Get dinner on the table in 25 minutes or less with a family-friendly recipe for extra-moist Baked Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs tossed in a homemade teriyaki sauce.
What’s not to love about a good ol’ culinary classic like chicken teriyaki? Swap in baked chicken meatballs for seared chicken breast and you’ve got a 30-minute meal suitable for all ages.
You may be wondering how chicken meatballs can possibly be moist or have any flavor. Allow me to introduce you to my secret weapon: crushed pineapple.
The fruit itself stars in the meatball mixture, while the drained juices are stirred into the homemade teriyaki sauce. A total takeout fakeout.
My other secret weapon for extra-juicy meatballs? A mini muffin pan! All of the juices released as the meatballs cook get soaked back into them.
No mini muffin pan? No problem! Simply coat a baking dish with cooking spray, arrange the meatballs in rows and fire up the oven.
Best of all, these meatballs are baked at a high temp so they’re ready for tossing in minutes, and that means dinner is on your table in 25 minutes or less. Serve over rice or noodles and dinner is done!
In search of more takeout-fakeout dishes? Find inspiration for a takeout-fakeout feast with my go-to recipes, including Easy Beef and Broccoli, Sesame Chicken Egg Rolls, Sticky Pineapple Chicken and more.
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For the meatballs:
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 Tablespoons minced scallions
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup crushed pineapple (juices drained)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon water
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, crushed pineapple, 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:
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the soy sauce, water, pineapple juice, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved fully.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with the water to make a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the sauce and simmer until it has thickened to the consistency of syrup, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and transfer them into a large bowl. Pour the sauce on top and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- After draining the crushed pineapple, use the resulting juice in the sauce recipe.
- The meatball mixture will be very wet while you are shaping it into balls, however the added liquid from the milk and crushed pineapple helps guarantee the meatballs will be very moist.
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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.
Really good! Going into the rotation!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Allison!
Delicious , my family were all very impressed with this meal despite being picky eaters.
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Helen!
Hello, wondering if the nutrition calculator refers to 1 meatball? Thank you.
Hi Kathy! Yes, the estimated nutritional info is for one meatball. :)
I was going to have these for dinner over rice. I never tried the recipe before. I like to follow recipes exactly and tweek the next time if I need to. We had company unexpectedly show up so I put them in a bowl with the sauce on the side. Everyone loved them. They were all gone in a short amount of time. My husband still talks about them. The recipe needs no tweeking:) They are delicious!
Love reading this, Diane! I’m thrilled everyone enjoyed the meatballs :)
These are the best. I make them often and with sticky rice and never tire of them. Also make a great appetizer to take to company!
Yay! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Maria!
These meatballs were amazing! Using a mini muffin tin was an excellent idea causing a nice crusty exterior and juicy flavourful interior. So yummy served over cauliflower rice with mushrooms. Will definitely make these meatballs often.
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Kate!
Hi! I was just wondering if these could be done in an air fryer. If so, what temp and for how long?
Hi Cheri! I’ve never used an air fryer to bake these meatballs so I can’t weigh in on the time or temp. Let me know if you give it a shot!
I just made the meatballs and cooked them in my air fryer. They came out perfect. I cooked them at 350 for about 15 minutes.
Amazing! Thanks for the tip, Patricia!
My family loves this recipe. It’s part of my regular dinner rotation. We had them for dinner tonight. YUM!!
I’m so thrilled your family has been enjoying the recipe, Michelle!
Just made them! Love them and will make them again. Thanks for the recipe!
You are so welcome, Helen! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I don’t know why but the meatballs turned out soft and mushy….
Hi Margot – It’s hard to say what could have caused your meatballs to be soft. Did you follow the proportions as listed?
Very easy to make and quite delicious thanks for the recipe. Patricia A
You are so welcome, Patricia! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
These were great. The only change I made was to 1.25X the sauce recipe to have a little extra to put over the rice. My picky daughter also loved them. Leftovers reheated well the next day for lunch.
I’m so thrilled to read this, Suzanne!
Tasted d-lish. Even my picky daughter went back for seconds (LOL). My sauce didn’t get thick though. Should I have brought it to a boil or maybe add more cornstarch? Either way, it really didn’t matter, everyone loved them.
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Michelle! And yes, next time bring your sauce to a boil :)
Made these for dinner tonight, served over a brown rice and quinoa mixture. It was delicious! The meatballs were a great texture!
Awesome! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the meatballs, Julie!
Thank you for such a great recipe. I have been struggling to find a lunch my children would eat at school and finally found something they actually will eat. Thanks!
You are so welcome, Jenness! I’m so thrilled to hear your kids are enjoying the recipe!
