The meatball is sadly one of the more underrated protein choices out there. It’s really too bad because a good meatball is incredible. It’s a versatile meat option that can be quickly whipped up and incorporated into a great meal.
Exhibit A: this gluten free sweet and sour meatballs recipe.
When I had to adopt a gluten free diet for health reasons, I was concerned about losing out on so many of my favorite foods. Thankfully I’ve been able to learn to make easy adjustments and create not just decent substitutes, but amazing tasting food. And these gluten free sweet and sour meatballs are straight up comfort food for me.
Best of all, it’s a quick fix. From start to finish, it takes about a half hour and you don’t have to be a super talented cook to pull this off.
Let’s get started!
For the meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork sausage
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 Tbsp oregano
- 1 1/2 Tbsp parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 black pepper
For the sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 3 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 500 F.
- Combine all the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mash the ingredients together until they become a consistent mixture.
- Using your hands, grab about 2-3 Tbsp worth of meat and form it into a ball.
- Place the meatball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Repeat steps 3-4 until you’ve used up all the meat. This should make about 30-36 meatballs, depending on the exact size of your meatballs.
- Bake at 500 F for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
Sweet and Sour Sauce Preparation
- While the meatballs are baking, combine the water, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, and gluten free soy sauce in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water to form a slurry.
- Add the slurry into the saucepan and stir until the sauce thickens.
- Once the meatballs are done, add the meatballs to the sauce for a couple minutes.
Serve over rice.
These meatballs are incredible! The high baking heat creates a nice crust on the outside while keeping the inner meat tender and flavorful. And the sauce adds a nice tang to counteract the rich and savory meatball.
The first time I made this, my youngest daughter made her most disgusted face. When I finally convinced her to try a small bite she lit up and devoured the meatballs.
I love it because it’s a quick fix and is gluten free without sacrificing any flavor to stay gluten free. And if you’re not feeling in the mood for sweet and sour, prepare the meatballs and use in a pasta dish or on their own.
Sure, it’s easier to buy frozen meatballs, but they don’t taste that good and take almost as long to make as these homemade meatballs. Give it a try and let me know what you think!