Easy prep and a sticky-sweet sauce make these Baked Sesame Chicken Meatballs perfect for weeknight dinners or weekend meal prep!
Tender and flavorful, these baked meatballs are paleo and gluten free. They reheat well (yay meal prep!) and are best served with cauliflower rice or white rice to soak up all that honey sesame sauce.
As an aside, I just have to marvel at the wonders of photography. I devote time every month for furthering my education on a variety of subjects (mostly photography) and lately I've plummeted down this rabbit hole of artificial lighting for food photography.
I have off camera flashes for wedding photography, so for this recipe I decided to try them out for food. I've got to say, I'm loving the results! All these pictures were taken with an artificial lighting setup.
In the future, I'll be using artificial lighting more. I think I'm in love!
How to make homemade meatballs
On my quest to improve my meal prep situation, I've found that quick-to-prep and easy-to-divide recipes are the gold standard.
I can't currently claim to be a meatballin' pro, but discovering how quick and easy homemade meatballs can be has me avidly brainstorming recipes to keep me on this streak.
Making homemade meatballs can seem daunting. I get it. You've got to get your hands right up in there, mixing the ingredients and forming them into cute little edible lumps.
But the good news is, that's where the work stops. Cooking meatballs couldn't get easier since all you have to do is bake them!
Here are some of my best homemade meatball tips:
- Don't overmix. Yes, you want the ingredients distributed evenly, but there's a reason you never find recipes for food processor or electric mixer meatballs! Overmixed meatballs can end up tough instead of tender.
- Get our hands dirty. Just do it! I'm amazed at how many people find touching raw meat gross. Getting more comfortable with prepping food makes cooking much more enjoyable. And mixing and forming meatballs with your hands is the best way to meatball heaven.
- Don't skip the almond flour. In traditional meatball recipes, you'd find breadcrumbs in the ingredients. Almond flour takes the place of that for a paleo version here, but don't skip it! The flour helps keep these meatballs tender rather than cooking into tough hunks of meat.
Baking meatballs to perfection
Now that you've gotten your hands dirty mixing and forming perfect little meat morsels, we've got to cook them up.
Like I said above, the best part of meatballs is that it's all in the prep. Actually cooking them? Easy.
For these baked chicken meatballs, you'll bake them at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Done!
The best part? You can cook them with the sauce or without. No shade from me if you decide you're just after the baked sesame chicken meatballs (which on their own are Whole30 approved!) - after all, you don't always want saucy meatballs.
Saucy and sexy meatballs
Of course, I wouldn't include the sauce in the recipe if I didn't think it was worth your time. These baked chicken meatballs will still be wonderfully tender without the sauce, but DAMN this honey sesame sauce!
The sauce thickens up a bit as you bake the meatballs, but it's not so cooked down to become a glaze. Anyway, I like to keep things saucy!
The extra sauce adds honey sesame flavor to whatever you serve the meatballs with — cauliflower rice, white rice, mashed sweet potatoes. Saucing up these meatballs is a win win!
More one-skillet paleo recipes
- Skillet Pizza Chicken
- Thai Red Curry Beef Tenderloin Skillet
- Chicken with Mushrooms & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- One Skillet Pork Chops with Apples & Onions
- Shrimp, Sausage, and Caulirice Skillet
Tender baked sesame chicken meatballs with a sticky-sweet honey sesame sauce. Serve 'em up with cauliflower rice, white rice, or mashed sweet potatoes for a full meal!
For the Meatballs:
- 1 ½ lbs ground chicken
- ⅛ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut aminos
For the Sauce:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a large cast iron skillet with olive oil.
- Add ground chicken, chili flakes, chopped cilantro, minced garlic cloves, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, almond flour, and coconut aminos to a large bowl. Using your hands, work the meatball ingredients together until evenly mixed. Don’t overwork the meat or your meatballs may end up tough!
- Still using your hands, form the meat into roughly 18 golf ball-sized meatballs. Place meatballs into a large cast iron skillet. Set aside.
- Add honey, fish sauce, coconut aminos, tomato paste, rice vinegar, olive oil, and sesame seeds to a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the skillet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve over cauliflower rice, white rice, or whatever veggies your heart desires. Leftover meatballs and sauce keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Keywords: Baked sesame chicken meatballs