Bora Bora Fireballs

Clearly, I’ve got balls on the brain. We’ve been testing meatball recipes for Well Fed 2, and we have finally settled on the 15 (Yes! Fifteen!) varieties that will be included in the new cookbook. In honor of bringing the testing phase to a close, I thought I’d share a favorite of mine from the first Well Fed: Bora Bora Fireballs.

These meatballs came to me in a dream. I woke up with tumbling thoughts about a lush combination of pineapple, succulent pork, and creamy-sweet coconut. I was haunted by images of tikis and luaus. The only way to clear my mind was to surrender to the kitchen gods. After three attempts, something still wasn’t quite right. Later, while lost in photos of tropical beaches and coral reefs, I landed on the fiery name, and the rest of the recipe fell into place. These taste even better the second day, so if you can endure the wait, you will be rewarded.

Bora Bora Fireballs thumb

Bora Bora Fireballs

Prep 10 min | Cook 30 min | Makes about 42 meatballs

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup canned crushed pineapple, sugar-free, packed in its own juice (DO NOT USE FRESH PINEAPPLE!)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or homemade substitute

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried ginger

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 3-4 scallions, white and green, very thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 pounds ground pork


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, then add the coconut. Toast, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Set aside to cool.


Drain the cup of canned pineapple in a sieve placed over a bowl to catch the juice. Press the pineapple pulp against the sieve with a wooden spoon to extract the excess moisture. Place the pineapple in a large mixing bowl and save the juice for later.


To the pineapple, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cayenne, coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, scallions, jalapeño, and eggs. Beat with a wooden spoon until combined. With your hands, crumble the pork into the bowl and knead until all of the ingredients are incorporated.


Arrange the bowls of pineapple juice, spiced coconut, and seasoned pork for easy access. Measure a level tablespoon of pork to make a meatball, lightly douse it in the pineapple juice, then roll it in the coconut, pressing the coconut shreds into the meat by lightly rolling the ball between your palms. This is a rare case in which more isn’t better — don’t go too cuckoo with the coconut. Line up the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart.


Slide the meatballs into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until sizzling and golden brown. These taste great with Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice and/or Sunshine Sauce.

Print this recipe
Walnut-Crusted Pork Chops With Baked Apples

Some things just belong together! Simon Le Bon and John Taylor. Black eyeliner and stompy black boots. Sunbutter and 85% dark chocolate. Pork and apples. I'm currently...

Read More
MMM: Bakso (Indonesian Beef Balls)

Today's recipe is courtesy of Russ Crandall, author of The Ancestral Table and the blog The Domestic Man. Russ is the kind of cook I...

Read More


  • mlou says:

    I CAN NOT WAIT for Well Fed 2! I see my mother almost every Sunday for dinner, and she makes a paleo meal (because she is so cool). She is down with the cooking and ingrediants, but has DEFINITE oppinions on the cookbooks I’ve given to her! She loves yours – “its written like it should be.”
    Really appreciate your blog and the bad-assery that goes with it!

  • mlou says:

    And…I can’t spell or type

  • melissa says:

    damn these look good. pinning now.

  • Andrea D. says:

    First, it’s damn hard to choose a favorite Well Fed recipe but this one is in my top two! I LOVE these little beauties! Second, I can NOT wait for Well Fed 2 and 15 meatball recipes??? Yes, Yes, Yes!!!

  • Maggie C says:

    I am too lazy to toast the coconut and roll the balls in them (they are awesome like that), but I just throw the coconut in with the meat and make the balls and they are STILL the best food ever. Anytime I feel mopey about giving up junk food and grains, I make these and all is well.

    • Mel says:

      That’s a great “I feel lazy” mod. WOOT!

    • Angela says:

      What an awesome idea! I love these meatballs but don’t make them very often because I am too lazy to roll them in the coconut. I’m going to try them this way next week!

  • Rachel says:

    I’ve been making these with lamb (I don’t eat pork) and using Penzey’s chipotle powder in place of the jalepeno and they are pretty much my favorite recipe ever. My roommates get super excited (and jealous) every time I make them.

