These Honey Sriracha Meatballs are made with simple paleo-friendly ingredients and are full of protein. Ready in 30 minutes they’re perfect for easy meal prep! Serve them as a poppable appetizer, kid-friendly snack, or a filling meal. Whole30 option included!
Not Your Mama’s Meatballs
You know those recipes you just never get tired of eating? Yep, these sweet and spicy meatballs are one of them! Honestly, saying I’m obsessed is probably an understatement, but trust me. You’ll understand too once you take a bite of these Honey Sriracha Meatballs! Made with allergy-friendly ingredients, they’re a fun twist on classic meatball recipes that pack a ton of flavor into every bite thanks to my homemade sriracha sauce.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Italian meatball served with spaghetti or, in my case, spaghetti squash. However, these gluten free turkey meatballs aren’t like the ones your mama made nor are they classic Swedish meatballs! Now, no offense to your mom or Sweden, but sometimes we just need to revamp an old favorite.
So, today, we’re keeping things a little lighter yet every bit as delicious. Made with fresh pineapple, these sriracha meatballs are perfect for summer! In fact, there is even a Paleo and Whole30 recipe option for those with those dietary needs. Personally, I love to serve them skewered, like on our BBQ Graze Board, on a stick for a poppable party appetizer or even a midday snack, but they’re also great served over rice, in subs, and more.
I promise, this recipe is so quick, you’ll think you forgot a few steps!
Of course, every single ingredient for these Honey Sriracha Meatballs is incredibly important, and the true star of the show is the sweet and spicy sriracha sauce. However, the ingredients listed below stand out from the rest thanks to their incredible health benefits and truly make this dish work.
Pineapple – Not only does pineapple add sweetness to this dish, but it’s also loaded with nutrients like vitamin C to boost immunity and, bromelain, a digestive enzyme that can help improve digestion and reduce inflammation.
Tomato Sauce – Tomatoes have a wide variety of health benefits that can help reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and more. Furthermore, the antioxidant known as lycopene found in this sweet and spicy tomato sauce can actually help fight oxidative stress, toxins, and is super good for your bones!
Pro-Tip: Nutrition labels can be tricky! Double-check the ingredient list to make sure you aren’t buying a tomato sauce full of added sugars.
Turkey or Beef (Ground) – Lean turkey or beef is a great source of protein and is loaded with B vitamins that aid in cell and DNA production as well as the formation of red blood cells.
Note: While this recipe calls for turkey, feel free to use any meat source you prefer! Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, I’ve tested them all, and they’re all delicious and have similar health benefits. Just make sure to take a look at the cooking notes for altered baking times.
Ginger – Ginger has incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties thanks to a compound known as gingerol. As a result, it can aid in weight loss, reduce symptoms of arthritis, lower blood sugars, and more. Plus, it adds a tangy flavor that contributes to the sourness of this dish.
Step by Step Video!
These paleo meatballs are as easy as 1-2-3 to make them Whole 30 follow the steps below.
- Substitute the honey for pineapple juice or omit all together
- Replace the store bought sriracha sauce with my homemade sriracha sauce
- Swap the tamari for coconut aminos
Speaking of the sauce….
The Secrets in the Sauce
I’m sure you’ve had sweet sriracha sauce before (often used as a wing sauce or fry sauce), but you’ve never had it like this! Not does this sweet sriracha sauce use my homemade sriracha, but it’s also free of preservatives and added sugars. Instead, we used honey and crushed pineapple to add sweetness and a little zing!
Plus, making it is a breeze. All you have to do is place all of the ingredients except for the honey, into a food processor or blender. Then, blend until smooth. Do a quick taste test to judge how much honey and salt are needed. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized saucepan. To finish, bring the sauce to a soft boil, and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then, you’re ready for dipping or for the meatballs!
Tools You’ll Need
While the ingredients differ, the process of making these meatballs is actually nearly identical to any classic recipe. However, to ensure that you get the perfect Honey Sriracha Meatballs every time, I’ve gathered the most crucial tools you’ll need below.
I’m not sure there’s anything these sweet and spicy meatballs or the sriracha sauce don’t go well with! Of course, you can serve them together as a meal paired with a starch and vegetable side like Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice or Air Fryer Asparagus, and I highly recommend doing so. However, if you want to get even more bang for your buck, double the recipe and use the meatballs and sauce separately! The meatballs make for the perfect protein source for recipes like this Spiralized Vegetable Stir Fry or my Snappy Italian Sweet Potato Spaghetti Bowls. Plus, the sauce is great over shredded chicken, in wraps, or even drizzled over salads.
