Ultimate Orange Chicken Meatballs

A lighter, much healthier makeover of the traditional orange chicken. Whole30/Paleo friendly|


  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper or more if desired
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (omit if using soy sauce)
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 4 tbsp potato starch/arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)+ more as needed
  • 2 stalks green onion, sliced finely (white and green parts)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil like avocado oil (more if cooking meatballs in batches)
  • For the sauce;
  • zest of one orange or 1 tbsp
  • 1 cup orange juice (3 oranges)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper or more to taste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth (more if you like a thinner sauce)
  • 1 tbsp potato starch/arrowroot/cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water
  • sesame seeds for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the oil for the meatballs and mix well. Add 1 tsp potato starch/arrowroot/cornstarch at a time if the mixture is too wet.
  2. Wet hands with warm water or oil. Roll out golfball sized meatballs. For uniform size, scoop out with a tablespoon measuring spoon and roll until round, smooth ball forms. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Cook meatballs, 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned and fully cooked. Cover and set aside. Repeat, adding 1 tbsp each time you cook another batch of meatballs, until all meatballs are cooked.
  4. In a medium saucepan, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and sautee for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients, except for the potato starch/arrowroot/cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Let cook for 6-7 minutes, until sauce thickens and reduces. Add more broth if the sauce becomes too thick. Reduce heat to low and whisk in potato starch/arrowroot/cornstarch mixture. Remove from heat. The sauce should coat the back of a wooden spoon and have a slight sheen to it.
  5. Toss meatballs in sauce. If sauce becomes too thick after adding meatballs, return to low heat and stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth at a time, until sauce has desired consistency. Garnish with sesame seeds.
  6. Serve with white rice or cauliflower rice or as a stand alone appetizer.