May 13, 2020

Sticky Ginger Scallion Meatballs

These Sticky Ginger Scallion meatballs 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.

Watch How to Make This Recipe

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.

Reader Favorite Meatball Recipes

ground beef, ginger, scallions, and cilantro in a glass mixing bowl

Simple Meatball Ingredients

Note: full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

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.

sticky meatball sauce

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

Note: full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

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.

meatballs in glass mixing bowl with sauce on top

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

  • 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.

Is Your Sauce Too Salty?

If you find that the sauce is too salty for you there may be a couple of ways to troubleshoot.

  • Be sure you are using coconut aminos NOT liquid aminos or soy sauce. Liquid aminos and soy sauce will not work in this recipe and will make the sauce too salty.
  • You may have over-cooked the sauce. Be sure to just warm the sauce through and bring it to a slight simmer. No need to boil the sauce or reduce it. The arrowroot starch will do all of the thickening for you.
  •  Reduce the salt in the meatballs. If you are particularly sensitive to salt, you can reduce the amount used in the meatballs to best suite your needs.

ginger scallion meatballs on brown parchment

More Delicious Recipes

I hope you give these Sticky Ginger Scallion Meatballs a try! They are so easy to make and delicious! If you do give this recipe a try, let me know! 

Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.


Sticky Ginger Scallion Meatballs

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • Cook Time: 25 Min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • Cook Time: 25 Min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


For the Meatballs

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • ½ tablespoon finely minced ginger
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced scallion
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro

For the Sauce:

  • ¾ cup coconut aminos
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon arrowroot starch


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Keywords: Sticky Ginger Scallion Meatballs, Asian Meatballs, Sticky Meatballs, Ginger Meatballs

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  1. Been making these in my home for years! We rotated them out just to get in some new variety, and just the other day, my husband asked when I was planning to make “those Asian style meatballs from that food blogger in NC” again! Needless to say they’re on tonight’s menu. Hubby approved AND requested! We love them with some rice, quick pickled cucumber and vinegar slaw.

    • That sounds so good, Jennifer! I’m so glad y’all love this one! Thanks for leaving a review !

  2. The meatballs were delicious! I used ground chicken and basil as i didn’t have cilantro. I agree with others that the sauce was very salty. That said, I used Teriyaki instead of the coconut aminos which I didn’t have. I thought it might be sweeter than soy but didn’t realize it had so much sodium. I added honey which seemed to help a little. Also for those who aren’t used to using starches, always mix with a liquid to make a slurry before adding or you will end up with lumps that don’t dissolve in the sauce. I will definitely make again with the exact ingredients!

  3. This meal was absolutely amazing! The meatballs had so much flavor on their own and the sauce adds another layer of deliciousness! It was a hit for me and my husband and we will definitely make this again and again! It was an recipe to follow and very quick which is always great. Thank you Ashlea!

    • Hi, Kayleigh! I mention in the instructions to use a 1 tablespoon measure or a cookie dough scoop of a similar size. Around 1 to 1 1/2 size should work!

  4. I loved this recipe as I do all of your recipes! I also love how this can be so easily adapted to be Whole 30 compliant! I used soy sauce this time and found it to be too salty, so next time will cut the salt if I sub soy sauce for coconut aminos. So good!!

  5. This is my first time trying one of your recipes, and these were simple and delicious. My son-in law was recently diagnosed with Coeliacs Disease. He loved them. The family loved them. I will definitely be making these again.
    Thank you for the great recipe!!

  6. Love this recipe!! It has now become a regular staple in our house. It’s honestly the best and only way to eat meatballs now! 🙂 The flavour combination is incredible. Thank you!

  7. I made the Sticky Ginger Scallion Meatballs for dinner this week. Not only was the recipe easy to follow the meatballs were great!! I plan including this recipe into our dinner rotation.

    • Yay! So happy to hear that it’s become a favorite for you, DeAnne! Thanks for sharing!

  8. These are so good! The flavors kind of remind me of dumpling filling. Really enjoyed them and they’ll definitely be joining my list of favorite recipes!

  9. Super easy to make and tastes delicious! I made them with ground turkey and served over brown rice. Any veggie on the side is a great addition!

