast and easy dinner.

    1. Ashley McCrary says:


  32. Abby says:

    I have these in the oven right now and the sauce is simmering. My house smells so good. Can’t wait to dig in

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Perfect…..let me know whatcha think Abby

  33. Kristine Wright says:

    Easy, delicious and you’ll need some self control because they are addicting! We served ours over white rice but I seen a comment suggesting stir fry veggies with it…I can’t wait to try that next time!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Awww thanks Kristine for the kind words of support. Have a blessed weekend!

  34. Missie says:

    This is a family
    FAVORITE. I love to make Extra and freeze to have something easy to reheat in a pinch. We love it over white rice YUM.
    Seriously delicious! You have so many GREAT recipes and sauces it is hard to just pick one

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Awww Thanks Missie……..means so much to know one of my recipes makes your kitchen time simple and tasty………have a blessed weekend!

  35. Jessi says:

    Yum!! These are delicious!!!!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      So happy you loved this.

  36. LeeAnn says:

    My son loves these meatballs. He ran over to my daughter and said “sissy these meatballs are delicious.” They are a regular staple now.

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      That is so sweet. Thank you so much

  37. Melanie says:

    Made this last night and it was kid and husband approved!!! Awesome sauce!

  38. Tracey says:

    Another truly delicious Whole 30 meal from Healthy Little Peach. I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect. Paired it with steamed broccoli and a sesame ginger salad on the side for a great dinner. Thanks!

  39. Monica says:


    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Thank you

  40. Kristy says:

    I am not following a specific diet…can I use all purpose flour in place of the arrowroot?

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Yes, that will work!

  41. Serena says:

    These were so good! Had them with sautéed bok Choy, green beans, and some white rice on the side. The whole family loved them!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      This sounds amazing. Thank you for trying the recipe

  42. Colleen says:

    So easy and so delicious!

  43. Cynthia Crise says:

    Made these for meal prep this week and they were SO GOOD! I used turkey instead of ground beef. Still tastes amazing!

  44. Emily says:

    One of my families favorite recipes from Healthy Little Peace. These meatballs are an absolute go to. We love the taste, all the flavors and simplicity of this recipe. It makes a perfect weeknight meal for all. ♥️

  45. Emily says:

    One of my families favorite recipes from Healthy Little Peach. These meatballs are an absolute go to. We love the taste, all the flavors and simplicity of this recipe. It makes a perfect weeknight meal for all. ♥️

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Thank you Emily! Glad to hear you like it

  46. Laura says:

    Good but wow so salty! I didnt read the note till after I started cooking and didnt think it would be that big of an issue…But wow…anyway I will be omitting all forms of salt next time and maybe use low sodium soy sauce! Definitely worth another try.

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Hi Laura….yeah sometimes I do the same thing. Hope your next try is perfect. Have a blessed weekend.

  47. Kelsey says:

    These were INCREDIBLE!! We will definitely be remaking these.

  48. Brittney says:

    Simple. Tasty. Kid approved! Put these meatballs over a cauliflower rice stir-fry and everyone loved them! Was an easy 30 minute meal! Thanks, Mac!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      So happy to hear! Thank you

  49. Lea says:

    This recipe is the best! So easy and can make big batches for the week!

  50. Kelly says:

    This sauce was amazingggg! Recipes like this make Whole30 (and maintaining a clean diet post) much easier! This will definitely be a staple in our house! We did half the batch with ground chicken and half beef, both turned out fantastic. Thank you!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Thank you Kelly! I am so happy to hear you loved it

  51. Caitlyn B. says:

    Yum!!!! Added something different to my regular monotonous meals. It was delicious, recipe was easy to follow and thorough, all together a crowd pleaser!!!!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Thanks for letting me know Caitlyn. So happy is was a hit.

  52. Ashly Huff says:

    we love this recipe! I typically make it with ground turkey and it’s delicious. The sauce is wonderful, and these freeze and reheat well. I just add a little more sauce when reheating and it’s perfect. These are a regular in our house!

  53. Mary says:

    I made this last night and it was a hit! The meatballs and sauce come together so quick and the result is delicious! My husband said to add it to the rotation! The sauce alone is so yummy I can see making it with other proteins. Go make this recipe!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Fantastic Mary. Love when a recipe is added to the family favorite rotation.

  54. Shelley says:

    The flavor was amazing!!!! This recipe was so quick and easy to make that provided a huge amount of flavor! This is now on my list of favorites! Thank you!

    1. Ashley McCrary says:

      Awww, you’re so welcome Shelly. Love when I make the family favorite rotation. Thanks for connecting with me with such kind words. Happy eating friend!!

    2. Ashley McCrary says:

      Thank you Shelley for connecting with me. So thrilled to hear you loved the recipe and is now on the must have favorite rotation. Happy eating friend!!


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About Me

Welcome to Healthy Little Peach. I’m Mac, the lady behind the recipes. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle that consists of a mix of healthy whole foods, and full-fat comfort meals. Life is too short not to enjoy good food while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here you will find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and even full-fat comfort recipes. Let’s have fun in the kitchen together!

About Me

Welcome to Healthy Little Peach. I’m Mac, the lady behind the recipes. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle that consists of a mix of healthy whole foods, and full-fat comfort meals. Life is too short not to enjoy good food while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here you will find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and even full-fat comfort recipes. Let’s have fun in the kitchen together!