Ring in the New Year with these Teriyaki Meatballs
The countdown to 2016 has begun and we’re thinking about our New Year’s Eve menus here at Simply Nourished. With all of the eating occasions in the past month, it’s likely you’ve overdone it a bit on cookies, candies and other holiday indulgences so we wanted to bring you something clean and satisfying – enter the teriyaki meatball free of gluten, grains, eggs, nuts and soy. Admittedly not as simple as tossing a bag of frozen meatballs into your slow cooker and dousing them with a bottle of corn syrup-laden teriyaki sauce, but with just 10 ingredients (not including oil or salt and pepper) and 30 minutes, you’ll have yourself an awesome little appetizer to share with friends as you ring in the new year. Hang in there, push on and make these. You won’t regret it. Don’t give in to the ultra convenient processed options. You can do this.
Prep now and party later.
We know you’re busy and that the last thing you want is to be rushed and harried right up until the time your guests arrive (or the time you need to be in the car traveling to your destination) so we’ve made these easy to make ahead. The meatballs can be cooked up to 3 days in advance and the sauce can be prepared in under 10 minutes while your slow cooker warms up for the big event. Because the sauce is thickened with arrowroot, not cornstarch or flour, it doesn’t hold up as well in the fridge and may become a little runny. So if you know you’re going to be really pressed for time, mix the sauce ingredients ahead of time (minus the arrowroot starch) then store in a lidded container in the fridge until you’re ready to heat it up and thicken it before tossing it with the meatballs.
Wondering if you should purchase grass-fed beef? Learn how to choose quality red meat in this post!
Start 2016 off Right
You know how by the time the Thanksgiving to Christmas season is over you’re totally maxed out on sugar and party snacks? And you’re ready to just eat clean and green and feel a little better? Uh huh. We do too. That’s why we’ve added just a touch of honey to the sauce, to help you downshift from the mega-sweetness of the past month – and made them with satisfying protein and packed as much antioxidant-rich onion and ginger into them as we could. Think of this as your last holiday hurrah and lead-in to cleaner, greener fare in 2016.
Though we created these little teriyaki meatball gems for passing and sharing, they’re also great when served over rice or roasted spaghetti squash with a generous portion of stir-fried vegetables for a delicious weeknight meal with plenty for leftovers the next day.
Party Food 2.0
Don’t you just love when you roll up into a party to find a spread of healthy options that don’t make you feel awful the next day? We do. And we love entertaining that way and hearing the rave reviews from our guests when there’s something that everyone can eat.
In this recipe we’ve used coconut aminos – a soy-free seasoning sauce made from the sap of coconut trees and mineral-rich salts. It’s an excellent substitute for traditional soy sauce which is made with wheat (and thus contains gluten) and non-organic and genetically modified soybeans (unless you’re buying an organic brand). We’ve also left out the breadcrumbs and eggs to make them simpler and gluten-free and egg-free. We find it’s easier to please a crowd when you’ve eliminated some of the top allergens from the food you’re serving and we’re always about using as few ingredients as possible!
Looking for something else?
Try our Tuscan White Bean Dip, Turkey Zucchini Meatballs or these super easy, 3-ingredient Dark Chocolate Trail Mix bites. All made with clean ingredients and perfect for nibbling while balancing a glass of bubbly and a little plate whilst making good cheer.
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year. Cheers!
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos* (decrease to ¼ cup if using tamari or soy sauce)
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced (may substitute ½ tsp. garlic powder)
- 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger (may substitute ¼ tsp. dried ground ginger)
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil, optional
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds, optional
- 1 ½ tsp. arrowroot starch
- ½ lb. ground beef
- ½ lb. ground pork
- ¼ large onion, finely minced (about ½ cup)
- 3 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 ½ tsp. coconut or olive oil
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together aminos, water, honey, garlic, ginger and sesame oil and seeds.
- Mix arrowroot starch with a small amount of cold water and whisk to combine.
- When sauce starts to simmer vigorously (almost boiling) slowly whisk in the arrowroot starch that has been mixed with a bit of cold water. Continue to cook while stirring, until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt coconut oil and saute onions 5-7 minutes or until softened.
- Combine ground beef, pork, sauteed onions, 3 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce and black pepper in a large bowl, using a large spoon or your hands to mix well.
- Form meat mixture into 20 meatballs and place on baking sheet.
- Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through
*Use tamari or coconut aminos if you need the recipe to be gluten-free and/or soy-free, otherwise feel free to use organic soy sauce or liquid aminos if you’d like.
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- Serving Size: 2 meatballs
- Calories: 208
- Sugar: 3g
- Sodium: 216mg
- Fat: 8g
- Carbohydrates: 22g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 12g
What’s your favorite healthy appetizer? Leave a comment below and share the real food love.
Pin now, make later!
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