    Thanks so much for all the awesome recipes! I’m excited for Well Fed 2 and more meatballs!

  • Kristen says:

    I’ve made these several times! Love them!

  • Yvonne Attwood says:

    I ordered Well Fed a month ago and it finally arrived today (back ordered). Great recipes – but my favourite part of the book is your plan for chopping and cooking on Sunday for the week ahead. That’s what I will be doing this Sunday!

  • Andrea says:

    I love meatballs so much! Thank you for creating 15 more recipes for meatball aficionados 🙂

  • Jocelyn says:

    These are being made this evening for tomorrow’s dinner. I’ve been using recipes out of your book this entire week. It’s our third week of the whole30 and it was time to veer off the meal map path and get a little more creative. Loving everything so far: we did brine our chicken and it was amazeballs!

    • Mel says:

      Congratulations on Whole30-ing! You should be feeling pretty good by now, right?

      Bonus points for making these in advance — they really do taste even better the second day. Glad you liked the chicken!

      • Jocelyn says:

        We are feeling great. It’s amazing the crappy-ness that I accepted as just a part of my life (inability to sleep, low energy levels, constant joint pain) that changed simply by changing my food. I’m excited to try more of your recipes!

  • Kristy S says:

    Having a hard time finding coconut aminos; are they necessary? I also hate shredded coconut – it’s a texture thing and I’m not very fond of the taste of coconut in the first place.

    Side note…my sweet-toothed father has asked for a cherry cobbler for his birthday dinner dessert. I can’t wait to make your recipe for him and blow his mind that there’s no sugar in it!!! Even making the coconut milk whipped “cream”.

    • Mel says:

      The coconut aminos are like soy sauce, so they’re not totally necessary but do add a nice underlying flavor. You can buy them online, but if you don’t feel like the hassle, just skip it and maybe add a little extra salt. You’ll also be fine without the coconut on the outside.

      Have fun with the cobbler!

  • Alicia says:

    I may have said it before but your cookbook is HANDS DOWN the BEST Paleo cookbook out there!! Can’t wait for Well Fed 2 🙂 You my friend are a Paleo culinary genius! Thanks for being such a badass.

  • Lia says:

    Do you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut?

  • Rosann G says:

    What size can of pineapple?

  • Heather says:

    These have been my favorite meatballs by far!! Absolutely amazing!!

  • Amy says:

    Melissa, I made these a week or so ago (sans the heat) and they were a hit with the whole family. I served them with Sunshine Sauce, as you suggested, and we were so pleased with the whole deal.

    Neither I nor my kids like hot and spicy food and it was so easy to make these without the heat and not sacrifice flavor. The toasted coconut made them look spikey, and my middle daughter (all of a precious 2.5 years) called them “hedgehogs.” Loved them, thanks for the great recipes.

    • Mel says:

      Hedgehogs! I love it!

      I’m really glad you modified the recipe to make it more to your liking. That’s EXACTLY what I hope people will do with my recipes. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Gwynn says:

    I have made these three times. I really, truly, absolutely love them. Sooo looking forward to Well Fed 2.

  • Lindsay says:

    I just made these for a potluck at my gym and they were a HUGE hit! Thanks for the great recipe. It’s definitely one of my most favorite recipes ever. Super excited for MOAR MEATBALLS in Well Fed 2.

  • Lys says:

    I am so excited for the second book!! The first one was amazing and I cook with it at least 3 days per week so super pumped for another great bunch of recipes!

  • LucyR says:

    Do these freeze and reheat well? I’m looking to cook up a big batch of protein-goodness to keep in my freezer for last-minute lunches.

    • Mel says:

      Yes! After baking, let them cool them freeze in a big Ziplock or storage container. When you’re ready to eat, defrost in the fridge and reheat in the oven: 350F for 10 minutes or until heated through.

  • David says:

    Has anyone tried throwing these babies on the grill and grilling them indirect? I bet it would add another layer of flavor. I’m trying it this weekend!

  • Tara Miley says:

    I’ve been on a meatball kick lately… these sounds A.MAZ.ING!!

