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Takeout-style Weeknight Sticky Honey Garlic Meatballs – inspired by classic Mongolian beef. Easy homemade chicken and ginger meatballs, tossed in a sweet, spicy, and extra sticky honey garlic soy sauce. Then served over rice and topped with plenty of sesame seeds for a deliciously fun dinner. Make the meatballs even better with a creamy garlic dipping sauce. Quicker than any take-out meal…and made a little more wholesome too.

overhead photo of meatballs in bowl with rice and chopsticks

Thursday night takeout-style food at home! What if we made this a weekly series? It could be fun, especially since we all know how much my family loves Chinese, Thai, and Korean-inspired dinners. Plus, I have so much fun with a “takeout” inspired meal. It’s always a nice change from our usual pasta and pizza nights.

Creighton has been asking me to make Mongolian beef for some time now. Really anything beef (or lamb). He’s kind of a guys-guy, he wants at least a little beef in every meal.

Since I have a Mongolian beef recipe in the new cookbook, I wondered if there was a fun spin I could take on the quick and easy recipe. Meatballs are something I usually make with a more Italian-style sauce. But a sweet and spicy Mongolian-inspired meatball sounded fun. And like the perfect simple twist on the very popular restaurant entree, Mongolian beef.

meatballs on plate before cooking

Mongolian beef is a very simple dish consisting of thinly sliced steak, stir-fried with garlic, and ginger, then tossed in a sweet soy-based sauce. It’s not usually too spicy, just a touch, but a little sweet and tangy.

The sauce is the key. It’s usually topped with green onions (scallions) and paired with vegetables, then served over rice.

For the meatballs, instead of using steak, I made ginger chicken meatballs.

meatballs cooking in skillet

Here are the details

For the meat, I used ground chicken, but ground pork or ground beef will work just as well. I seasoned them up with plenty of green onions, ginger, and a splash of soy (well, I like to use tamari, which is gluten-free soy sauce). Then I rolled them through cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) to give them a little breading before pan-searing in a skillet.

Similar to how I make this orange chicken, but with meatballs.

While the meatballs cook, mix up the sauce, which is simply soy sauce mixed with honey and water. I then made a quick cornstarch slurry to use to thicken the sauce.

Once the meatballs are seared, pull them out of the skillet, then toss in lots of broccoli. I love to use broccoli here, but bell peppers, asparagus, or even brussels sprouts would all be delicious.

Pan-fry the broccoli for a few minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, and a pinch of chili flakes. Pour over the sauce and add the meatballs back.

meatballs cooking in skillet with sauce and broccoli

Simmer the sauce a few minutes, then pour in the cornstarch slurry and let the sauce cook until it coats the meatballs.

Grab your bowls full of rice and spoon the meatballs and sauce over top. Next, add lots of fresh green onions and sesame seeds.

So quick and easy, but the flavor is perfect. I made mine a little less sweet than the traditional sauce and added double the ginger. Totally delicious.

Here’s a tip, double the recipe and save the leftovers for quick and easy lunches. The meatballs would also be great atop a chopped salad or served over rice noodles.

They’re great as party appetizers too, so the serving options are endless! Of course, around here we love them over rice with lots of vegetables. It’s our kind of “comfort” food.

overhead close up photo of meatballs in bowl with rice and chopsticks

Looking for other weeknight dinners? Here are my favorites: 

Spicy Orange Sesame Chicken

Ginger Sesame Chicken and Crispy Brussels Sprouts

French Onion Dumplings

Crockpot Crispy Chicken Tinga Tacos with Avocado Jalapeño Crema

Lastly, if you make these Weeknight Sticky Honey Garlic Meatballs, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Weeknight Sticky Honey Garlic Meatballs

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 435 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. To make the meatballs. Combine the meat, 1 tablespoon tamari/soy sauce, 1 tablespoon ginger, green onions, and a pinch of pepper in a bowl. Mix until just combined. Coat your hands with oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls. The mix will be wet.
    2. Place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Dredge the meatballs in cornstarch to coat. Take the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch and mix with 2 tablespoons water, set aside.
    3. To make the sauce. In a glass jar, whisk together 1/2 cup tamari/soy sauce, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/3 cup water.
    4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs, cook until seared all around, about 8 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the skillet.
    5. To the skillet, add the broccoli and cook until lightly charring, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili flakes, cook 1-2 minutes. Pour in the tamari/honey sauce. Bring to a boil, boil 3-4 minutes, then add the chicken. Toss with the sauce and cook until the sauce starts to thicken. Pour in the cornstarch slurry and cook another 2-3 minutes, until the sauce coats the meatballs.
    6. Serve the meatballs and sauce over steamed rice with sesame seeds, green onions, and dipping sauce (recipe in notes).

