These oven baked turkey meatballs are so easy to make, you’ll have a delicious Asian inspired dinner on your table in under 30 minutes! They’re healthy, flavorful, and perfect for a quick weeknight meal!
Back when I was in college, I had a good friend named whose family lived close enough to actually visit during the holidays unlike my own.
During our freshman year he invited me to join his family for some of their holiday celebrations since I was missing my own family.
One of his family’s traditions has stuck with me since then – eating Asian takeout and watching The Christmas Story the week before Christmas. It was a tradition that I absolutely loved being a part of, something so non-traditional that I always remember it.
These baked turkey meatballs are my way of remembering that fun tradition with my friend from years ago! Teriyaki turkey meatballs inspired by, but better than, Asian takeout!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This recipe is so easy. Both the meatballs and the teriyaki sauce are literally just mixing ingredients together.
The flavor is amazing. The combination of the salty soy sauce with the sweet brown sugar in the teriyaki sauce perfectly complements each other.
It’s great for a crowd or making ahead. Making a second sheet pan of meatballs isn’t much different than making one. Store the meatballs and enjoy with a little sauce all week long.
They’re baked. The recipe with the teriyaki sauce may not be quite healthy but baking instead of frying does keep the calorie count down. And if you eat them without the teriyaki sauce (not my preference), they really are pretty healthy!
- Soy sauce – we typically use the reduced sodium kind, you can also use coconut aminos as a substitute
- Ground turkey – try to use the leanest ground turkey available if you’re wanting to make this recipe as healthy as possible
- Brown sugar – you can use either dark or light brown sugar in this recipe, either one works fine
- Dried parsley – since this is going into the meatballs, use dried parsley instead of trying to substitute with fresh
- Bread crumbs – plain, unseasoned bread crumbs work best since you’ll be adding other seasoning to the meatballs. Panko also works.
Step by Step Instructions
I’m going to break this into two sections – making the meatballs and making the teriyaki sauce. That way if you only want one or the other, you’re golden.
And ps., if you like teriyaki sauce, you have to try this teriyaki sheet pan chicken recipe. So good!
1 – Prep the Meatballs
Before you get started on the meatballs, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Then combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the egg to the bowl and combine with the large ingredients. Note, make sure your egg is scrambled before you add it!
Add the turkey to the bowl and mix everything together by hand.
Once the turkey is mixed, roll into small bowls and place about 1/2 inch apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
2 – Bake the Meatballs
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Flip then bake for another 5 minutes.
3 – Make the Teriyaki Sauce
While the meatballs are baking, make your teriyaki sauce.
To make the sauce, all you need to do is combine all of the sauce ingredients in a pot over medium heat and stir.
Wait until the mixture comes to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until mixture reaches your desired thickness.
I typically like it to be thick enough that it has some thickness to it (i.e., it doesn’t just run off a spoon like a soup) but not too thick.
4 – Finish the Meatballs
After you’ve baked the meatballs for the additional five minutes, remove from the oven. Cover with teriyaki sauce then put back int the oven for a last five minutes to finish cooking.
Oh and any leftover teriyaki sauce!
Watch how quickly these baked turkey meatballs come together in this quick video!
Don’t over bake. If you over bake the meatballs, you’ll end up with dry meatballs or worse, burnt teriyaki sauce.
Make sure to cook the teriyaki sauce on medium then reduce the heat to a simmer once it comes to a boil. If you continue to cook on medium and boil the mixture, you risk burning the sauce or evaporating so much you won’t have enough for the meatballs.
If you like sauce, double the teriyaki sauce so you have even more to add to the meatballs after baking.
Use your hands to mix the meat. This keeps the meatballs moist and tender.
Yes! This recipe works great with pretty much any ground meat. We’ve tried both ground beef and ground chicken with delicious results.
Yes, but I recommend if you’re planning to freeze them to freeze without the teriyaki sauce. Then when you want to eat, thaw and reheat the meatballs in the oven and whip up a batch of fresh teriyaki sauce.
Just omit the breadcrumbs. The texture of the meatballs will be a little different, but they should work just fine. The egg should still bind everything together.
Store the meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Store any extra sauce in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator as well.
Reheat the meatballs in the oven at 350 degrees until warmed through. Reheat the sauce on the stove over low-medium until heated.
More 30 Minute Dinners
- Coconut chicken tenders
- Easy feijoada recipe
- Ham fried rice
- Sausage jambalaya
- Almond chicken
- Easy orange chicken
Baked Turkey Meatballs with Teriyaki Sauce
For the meatballs
- 1 ¼ lb ground turkey
- ¼ cup Bread crumbs
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg scrambled
For the teriyaki sauce
- 1 Tbs rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl.
- Add egg to large bowl and combine with dry ingredients.
- Add turkey to bowl and combine all together with hands.
- Form mixture into small balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Put the baking sheet into the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, flip over and put back in for five minutes.
- Pull meatballs out, cover with teriyaki sauce, and put back into the oven for five minutes to finish cooking.
For the Sauce
- Combine all the ingredients and cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
- Reduce and simmer for approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture reaches desired consistency.
Tips & Notes:
Update Note: This post was originally published December 8, 2015 but has since been updated to add additional photos, video, and details.