When it comes to homemade meatballs, one thing is certain: The mere mention of “chicken” raises the dry and flavorless flag in ground meat defeat. We want pork! And beef! And veal! And bacon! And literally anything, anything but chicken! But trust me on this one. With the right seasonings (hello, ginger and garlic) and one seriously superior glaze (nice to see you, hoisin sauce), these Baked Asian Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps will have you tossing the takeout menus for good.
To guarantee the spherical superiority of your meatballs, you’ll want to adhere to three simple tips:
- Nix the Overmixing: Don’t overmix the meat or your resulting meatballs will give those golf balls some serious competition at the driving range
- ‘Tis the Season: Any and all seasonings should be added to the meat mixture prior to the meatballs being cooked to ensure the flavors are baked right into the meat
- Plan with a Pan: A mini muffin pan does wonders to help meatballs keep their shape and stay in place while baking
Ready to master homemade meatballs? Read on for this 30-minute recipe and keep the takeout-fakeout train rolling with Kale and Chicken Egg Rolls, Easy Pad Thai with Chicken, Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice and Crispy Baked Asian Chicken Wings.
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- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup blackberry preserves
- 1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF and spray a mini-muffin pan or baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the milk and Panko breadcrumbs and let them sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the ground chicken, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and egg to the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Use your hands to mix the ingredients just until combined. (See Kelly’s Notes.)
- Shape the meat mixture into balls using about 3 tablespoons of meat per meatball. Place the shaped meatballs into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked.
- While the meatballs are baking, whisk together the hoisin sauce and blackberry jam in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and either transfer them in batches into the glaze, tossing to coat, or brush the meatballs with the glaze. Place one or two meatballs in each leaf of lettuce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
- If you can't find ground chicken, you can use ground turkey.
- Do not overmix the meat or your meatballs will be tough. Using your hands (rather than a spoon) allows you to best gauge the moment when the ingredients are just combined, which will prevent you from overmixing. Full pieces of ground meat should still be visible.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint 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.