    • I’m so glad you liked them, Carolina! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  10. Such a delicious recipe that will definitely be one of my go-tos. I even messed up the recipe (forgot to put the cilantro in the meatball mixture) and didn’t have lime for the sauce. Thankfully it is very forgiving 🙂

  11. These were amazing, and easy to make! We served them over cauliflower rice. This will be a new favorite in our house.

  12. I’ve been on a kick making all of the “all the healthy things” meatballs – and every single one has been amazing. My husband loves Asian inspired foods – and this was a big hit! We made these with ground chicken since we don’t eat ground beef and they were delicious. The sauce was a bit salty – so instead of tossing the meatballs in the sauce we used it as a dipping sauce instead which worked great!

  13. I have had this recipe saved for so long and I finally made it tonight. It was SO GOOD! My fiancé ate his entire plate in 7 minutes! We will definitely be making this again soon!

  14. This was a great recipe and I’m definitely going to make it again – my family loved it! I made a point to order coconut aminos as directed. I got the Simple Truth Coconut Aminos from Kroger. I tasted a little from the jar out of curiosity and yes – it was super salty. The sodium content was through the roof. But, I didn’t have time to figure out if I got the wrong thing – so I just went with it. But this morning, I went back and re-read Ashlea’s notes more carefully. I think even though Kroger has their product labeled as coconut aminos – it is NOT the right thing. I’m going to order the Coconut Secret brand which has dramatically lower sodium content and try this again – I know it’s going to be amazing because the taste and overall appeal of this meal was right on otherwise.

  15. My fiancé said he likes these meatballs better than the ones his Italian mother makes! I didn’t even get to make the sauce by the time he said this. I also think they are amazing!

  16. The recipe sounds great because I truly love these flavors. I made this with coconut aminos and it was very salty. I wish I could make it as others have described. Not sure what happened as I did follow the ingredients specifically as listed.

    • Hi, Allison! You may have reduced your coconut aminos a bit too much. Also, be sure you are using coconut aminos and not liquid aminos. Another tip is to use less salt in the meat mixture if you are particularly sensitive to salt in recipes. Hope that helps!

  17. A+++ Have been wanting to make this for quite sometime. Doing a Whole30 for January and it’s delicious and filling AND husband approved. Will absolutely make again.

  18. Delicious! Simple to make and the family loved it. Will try the coconut aminos next time though, instead of my soy sauce/water substitution.

  19. So good! My family loved this recipe. I make it pretty often. My picky eaters even enjoy this one!

  20. Another hit! Made this last night and it was so good. Served over brown rice. Will double this recipe next time so there are leftovers!!

  21. OH..MY..GOODNESS. These meatballs blew my husband and I away. They were not only really easy to make, but were INSANELY DELICIOUS. Thank you thank you for making such an awesome recipe that we have officially added as a monthly staple!!

  22. Wow! This was my first time trying a recipe from you & it was a hit! Will make over & over again!! I used ground turkey cause that’s what I had and it was so juicy. I even sent some with my boyfriend to take on his hunting trip with the guys & he said everyone loved them! That made me even more excited. Thanks so much! Already fitting another one of your recipes into this week’s meal plan!

  23. Super easy to make and delicious! I made these for a friends birthday dinner and they were a hit! I doubled the sauce recipe and poured it over everything. I Served with Mixed stir fry veggies and cauliflower rice. Will definitely make again!

  24. Such a great, easy recipe. Absolutely delicious. A bit salty for my taste so I’ll reduce or omit the salt in the meatballs next time.

  25. Made these with ground chicken and they were so good!! I amped up the pepper for a little extra kick just based on our love of spicy foods, and they were great that way or without! We made them while on Whole30, but they’ll definitely be in our normal rotation because they were so easy and yummy.

  26. I wanted to love these so much, but they were so salty!!! We couldn’t finish the meal because of the salty flavor, which never happens. Not sure where I went wrong, but i think the sauce was WAY to salty to enjoy the meatballs. Bummer.

  27. My husband loves these! I also made them for a small dinner party last week and clearly did not make enough! They were such a hit and the sauce is so yummy!

