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!
Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
For the meatballs:
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 lbs 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.
- If you can't find ground chicken at your local supermarket, feel free to use ground turkey, which is often easier to find.
- ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!
Did you try this recipe?
Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!
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.
This recipe looks amazing. I’m hosting a large gathering for Easter, and am searching for recipes I can largely make a bit ahead of time and just re-warm the day of the Brunch. Do you think this recipe would work well if I baked it ahead of time, poured the glaze over the meatballs, refrigerated them overnight, and then simply heated them through prior to the Brunch? The sauce looks delicious.
Hi Scott! You can definitely make this recipe ahead of time but I’d keep the meatballs and sauce separate and then warm the day of. Enjoy!
Absolutely delicious! I used a mini muffin pan to cook the meatballs in. I filled 22 of them. The sauce is amazing and really makes this dish pop!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Maureen!
I’m confused about the 82kcal. Is this correct? 82Kilocalories = 82000 calories.
Calories: 82kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 145mg, Potassium: 163mg, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 50IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Hi Monika – I found this on Healthline.com: “To avoid confusion between large and small calories, it’s thought that the term kilocalorie — the prefix “kilo” meaning 1,000 — was created to refer to a large calorie (1Trusted Source). However, the term small calorie is rarely used today outside of physics and chemistry research. Instead, the terms calories — capitalized or not — and kcal are used interchangeably and refer to the same amount of energy in relation to food or energy burned with exercise. Therefore, you don’t need to convert them, as 1 kilocalorie equals 1 calorie in nutrition.” Hope this helps!
Made this today. Holy amaze balls!! Definitely becoming a staple.
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Jason!
Excellent! Made 1 recipe and ended up doubling because it was so delicious. One of our dishes for Super Bowl! Thx for sharing. Will save to make again.
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Bill!
These are our favorite dinner idea now! Easy and delicious!
I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Lisa!
Easy, using common ingredients and packed with flavour.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Patricia!
Well that was freaking amazing
So glad you enjoyed it, Chris!
See More Comments