Gluten-free Egg-free Albondigas en Salsa

We are back from vacation and I’m so happy to be back in my kitchen and no longer beholden to restaurant food. This is a quick recipe for meatballs in spicy chipotle tomato sauce. I’ve made this before with beef/pork, but decided to adapt this to make it with ground chicken and pork. 

This type of recipe makes a great appetizer to take to a potluck. It has plenty of protein and is gluten and egg free. I learned the potato flake trick from reading the Cook’s Illustrated gluten-free cookbook. Of course, most gluten-free recipes are chock-full of eggs. 

I tweaked the recipe here slightly because my hubby said that the meatballs had too much pepper. (I cut down on the Rancher Rub and tweaked the ratio of flax/water slightly as well). Making meatballs out of a lean meat like chicken is difficult b/c it’s so easy for things to dry out. As such, I highly recommend simmering the meatballs in the sauce rather than oven baking them if you are worried about them drying out. Just make sure that they reach 165F before you serve them. 

Full disclosure. This is a recipe I am still perfecting. What I’ve written here is the next recipe that I plan to test based on prior experience, research, and gut feeling. I suggest you read this for recreational purposes only at the moment :-). If you do try the recipe below, please comment and let me know what you think and if you’d change anything. 


Gluten-free Egg-free Albondigas en Salsa

  • Servings: 6
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Meatball ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon flax seed
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup potato flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Wildtree garlic galore OR use minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Rancher Rub
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup 
Preheat oven to 375F and grab a cookie sheet, large mixing bowl, small bowl, and a large sauce pan.  Mix the flax seed and water in the small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes in the refrigerator for it to set. This acts like an egg and provides some binding capability for the meatballs. Mix the remainder of the ingredients in the large bowl. Make sure to mix gently so that you don’t make the meatballs tough. Add the flax/water and combine. Use a cookie scoop (1″) to scoop portions of the meat mixture out on to the cookie sheet.  Use your hands to roll the balls into rounds and place back on the cookie sheet.

While the meatballs are cooking, start the sauce. Cook the meatballs for 12 minutes, flip and cook an additional 12 to 18 minutes until meat thermometer registers 165° F. If everyone in the family is eating the meatballs in the chipotle sauce, you can also cook the meatballs in the sauce. See below for instructions. I do them separately in the oven so that my 7-yr-old can have meatballs with plain marinara while the rest of us eat the spicier sauce. I think this dries them out more…

Sauce ingredients:

  • Two 24 oz cans tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle paste (I like Olo brand, which I found on Amazon).
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer. If you’d like to cook the meatballs in the sauce, skip the oven directions above and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes before adding the meatballs. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 20-30 minutes until they register 165F on a meat thermometer.

We served these with fresh steamed veggies.  My son has penne, plain marinara, and the meatballs.



3 thoughts on “Gluten-free Egg-free Albondigas en Salsa

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