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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Meatballs

Well maybe it's not a good idea to eat a thousand meatballs, but there are probably a thousand different meatball recipes. It really can be fun to play around with different meatball recipes, see what you like best. Maybe substituting different ingredients into a recipe you like but want to change the flavor a bit. Like I did with the recipe below using the gluten free Jilz crackers for bread crumbs, also substituting coconut sugar (or agave nectar 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup) in place of brown sugar. You can make your own hot sauce to use in recipes, so many choices. But for those of you that want to make it easy and healthier, I have done the recipe building for you. So prepare, bake and enjoy, and savor your meatballs!

Fire Cracker Meatballs

1 ¾ – 2 pounds ground chicken (or turkey)

4 teaspoons minced garlic

1½ teaspoon salt

1teaspoon pepper

2 large eggs

1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (I like to crush Jilz gluten free crackers and use as breadcrumbs, adds some extra flavor)*

½ teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder


½ cup hot sauce

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on spice preference)


Preheat the oven to 475ºF.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the ingredients of the firecracker sauce over medium high heat, allow to come to a boil, reduce the heat so it simmers. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools so don’t worry if it looks thin.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, garlic, salt pepper, eggs, breadcrumbs, paprika, and onion powder. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. It’s easier to tell when he ingredients are combined when using hands. DO NOT OVERMIX, it will result in drier meatballs.

Shape the meat mixture into ball, about 3 tablespoons of meat per ball.

Place meatballs on prepared baking sheet, bake for 11-13 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked.

Dip each individual meatball into the sauce. Alternately, you can brush each meatball with the sauce. Place back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes. Drizzle or brush with additional sauce as desired.

Firecracker Meatballs

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