  28. Absolutely delicious! So much flavour! Quick and easy, a great weeknight meal. Served with cilantro-lime rice. Will be making these on a regular basis for sure!

  29. Amazing! Subbed soy sauce for coconut aminos and it was a bit salty, as noted, so had to cut with some honey. Served over TJs cauli rice. Will def make again!

  30. Delicious! It is so easy to whip together and the flavors are amazing. This will be added to our regular rotation for sure. We served it with cilantro lime rice- great match!

  31. These are a family favorite. I usually make a double or triple batch and freeze some for a quick meal later.

  32. This was so delicious! Made them for dinner last night, they were quick, easy, and most of all tasted amazing! Will definitely be making again

  33. This tastes like it’d take hours, but, this dish is so quick and easy to make! Delicious and flavorful, and definitely wow-ed family and friends!

  34. YUM! This sauce is fabulous! We even tossed it with air fryer chicken wings–perfection! Thanks so much for sharing.

  35. They were so salty that we couldn’t eat them. Is it the cocoanut amino? Any advice??

    • Mine were, too. I think it was because I let the sauce simmer too long and it got too concentrated. Next time, I will pull it off the heat much sooner.

  36. This was delicious! I did end up having to sub a few ingredients for what I had on hand, but it turned out great. Just like the other recipes I’ve tried from this site, this one came together quickly and easily and got a thumbs up from the whole family!

  37. I made this recipe this morning so that I can heat the meatballs up later with stir fry veggies after a day of decorating. Oh my word, the smell coming from my kitchen is gorgeous. I’ve already scoffed a few. They are beyond delicious and so easy to make. I used ground turkey leg and breast mince as per your recommended swaps. Can’t wait for dinner so I can eat the rest.

  38. Amazing dish!!! So good with cauli rice, and the next day we had the leftovers with rice noodles. Easy to make too, which always makes me happy.

  39. So good and easy! I added more garlic to the sauce and it was great! I also used cornstarch because it’s what I had on hand. Definitely will make again!

  40. We made this for Whole 30 and it was so easy and delicious! Should have made a double batch for more leftovers later in the week.

  41. These were the best meatballs I’ve ever had! I don’t typically even like meatballs but the flavor in these was amazing! I made a ton and put some in the freezer for later.

  42. This is an amazing weekday (any day really!) recipe. The meatballs are full of flavor and can be enjoyed on their own or with veggies. We had the meatballs over rice with broccoli & carrots, drizzled with this delicious sauce. We definitely will be making this recipe again in the near future. Can 100% other meat options if you like, but traditional beef is always a solid choice.

  43. Delicious and easy! I think it’d also be really yummy with ground chicken so will try that next time

  44. Super easy to make and the meatballs were so flavorful! I was out of coconut aminos, so I subbed with tamarind and it was way too salty. Looking forward to trying it again with the correct ingredient! 🙂

  45. This is an amazing recipe! I’ve never had meatballs like this before, and my whole family loved them. Thanks!

  46. These were so good and super flavorful! My boyfriend even used the extra sauce on broccoli and it was amazing. Thanks for this amazing recipe!

  47. Loved this recipe! I subbed turkey for beef and it turned out delicious. I didn’t have coconut aminos so I subbed soy sauce with a few tablespoons of maple syrup and it was great. Definitely making these again!

  48. This was soooooo delicious and easy to make! Highly recommend for a weeknight dinner. We did it over brown rice with some spinach and steamed broccoli – yum!

  49. These were SO delish! I was so impressed with the sauce – perfectly flavorful and sticky. Will definitely be making these again! 🙂

  50. LOVE THESE! Very easy to make, which was a nice surprise. FULL of flavor, and enough for a perfect lunch the next day!

  51. Loved this recipe – so tasty and FAST!! I made a little extra sauce to go on my cauliflower rice and broccoli – delish!!

  52. Ever since I saw this recipe, I have been looking forward to it. Just had it for dinner and it totally lives up to the hype. So delicious!!

  53. I don’t think I made these right, they still tasted good, but my sauce wasn’t “sticky”.

    I did use soy sauce because that’s what I had – which I had to balance with some honey as I believe Coco Aminos is much more mild/sweet and the soy sauce alone might have been too salty. Maybe I need to be using Coco Aminos?

