Sweet N Sour Meatballs – Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Egg Free Option*

I originally created this recipe for the wonderful US Wellness Meats when they were nice enough to have me as their featured chef in September 2012.  This dish quickly became a family favorite, especially for my kids, which is a success all on it’s own.  These delectable little meatballs explode with sweet, tangy, gingery flavor that will please young and old alike.  Best of all, this recipe comes with options!  Make them for tonight’s dinner, or make-ahead and freeze them for later, or pop them in your crock pot for an easy week-night dinner without much fuss.  Enjoy!

Sweet N Sour Meatballs_small_watermark


Sweet-N-Sour Meatballs
Serves 4
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  1. Coconut oil for the pan
  1. 1 lb. ground beef
  2. 1 lb. ground pork
  3. 1 small organic onion, finely diced
  4. 1 small organic red pepper, finely chopped
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 2 TBSP chopped fresh organic parsley
  7. 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  8. Sea salt to taste
  9. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  10. 2 farm fresh organic eggs (*or use 1 TBSP ground flax seeds or chia seeds mixed with 3 TBSP hot water.  Let it sit until it gels then use like an egg.)
  1. 1 C organic pineapple juice (you can also use the drained juice from a can of pineapple
chunks – save the pineapple for snacking later)
  2. 1 TBSP raw organic honey
  3. 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  4. 2 TBSP coconut aminos
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1/3 C organic tomato sauce
  7. 2 TBSP organic tomato paste
  1. 1) Place all the meatball ingredients in a medium bowl and mix lightly with your hands to combine. Roll into 1-1/2-inch balls.
  2. 2) Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, spacing evenly around pan. Make sure not to touch them for a few minutes and really let them brown and caramelize on the bottoms. Turn meatballs to brown on all sides, lowering heat to medium if necessary.
  3. 3) Meanwhile, make the sauce.  In a medium bowl, mix sauce ingredients until combined.  Set aside.
  4. 4) When meatballs are browned on all sides, add the sauce to pan, making sure to stir up the yummy bits off the bottom as you pour it in.
  5. 5) Bring sauce to a boil, then turn to medium and simmer until sauce thickens and meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. If sauce is too thin for your liking, remove meatballs to a bowl and keep warm. Increase heat to medium high and simmer sauce until reduced and thickened.
Slow Cooker Option
  1. These are great in the slow-cooker!
Follow directions 1- 4. Add browned meatballs and sauce to your slow-cooker. Cook on low 4-5 hours or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is bubbling.
Make Ahead
  1. To make these ahead of time for future meals, simply brown the meatballs by following steps 1-3 above. Cool meatballs slightly and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer until frozen through. Place the sauce in a mason jar and freeze. Put frozen meatballs and the jar of sauce in a large, freezer safe zip-top bag and freeze until needed. To use, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and proceed with steps 4 & 5.
School Lunch
  1. These delicious meatballs make a great school lunch, or work lunch. Simply reheat the meatballs with some sauce and place in a heated Thermos. (Heat one up by filling it with hot water for a few minutes, then draining and filling with your food.) They’ll still be warm at lunchtime for a filling, tasty meal!
The Healthy GF Life http://thehealthygflife.com/


  1. Hi! My son & I are allergic to beef….do you think I could substitute the beef in this recipe with ground turkey? Thanks for you help.

  2. This perfect Italian style meatballs are fabulous with your favorite spaghetti sauce and pasta. Make these meatballs and simmer with spaghetti sauce on the stovetop or slow cooker.

  3. Hi I’am doing the virgin diet and I can’t eat eggs what can I USE TO REPLACE THEM ?

    • Hi Donna! I replace the eggs with 1 TBSP flax meal with 1/4 C hot water. Let it sit for 10 minutes to “gel.” The meatballs will be a little more fragile, but if you brown them well, they’ll hold together just fine. Enjoy!

  4. I typically use 1 TBSP flax/chia per egg – if you did 2 TBSP flax/chia would that make them a little less fragile?

  5. Hi Tammy. I have recently gone Paleo and it’s all going well. So far I’ve only been getting recipes online but I’m going to buy your book. With this recipe, you say it has a “gingery” flavor. Would it matter if you left the ginger out as I’m not really a ginger fan? Thanks.

    • Hi Di! It will affect the overall flavor, but if you don’t care for ginger, that’s a good thing! 🙂 You can also try reducing the amount of ginger so you get an overall balance of flavors without being able to really identify the ginger. Do what works for you! 🙂

  6. Deborah C. says:

    I want to marry these meatballs. That is all.


  7. So earlier this year I purchased the nourished app, and I’ve been slowly making my way through the recipes.
    Tonight I did this recipe. I was a bit hesitant because I wasn’t sure my kids would like the flavours. How wrong was I!. They loved it! They seriously disappeared from the plate.
    I will admit I did use Turkey mince (for the entire recipe) as I didn’t have pork mince on hand.
    I also didn’t have red wine vinegar but used balsamic instead.
    They still turned out wonderful, and I will be making them again.
    So thank you!

  8. Made these yesterday and they were so tasty! A nice departure from our usual Italian-style meatballs. I served them over sautéed cabbage, which went well with the sauce. I think I’ll chop the veggies finer next time, maybe in the food processor.

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