These AIP and Paleo Honey Garlic Meatballs are so juicy and flavorful! Tender meatballs are tossed with a gluten-free sticky honey garlic sauce for a quick and delicious dish that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
This AIP/Paleo Honey Garlic Meatballs recipe is quick and easy to make. I adapted my AIP Beef Meatballs recipe to make this version of egg and grain free, oven-baked meatballs. They’re tossed in a refined sugar-free, soy-free, and gluten-free sticky honey garlic sauce for a versatile dish that can be served as a snack, appetizer, or main dish.
Can you make paleo meatballs without eggs or binders to keep them moist?
These paleo meatballs are AIP-compliant and free of the top 8 most common allergens. This means these meatballs are made without eggs or breadcrumbs, and they don’t need grains or other additives to bind and keep them moist. These AIP/paleo meatballs are simply made with ground meat, fresh herbs and vegetables.
what you’ll need to make AIP/paleo meatballs with honey garlic sauce
Grain-free, AIP Beef Meatballs
- lean ground beef and sea salt – or use a combination of ground lamb and beef.
- fresh basil, fresh thyme, garlic, yellow onion, celery – the herbs and vegetables used to season the ground meat.
Soy-Free, Gluten-Free Sticky Honey Garlic Sauce
- olive oil – or use avocado oil instead.
- garlic – a staple of any honey garlic sauce.
- honey – the unrefined sugar and a star ingredient in honey garlic sauce.
- coconut aminos – creates an umami flavor and acts as a replacement for soy sauce.
- balsamic vinegar – or substitute with rice wine vinegar
- tapioca starch + water – to make a slurry which helps thicken the sauce. substitute with arrowroot starch.
how to make paleo beef meatballs in a gluten free sticky honey garlic sauce
First, make the egg-free, AIP-compliant meatballs:
- Season the ground meat with herbs, diced vegetables and sea salt.
- Next, form meatballs with your hands or use an ice cream scoop to assist you.
- Then, bake in oven.
Second, prepare the gluten free sticky honey garlic sauce:
- Add olive oil to a skillet and heat on medium heat.
- Then sauté garlic in the oil until it browns.
- Next, add the sauce ingredients (except the slurry) to the skillet. Allow sauce to come to a boil and sprinkle in salt.
- Make a slurry with tapioca starch and water.
- Add slurry to the sauce and lower heat. Stir until sauce begins to thicken.
Finally, combine the meatballs with the sauce:
- Add meatballs to skillet and turn heat to medium.
- Mix well and let sauce thicken around it.
- Garnish with basil (optional).
can i make paleo honey garlic meatballs on the stovetop?
Yes, skip the oven and make these beef meatballs an easy AIP one-pan meal. To cook these skillet meatballs:
- Season the ground meat and form the meatballs.
- Heat a skillet with oil over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add meatballs in an even layer and cook about 5 minutes on each side. Sear or pan fry meatballs until golden brown.
- Don’t crowd the pan and cook in batches if needed.
- Remove meatballs from pan and set aside.
- Make the sauce
- Return meatballs to the pan and continue stirring, allowing the sauce to thicken around the meatballs.
- Follow the steps from the recipe card below to make the sauce and assemble the meatballs with the sauce.
easy meal prep tips for these meatballs
- Prepare these meatballs in advance. Freeze them either pre-cooked or after they bake in the oven, so you’ll have a quick and easy AIP dinner or lunch ready to go.
- Defrost before baking or reheating.
- Vacuum seal these meatballs so they last even longer in the fridge or freezer.
- I recommend making the sauce when you are ready to serve, or store it separately in the fridge if you’d like to make it ahead.
how to serve these AIP/paleo honey garlic meatballs:
- As a delicious and quick AIP snack or appetizer – Use toothpicks for a mess-free finger food. Scrape any leftover sauce into a small bowl to use as a dipping sauce. These sticky honey garlic meatballs are perfect paleo snacks and AIP appetizers to enjoy on game day or at any get together!
