Paleo Venison Meatballs with Spicy Sticky Ginger Sauce

If you are a fan of venison, you are going to love these flavorful meatballs.  The slightly tangy and perfect sweet and sticky sauce is what really takes these meatballs over the top and makes them truly the perfect meatballs.  These have quickly become one of my family’s favorite venison recipes.

Getting Used to Venison

Eating venison or any type of new meat with a really flavorful sauce is a great way to try a new type of meat.  The sauce for these homemade meatballs does a great job masking any unusual flavor that you may not be used to.  I will also mention that the first time I made venison for my family, I did 50/50 ground beef and ground deer meat and I used the Siete Foods taco seasoning.  I purposefully did not tell my kids anything was different about the meat I served, and they gobbled the tacos right up!  So, if you’re hesitant about using a recipe with straight venison, try a combo of ground meats to ease your way into it.  You can also use this 50/50 method to make venison burgers.

Maui Nui Venison Healthy Benefits

My family has been eating Maui Nui venison and loving it.  They have a super cool mission and their deer meat is truly the healthiest meat available.  Part of what makes Maui Nui venison so healthy is the fact that the deer come from Hawaii, which is comprised of rich, volcanic soils resulting in remarkable plant diversity for the deer.  This is one of the most nutrient-dense lean meat options on the planet.  Additionally, the deer are harvested using stress-free methods resulting in cleaner-tasting deer meat compared to the wild game meat you may have tried before. If you want to learn more about this venison, you can do that by using my affiliate link. And for 20% off your order, be sure to use code HEALTHYISH at checkout.

Favorite sauce

While I might be a little partial, I do think this is the best venison meatball recipe, but it’s the sauce that really takes these over the top.  In fact, I like the sauce so much, I recommend at least doubling the sauce part of the recipe so you have extra to drizzle the rice or veggies you are serving alongside these meatballs.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve these meatballs along some white rice or steamed cauliflower rice.  The first time I served these meatballs, I kept things paleo and served these with Brussel sprouts roasted in the air fryer.  Really any roasted veggie would be amazing.  Just be sure to make some extra sauce as recommended above and pour that delicious, sweet and sticky sauce all over the veggies and meatballs on your plate.

Homemade Meatballs

While this recipe calls for homemade meatballs, I should mention that if you’re in a time crunch, you could easy use premade meatballs from the store.  You could make the sauce with just a few simple ingredients and have a delicious dinner ready to serve your family.  

Baking Meatballs

My favorite way to make any kind of meatballs is simply to bake them in the oven.  The best part is that this frees me up to tidy up the kitchen while dinner cooks away.  So not only are these meatballs, flavorful, tender and delicious, they also go into the easy category for a quick, weeknight dinner.

Meatball Tips

Single Layer – Be sure to place the meatballs in a single layer on your baking sheet leaving a little bit of space between each meatball.  This will ensure that your meatballs are cooking properly instead of steaming as can easily happen if overcrowding occurs.

Cookie Scoop – You can use a regular kitchen spoon, but I find using a cookie scoop ensures evenly sized meatballs every time.  If you prefer to use a kitchen spoon for measuring, just be sure the meat mixture is about the size of a golf ball.

Sauce Options – While I think the best way to enjoy these meatballs is with the sweet and sticky sauce in the recipe below, if you’re in a time crunch and just need an easy weeknight meal, you can also use your favorite spaghetti sauce or BBQ sauce.  You could also use these meatballs to make meatball subs and pour your favorite marinara sauce on top.

Cook Time – The cook time for these meatballs will vary based on the size of your meatballs.  That’s why it’s super important the meatballs are as evenly sized as possible.  The instructions state to cook the meatballs for about 15-20 minutes.  However, the cook time will be less if you decided to make smaller, cocktail meatballs.  The suggested temperature for meatballs is 160 degrees F.  Cooking to a lesser temperature isn’t safe.  And cooking any longer will result in tough meatballs.  For juicy meatballs, be sure you check at 15 minutes and use a meat thermometer.

