May 13, 2020

Sticky Ginger Scallion Meatballs

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

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

sticky meatball 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.

 

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 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.

ginger scallion meatballs on brown parchment

 

Print

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

Ingredients

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

Method

  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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    60 comments
  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

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

  5. 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

  6. 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!

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

    • 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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! 🙂

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

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

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

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

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

  24. 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!!

  25. 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 🙂

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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 🙏

  29. 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.

  30. 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😊

  31. 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.

  32. 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. 🙂

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

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

  36. 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!

  37. 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

  38. 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!!!

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

  40. 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.

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

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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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