Big bold flavor…teeny little package. These Whole30 ginger pork poppers are a total winner! They pair perfectly with super clean citrusy slaw for a flavorful Whole30 dinner recipe that will kick your cravings to the curb.
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One of the common fears I hear about experimenting with a Whole30 is deprivation. I hear you, and I validate you. It’s a legit apprehension, and if you love good food so hard, it makes sense. How many ways can one make protein and veggies interesting day after day, right?
The answer is this: SO. MANY. WAYS.
I’ve been on a mission to create Whole30 compliant recipes that don’t feel the list bit restrictive. Recipes that leave me thinking “Whole30 what? Who? Naw, this is just tasty good food times”. Like these Whole30 Ginger Pork Poppers with Citrusy Slaw. Yeah, it’s a mouthful, but fitting because you totally want your mouth full of this flavor-packed combo.
I could just call them meatballs, because, well…that’s what they are. But poppers is so much more fun. Plus you’ll wanna pop and pop and pop these suckers into your mouth. Paired with a simple and colorful slaw, they transform into a nutrient-dense meal that will kick your sugary cravings to the curb.
How to Make Ginger Pork Poppers
These ginger scallion pork poppers deliver big, bold flavor in a tiny delicious package. They’re incredibly easy to make, and ready in a little over 30 minutes. The recipe calls for searing, then baking the patties which gives them a crispy golden crust and tender interior. They pair perfectly with citrusy slaw for a super clean, super flavorful Whole30 dinner recipe.
Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl – ground pork, sliced green onions, shredded carrots, ground ginger, and seasoning. Pull up your sleeves, take off your rings/bracelets/trinkets, wash your hands, and dive on it. You can also use a spatula or a wooden spoon, but your clean hands will get the job done best.
Measure out 2-ounce portions of the pork mixture and form into 3-ish inch round patties. A standard sized ice cream scooper is the perfect portion size, and makes about 12 poppers total.
Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add half the poppers and brown for 2 minutes, flip, then brown on the other side. Transfer the browned patties to a parchment lined baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining batch. You can skip the browning if you’d rather not clean another pan, but but but – it’s worth it for that crispy crust action. Pinky promise.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the center of the poppers reach 160°F on an instant read thermometer.
Look at these crispy lil’ golden nuggets. Real easy. Real good. These pork poppers are 100% parent approved and 50% kid approved – one outta two ain’t bad, right? I’ll take it.
How to Make Citrusy Slaw
Toss together this simple and colorful Asian slaw while the poppers bake. The citrus-ginger dressing is a great complement to the rich pork meatballs, and the colorful veggies are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Make the process easy breezy by using pre-shredded cabbage and carrots. I won’t tell, and it’ll still be awesome.
Toss the slaw ingredients into a bowl – cabbage, carrots, a super thinly sliced bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds.
Whizz up the dressing in a blender. Seriously, just dump it all in there and hit it on high. The recipe calls for a whole orange that’s been zested and juiced. The zest gives the dressing that extra special citrusy something, but if you happen to have some fresh (no sugar) OJ that you need to use up, toss in 1/3 cup and call it a day.
Sauce it, toss it, serve it.
Portion the slaw into bowls (or onto plates) and top with a few pork poppers. You can get fancy and garnish with greens onions and cilantro. Or not. Again, I won’t tell.
Dietary Accommodations, Variations, and Storage
- Whole30, paleo, and low carb (17g net carbs)
- Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free
- Nutrient dense, with over a full serving of both Vitamins A and C
- This is a great recipe for weekend meal prep. I love to use meal prep containers with a removable compartment; place the pork poppers into the removable compartment, and the slaw into the second. Heat the pork in the microwave for one minute, flip the poppers over, then heat an additional 30 seconds, or until desired temperature is reached. Serve the heated poppers over the chilled slaw. YUM.
More Whole30 Dinner Recipes
These Whole30 dinner recipes are flavorful, indulgent, and super duper satisfying:
- Whole30 Steak Bites with Sweet Potatoes and Peppers
- Chicken Shawarma Salad
- Whole30 Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Thighs
- Spicy Shrimp with Avocado Aioli
- Italian Sausage Zucchini Boats
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Ginger Pork Poppers with Citrusy SlawPrint Recipe Rate This Recipe
Ginger Pork Poppers
- 2 c shredded red cabbage
- 2 c shredded green cabbage
- 1 bell pepper thinly sliced
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 c chopped cilantro
- 1/2 c shredded carrots
- 1/4 c sesame seeds
- Heat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, green onions, carrots, ginger, salt, pepper, garlic power, and onion powder. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Note: for best texture, grate the carrots on a box grater using the smaller holes.
- Form 2-ounce portions of the pork mixture into patties, and set aside. A standard sized ice cream scoop is the perfect portion size, and should result in 12 poppers total.
- Place a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Place half the patties into the skillet and sear for 2 minutes; flip, then sear the remaining side for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the seared patties to the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining patties.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the center of the poppers reach 160°F on an instant read thermometer.
- While the poppers bake, make the slaw. Combine the shredded cabbages, bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, carrots, and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a blender. Blender on high until the dressing is smooth. Pour the dressing over the slaw, and toss until well combined.
- Divide the slaw between four plates or bowls, then top with 3 pork poppers. Leftover pork keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container. Leftover slaw keeps in the fridge for 3 days in a tightly sealed container.
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