Rimmed Baking Sheet – You can technically use baking sheet or cooking sheet to make these meatballs.  However, I suggest you use a rimmed baking sheet.  Since parchment paper is suggested, the meatballs could easily slip off your baking sheet.  This is simply a suggestion to prevent your meatballs from falling all over the floor.

Storing Venison Meatballs

Venison meatballs can be made in advance for convenient meals later on. For raw venison meatballs, it’s best to cook them soon after mixing rather than storing the raw meat for an extended period. However, cooked venison meatballs store very well in the fridge or freezer for future use.

Refrigerator – Any cooked and leftover venison meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Freezer – I’m all about cooking in bulk to save time in the kitchen later in the month.  I liked to make a double batch and serve half for dinner that night and save the other half for dinner later in the week.  It’s best to arrange the cooked meatballs on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet in a single layer, being careful to ensure that none of the meatballs are frozen.  Freeze until hard, and then transfer to a freezer bag.  I like to individually wrap each meatball in parchment paper to ensure they don’t stick together.

Meatball Ingredients:

Ground Venison – While this recipe calls for ground venison, you can use any ground meat you prefer – ground beef, ground bison, ground turkey.  You could even mix in some ground pork as the pork fat will make the meatballs even more tender and juicy.

Egg – The recipe calls for one egg which acts as a healthy binder.

Garlic Cloves – When it comes to garlic, fresh is always best.  However, you can use two teaspoons of garlic powder if needed.

Freshly Minced Ginger – Same with the ginger, fresh is best.  You can use one teaspoon of ground ginger.

Rice Vinegar – Rice vinegar is part of what gives these meatballs such a fresh and slightly tangy flavor.  Although substitutions are not recommended, you could use apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice or fresh lime juice.

Sesame Oil – Like the rice vinegar, the sesame oil adds such a nice flavor profile to these meatballs.  While i don’t suggest a substitution, you could use a little olive oil.

Arrowroot Starch – This is the paleo binding agent for these meatballs versus the traditional bread crumbs found in traditional recipes.

Sauce Ingredients:

Coconut Aminos – To keep these recipes paleo, I used coconut aminos.  I find that coconut aminos mixed with lemon or lime juice tastes very similar to soy sauce.

Siracha – Use the amount of siracha according to your desired level of spice.  If you want to avoid spice, you could use 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or even tomato sauce.  If tomatoes aren’t tolerated, you can omit all of these ingredients completely.  

Sesame Oil – The sesame oil adds such a nice flavor profile to these meatballs. 

Lime Juice – You can use lemon juice if needed.

Scallions – These add such a nice pungent kick to the sauce.

Arrowroot Starch – This is the suggested paleo thickener.  Tapioca starch can be used as substitution if needed.

paleo venison meatballs with a spicy sticky sauce

Paleo Venison Meatballs with Spicy Sticky Ginger Sauce

A delicious way to eat a leaner cut of meat with a flavorful, spicy sticky ginger sauce.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 19 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1-2 teaspoons siracha based on desired spice level
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

Optional Toppings:

  • sesame seeds
  • scallions
  • cilantro


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, add the egg, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil a gentle stir just until the egg is fully incorporated. Add the venison and then even sprinkle on the arrowroot, salt and black pepper. Using a fork or your hands, combine ground venison and remaining ingredients just until combined being careful not to overmix.
  • Scoop out the desired amount of meatball mixture and use your hands to form the venison into meatballs.
  • Place meatballs on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and repeat until all of the meatballs are made. My recipe made 12 meatballs, but this will vary based on your chosen size of meatballs.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  • While the meatballs are baking, it’s time to move on to the next step and make the sauce. Add all sauce ingredients to a medium saucepan, adding the arrowroot last. Once the arrowroot is added, whisk immediately to fully incorporate without any lumps.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture just starts to boil reduce heat and allow to simmer while it thickens. Remove from heat when desired consistency is achieved.
  • Once the meatballs are finished cooking, add the cooked meatballs to the saucepan and gently stir.
  • Serve over rice or keep in paleo with cauliflower rice or your favorite veggies. Pour any extra sauce on top. If desired, top with sesame seeds, cilantro and/or scallions.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword deer meat, garlic, ginger, meatballs, pesto sauce, spicy, sticky, venison

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