Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

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Teriyaki turkey meatballs are easy to make and ready to eat in about 30 minutes. You’ll love their simple seasonings and homemade teriyaki sauce.

Homemade meatballs may seem like a lot of work, but they make such a quick dinner for weeknights. And they even make a great appetizer for parties.

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs are a unique twist to traditional Italian meatballs. They have a sweet and tangy Asian flair. Serve over rice with a steamed veggie on the side if you’d like. You’ll have dinner in about 30 minutes!

a plate of teriyaki turkey meatballs with rice

About this Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs Recipe:

  • Flavor: Turkey meatballs can sometimes be bland, so we flavored the meatballs themselves with lots of garlic, ginger and onions. The teriyaki sauce itself is lightly sweet and tangy.
  • Texture: The meatballs have a traditional meatball texture. They have egg and bread crumbs so that the bind together, which makes them slightly dense.
  • Method: Although some meatballs are cooked on the stovetop, I prefer to bake the teriyaki meatballs in the oven.
a plate of baked turkey meatballs with teriyaki sauce

What is teriyaki sauce made of?

There are just 6 ingredients in this simple teriyaki sauce.

  • Soy sauce. Use tamari if you cannot have soy sauce.
  • Brown sugar.
  • Mirin. Mirin is a lightly sweet Japanese rice wine that is in many Japanese dishes. It adds a little sweet and richness do dishes.
  • Water.
  • Garlic. You can get away with garlic powder in the meatballs, but use minced garlic for the sauce.
  • Ginger. I like to keep ginger paste on hand for when I don’t have fresh ginger.

To make the sauce, add all sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan on the stove top over medium heat and stir well. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat slightly and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced. Remove from heat. It won’t look thickened at first, but as it cools it will thicken slightly.

How to Make Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

  • Prepare. Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix. Add all the meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix until evenly combined. (Using your hands will yield the best results for even and efficient mixing). Using a 2 tbsp cookie scoop, portion and roll the mixture into balls and place on baking sheet 1” apart.
  • Bake. Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through. Internal temperature of the meatballs should be 165ºF.
  • Toss the meatballs in the sauce. Then sprinkle more sesame seeds and green onion on top.
pouring homemade teriyaki sauce over meatballs in a bowl

Recipe Variations

  • Use ground chicken, ground beef or ground pork instead of ground turkey in this teriyaki meatball recipe if you’d like.
  • Want to use something other than brown sugar to sweeten the sauce? Try honey or pineapple juice.
a plate of teriyaki turkey meatballs with rice
a plate of teriyaki turkey meatballs with rice

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

4.75 from 4 votes
Teriyaki turkey meatballs are easy to make and ready to eat in about 30 minutes. You'll love their simple seasonings and homemade teriyaki sauce.
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the meatballs:

  • 16 ounces lean ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced green onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the teriyaki sauce:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin can also use rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger or 1" ginger paste

For serving:

  • white rice
  • sesame seeds
  • green onion

Instructions
 

Make the meatballs:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add all the meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix until evenly combined. (Using your hands will yield the best results for even and efficient mixing).
  • Using a 2 tbsp cookie scoop, portion and roll the mixture into balls and place on baking sheet 1” apart.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through. Internal temperature of the meatballs should be 165ºF.

Make the teriyaki sauce:

  • While the meatballs are baking, add all sauce ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat and stir well. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat slightly and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced. Remove from heat. It won’t look thickened at first, but as it cools it will thicken slightly.
  • Once the meatballs come out of the oven, add to a mixing bowl and toss well with the teriyaki sauce.
  • Serve warm over rice with more sesame seeds and scallions to garnish. Drizzle with any leftover sauce.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

  • This recipe also works with ground chicken.
  • You can make this gluten free with gluten free breadcrumbs and tamari in place of soy sauce.
  • These meatballs can be frozen. Freeze separated on a baking sheet, then transfer to container or plastic bag and place in the freezer for up to 6 months. Defrost overnight in fridge, then heat in the crock pot, microwave or oven.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the meatballs serving 4, with 1 serving being ¼ of the meatballs and sauce. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 2113mg | Potassium: 463mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 134IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, asian
Calories 262
Keyword 30 minute dinner, appetizer recipe, easy meatball recipe

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About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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