Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs

It’s official.  These meatballs are so good I’ve been making them weekly since last fall!  When we run out, I have a need to make more.

I was inspired by Michelle’s Asian Meatballs over at Nom Nom Paleo, where the original recipe uses ground beef, sweet potato, shiitake mushrooms, and cilantro. As those are all sorts of my favourite flavours, I had to give it a go. But with pork. And oh my word they’re awesome.

Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs |

The sweet potato acts as a gluten-free (and paleo!) binder here — keeping the meatballs together without the need for breadcrumbs.

When I first saw fish sauce in the meatballs, I was confused, but I gave it a try, after reading Michelle’s explanation about umami (savoury taste). The results were delicious.  And after just spending the last month in Asia (get a sneak peek at some of my pictures on instagram), it totally makes sense.  Just a few drops adds salt and bumps up the savoury factor.  And they smell sooooo good in the oven… not fishy at all!

Chez KitchenOperas, we’ve been eating these with lingonberry jam (a sweet-tart jam normally served with Swedish meatballs), alongside a bed of stir-fried greens, or just popping them as snacks.  They’re a great protein boost, so I often have a couple mid-afternoon when my energy starts to dip.


Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs
Makes about 36 meatballs (1 1/2″ diameter).

  • 8 cremini or shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 kg lean ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil to keep it dairy-free)

Preheat oven to 375F and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Mince the mushrooms, onion, sweet potato, and cilantro (or blitz them all together in your food processor).  Place in a large bowl, along with the pork, fish sauce, sea salt, and paprika, and mix with your hands until all ingredients are incorporated.

Roll the mixture into 1 1/2″ diameter balls, and place on the parchment-lined sheet pans.  Brush with the ghee (or coconut oil).

Bake at 375F, turning once, until a thermometer inserted into a meatball reads at least 160F, about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and eat warm, or let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Categories: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Course, Pork


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2 Comments on “Gluten-Free Pork Meatballs”

  1. grandestugg
    April 3, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    I feel that this may be a little different reply, but here goes. My wife and I no longer have children living at home as they have children, and some of them have more making us Great-Grandparents many times over. It’s just now and it is so very hard to find recipes for GF way of life without cutting it back to feed just two. Believe me it doesn’t work with sooo many. If you happen to know any or more, please forward them as my wife gets tired of my cooking & baking boo-boo’s……LOL😂. At 75, I’ve made some really delicious creations that really made her smile (out-numbered by said boo-boo’s!), but they were from scratch. We Love Rib-Eye, store bought has been a flop so we order from the rancher and have it shipped, sometimes Japanese steaks (not to often $$). We love your cookin’……..😎

    • April 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm #


      I totally understand this situation — my husband and I are just two at home as well, so we want to make enough to feed us for a couple days, but not so much that we get sick of eating it.

      We tend to do:

      • a lot of salads (often with a can of tuna/salmon or some cooked chicken breast on top)
      • rotisserie chicken with roasted veggies (turned into chicken salad or tacos when we get sick of the original flavour)
      • shakshuka (eggs poached in tomato sauce) for breakfast or dinner
      • a big pot of tomato/meat sauce for gluten-free pasta, over meatballs, or as a “chili”
      • taco fillings wrapped in lettuce leaves
      • one pack of chicken thighs in a Tandoori marinade, with Biryani rice (I’d half this recipe, or plan to eat it all week)
      • big pots of soup


      I get a lot of delicious inspiration from:


      And I’m not afraid to cook a big batch of something and freeze half for later.

      I hope that helps!

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