  • Carla Higson says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I am planning on making these tonight; they sound amazing….BUT – I am trying to do the Whole30 and I keep stuffing up unknowingly.
    Can you please tell me if this is okay on the W30, as I’m just not sure about the canned pineapple….
    Thanks in advance for your help!

  • Rachel M. says:

    I made these tonight for tomorrow, as suggested, but confess I may have snacked on a couple (um, 6) in the process. YUM-O! I am very excited for dinner tomor. But how’s it best to reheat them? I’m concerned that the coconut will lose its lovely crispiness in my fridge overnight, but if I reheat in the oven will they end up overcooked? Thanks a million! I am on Day 10 of Whole 30 and already bored… not boding well for me… these will help!

  • Rachel M. says:

    Oops, I should have read through all the comments. 350 for 10 min to reheat. Gorgeous! Thanks!

  • Patti Kay says:

    I made these last night and should not have used a parchment-lined cookie sheet as I did indeed have a fireball in my oven when the grease ran off the pan onto the cooking element. Fortunately, I was able to save the meatballs which were delicious. I agree the mix would make a tasty grilled burger. My advice: use a jelly roll pan and always keep a BIG box of baking soda in your kitchen.

  • Pingback: Day 17 | 13and3
  • Kate Tonda says:

    These look delicious! Can’t wait to make – any suggestions on a veggie side to compliment?

    • Mel says:

      Cauliflower Rice is nice — and we usually have a bunch of raw veggies: cucumber slices, red bell pepper strips, snap peas.

  • Sonya says:

    ZOMG! These are so Amazeballs! I can hardly wait till tomorrow to have them for lunch! I love, love, love the meatball thing because it’s so easy and portable for lunches. Half my family has copies of Well Fed thank to your awesome ideas, cook ups, prep techniques and incredible recipes. I think this will be one of our favorites! Can hardly wait for Well Fed 2!!

    I added some fresh, chopped ginger and a whole jalapeno (with a few seeds) because I do like spicy. It seemed a bit too “wet” for dipping in the pineapple juice so I didn’t. Did I maybe do something wrong there?

    Also found that I need to use the measuring spoon to make sure I don’t make the meatballs too big.

    Overall, DELISH!!! Definitely will become a staple in my “go to” repertoire!

  • Jordanna says:

    one of my favorite recipes from Well Fed!

    I loved the PDF version of your cookbook so much I had to get the real thing so I could put my hands on it and soak in the pages.

    Can’t wait for Well Fed 2!

    • Mel says:

      That’s such a nice compliment… thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying Well Fed, and I’m super excited about Well Fed 2. Some really fun new recipes are coming!

  • Teresa says:

    These are so amazing! Thank you for this recipe. I can’t wait for Well Fed 2!

  • Stephanie says:

    These are AMAZING! I love the sweet/spicy combo.

  • Jen says:

    Any idea of calories?

  • Whitney says:

    Just made these tonight…DELICIOUS! I’m so excited to heat them up for lunch tomorrow too. After reading all of the above comments…I am ordering your cookbook now 🙂

  • sara says:

    We made these a few months ago for the first time but with ground turkey. They were delicious and a huge hit! However we tried making two batches yesterday, one with ground chicken and one ground lamb, and it was a meatball disaster. The chicken turned a very strange doughy consistency after needing an entire hour in the oven, and the lamb was sitting in a layer of grease the whole time, making them mushy. WE couldn’t serve them. The only thing I did differently was buy fresh pineapple rather than canned (we didn’t like the added sweetness of the pineapple wash so didnt need the juice), and I just chopped it up ultra fine. Any tips? It was so disappointing after all the work!

    • Mel says:

      You can’t use fresh pineapple. It’s too acidic and breaks down the meat — that’s why the recipe calls for unsweetened, canned pineapple. In the future, I’d recommend making them without pineapple or using a dried fruit instead, if you don’t want to use canned.

      • sara says:

        Ah! I did not know that. Nothing against canned, so I will stick to it. Thanks so much!

