Chinese takeout menus, prepare to step aside. Classic orange chicken is getting a healthier, fresher makeover in the form of extra-moist meatballs that are baked and then tossed in a sweet and tangy glaze.
Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs are the culinary counterpart to Baked Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs. Both are loaded with fresh garlic and ginger and baked to seal in the moisture and flavor, while each one stars a distinctly different glaze.
Best of all, these meatballs will be on your table in 30 minutes or less. They’re the perfect make-ahead weeknight meal, a school lunch standout, and the ultimate entrée to pair with homemade fried rice and chocolate-dipped fortune cookies. A fake-out for takeout has never been easier!
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Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs
Yield: 24 meatballs
- For the meatballs:
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (See Kelly's Note)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 Tablespoons minced scallions
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- For the sauce:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 3/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- Make the meatballs:
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Spray a mini-muffin pan or baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together the milk and Panko breadcrumbs and let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, garlic, ginger, scallions, soy sauce, salt, pepper and soaked breadcrumbs. Use your hands to thoroughly combine the meat mixture and then shape it into balls using 2 to 3 tablespoons of meat per meatball.
- Place the shaped meatballs into the prepared pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked. While the meatballs are baking, prepare the sauce.
- Make the sauce:
- Add the sesame oil and olive oil to a small saucepot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes until golden brown.
- Add the red pepper flakes, orange marmalade and hoisin sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and transfer them into a large bowl. Pour the sauce on top and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- Kelly's Note:
- If you can't find ground chicken at your local supermarket, feel free to use ground turkey, which is often easier to find.
Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not republish this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.