Healthy Orange Chicken Meatballs – These yummy gluten-free chicken meatballs are smothered in our sweet and tangy orange stir-fry sauce to make a delicious dinner! (Paleo-Friendly)
For The Chicken Meatballs:
- 1 lb. ground chicken (93-96% fat preferred)
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot
- 1 Tbsp. gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Spray oil or 1 Tbsp. avocado oil or olive oil, for cooking
For The Orange Sauce:
- 1/3 cup orange juice (best quality)
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar (can sub cider vinegar if needed, though rice vinegar will give you the best flavor)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot + 1 Tbsp. water
OPTIONAL GARNISH: minced cilantro, sesame seeds, or orange zest.
FIRST MAKE YOUR MEATBALLS:
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, cornstarch, tamari, garlic, ginger, and salt. Stir with a fork or your hands until everything is well combined.
- Use a scoop or tablespoon to make 1″ meatballs. Then, you can bake, air-fry, or cook them on the stovetop using the directions below.
WHILE THE MEATBALLS COOK, MAKE YOUR SAUCE:
- In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, rice vinegar, syrup, tamari, garlic, and ginger.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water, to make a slurry (this mixture will thicken the sauce and prevent the cornstarch from forming clumps)
- Add the cornstarch slurry to the bowl with the sauce ingredients and whisk to combine well.
- Pour sauce mixture into a pan on the stovetop (I prefer using a skillet, since the sauce will come to a simmer more quickly). Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Turn off the heat and add your cooked meatballs. Garnish with minced cilantro, sesame seeds, or orange zest, if desired.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and mist or brush with a little oil.
- Add meatballs to baking sheet and mist with more oil.
- Bake at 400 degrees 8-10 minutes, or until meatballs are fully cooked through (165 degrees F. in the center)
- If desired, you can bake at 400 for 8 minutes, then broil for the last 1-2 minutes for a more golden top exterior.
AIR FRYER COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Lightly mist the base of the cooking drawer with oil.
- Add meatballs, working in batches, if needed, so the meatballs aren’t touching. Mist the tops of the meatballs with oil.
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until the meatballs are completely cooked through (165 degrees F.)
- Repeat process if needed with remaining meatballs and add to the thickened sauce.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add meatballs, working in batches if necessary so the meatballs aren’t crowded. Cook 4-5 minutes per side or until the centers are fully cooked through (165 degrees F in the center).
- If your meatballs are browning too quickly, feel free to shake the pan or stir more often, if desired.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: orange chicken meatballs, healthy orange chicken meatballs, gluten free orange chicken meatballs, paleo orange chicken meatballs