Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs: Whole30, Paleo, GF

These sweet and sour chicken meatballs are made in the slow cooker, and are paleo, gluten-free and easily made Whole30! It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare, and then the crock pot does the cooking for you. These Whole30 meatballs are perfect for a weeknight dinner, or meal prep for easy, healthy lunches. It’s a family friendly recipe that has the flavors you love from your favorite Chinese takeout!

  • Author: Bailey
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American (Asian-Inspired)
  • Diet: Gluten Free


For the Meatballs:

  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Sweet & Sour Sauce & Vegetables:

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Sugar-Free Ketchup
  • 2/3 cup pineapple juice from the can (20 oz can pineapple chunks in 100% juice)
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice powder
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks from the can
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour, for thickening (mixed and dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water)
  • Optional: sesame seeds and green onion for garnishing


  1. Add all of the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to combine the chicken, spices and almond flour until it’s all evenly mixed in. Roll into meatballs and place directly into the slow cooker
  2. Continue rolling until there’s no chicken left. The meatballs can be touching, but don’t cram them into one layer. You can do a second layer of meatballs in the slow cooker by gently setting meatballs on top of the bottom layer. Then add the chopped red onion and red pepper over the meatballs
  3. In a bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients except for the arrowroot flour. Use a fork or whisk to combine, and then pour over the meatballs and vegetables in the slow cooker
  4. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 2.5-3 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours. In the final 30 minutes of cooking, add the pineapple chunks, without stirring
  5. When ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs, vegetables and pineapple into bowls or a large serving dish. Combine the arrowroot flour with water and stir to dissolve, and then pour into the slow cooker
  6. Stir for a minute or two to thicken the sauce, and then ladle over the meatballs. Garnish with sesame seeds or green onion


  • Cassava flour can be used in place of almond flour for nut allergies

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