        • Stephanie says:

          So glad to read this! I tried them tonight with fresh pineapple as well (I forgot to buy canned at the store and had fresh on hand which I also chopped very finely and measured 1 cups worth). And they didn’t turn out very good at all. The texture was all wrong and they didn’t stay round balls but were more like disks. I’ll have to try again and follow exact directions as the recipe seems amazing. We are on our first Whole30 plan and have tried 5 other of your recipes so far that were all huge hits. I was disappointed tonight but glad to know it was my mistake! Hope springs anew 🙂

          Why does canned pineapple have less acid? Just curious.

          • jeanne says:


            Fresh (and frozen) pineapple has an enzyme that breaks down meat fibers – that enzyme is an ingredient in meat tenderizer. That’s why your meatballs collapsed. Canned pineapple is cooked; that kills/removes the enzyme.

  • Karen Phillips says:

    Or use mango or fresh peach.

    My DIL made these recently (w/canned pineapple, unsweetened she bought at Whole Foods)and they were incredible. We three ate 40 at one sitting.

  • Frasier says:

    I don’t think there’s such a thing as sugar-free pineapple…

  • Rory says:

    Made these tonight and they came out AMAZING. Great recipe!! Thank you 🙂

  • Shari says:

    Mel, I am making these tonight and can’t wait! By dried ginger, do you mean powdered ginger from a spice jar? I’m going to see if TJ’s has dried ginger but I don’t think they do. I just want to make sure I’m using the correct ingredient! 🙂

  • Kim says:

    My sister and I were just discussing our love for meatballs. Fifteen more meatball recipes, bring it on! When is Well Fed 2 coming out, we can’t wait!

  • Tina Bock says:

    Did these really come to you in a dream?

    • Mel says:

      It totally did. I woke up thinking about it… scribbled down a recipe… made it and it was AWFUL… kept working on it and finally landed on this recipe.

      • Tina Bock says:

        That’s awesome! They were amazing thanks so much. Sure fire way to get your kids attention – tell em you’re making Bora Bora Fireballs for dinner. 🙂

  • Shelda says:

    Oh, these are just the cat’s meow! Everyone should have dreams that result in recipes like this! I made the whole recipe, and there’s only one of me, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how they taste tomorrow. Do they freeze well?

  • Shelda says:

    Oops! I see you already answered that above. Good to know!

  • Cristin says:

    Meatballs!?!?! OMG I LOVE Meatballs!! Oh boy Oh boy I can’t WAIT!!!! I also can’t wait to get home and make these little wonders with my grnd pork!!! WOOO HOOOO!!!

  • Mary says:

    Seriously, every single recipe of yours that I make turns out INCREDIBLY, these were amazing! You have such a great knack for interesting, delicious flavors, Mel! You’ve helped me expand my palate like whoa 🙂

  • Abbey F says:

    Excited for these for dinner tonight! We found you while doing our first Whole30 (I think we’ve done 4 now… about every 6 months we feel we need it to reset) and even though we don’t eat paleo or whole30 in the in-between times, the principles are always in the back of my head. This recipe has become a favorite! I make your mayo recipe constantly too 🙂 Thanks!

  • Meggin says:

    Holy yum, Batman! These are our new go-to protein snack. I make a bunch of them at the beginning of the week and we use them as a one-sie/two-sie on the go snack. I used 99% lean groud turkey and added some extra cayenne pepper for more spice. I didn’t need the pinapple juice to get the coconut to stick, so I kept it for my smoothies the next morning. Thanks for the satisfying flavor bomb!

    • Mel says:

      Hooray! Glad they’re coming in handy! (See what I did there?!)

      I really like using meatballs for grab-and-go eating, too. FLAVOR BOMBS!

  • Kathy says:

    after 2 hours in the oven, the outsides were burned and some of the insides still looked uncooked. I blame the French oven (and a bad Celcius conversion on my part) I’ve never used before, unless you have some other idea. The flavor was really good, so I am determined to make these again.

  • Donna says:

    I sooooo want to try these, but I’m allergic to eggs, which I’m guessing are included to bind the ingredients. Any suggestions on a substitute, or am I destined to live a meatball-free life?

