Sweet and Spicy Chicken Meatballs (Gluten Free, Paleo)

 We all will agree that good food plays an important role in making a great party! Out of all the food categories, I think that a great appetizer is very important in making a party memorable! Hors d’oeuvres are actually the star of a party.  Early arrivals to stragglers all tend to look at the starters with great enthusiasm. So whenever I throw a party, I pay special attention to what I should make for appes!

I generally go with one vegetarian and and one non vegetarian option. And chicken or seafood is a favorite one on the non vegetarian side.  Every summer we throw a party around August. You see August is a special month in our house since both my children and my birthdays fall in August! Yeah my husband is the odd guy out 🙂 So anyways, speaking of our annual party, I start getting excited as soon as summer begins and I try pinning recipes on Pinterest – birthday cake recipes, dessert recipes as well as appetizer recipes.! So last weekend we finally had this party and I had been wanting to try this chicken teriyaki meatballs recipe that I had pinned. However the recipe had breadcrumbs and other ingredients that were not paleo. So I decided to create a paleo version of these ‘Chicken teriyaki meatballs’.  Came out perfect even without any breadcrumbs and best part is that these are baked so you don’t need to spend any time deep frying or pan frying them!

These meatballs are sweet and spicy with a smoky flavor (baking in the oven gives them a nice flavor).  I added a mix of Indian and other Asian spices – also added an unusual ingredient – crushed pineapple for some sweetness. Everyone enjoyed these meatballs at the party with the kiddos absolutely loving them!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Meatballs (Gluten Free, Paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Cuisine: Fusion, Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Sweet and spicy chicken meatballs made with ground chicken using asian spices and covered with a hot and sweet teriyaki style sauce
Ingredients
For the meatballs:
  • About 2lbs (1 kg) ground Chicken (chicken kheema), thawed completely
  • 1 small red onion, chopped fine
  • 5 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • One 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • ½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • ½ cup of spring onions (scallions), chopped fine
  • 2 green chillies, chopped very fine - seeds removed (optional)
  • ½ cup pineapple pieces, finely chopped(optional)
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1½ tsp sea salt (or per taste)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
For the sauce:
  • ½ cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce for non Paleo)
  • ½ cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice (from can of pineapple) or orange juice or lemon juice
  • ½ tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or red chili flakes)
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch mixed with ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 500 deg F. Line a large baking tray with Al foil and brush it with coconut oil or olive oil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients listed under 'For meatballs' and mix well using your hands to form a smooth well-blended mixture. Shape into smooth round balls and place on the tray. (you may need to use two trays or do in batches)
  3. Bake in the oven at 500 deg F (lower rack) for a total of 10-12 mins. Half-way i.e. after about 5 mins or so, flip them so they get browned on both sides. (be very careful while flipping as the oven and the tray will be very hot)
  4. While the meatballs are baking, you can make the sauce. Add all sauce ingredients except the tapioca starch slurry in a medium cooking pot and stir for about 3-4 mins. When it begins to bubble, add the tapioca flour mixed with water and try heat to low. Stir continuously until mixture thickens. Turn heat off.
  5. Just before serving, pour the sauce over the meatballs and mix slowly to coat the meatballs in sauce. Serve warm!
Notes
Make sure the chicken is fully thawed before you start mixing with the other ingredients. Also make sure there is no water in the chicken.
You can also deep fry or pan fry the meatballs instead of baking in the oven.

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