Notes

Sweet/Creamy Dipping Sauce: combine 1/2 cup mayo, 1 tablespoon ketchup, 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, 1 teaspoon tamari/soy sauce, and 1 clove garlic in a bowl. Thin with 1-2 tablespoons water. 
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photo of meatballs in bowl with rice and chopsticks and sauce on table

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Comments

    1. Hi Megan,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe, I love to hear that it was a hit! Sure, that would work well for you:) Have the best weekend!💐 xxTieghan

    1. Hey Olivia,
      I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for giving it a try and sharing your review:) xxTieghan

  1. 4 stars
    Wonderful meal. I think the recipe might be overcomplicated. I baked the meatballs while I seared the broccoli in the pan. Why separate the sauce and cornstarch slurry? When I stir fry I always mix the cornstarch into my sauce. No reason for two bowls.

    1. Hi Kate,
      Thanks for trying the recipe, love to hear it was enjoyed!! I did the meatballs and broccoli in the same pan, but do it however you like:) xx

  2. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! So easy to follow and very tasty. I would add more broccoli and maybe cut a little soy sauce but absolutely loved it and will definitely be repeating! Would also love to add some other veggies into the mix!

    1. Hey Monica,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for making the recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed!! Have the best week:) xxT

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice, first with chicken and now with beef. Both were great. I felt like I was eating something a restaurant made 🙂 very happy.

    1. Hi Mariah,
      Love to hear this!! Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! ☀️xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Another amazing dish. Used low sodium soy sauce and it tasted perfect. Wish I would have doubled the recipe. Yum!

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      Fantastic!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed! xxT

  5. 5 stars
    This was incredible!! I loved how light and flavourful the meatballs were with a great sticky honey soy sauce. 10 out of 10 recipe for ease and taste. Sent it to my mom, she’s already made it and loves the recipe! Thank you!

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Fantastic!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed! xxT

  6. 4 stars
    I made this tonight and the sauce was great the broccoli was charred perfectly – great combo. I only wish I had cooked the meatballs 1-2 minutes less (I made w turkey). We’ll definitely make again!

    1. Hi Maggie,
      Fantastic!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed! xxT

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious and super easy! I didn’t find it salty at all. The only change that I might make is to double it next time because I was very sad not to have leftovers.

    1. Hey Laura,
      Fantastic!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed! xxT

  8. 4 stars
    This was an easy recipe that came together very quickly for a weeknight meal. It had good flavor but it was pretty salty. Next time, I’ll add more broccoli (can never get enough broccoli) and cut the soy (I used Bragg liquid aminos) with some water or low-sodium chicken broth.

    1. Hey Kerrie,
      Thanks so much for your feedback! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for making it! Sorry about the salt! xTieghan

  9. Sooooo good!!! My husband tackled this one and said it was super easy to make. And it was something our 2 and 4 year olds gobbled right up. We added shredded carrots too!

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Happy Sunday!! I love hearing that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out and sharing your feedback!! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    One of the best meals I’ve have made in a minute- I cannot stop thinking about these!!!! Do not skip the creamy dipping sauce- I drizzled it on top and it seriously brought he whole dish together. I do agree that it was salty- so just be careful when you add salt, and def use tamari, low sodium soy, or just cut regular soy sauce with some water. I might add more broccoli next time, and I think that would also be a delicious tofu meal.

    1. Hey Shannon,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was a hit! Have a great weekend:) xx

    1. Hi Caitlin,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    Hi, Tieghan!

    First time making this recipe and it was so, so delicious!
    I prepped almost everything this morning, including the meatballs. I think having them in the fridge really helped keep them formed and together, as I did not have any issues with them falling apart.
    The meal looked beautiful, too 🙂
    Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hey Brittany,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go and sharing your feedback!! I love to hear that it was a winner:) xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    These were amazing! The flavors were perfect and I had no problems with the meatballs, even though I was worried after reading some of the reviews. After forming the meatballs, I placed them in the fridge for about 15 min then coated in cornstarch right before the pan. Opted to use bell peppers and onions as the veggies since broccoli is a weekly staple in our meal preps and didn’t have any extra in the fridge. Will definitely make these again and they were great again leftover last night. Boyfriend approved too!

    1. Hey Natalie,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks a lot for making it! Have the best weekend:) xTieghan