    • Mel says:

      You can leave the eggs out, and they should work just fine. Be sure to get as much of the moisture out of the pineapple as you can. Enjoy!

  • Kim K says:

    This beautiful picture popped up in my facebook feed from Stupid Easy Paleo. Can’t wait to make them this weekend, they look and sound super tasty. 🙂 And oh my God is your hair ever cute. Love it!

  • Lori says:

    I’ve NEVER had meatballs that I’ve loved as much as these. They are so divine, in fact, that I will only cook them for myself – is that a bad thing? I just don’t want to share them. Selfish, I know, but holy moly they are amazing!! (And I actually HAVE shared them 😉 )

  • Lori says:

    oops, looks like i need to change my icon – back in the day when i baked bread. nowadays i don’t think you could pay me to eat bread. lovin the W30+ and WellFed.

  • Jinny says:

    I have had Well Fed for months now and just got around to cocking out of it this weekend and I wish I would have cooked these delishes recipes sooner! I made these today and I couldn’t stop eating them! I made Sunshine Sauce to dip them in and all I have to say is YUM-O!

    • Mel says:

      Hooray! Glad you like them! They’re even better after a few days in the fridge.

      • Jinny says:

        I had to come back and report that I had these with some mashed avocado with some Real Salt and let me just say…AMAZE-BALLS! I actually prefer them with the avocado mash!

  • Bonnie says:

    I wonder if these would be doable with hamburger rather than ground pork. What do you think? I can’t really get any ground pork where I am — I live in India where, though they have pork, they don’t as a nation grind their meat, it seems, and I don’t have a meat grinder, but I can get ground beef at the US commissary.

    • Mel says:

      Sure! Chicken will also work. If you have a food processor, you can grind the meat yourself. Cut into slices, pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes, then grind in food processor.

  • Bonnie says:

    I had heard that, about the processor and meat, but I was afraid I’d end up with pate. Freezing a bit makes a lot of sense. Thanks! I do have a food processor.

  • Thanh says:

    Does anyone know what the carb count on these are? They look amazing! And I just started a low carb diet.

  • Salina says:

    I just made these for the first time from your Well Fed cookbook..

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Michelle says:

    I made these yesterday and offered some to my friends and ended up having to hide them from them because they were eating so many that I wouldn’t have had any left. These are SO good. I ate one and immediately ordered your cookbook. 🙂

  • Jayne says:

    These bora bora fire balls r awesome
    We love to have it as a family meal

  • Steph says:

    Made these with ground dark meat turkey, and they were delicious. Didn’t have a full 2 pounds of meat, so I added 1/4 c. of almond flour to “bulk” the meatball mix, and so I could form balls. Also omitted some of the spicy stuff because of various family members who don’t like spicy.

    We served it with a bastardized sunshine sauce (mac nut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, garlic powder, a touch of coconut sugar), leftover sauteed cabbage, leftover mashed sweets, and all was well. Thanks, Melissa!

  • Anjelica says:

    Love these meatballs! Served it with sunshine sauce. I have both cookbooks in paperback, kindle and pdf. My four males (3 boys and my husband) love every recipe I have made. Except my husband is not a chocolate chili fan (he doesn’t consider that Texas chili, ha) My husband and I were both raised by parents that either traveled a lot internationally for work or lived overseas. Love the international feel of both books and all the lovely spices.

  • Lynn says:

    10 minutes prep to make 40 dredge and roll meatballs? Do you have some secret? It took me more than 10 minutes to get the meat, juice, and coconut ready!

  • Kelly says:

    I know this was posted some time ago, but wanted to leave feedback.

    I made these with the Sonshine Sauce last weekend and they were AMAZING. They’re in permanent rotation from now on. I made them for a pool party and seriously considered not serving them so we could hog them all for ourselves. Crazy GOOD!

  • Pau says:


    I’m planning on making these tonight with the cocoa-toasted cauliflower… Any chance they can go in the oven together? I know one is at 400* and the other at 375*, but is there any way to adjust time?? I SO need a double oven!

