Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Paleo sweet and sour meatballs are a delicious, family-friendly, quick & easy dinner recipe. Made with a handful of ingredients in 20 minutes.

Overhead view of Healthy Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a bowl with rice

These paleo sweet and sour meatballs are a healthy meal that’s delicious and easy. Served with a side of stir fry vegetables you have a healthy and balanced dinner the whole family loves.

Because if I’m being honest, I don’t always have the energy to spend hours in the kitchen, but I still want to feed my family nourishing meals that they actually like.

Asian recipes (like these lettuce wraps, cashew chicken stir fry, etc). almost always win in my house when I need a quick dinner! They’re healthy, take less than 30 minutes to prepare, and taste amazing. These Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs are always a hit, and everyone in my family loves them! Plus they are gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free!

Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a bowl with brown rice, green onions and sesame seeds

How to Make Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs: 

This recipe is easy to make in the oven or on the stovetop.

In the Oven

If you’d prefer to make baked meatballs, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet, set aside.

Then, place the meatballs on a greased baking sheet evenly spread out.

Next, bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

two photos showing how to bake Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs

On the Stovetop

If you prefer to cook the paleo sweet and sour meatballs on the stovetop, being by heating 1-2 TBS olive oil in a nonstick fry pan over medium heat.

Then, add half of the meatballs and cover.

Cook, covered, on one side for 4-5 minutes or until they are golden-brown.

Remove lid and flip the meatballs. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until meatballs are golden brown and the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.

two photos showing how to make Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a skillet

Serve

Serve these paleo sweet and sour meatballs with your favorite Asian dishes like stir fried vegetables, fried rice, or an asian quinoa salad, etc.

Store/Freeze

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Front view of healthy Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a bowl with brown rice

Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe FAQs

How do you keep meatballs from falling apart?

The egg and coconut flour bind the meatballs together so they don’t fall apart.

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

Either method works really well, it’s completely a personal preference.

What can I use instead of milk in meatballs?

You can replace the dairy-free milk with some soy sauce, hoisin sauce, or even a pureed vegetable (like pumpkin or zucchini) for moisture.

front view of Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a bowl over rice

Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs: Ingredients & Substitutions

Meatballs

  • Ground Turkey. Lean ground beef and ground chicken also work well in this recipe.
  • Milk. Any dairy-free, paleo-friendly milk works great in this recipe. Regular milk also works.
  • Onion/garlic powder. Real onion and minced garlic can be substituted for the powders. Just be aware it will add texture to the meatballs. I recommend cooking them together until soft and letting them cool before mixing them into the meatballs.
  • Coconut flour.  It only takes a small amount of coconut flour to bind the meatballs together beautifully! No need to use breadcrumbs or other ingredients that usually make them off-limits for people with dietary restrictions. I don’t recommend substitutions.

Sauce

  • Coconut sugar. I usually use coconut sugar as the sweetener. I have also had success with honey and  regular organic sugar (not paleo).
  • Vinegar. Both apple cider and distilled white vinegar can be used in this recipe.
  • Ketchup. To keep these healthy sweet and sour meatballs paleo, be sure to use a paleo-approved ketchup or this low carb ketchup! If paleo isn’t your thing, any ketchup will work (just please choose an organic variety whose main ingredient is not corn syrup)!
  • Coconut Aminos. If you do not need to keep this recipe paleo, you can substitute soy sauce for the coconut aminos.
Overhead view of healthy Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs in a bowl with rice

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Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Laura
Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs are a delicious, kid-approved, quick & easy dinner recipe. Made with a few ingredients in 20 minutes.
5 from 4 votes
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine asian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 236.1
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Meatballs:

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • ¾ cup coconut sugar (or honey or granulated sugar)
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

Thickener:

  • 1 Tablespoon tapioca flour (or arrowroot starch/cornstarch)
  • Tablespoon water

Instructions 

Make the Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (coconut flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper). Set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the meat, coconut aminos, milk and egg until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to meat mixture. Stir until well combined.
  • Roll the mixture into 1-2” balls and place evenly spaced on your prepared baking sheet. (This step could be pretty messy and sticky, but don’t worry they will bake very nicely)!
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until tops are slightly browned or internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

Make the Sauce

  • While meatballs are baking, in a small bowl whisk together the sauce ingredients: sugar, vinegar, ketchup, garlic salt and coconut aminos. Set aside.

Assemble

  • Transfer the baked meatballs into a pot or pan (I use a 4 quart saucepan) and pour sauce over them. Cook on medium heat until sauce begins to bubble, stirring every 3 minutes.
  • Mix 1 Tablespoon tapioca flour into 1½ Tablespoons cold water and add to sauce.
  • Continue to cook over medium heat until sauce thickens and the meatballs are evenly coated.
  • Serve warm with stir-fried veggies, spaghetti squash, or your favorite Asian sides!

Notes

This recipe feeds my family (2 adults, 3 kids) perfectly. If you have more mouths to feed I recommend doubling it!
Ingredient Substitutions
  • Ground Turkey. Lean ground beef and ground chicken also work well in this recipe.
  • Milk. Any dairy-free, paleo-friendly milk works great in this recipe. Regular milk also works.
  • Onion/garlic powder. Real onion and minced garlic can be substituted for the powders. Just be aware it will add texture to the meatballs. I recommend cooking them together until soft and letting them cool before mixing them into the meatballs.
  • Coconut flour.  It only takes a small amount of coconut flour to bind the meatballs together beautifully! No need to use breadcrumbs or other ingredients that usually make them off-limits for people with dietary restrictions. I don’t recommend substitutions.
  • Coconut sugar. I usually use coconut sugar as the sweetener. I have also had success with honey and  regular organic sugar (not paleo).
  • Vinegar. Both apple cider and distilled white vinegar can be used in this recipe.
  • Ketchup. To keep these healthy sweet and sour meatballs paleo, be sure to use a paleo-approved ketchup or this low carb ketchup! If paleo isn’t your thing, any ketchup will work (just please choose an organic variety whose main ingredient is not corn syrup)!
  • Coconut Aminos. If you do not need to keep this recipe paleo, you can substitute soy sauce for the coconut aminos.

Nutrition

Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 236.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 29.7g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 6.5g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 84.3mg | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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25 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for linking up at the Bloggers Spotlight party! I pinned this to our group board. Don’t forget to come link up again on Thursday and see the featured posts!

  2. 5 stars
    These look delicious and definitely a family favourite! we love chinese! and they were a big hit on twitter when I shared them ;p Thanks for linking up to #YumTum

  3. These look amazing, I have Pinned to share and would love to have you share on the #OMHGFF this week!
    Have a great weekend!
    Karren

  4. What is it about meatballs? So tasty and so many ways to use them! And I love this Asian spin – definitely one of my favorite go-to cuisines for busy weeks, too! Pinning and can’t wait to try these!

    1. Thank you Kathryn! I totally agree about meatballs! I love that they’re easy for kids to eat too! My little ones LOVE this recipe! 🙂

  5. These look amazing! I love that you were able to do a paleo version with coconut flour, can’t wait to try them. Thank you for joining the Sunday Fitness & Food Link-up, Have a Great Week!! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Angela! 🙂 The meatballs are totally versatile too…and can be used in any recipe that calls for meatballs! 🙂

  6. These sound delicious! I pinned it to my March Menu board and I can’t wait to try them.

    I found you via the Thursday link up

    Lisa

  7. Wow! I am super impressed that you made these paleo! I really need to figure out a paleo equivalent to Thai sweet chili sauce!