Potsticker Paleo Meatballs
The first thing I like about meatballs is that you can make a huge batch of them and have food for days and days. The second thing is that it's easy to stuff a bunch of vegetables into them—and as any five-year old (or adult, for that matter) will tell you, this is good news.
This recipe was inspired by the potsticker, the gyoza, the pork dumpling — whatever you'd like to call it. They taste like the inside, which we can all agree is the best part.
I've spent years perfecting this recipe and I dare you not to like it.
It's one of the most popular recipes on Worthy Pause, and one I know my friends actually make. Like my friend Mandy just told me she doubled the recipe for work lunches. And my friend Liz wrote about her Whole30 experience on Hey Eleanor and gave them some love too.
Favorite recipe so far: Annie D'Souza's Paleo Potsticker Meatballs over a kale salad with gyoza dressing. Boyfriend said, "This is like restaurant quality shit." High praises from him. And he's asking for me to make them again before this is all over.
-Liz Doyle, on the food she ate during the Whole30
gluten-free, whole30-approved & paleo recipe | serves 4
1 lb ground pork
1 pint mushrooms, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, finely grated
3 green onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 T coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
2 tsp powdered ginger (or some fresh!)
salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
a couple of tablespoons of tapioca flour/starch (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 F.
If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, you can get all your veggie prep work done really quickly. Start by pulsing the mushrooms and garlic until finely chopped. Then use the grater attachment for the carrots.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients together. The mixture may be quite wet and that’s alright.
I don’t want you to think you have to go out and buy tapioca flour to make these—y’don’t! However, you can add a little tapioca flour (optional) to help with excess moisture and give the meatballs a softer texture inside as if you’ve added breadcrumbs (just blend the tapioca flour in very quickly and thoroughly or it’ll get weird).
Roll the mixture into small meatballs (about 1-inch diameter) and place on lined baking sheet. Usually I can fit all of them on one very large sheet pan, but use two if you need more room.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. Finish them under the broiler for a couple of minutes for additional browning if needed.
Like I said, I use my food processor to do most of the chopping and grating (mushrooms, garlic, carrots). The only things I sometimes chop separately are the cilantro and green onions but you can also pulse those in the processor to make it easy on yourself.
Coconut aminos are a paleo soy sauce substitute that doesn't have any soy or gluten. With both these recipes, if you eat soy sauce, then you can definitely use soy sauce instead of coconut aminos.
These are perfect for a party appetizer served with the gyoza sauce below or another dipping sauce. You could also toothpick them to a cucumber slice with kimchi in between. Yum.
As a meal, these little guys are so versatile: I've eaten them with cucumber noodles (as pictured) or on a salad with bell peppers, with roasted brussels sprouts, with fried cauliflower rice, lettuce wraps, in a zucchini or spaghetti squash noodle stir-fry, meatball soup... I could go on and on.
You could substitute chicken or turkey to make these meatballs, but because poultry is so much leaner, the texture will be a little more dry.
Paleo Gyoza Sauce
Paleo & Whole30-approved
Simmer all ingredients in a sauce pan for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. The honey will help to thicken the sauce a little, but it will be pretty thin by nature.
Fish the fresh ginger out. Serve with the potsticker meatballs.
This recipe was originally published January 30, 2013 but has been updated since with new photos and a few improvements to the recipe.