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Overhead view saucy 5 Spice BBQ Meatballs in skillet

Saucy Paleo 5 Spice BBQ Meatballs

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4.6 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 meatballs 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


5 Spice BBQ Meatballs with Orange Hoisin Sauce (Paleo Friendly)


Units Scale


  • 1 lb lean ground beef – 85% fat to 95% works best
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5 spice (Asian Spice)
  • 12 Tablespoons gluten free Tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 34 Tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca starch (If using a higher fat meat, you will need 4 starches)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seed mixed into the meatballs to mix in last, optional


  • 1/2 cup gluten free hoisin sauce (for paleo version, see notes)
  • 1/31/2 cup naturally sweetened BBQ Sauce or unsweetened tomato sauce (here’s a great lower sugar BBQ sauce)
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Make sure your meat is cleaned and ginger is finely grated. Then place all meatball ingredients in a large bowl, add the whisked egg last.
  2. Using a hands or a stand mixer, mix all ingredients until combined. Add optional sesame seeds. I find a stand mixer works best to get a good even mix.
  3. Next Roll 5 spice meat mixture into balls (a little larger size than a golf ball)
  4. Place on greased or lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 450F for 12-14 minutes, turning halfway, until they are firm and slightly cooked/browned. Once cooked, discard the extra the grease or extra fat from the pan. Place the meatballs on plate in a bowl while you make your sauce.
  6. While the meatballs are baking, feel free to mix up your your Orange Hoisin sauce.
  7. Blend together all ingredients listed in the orange hoisin sauce. Best to use a hand held blender, food processor, or blender. Then pour the sauce in medium pan or deep skillet.
  8. Bring to a soft boil then reduce.
  9. Place your baked meatballs in sauce. Simmer for 10 -15 minutes turning and coating all the meatballs evenly.
  10. Once cooked, remove and garnish with chopped cilantro and optional sesame seeds.
  11. If not serving right away, keep in sealed container in fridge or freeze for later.


Serve with broccoli rice, cauliflower rice, white rice, rice noodles, or as an appetizer. 

Substitutes – For paleo hoisin sauce, check out Eat Drink Paleo’s homemade hoisin recipe. For natural gluten free hoisin sauce, we use Wok Mei.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Main, Appetizer
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • Serving Size: 4 meatballs
  • Calories: 280
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 1120mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Cholesterol: 100mg