Answers to Everything You Want to Know about Meatballs
Can these meatballs be made ahead of time?
Yes! When stored in an airtight container, these sriracha meatballs will last up to 5 days. Or, store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just be sure to keep them separate from the sauce. Otherwise, you’ll get soggy meatballs.
How can I reheat cooked meatballs?
The best way to reheat meatballs is to stick them in the oven at a temperature of 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they are well heated. However, if you’re in a pinch, the microwave will do. To keep them moist, place a damp cloth or paper towel over them, and microwave for about 1 minute.
Is it better to fry or bake meatballs?
For these Honey Sriracha Meatballs, I suggest sticking with our baking method as it reduces the amount of fat used. Baking also allows for more flavor as the seasonings are locked in when the meatballs begin to brown. If you like your meatballs on the cripsier side, place them under the broiler for a few minutes before they finish cooking.
How can I prevent my meatballs from falling apart?
The key to keeping your meatballs intact is to have the right balance of dry and liquid ingredients. If you have too much liquid, they won’t stick, but if you have too much of your dry ingredients, they will crumble to pieces. If you feel your meatballs are too dry feel free to add more water or an extra egg. Or, if they’re too runny, add a bit more starch. If the batter feels too soft to shape into a ball, then stick the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 10 -15 minutes before rolling.
More great meatball & veggie ball recipes:
Sweet and Spicy Honey Sriracha Paleo Meatballs are easy to make and freezer friendly. Made with homemade sweet sriracha sauce, you’ll want to double, even triple batch this recipe for a quick meal when the craving hits. Whole 30 option included.
Recipe updated 6/2021
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound ground lean chicken, turkey, or beef (see notes for cooking time adjustment)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 2–1/2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch or potato starch
- 2 Tablespoons Sriracha (see notes for whole30 option)
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened tomato sauce or tomato paste
- 1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or 1 Tablespoon Tamari sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 large clove or 2 small cloves)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- dash of black pepper
- 1 large egg, whisked
For the sweet and spicy Sriracha sauce:
- 1–1/4 cup tomato sauce (see notes for thicker sauce option)
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple – partially drained (reserve 1–2 Tablespoons of the pineapple juice, drain the rest)
- 2 Tablespoons Sriracha or whole30 sriracha
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or 1 Tablespoon tamari sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 large garlic clove or 2 small cloves)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to make spicier add more)
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons honey. Adjust to taste. (Omit for whole 30 option)
- salt/pepper to taste
- Garnishes – fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a large sheet pan or line with foil. Set aside.
- In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), combine the ground meat, onion, starch, sriracha, tomato sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and salt/pepper. Add the whisked egg last.
- Using a hands or a mixer, mix all ingredients until combined. I find a stand mixer works best. If the batter is too moist, place it in the fridge to chill/thicken for 30 minutes before rolling into meatballs.
- Next, shape mixture into 15-18 meatballs, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons each (a little larger than the size of a golf ball).
- Place on greased baking sheet.
- Bake at 450 F for 12-15 minutes (rotating pan halfway) or until they are firm and slightly cooked/browned. Internal temperature should reach 165F for poultry or 160F for beef.
- While the meatballs are baking, prepare up the sweet and spicy sriracha sauce.
- In a food processor blender, blend together tomato sauce, pineapple plus 2 Tablespoons of the juice, sriracha, ginger, vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Blend until smooth. Taste to see if it’s to your liking (spice wise and sweetness).
- Add the honey 1 Tablespoon at a time, and salt/pepper to taste. Blend and taste. Adjust sweetness as needed.
- Pour the sweet and spicy sauce in medium pan. Bring to a quick soft boil then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove cooked meatballs from oven while sauce is simmering.
- After the sauce as simmered for 10 minutes, place the baked meatballs in sauce.
- Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, coating all the meatballs evenly.
- Once cooked, remove and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.
- Store meatballs and sauce in a sealed container in fridge for up to 5 days. Or freeze meatballs and sauce (separated) for up to 2 months.
For thicker sauce blend 2 Tablespoons tomato paste with sauce ingredients before transferring to saucepan.
Whole 30 options- Omit honey in the sauce. Feel free to use an unsweetened chili paste instead of sriracha or my whole30 sriracha sauce.
- Category: appetizer/main
- Method: stove
- Cuisine: asian american
- Serving Size: 3 Meatballs with sauce
Keywords: meatballs, paleo meatballs, sweet and sour, sriracha, asian, paleo, meat, chicken, beef, appetizer, healthy
How will you serve these Honey Sriracha Meatballs? Let me know in the comments below!