- As a delicious main dish – Serve with some greens or vegetables like this Swiss Chard with Apples or Crispy Smashed Broccoli, and a grain-free side like cauliflower rice, cassava pasta or sweet potato glass noodles for a budget-friendly, easy AIP ground beef dinner or lunch.
Can I make these AIP/paleo honey garlic meatballs with another ground meat?
Definitely. You can use ground lamb or try ground meats like turkey, pork, or chicken. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary. Ensure meatballs are cooked through.
What can I do with the Gluten-Free Sticky Honey Garlic Sauce?
If you have extra sauce in the pan, use a spatula to help scrape it out. Use as a dipping sauce, pour the rest over your meatballs and sides, or store in a separate container in the fridge to use with other meals. Try this sauce with other recipes like this Roasted Veggie and Salmon Bowl or make Honey Garlic Chicken Wings if used in this AIP Balsamic Glazed Chicken Wings recipe.
How do I store this dish?
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for several days. Reheat in microwave or on the stovetop. You may need to add some water to the sticky honey garlic sauce after refrigeration.
Can I freeze these Paleo Honey Garlic Meatballs?
Yes, these meatballs freeze well and are great for easy AIP meal prep!
Store the meatballs pre-cooked or cooked in a resealable freezer bag. Defrost before cooking. I don’t recommend freezing the sauce.
You can also freeze leftovers of the combined meatballs and sauce.
Here’s some other grain-free, AIP/paleo meatballs you’ll love:
- Moroccan-inspired Lamb Meatballs
- Chicken Meatballs in Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Ginger-Cilantro Pork Meatballs
You might enjoy these other AIP/paleo snacks and appetizers:
- Sweet Baked Plantains with Bacon
- Gluten Free Pizza Rolls (AIP, Paleo)
- Crispy Smashed Broccoli
- AIP Chicken Nuggets
If you loved these AIP and Paleo Honey Garlic Meatballs I would appreciate it if you would give it a rating and review. Be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious and using the hashtag #healmedelicious.Print
aip/paleo honey garlic meatballs (gluten-free)
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 20–22 meatballs 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
These AIP and Paleo Honey Garlic Meatballs are so juicy and flavorful! Tender meatballs are tossed with a gluten free sticky honey garlic sauce for a quick and delicious dish that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 TBSP fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- finely chopped basil, to garnish (optional)
Soy-Free, Gluten-Free Honey Garlic Sauce
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- pinch salt
- 1 TBSP tapioca starch + 2 TBSP water
- Preheat oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine beef with finely chopped fresh herbs, garlic, onion, celery and sea salt.
- *Using your hands, form seasoned beef into meatballs about 1.5 inches wide.
- Place onto parchment paper.
- Bake on middle rack of oven for 11 minutes.
Honey Garlic Sauce
- In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat.
- Add garlic and sauté until it begins to brown.
- Add honey**, coconut aminos, and balsamic vinegar to skillet and mix well. Allow the sauce to come to a boil.
- Sprinkle in pinch of salt.
- In a small bowl, make a slurry by combining tapioca starch with water. Add slurry to pan and whisk over heat until mixture begins to thicken.
- Lower heat to simmer. Keep stirring until sauce is thickened to a desired consistency.
Meatballs in Honey Garlic Sauce
- Add meatballs to pan.
- Turn heat up to medium and stir meatballs in sauce.
- Mix well and let sauce thicken around meatballs.
- Garnish with basil (optional)
*Use a tablespoon or an ice cream or cookie scoop to help make meatballs uniform.
**Use a spatula to help remove honey from measuring cup.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Baked, Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: paleo honey garlic meatballs, aip meatballs, gluten-free honey garlic sauce, soy-free honey garlic sauce, aip snacks, aip appetizers, game day snacks,
I made this in sloppy joe form and it’s still amazing!! I love easy and this was effortless. Thank you!
So delicious! Easy to make and super tasty ♥️
what amounts would you use if you don’t have fresh basil & thyme?
probably half. once you season all the meat, make a small meatball and fry it on the stovetop to taste for flavor then bump up herbs if necessary