These Sweet and StickyPork Meatballs make the perfect appetizer or weeknight dinner. The ground pork meatballs are seasoned with fresh herbs, ginger, and garlic and then tossed in a delicious sweet and sticky sauce.
These juicy meatballs are full of flavor thanks to a few simple, fresh ingredients that really pack a punch. Here’s what you need to make them:
Ground Pork: you can usually find ground pork in the meat section of your local grocery store. You need just one pound for this recipe.
Fresh Herbs and Aromatics: these meatballs use a combination of fresh garlic, cilantro, fresh ginger, shallot, and red pepper flakes for the best flavor.
Coconut Aminos: The base of the sauce is a substitute for soy sauce called coconut aminos. Coconut aminos are made from the sap of the coconut palm tree and are commonly used as an alternative to soy sauce in Paleo and Whole30 compliant dishes. Unlike traditional soy sauce, they also have a slightly sweet flavor which works to give the sauce a slightly sweet flavor without any added sugar.
Sesame Oil: Sesame oil is another key ingredient in this sauce and really helps to give the meatballs a lovely flavor.
Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is made from anchovies and sea salt and gives the sauce a savory depth of flavor. If you don’t have a bottle of fish sauce, I highly recommend grabbing some to have on hand for curries, stir fries, or sauces.
Lime Juice: this adds a brightness and slight sweetness to the sauce.
Ground Pork – don’t love ground pork? swap it for ground turkey or chicken instead.
Coconut Aminos – I don’t recommend swapping the coconut aminos in this recipe for anything else. Using soy sauce will make this recipe too salty.
Fish Sauce – don’t have fish sauce? leave it out and add just a small extra pinch of salt. It won’t be the exact same though so I highly recommend grabbing a small bottle of fish sauce to keep on hand!
Step One: 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 to scoop out the pork mixture and form meatballs.
Step Two: When the meatballs are formed, heat a skillet over medium heat and then add a tablespoon of avocado or coconut oil. Pan-fry the meatballs on each side for roughly 3-4 minutes until browned and cooked through.
Step Three: While the meatballs are cooking, make the sweet and sticky sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. The sauce will thicken even more as it cools.
Step Four: Add the meatballs to the sauce and stir until they are well coated. Transfer the meatballs to a serving dish and garnish them with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
How to Serve
I always get asked how to serve these meatballs and thankfully they’re really versatile and can be served a variety of ways. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy these meatballs:
serve them on their own with toothpicks as a fun appetizer or party snack
How to Store and Reheat
Store any leftover meatballs in an air-tight storage container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. You can easily reheat leftovers in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute at until heated through.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Meatballs
When forming the pork meatballs try using a cookie dough scoop to scoop the meatball mixture and then roll them lightly between your hands. This makes making meatballs so much easier and faster!
Before rolling the meatballs lightly wet your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking to them.
For perfectly cooked meatballs, every single time, use a meat thermometer to ensure that each meatball reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees which is the recommended temperature to consume ground pork.
Want to make your life even easier? Do some meal prep in advance! Try making a double batch of the pork meatball mixture. After everything has mixed, but before scooping and rolling, transfer half of the ground pork mixture to a freezer safe storage container and freeze for later. When you’re ready you can thaw the ground pork and make a fresh batch of meatballs.
Can You Bake The Pork Meatballs?
Yes! If you prefer you can bake these meatballs at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Bake the meatballs on sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Can You Make These Meatballs in the Air Fryer?
Absolutely! If you have an air fryer, you can use it to make the meatballs.
To Make in the Air Fryer: place the meatballs in your air fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Give the meatballs a shake halfway through if you would like to ensure that they cook evenly.
Meal Prep Tips
Meatballs: To save yourself some time in the future, try doing some meal prep and making a double batch of the meatball mixture. Before you scoop and roll, transfer the half of the sesame ginger meatball mixture to a freezer safe storage bag. Store in the freezer for up to three months.
When you are ready to make a batch of meatballs, remove the mixture from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge. Then, scoop, roll, and cook the meatballs according to the recipe instructions.
Sauce: When it comes to the sauce you can also do some prep in advance! Just add all of the sauce ingredients to an air-tight container and place in the fridge. When it’s time to make the sauce, just give it a stir before pouring it into the skillet to finish cooking.
How to Freeze and Reheat Cooked Meatballs
Cook: Scoop and roll the meatballs and then cook according to the recipe instructions. Once cooked transfer the meatballs to a freezer safe storage container and let them come to a complete cool. Once cool, transfer to the freezer for up to three months.
Reheat: Remove the meatballs from the freezer and place in an oven proof pan or dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the meatballs are warmed through. Once the meatballs are hot, make the sauce and then toss everything together before serving.
More Asian-Inspired Recipes
If you love these sweet and sticky pork meatballs then you’ll love the other Asian-inspired recipes on All the Healthy Things! These are all reader favorite recipes, packed with flavor, and easy to make:
I hope you give these Sweet and Sticky Pork Meatballs a try! They are so easy to make, delicious, and full of flavor! If you do give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below.
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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 to scoop out the pork mixture and form meatballs.
When the meatballs are formed, heat a skillet over medium heat and then add a tablespoon of avocado or coconut oil. Pan-fry the meatballs on each side for roughly 3-4 minutes until browned and cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking, make the sweet and sticky sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. The sauce will thicken even more as it cools.
Add the meatballs to the sauce and stir until they are well coated. Transfer the meatballs to a serving dish and garnish them with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Keywords: pork meatballs, Asian meatballs, sweet and sticky pork meatballs, Whole30 meatballs