Coconut Lime Chicken Meatballs made with ground chicken, fresh limes and coconut milk are deliciously flavorful, gluten free and Whole30 approved.
My husband and I have been trying to eat healthier by cutting out gluten, dairy and extra sugar. It’s only been four weeks and we can really tell the difference in how we feel.
Don’t worry, I’ll still be making the other recipes you all have come to love; however, I will also be incorporating more healthier options like this recipe for Coconut Lime Chicken Meatballs.
Which food groups did we eliminate from our diet?
We decided to start eliminating certain food groups because we were feeling sluggish, I was breaking out like I was a teenager, getting weird rashes and suffering from four sinus infections in 5 months.
After being allergy tested, I was allergic to absolutely nothing; which I have no idea how I can’t be because if I don’t take a Zyrtec once a day I’m stuffy and miserable.
Anyway, this led me to believe that it has to be food related so we started by eliminating everything: gluten, dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, and MSG/sulfites/carrageenan; which was basically the Whole30 program.
It really hasn’t been that difficult for us because we do try to cut back on a lot of these things already, so I just made minor swaps for the things we did eat.
Instead of my husband’s love of ice cream, I made him “nice” cream with frozen bananas. Pasta and bread? I purchased gluten free or did without. We mainly eat protein, fruit and vegetables with the occasional healthier version of our favorite snacks.
Did going gluten and dairy free help?
After two weeks, I noticed that I wasn’t as “stuffy” anymore and I hadn’t had a rash breakout as well. I then started to add back some categories one at a time and popcorn was my first (which is my go to snack). No issues.
I then had brown rice. No issues. Made my favorite chili. No issues. Had a glass of wine. No issues. So I’m narrowing my issues down to two culprits: Dairy and Gluten.
Which brings me to how this recipe for Coconut Lime Chicken Meatballs came about. I know you may all think we eat something new and exciting here every day, but the truth is we fall into a rut by eating the same meals over and over again just like all of you.
Making your favorite meals is comfortable, familiar and takes no brain power to think about what it is you’re going to make; especially when you’re busy all of the time.
How do you make Coconut Lime Chicken Meatballs?
When you start taking out all of these categories of food that you now can’t eat, planning dinner does get a little more challenging, but I wanted to try to find a way to tweak some of our favorites to make them a bit more healthier.
To make this recipe, first you want to mix your meatballs by combining ground chicken, an egg, lime zest, scallions, garlic, parsley, and almond flour and form them into round meatballs.
I used two pounds of ground chicken and got 12 meatballs because I wanted them on the larger side as a dinner portion; however, if you’re making these as an appetizer or game day snack, I suggest making the meatballs a bit smaller. You should be able to get at least 24 this way.
Once the meatballs are formed, heat a little coconut oil in a large nonstick frying pan and cook the meatballs until they are brown on all sides; approximately 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs, drain on paper towels and set aside while you make the sauce.
Once your roux is ready, add unsweetened coconut milk and lime juice. Whisk over medium high heat until the sauce has slightly thickened; then season with salt and pepper.
I was heading out for the afternoon so I opted to place the meatballs and sauce in my slow cooker to finish cooking. I cooked these Coconut Lime Chicken Meatballs on high for 2 hours; however if you’re making this to eat right away, I’d suggest using a larger pot to make the sauce; then adding the meatballs to that pot instead.
If you’re using the slow cooker, you can put them on low for 4-6 hours or warm 6-8 hours as the meatballs are fully cooked already. You’re just letting them soak up all of that coco-nutty lime goodness. 😉
I have to say, I was a bit skeptical cooking with coconut milk since it was my first time, but these Coconut Lime Chicken Meatballs were amazing!
We served these meatballs over cauliflower rice; which you can now buy in your grocers freezer section, but it’s easy enough to make by chopping up a head in your food processor and cooking it in your microwave for a few minutes to soften. ~Enjoy!
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For the Meatballs
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons almond meal flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, for frying
For the Coconut Lime Sauce
- 1 tablespoon clarified butter (or ghee)
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch flour
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
For the Meatballs
- Combine the chicken, egg, lime zest, scallions, garlic, parsley, and almond flour; then form them into round meatballs. (I got 12 meatballs because I wanted them on the larger side as a dinner portion; however, if you're making these as an appetizer serving or game day snack, I suggest making the meatballs a bit smaller. You should be able to get at least 24 this way.)
- Once the meatballs are formed, heat the coconut oil in a large nonstick frying pan and cook the meatballs until they are brown on all sides; approximately 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs, drain on paper towels and set aside while you make the sauce.
- Place the meatballs and sauce in a slow cooker on high for 2 hours; low for 4-6 hours or warm 6-8 hours. If you're making this to eat right away, I'd suggest using a larger pot to make the sauce; then adding the meatballs to that pot instead and cook for about 30 minutes. (The meatballs are fully cooked, you just want the sauce to soak up into the meatballs a bit.)
For the Coconut Lime Sauce
- In a small saucepan melt the clarified butter or ghee; then whisk in the arrowroot starch flour forming a roux; then add the coconut milk and lime juice.
- Whisk over medium high heat until the sauce has slightly thickened; then season with salt and pepper. Approximately 5 minutes.
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