Sticky Ginger Scallion meatballs that are just the right amount of sweet and spicy. These Asian inspired meatballs are so easy to make and full of ginger sesame flavor. This recipe is gluten free, Whole30 compliant, and Paleo friendly!
Sticky Ginger Scallion Meatballs
What’s better than a meatball, you ask?
A tender, juicy, and super flavorful ginger scallion meatball swimming in a sticky sauce. That’s what.
These healthy sticky ginger scallion meatballs are packed with flavor from fresh ginger, scallions, cilantro, and garlic. Then, they are coated in a sweet and sticky sauce that is so simple to make and does not have any added sugar.
Not only are they delicious, these meatballs are so easy to whip up. They are perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or fun appetize.
Also, they are baked, which means there is no need to stand over the stove cooking each meatball until perfect. Just place them on a sheet pan, bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, and you’re done. I’m telling you they are the best.
Simple Meatball Ingredients
These ginger scallion meatballs get their name from plenty of fresh ginger and scallions. They are full of flavor and made with just a few simple ingredients that you likely already have on hand.
Ground Beef: For the best results, use a leaner ground beef like 85/15 or 90/10. If you do not like beef, you could substitute ground pork, ground turkey, or ground pork instead.
Ginger: These meatballs get their name from a generous amount of freshly minced ginger. It adds such a great flavor.
Garlic: A few large cloves, finely minced, are all you need.
Scallions: Scallions, also called green onion, are milder than regular onion but still give you that onion-y flavor. Slice them thinly for the best results.
Cilantro: Adds a bright freshness to the meatballs.
Sesame Oil: Sesame oil is common in Asian cooking and is made from sesame seeds.
Rice Vinegar: Adds little brightness and helps to amplify the flavor.
Red Pepper Flakes: These are completely optional, but if you like a little heat feel free to add them. A little goes a long way.
Ingredients For The Sweet And Sticky Sauce
The base of the sweet and sticky sauce coating these meatballs is coconut aminos. Coconut aminos are a common substitute for soy sauce and are made from the sap of the coconut tree.
Coconut aminos are naturally much sweeter than soy sauce. They give the sauce a sweet flavor that works really well with the meatballs.
The rest of the sauce ingredients include sesame oil, a little lime juice, tomato paste (works so well with the flavor of the beef), and arrowroot starch.
Arrowroot starch is a natural thickening agent that works the same way as cornstarch. A little goes a long way to thicken the sauce. Arrowroot starch starts to lose its thickening quality the longer it is heated which is why it is added at the end of making the sauce.
How To Make Ginger Scallion Meatballs
Step One: First, make the meatballs by adding the ground beef, ginger, garlic, cilantro, scallions, salt, red pepper flakes, rice vinegar, and sesame oil to a mixing bowl. Use your hands to work all of the ingredients together until well combined.
Step Two: Next form the meatballs. Scoop the meat mixture using a tablespoon sized cookie dough scoop or tablespoon measure. Then, use your hands to roll the meat mixture into meatballs.
Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Step Three: While the meatballs are cooking make the sauce. To do this, add the coconut aminos, sesame oil, lime juice, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes to a small saucepan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat.
Once the sauce is simmering, reduce the heat to low. Next, thoroughly whisk in the arrowroot starch. The sauce should begin to thicken instantly. Let the sauce remain on low heat while the meatballs continue to cook.
Step Four: When the meatballs have finished cooking, transfer them to a mixing bowl or a shallow pan. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and use a spoon to gently toss the meatballs in the sauce until they are well coated.
Once the meatballs are coated in the sauce, garish them with sesame seeds and sliced green onion. Serve and enjoy!
What To Serve With Your Meatballs
If you are serving these meatballs for weeknight dinner, pair them with rice or cauliflower rice to make them a complete meal. Plus, the rice will help to soak up any extra sauce from the meatballs. You can also pair them with your favorite vegetable like green beans, zucchini, or broccoli.
If you are serving these meatballs as an appetizer or snack at a party, I suggest sticking a toothpick into each one before serving to make eating them easy.
Tips And Tricks For The Best Meatballs
Finely mince the ginger and garlic before adding them to the ground beef. You do not want to bite into a huge piece of ginger or garlic when eating the meatballs.
Wet your hands before making the meatballs. This will help prevent the meat mixture from sticking to your hands and make the meatball making process easier.
Toss the meatballs gently in the sauce so you do not break them.
Do not forget to line your sheet pan with parchment paper before baking the meatballs. The meatballs will not stick to the pan and cleaning up will be easier.
Add the meatball ingredients to a small mixing bowl and use your hands to mix until well combined. Next, use a cookie dough scoop or tablespoon measure to scoop out the meat mixture. Use your hands to form the ground beef into meatballs.
Place the meatballs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking, make the sweet and sticky sauce. Add the coconut aminos, tomato paste, sesame oil, lime juice, and red pepper flakes (if using). Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Once the sauce is simmering, turn the heat down to low and whisk in 1 ½ teaspoons of arrowroot starch. Leave the sauce on low heat while the meatballs continue to cook.
When the meatballs are done cooking, add them to a mixing bowl and pour the sauce over them. Gently toss them in the sauce until they are well coated. Transfer the meatballs and sauce to a serving dish and garnish them with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!