September 3, 2023

Kung Pao Inspired Chicken Meatballs

This recipe is a fun take on a takeout dish with better-for-you ingredients. It can be made in under 30 minutes and is packed with spice and flavor. Using 8 dried red chilies makes these meatballs pretty spicy, so reduce the number of chilies to 4 or 6 if you do not like a lot of heat.

Using the air fry to cook the meatballs gives them more color and cooks them a little quicker. If you do not have an air fryer, I have also included instructions for the oven.

Kung Pao Inspired Chicken Meatballs

These meatballs are a fun spin on a classic take-out dish. It can be made in under 30 minutes and is gluten-free and paleo-friendly.





  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
  • 2 T creamy almond butter
  • 1 T coconut aminos
  • 1 T rice vinegar


  • 1/2 C coconut aminos
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T coconut sugar
  • 1 T tapioca flour
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 T avocado oil
  • 1 sm yellow onion, large dice
  • 1 bell pepper, large dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 dried red chiles
  • 3 green onions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  1. In a medium bowl, add the ground chicken, almond butter, 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos, and 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar. Mix everything thoroughly.
  2. Use a spring-loaded cookie scoop to form balls with the chicken mixture.
  3. To bake the meatballs in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 14-17 minutes.
  4. To bake the meatballs in an air fryer, place the meatballs in the basket and cook at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes.
  5. While the meatballs cook, make the sauce and vegetables. In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add the avocado oil, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.
  6. Add the dried red chilies and green onions and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  7. Add ½ cup coconut aminos, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and 2 tablespoons coconut sugar to the pan and mix thoroughly. Bring to a simmer.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk the tapioca flour and water. Slowly add to the pan while stirring continuously. The sauce will thicken up.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked meatballs and green onions.  
  10. Serve with cauliflower rice or your favorite rice.


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