  • Lisa says:

    Unless I missed it here, I don’t see the the nutritional info posted. Can you tell me calories, carbs, fat, etc. please. These sound great and I want to make them! 🙂

  • Dadi Shroff says:

    I find it nearly impossible to get canned pineapple in its own juice where I live .I do get canned pineapple in sugar syrup which I don’t really want to use. Freshly cut is easily available to me however. Do you think this recipe should work if I use freshly cut pineapple and no sugar added, preservative free pineapple juice from a carton ? I would like to stay within whole30 guidelines and for me that seems to be the only workaround.

    • Unfortunately, fresh pineapple doesn’t work in this recipe — it’s too acidic and it makes the meatballs fall apart. I’m sorry! You could replace the pineapple with diced fresh mango — I think that will work just fine. And don’t worry about the pineapple juice for the coconut step; the coconut will stick to the meatballs without it. Happy Whole30-ing!

  • Kim H says:

    I am a huge fan of these- I will tell you, I triple the coconut flake recipe and save the rest for snacking or adding to other meals through the week. I recently did a sweet potato covered in pulled pork and the spicy coconut flakes on top completely made the dish. So. Good.

  • Rebecca says:

    I love this recipe and have made it several times. Questions…can you make this recipe as a meat loaf instead of the meat balls?

    • You can, I supposed. I can’t think why it wouldn’t work — maybe sprinkle the top with toasted coconut. The texture might be a bit mushy because of the pineapple — the meatball shape helps a lot because it allows a lot of moisture to evaporate during baking. You might have more luck if you make muffins in a muffin tin, rather than a large meatloaf.

  • Lauren Swenson says:

    I am FINALLY making these this week for a party! I’m going to make them on Thursday for a party on Friday. Do I reheat them on Friday (and how would you suggest is the best way), or do they taste/present just as well brought to room temperature from the fridge?

    • They taste great at room temperature, but if you’re making them ahead of time, I recommend that you re-heat them quickly in the oven to re-crisp the coconut. They’re tasty even when they’re not hot, but the coconut wilts in the fridge. If you want them heated through and hot, I’d cover them to re-heat at 300F, then uncover and let them crisp up again. If you want to serve them at room temp, you can crisp them in the oven uncovered at 400F (keep an eye on them so they don’t burn), then take them out of the oven and let further warm up to room temp.

      • Lauren Swenson says:

        Thank you so much, Melissa! I’m looking forward to seeing how my gym members like them. It’s always fun to bring something really fun, different, and Paleo… It’s too easy to get in a food rut!

      • Lauren Swenson says:

        Melissa, I just made another batch of these, this time all for me! Haha. I only had a 1.8 lb pkg of pork but that eliminated the need to roll the balls in juice. I also baked them placed on a rack on the sheet pan which kept them from having perfect form, but also kept them from being a bit wet/juicy on the bottom. A party usability to happen in my mouth… Thank you for this fun and tasty recipe!

  • Malainie says:

    Where is the recipe for Confetti Cauliflower? The above link goes to a chicken dish.

  • Jennifer says:

    Tried these for the first time tonight, along with the Sunshine Sauce. Very yummy! Next time I’ll double the sunshine sauce since this recipe makes so many fireballs. Also, I’d either put small chunks of pineapple inside each meatball rather than mixing crushed pineapples into it.. Or… Top each fireball with a small chunk of pineapple. Very good!

    Question- do you happen to have the nutritional info on this and the sunshine sauce please??

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • miranda says:

    Do you cook the ground pork first? Or mix it in raw?

  • Bobbie says:

    I made these today and there are fantastic. Even my very picky husband likes them

  • Stacy says:

    I purchased both Well Fed and Well Fed 2 a couple of weeks ago. I have been pouring over the books, drooling while I read them from cover to cover. This is my first recipe I made along with Sunshine Sauce – FABULOUS!

  • Lani says:

    I made these but I’m disappointed. I did use turkey because we don’t eat pork but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The meatballs deformed to very flat patties in the oven and had a weird texture, like the pineapple broke down the turkey.

    • Yes, the enzymes in the pineapple probably broke down the proteins in the turkey. There’s a reason the recipe calls for pork 🙂 Also, make sure you always use canned pineapple, not fresh; the fresh pineapple breaks down proteins in the meat.

