I love having meatballs stashed away in the freezer - it's so easy to throw together a quick weeknight meal when I have some on hand. Once a month or so I try to prep a 6-pound pack of ground beef into meatloaf and meatballs so I can save time during the week. That hour on Sunday afternoon is well worth the effort when I am crunched for time and still want to get a meal on the table quickly.
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This simple recipe for orange teriyaki meatballs (using grain-free meatballs so it's perfect for your wheat free, grain free, gluten-free, or paleo diet) comes together so quickly - especially if you have an Instant Pot!
There's no reason to give up meatballs if you are grain-free. It's a very simple process to replace those breadcrumbs or oats with another binder. I like to use a mixture of parmesan cheese and ground flax - it works great at binding that meatball/meatloaf mixture together.
Need a recipe? Here's my recipe for grain-free meatloaf (that I also use to make meatballs). For the meatballs, make the mixture, use a cookie scoop to make meatballs, and give them a quick pan fry - just until they form a nice brown crust all over (about 3-5 minutes per side). After that, cool them on a cookie sheet, flash freeze, and package them up for the freezer. Then, when you want to get dinner on the table, all you need to do is finish cooking them in a sauce - pasta sauce, mushroom sauce, easy orange teriyaki meatballs, or whatever you want. (A tomato-ey meatloaf glaze is yummy too!)
Orange Teriyaki Meatballs in the Instant Pot
Now that you have some meatballs stashed in your freezer, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to get dinner on the table. Mix up a simple sauce, pour it over the meatballs in your Instant pot. Add a side-dish or two and dinner is ready in a flash.
For a quick meal, I like to put a piece of foil on top of the meatballs and sauce and add a few peeled potatoes - everything cooks at the same time. Saute some green beans or stir fry veggies while you're waiting for the Instant Pot to do its thing and you've got a complete meal. If you don't want to do potatoes, serve some rice or cauli-rice on the side.
Cooking without an Instant Pot
If you don't have an Instant Pot you can also cook these meatballs in a saucepan on the stovetop. Combine 1/2 cup orange juice (you don't need as much liquid for the stovetop version), soy sauce (or coconut aminos), ketchup, vinegar, and pepper and set aside.
Saute the meatballs in the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan, adding the minced garlic and ginger. Let cook until fragrant before adding orange juice mixture. Cook until sauce has slightly thickened and meatballs are cooked through.
Serve as it is or thicken the sauce with an arrowroot slurry before serving.
Grain-Free Orange Teriyaki Meatball
1 1/2 pounds meatballs
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, finely minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp arrowroot powder
Plug in the Instant Pot, insert the inner liner and set it to 'Saute'.
Add the olive oil and meatballs (preheating will bring the Instant Pot to pressure more quickly).
Whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, and ground pepper in a 2-cup measuring cup or small bowl.
Add the minced garlic and ginger to the meatballs and stir well. Let cook 15 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the orange juice mixture.
Optional: add a layer of foil and place a layer of peeled and washed potatoes on top.
Turn the Instant Pot off, add the cover, making sure the vent is closed before setting the pressure.
Press - 'Manual' then 'Meat/Stew' and set time to 15 minutes.
When finished, quick release the pressure before removing the cover.
Remove the potatoes and meatballs with a slotted spoon, leaving the sauce.
Reset the pot to 'Saute' and let the sauce simmer until thickened.
If you want a thicker sauce, mix one teaspoon arrowroot powder with one teaspoon water to make a slurry. Whisk it into the sauce to thicken.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs and serve.
If cooking on the stovetop: If you don't have an Instant Pot you can also cook these meatballs in a saucepan on the stovetop. Combine 1/2 cup orange juice (you don't need as much liquid for the stovetop version), soy sauce (or coconut aminos), ketchup, vinegar, and pepper and set aside. Saute the meatballs in the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan, adding the minced garlic and ginger. Let cook until fragrant before adding orange juice mixture. Cook until sauce has slightly thickened and meatballs are cooked through. Serve as it is or thicken the sauce with an arrowroot slurry before serving.