Paleo Sesame Asian Meatballs

Infused with the perfect flavor combination of sesame, ginger and garlic, these Sesame Asian Meatballs are sweet and savory and so delicious.  They’re also paleo, gluten-free, and make for the perfect healthy appetizer or light meal when served with a side.

Sesame asian meatballs in a bowl with cauliflower rice.Sweet Sesame Asian Meatballs

These Sesame Asian Meatballs are sticky, sweet and bursting with flavor. These meatballs have been a crowd-favorite at my house for years. They’re a sneakily healthy recipe made from whole ingredients that everybody will love. They’re lightened up by using either ground turkey or chicken and seasoned with some asian-inspired ingredients that are pretty common in most households.

And don’t worry, if you’ve had trouble making gluten-free white meat chicken meatballs in the past, we’re sharing our tips for working with chicken and turkey meatballs to make this recipe fool-proof.

Ingredients for asian meatballs.

Ingredients Used in this Recipe

  • Ground Chicken or Turkey
  • Sesame Oil + Sesame Seeds
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Almond Flour
  • Egg
  • Scallions
  • Sriracha Sauce (optional)
  • Coconut Aminos (this is a soy-sauce subsitute)
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Fish Sauce (optional)

Substitutes

Almond flour: This is what is used to bind together this meatball. We have not tested it, but if you have a nut-allergy, you could try using either oat flour or gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.

Egg: Use a flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed together with 2 tablespoons water and set for 10 minutes) if you cannot use eggs.

Fish Sauce: We know we often get questions about this. This is optional! But recommended as it does add a really nice flavor to the meatball.

Asian meatballs before baking on a tray.

Tips for Making Chicken Meatballs

Making gluten-free meatballs with ground turkey or chicken can be a little tricky. Follow these best practices to make for the best chicken meatballs!

  1. Don’t use only white meat ground chicken or turkey breast. It will be too dry. Stick to a mix of dark meat and white meat, or just use dark meat. If you can’t find ground chicken or turkey already in the case, check with the butcher to see if they can grind up some boneless dark meat for you fresh!
  2. Work with very cold meat! The colder the meat mixture, the easier it is to work with. We’ve even stuck the meatballs in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to shape them better when need be.
  3. Use a cookie scoop to portion out the meatballs to ensure even-sized meatballs. If you are baking them, you can scoop them directly onto the baking sheet (though they won’t technically be completely round)
  4. If all else fails, and you’re still having trouble forming your meatballs, you can add in a bit more almond flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the meat mixture is easier to form into meatballs.

Asian meatballs being tossed in sweet sauce.

Serving Sesame Asian Meatballs

Serve these meatballs as is with extra sticky-sweet sesame sauce! Or you can make this a meal by pairing the meatballs with a side such as cauliflower rice, white rice, spaghetti squash or even a big bowl of roasted veggies!

Sesame asian meatballs.

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Paleo Sesame Asian Meatballs

Infused with the perfect flavor combination of sesame, ginger and garlic, these Sesame Asian Meatballs are sweet and savory and so delicious.  They’re also paleo, gluten-free, and make for the perfect healthy appetizer or light meal when served with a side.

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner

Ingredients

Scale

For Meatballs:

  • 1 lb. ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons scallions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (optional)

For Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons honey, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and set aside a baking sheet.
  2. Add all of the meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix together. Portion out about 2 heaping tablespoons amount of the mixture and form into meatballs. If the mixture is difficult to handle, place in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes.
  3. Place meatballs on the baking sheet for 12-15 minutes or until meatballs are golden on the outside and reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.
  4. Meanwhile make sauce ingredients: Add all of the sauce ingredients to a medium pot and whisk together. Cook over medium heat until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until sauce thickens up.
  5. Toss the meatballs with 3/4 of the sauce, and serve over rice, or as an appetizer with some extra sauce on the side.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: As served
  • Calories: 317
  • Sugar: 10.2g
  • Sodium: 495mg
  • Fat: 12.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.3g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Protein: 34.9g
  • Cholesterol: 142mg

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14 comments
February 2, 2014

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14 Responses

  1. Found your site while looking for meatball recipes – amazing!! I made my own meatballs but borrowed your sauce and it was fantastic. I shared it on my own site with a link back. I’ll be visiting again soon!

  2. Love these!! Thank you for all the amazing GF and DF recipes. So many are “keepers” according to my hubby 🙂

  3. I made these meatballs today without the sauce and used them in a ramen recipe. I didn’t have Siracha, so I used Sambal instead. So delicious. Recommend! Recommend! Recommend!

    5.0 rating

  4. The recipe has a typo under coconut aminos…only says 1/4. I used 1/4 CUP but not sure if that was correct. My sauce never thickened

    1. Yes, Nora, it is 1/4 cup. The recipe instructs to cook until it has thickened. Once it reduces enough, it will thicken!

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