  • Pamela says:

    Texture bad

    Please put the note about fresh pineapple v canned into the recipe.
    I just wasted money on ingredients and time preparing this, i thought fresh pineapple would be healthier.
    I didn’t read the comments until now.

    • The recipe ingredients specifically list canned pineapple. I always specify the exact ingredients to use to prevent issues like yours, and if variations are possible, I always list those, too.

  • Michelle says:

    My husband and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary today. It ‘s also day 21 of my Whole 30. We honeymooned in Bora Bora so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try. It did not disappoint. These were amazing! This and your chocolate chili have been my favorite meals over the last few weeks so I’m a forever fan! Think it’s too late to ask for your cookbooks as an anniversary present? 🙂

    • Happy Anniversary! Congratulations on two years of marriage AND three weeks (!) of Whole30-ing! I hope you’re feeling awesome.

      I’m really glad the Bora Bora Fireballs were a hit! I’d hate to be responsible for ruining your anniversary dinner! How awesome that you spent your honeymoon in Bora Bora… fantastic!

      All the best to you!

  • Lauren says:

    Hi! How well do the bora bora fireballs and the salmon cakes freeze? Do I cook them first or do I freeze them raw, thaw them out and then cook. Looking forward to a weekend of trying a few new recipes to incorporate this week. Thank you! Your books have been my bibles!

    • I haven’t tried freezing the Bora Bora Fireballs, but generally, meatballs do really well in the freezer/defrost. Make them completely and let them cool, them place in a single layer on a baking sheet in the freezer until they’re solid. Transfer to a Ziplock bag. When you want to eat them, defrost in the fridge and reheat in the oven, wrapped in foil, 350F until they’re hot. You can unwrap them and let them bake for a few minutes uncovered to get them crisp again.

      Salmon cakes freeze awesome. Follow the same steps as above for freezing, defrosting, and reheating. Enjoy! Thank you for buying our books 🙂

  • Molly says:

    Just made these. They are delicious! It reminds me a little of a lettuce wrap, which my kids love, but these are a bit sweeter. I think they’ll love them! I could only find unsweetened coconut in flakes, which are a bit larger, so I had to double the amount of coconut used. The salted and spiced coconut is amazing. I plan to toast the rest of the bag and eat as a snack, maybe with some nuts, or use as a topper for a tropical soup. I planned to serve with sunshine sauce but ran out of coconut amigos, so I whipped up some of your awesome sauce. Love the tanginess with these balls. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Aubrey says:

    Have you tried making these with ground turkey instead? I only have turkey on hand, and I have all the other ingredients. Also- is it okay to sub onions for scallions?
    Very excited for the recipe!! I have been doing paleo/whole30 for about 1 1/2 steady and have lost 18 pounds in the past 2 months 🙂 It works people- eat REAL FOOD!

    • Yes, ground turkey will work. Be sure to use canned, not fresh, pineapple.

      Yes, you can sub onions, but mince them very finely so the texture of the onions doesn’t mess with the texture of the meatballs. You could also grate the onion to help solve that problem.

      Congratulations on your awesome new eating habits!

  • Kelsey says:

    Has anyone tried making these and serving in a crockpot for a potluck? Wondering how well they would keep or if the coconut would get soggy…

  • Emily says:

    I made these for the first time last night, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever eaten! I’m going to try the cumin carrots as a side with the fireballs tonight. Currently cooking my way through Well Fed 2 and the blog – can’t wait to find more favorites!

  • Andra says:

    We just finished rolling a tray of these. Going to cook them up later for the Super Bowl, served with sunshine sauce and a big platter of crudités. Cannot wait to try them.

    Go Pats!!!

  • Valerie Bianchi says:

    Mel, of all the balls, these are my favorites!. Moist, tender, spicy, just a touch of sweetness from the pineapple and the coconut. I served them with Sunshine Sauce, and that little extra nuttiness was just perfect. Even left ove, they’re just as good. I virtually live on your recipes. Thank you for sharing your talent, creativity, and love of food with us!