Gluten Free Hawaiian Meatballs Recipe
It’s been cold ’round here and I wanted to bring a little sunshine to the dinner table. What better way than with tropical flavors in a hearty dish?
These gluten-free Hawaiian Meatballs are a cinch to prepare, use mostly pantry items and liven up these dreary, dark days of winter. I spiced up the meatballs with a little dried ginger and garlic, browned them up well and then made a quick sauce with some canned pineapple, maraschino cherries and a bell pepper. It couldn’t be simpler and prep time was only about 10 minutes and then about 25 minutes in the oven unattended.
I served my Hawaiian meatballs on a bed of rice which I had flavored up with some more dried ginger and garlic plus a little dried parsley. It was a lovely tropical dinner that brought a little warmth and sunshine into an otherwise dismal day.
Want a fun and filling snack for watching a football game (I hear there is one coming up)? Make the meatballs smaller and serve them with toothpicks.
I like my meatballs juicy and tender and there are a few tricks for achieving this.
- Do not compact the meatballs too much when shaping, lightly roll them into the size you want but don’t squeeze them.
- Brown them really well. You know how when you sear a steak it keeps the juices inside? Same principal here, get them nice and brown and they will stay moist when you finish cooking them.
- Use an appropriate sized ice cream scoop to shape them if you have one, this ensures all the meatballs are the same size. If you don’t have the right sized ice cream scoop then no worries, just eyeball them.
- Meatballs need something to bind them so they don’t fall apart. I used gluten-free bread crumbs in this recipe but if you don’t have any then just put a couple slices of slightly toasted gluten-free bread, bagels or even waffles in the blender and grind them up. You can even use left over or instant rice in place of the bread crumbs.
- A bit of milk helps keep the meatballs moist, any kind of milk will do even the dairy free milk of your choice.
- Grating in a little onion not only flavors the meat well but also adds moisture. If you don’t have a grater then mince the onion finely.
Gluten Free Hawaiian Meatballs Recipe
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 1/2 small white onion – grated
- ½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
- ½ cup milk (any kind – dairy free is fine)
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 (20 ounce can) pineapple chunks in juice
- ¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons wheat-free, gluten-free soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup maraschino cherries
- 1 green pepper – cut into 1 inch pieces
- Optional garnishes:
- 1 green onion – thinly sliced on a diagonal
- Sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the first 8 ingredients and mix well but lightly. Shape into golf ball sized balls.
- In a large oven proof skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Brown the meatballs well on all sides. While the meatballs are browning, prepare the sauce.
- Drain the juice from the pineapple chunks, reserving the juice. Add water to the juice to make 1 cup of liquid. Add the cornstarch to the liquid and whisk well. Put the mixture in a medium sauce pan with the vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar. Bring to a boil stirring constantly and then continue to boil for 1 minute or until the sauce thickens. Add the drained pineapple chunks, cherries and green pepper. Stir well.
- When all the meatballs have been browned, drain off the oil, add the sauce and put in the oven, uncovered for 25 minutes.
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