Asian Style Chicken Meatballs

Gluten Free Asian Style Chicken Meatballs


The idea for this recipe came to me after trying to find suppers that were gluten and lactose free. The meatballs were a natural choice to try because they have a longstanding place in my heart, and are pretty forgiving if you make a few mistakes. I had just tested a tasty sweet and sour chicken thigh dish from Cooking Light when I realized that a lot of the flavors from that recipe would be even better in a meatball. So I played around with some of my favorite asian flavors and came up with this tasty supper- which is even better the next day.  Sadly, I wasn’t actually writing down recipes at that time so I had to make it several more times to try and remember what I did.

Which connects to another personal goal of this blog for me, to avoid the pitfall of forgetting what I made and bring more order to the cooking process. When friends and family have asked me for recipes in the past, I usually have to admit embarrassingly that I don’t actually write things down.  Trying to change that habit proved a little trickier than expected. When I first attempted to write and cook at the same time in preparation of the launch of this blog, I started by actually trying to toggle between cooking and my computer, typing as I went.  As you can imagine, that was quite ridiculous and ineffective. Now I’ve moved to a big sturdy notebook that can withstand the heat and save the typing for when food is no longer on the stove.  Now that this recipe is finally written down, give these meatballs a test and promise to save some for lunch the next day, you will not regret it.

Gluten Free Asian Style Chicken Meatballs (serves 4)



  • About a pound of ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/4 cup diced scallions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons gluten free reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4-3/4 cup of rice crumbs (note: I take puffed rice cereal and grind it in a food processor until they resemble the consistency of bread crumbs)
  • Cooking spray


  • 2 teaspoons of canola oil, plus 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup diced scallions
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup gluten free reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup no sodium chicken stock (the soy sauce will provide plenty of salt)
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • corn starch slurry, about 1/2 tablespoon of corn starch and a little bit of water or stock
  • Fresh broccoli or snap peas

Prep Day:

  • Meatballs: Add everything but the egg & rice crumbs to the chicken and marinate 6 hours to overnight
  • Sauce: Chop and store the garlic, ginger, and scallions


  • If possible, take the marinated chicken out of the fridge for 20 minutes or so before preparing to bring the meat closer to room temp.  Meat that is very cold won’t brown as well
  • Add one beaten egg and rice crumbs to the ground chicken (start with a little bit and add until you have the texture where they will combine easily) and incorporate until combined, resisting the urge to overmix
  • Using a small cookie scoop, sprayed with cooking spray, scoop out the ground meat and roll to create mini-meatballs that are similar in size and set aside.  I spray the plate ahead of time and the top of meatballs with cooking spray so that I don’t need as much fat in the pan to brown them
  • Heat the canola and sesame oil in a heavy bottom, shallow pan, and add meatballs once the pan is hot
  • Cook on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until the meatballs are browned on the bottom
  • Flip over and cook for  another 2-3 minutes to brown the other side, remove from pan, and set aside (meatballs will not be cooked through, but will finishing cooking in the sauce)
  • Add the scallions, ginger, garlic and apricot jam to the pan and warm through for a minute or two
  • Pour in the liquids (soy sauce, chicken stock, slurry), scrape the brown bits from the pan, and cook until well combined and bubbling, about 3-4 minutes
  • Place the meatballs back in, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook covered for about 5 minutes
  • Add your veggie of choice, re-cover and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Serve over rice and enjoy!

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2 Comments to “Asian Style Chicken Meatballs”

  1. Sherri Leighton says:

    How much meat do you use in this recipe?

    • Lisa says:

      Great catch- I will fix that. I use about a pound to a pound and a quarter (sometimes it’s hard to find a package that is exacty 1 pound). Let me know how it turns out!

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