    Also my arrowroot just clumped and didn’t thicken very much.

    I want to make these again because I LOVE ginger. Any tips to improve?

    Thanks 🙂

  54. These were delicious! Served them with jasmine rice and roasted broccoli and wowed the whole family. The sauce was a delicious surprise and our first time using coconut aminos. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  55. These were fantastic! Incredibly easy to make. They were nice and light but still had so much flavor. We served in a bowl with cauliflower rice and broccoli! These were easy enough to be a weeknight meal, or make ahead and have some leftovers! We will be making these regularly!

  56. Made this recipe for dinner and it is a keeper! I used all ground turkey. The meatballs were not dry at all. I served it over cauliflower rice and sautéed garlic beet greens. Thank you 🙏

  57. I’m not a big meat ball fan, so I seasoned the meat as directed and then cooked the ground beef ground up in a skillet and served it over zucchini noodles with the sauce and sesame seeds. Big win! Thanks for this yummy recipe.

  58. Great recipe! So glad we made it! I’m teaching my daughter how to cook – I’m trying to pick tasty, easy, healthy meals and this one fit the bill!
    So happy I found your blog – Michelle Tam (NomNom Paleo) had this awesome recipie on her weekly newsletter😊

  59. This meatball recipe was so good! They are like little balls of flavor in a nice sauce. The sauce actually thickened up for me which was great! Usually my whole30 sauces don’t thicken well, but this was perfect. Will definitely be making this again in the future! We ate with a side of veggies, but would be perfect over zoodles or cauli rice.

  60. I just made this recipe and it is phenomenal! I lived in Asia for awhile so I’m pretty picky about my Asian food, and this was so delicious. The balance of flavors are just right. My husband loved it too. I suspect this will make the usual rotation in the coming weeks. 🙂

  61. These were so yummy and simple. I made them with ground turkey instead of beef since that was all we had, but they still turned out great! We paired them with coconut rice and veggies for the perfect summer meal.

  62. The comments from the dinner table were “It’s amazing!” and “mmmm” and “next time make more!” The meatballs are so flavorful and easy to make. I had to leave the cilantro out for my son, so the rest of us just sprinkled it on as a garnish. I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes. I have my eyes on some burrito bowls next…Thank you!

  63. This recipe was so wonderful! Easy, flavorful, and unique! Will absolutely be making this again!!

  64. Made these for dinner with rice & roasted veggies. They were so quick to prepare and the sauce was delicious! Highly recommend!!

  65. This was the first recipe of yours I tried and I can’t wait to try more! These were delish, my husband even licked the spoon I made the sauce with!

  66. These sticky meatballs were AMAZING. We all kept going back for more. Even my 16 month old kept signing for more more more! Thank you for this delicious recipe! Can’t wait to try more

  67. Made these for my husband and served with cauliflower rice – he agreed to do the whole30 with me this round and now he’s finally convinced how delicious whole30 can be!

    He immediately said “this is our new party food!”

    One of the best recipes I’ve made in a long time. Thank you for sharing!!!

  68. Wow! I made these the other night and they were delicious! I will definitely make these again. Thanks for the great recipe.

  69. These meatballs are so delicious! I used 1 TB of garlic oil in place of the fresh garlic to make them low FODMAP, but followed everything else exactly. They are flavorful and easy to make. Thanks, Ashlea for the great recipe.

  70. Thank you for this recipe, Ashlea! I made this for dinner last night and LOVED the meatballs and sauce!

  71. Thanks, Ashlea, for this recipe! We didn’t have scallions so I used minced onion in its place and it worked out really well! Really flavour and the meatballs were super juicy! Will be trying this again with scallions next time. Cheers!

  72. I saw Ashlea’s take over on Whole30 and knew I had to make these. They were amazing & it came together so fast. We paired them with rice and broccoli and it made the perfect bowl.

  73. This was beyond delicious! The sauce alone is to die for! My husband and I are doing (my first, his second) Whole 30 and your recipes are saving us! Thank you so much!

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