OMG this is a absolutely delicious recipe. I doubled the sauce just because we love extra but no need really. I served with jasmine rice. Next time I’ll do a side dish of broccoli, snow peas and julienned carrots to add color. Watch the time on these and don’t overcook. I cooked mine too long and they were still out of this world delicious! Thank you Kelly
You are so welcome, Jackie! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
what is the sodium count on these meatballs?
Click or tap on the Estimated Nutritional Info button below the recipe!
I’m so glad I found your blog! You’re the best!
Thank you so much, Patricia! I’m so glad you’re enjoying Just a Taste!
These are great! Thank you for the recipe. I didn’t have ground chicken available, so I used turkey & pork.
Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Robyne!
My family LOVESSSS this recipe, it’s sooo easy and delicious, I almost have to make it 2 or 3 times a months.
Love hearing this, Jes! I’m thrilled you and your family have been enjoying the recipe!
Making these now! 500 degrees seems high. Is that correct?
Yes that’s correct!
Can I substitute the chicken for turkey?
I live in France and have noticed that many recipes mention quantities in cups instead of grams. I don’t know how big a cup should be, so maybe you could covert into grams ? Thanks a lot!
Hi Nataliya! I do not measure my ingredients in grams, however, you could try using an online conversion table such as this one: http://dish.allrecipes.com/cup-to-gram-conversions/ :)
Hi, do you eat with them something, or they are meant to be eaten just like they are? Thanks!
Hi Eliška – I love to serve these over rice!
I don’t see why you couldn’t make these, freeze the meatballs on a cookie sheet (once frozen transfer to a container or freezer bag) and make the sauce when you are ready to eat them.
Thanks very very very much ….yummmy
I make them once a week
Thrilled you’re enjoying the recipe, Geena! Happy New Year :)
Do you really bake them at 500 degrees F?
Hi Jonelle – Yes, the recipe is correct as written.
Hey! What are the nutrition facts on this?
Hi Keagan! We’re working on providing nutritional info for our recipes. Stay tuned!
These look amazing! Can you freeze them or is it best not to? Thank you for sharing x
Hi Amber! I’ve never tried freezing these meatballs so I can’t say with certainty how they would turn out. Let me know if you give it a shot!
Loved the results. I also added some chopped water chestnuts for a little crunch.
OMG! I just made these and ate them for dinner! So moist and delicious!! I’m not gonna lie, I tasted the meatballs before the sauce was added because I couldn’t wait and they were so flavorful! A lot of meatball recipes, to me, don’t have a lot of flavor and need some kind of sauce. These were so-o-o good. I could eat them alone! (I mean without sauce, but also by myself! Lol) I then made the sauce and we ate them over rice. We sprinkled sesame seeds, green onions, peanuts and cilantro! The cilantro, specifically, really enhanced the flavor! I highly recommend anyone who’s thinking about trying this recipe to do so now!!! Thanks for sharing it!
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Kathleen!
Looks delicious!! Does it make enough sauce to serve it over rice?
Thanks, Susan! And yes, you should have ample sauce for serving the meatballs over rice, as that’s how I always serve it. :)
Hi! I’ve got these Aidells teriyaki pineapple meatballs, do you think they would pair well with sauce recipe ?
Hi! Id like to know if these would work with ground beef?
Definitely! You may just have to adjust the baking time.
Is 500 degrees the correct preheat temp? Seems awfully hot!
Yes, that’s correct!
What’s the calorie per meatball?
Hi Nancy! I am not a nutritionist so I am unable to provide nutritional info for my recipes, as I’d have to way to guarantee it’s 110% accurate (which is super important to me!).
would sure like to see nutrition information on your recipes!
Hi Diane! Thanks so much for your comment. I don’t include nutritional info because I am not a certified nutritionist and would have no way to guarantee the info is 110% accurate, which is incredibly important to me!
Do you think these would turn out OK if I substituted almond milk or a lactose free milk?
Excited to try, disappointed. Meatballs fell apart, needs egg to bind together. Will try another recipe would like to make these again.
Hi from France,
Kelly, thank you for your recipe, I tested it! So yummy meatballs… mmmh!
Link and credit here:
What are the nutrition facts for these wonderful meatballs?
Hi Ashley – I’m not a nutritionist so I don’t provide that info for my recipes, as I’d want to make sure it’s 100% accurate.
made these tonight and they were delicious! I tossed in some steamed brocolli when I put in the sauce which made it even better!
Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Jennifer :)
I’m in Austalia and I don’t know what Panko breadcrumbs are. Am I right in assuming that it is just a brand, and they are dried bread crumbs? To make for a GF person could I use rice crumbs?
Hi there! Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese-style breadcrumbs and they’re extra crunchy and light. You can use any type of regular breadcrumbs instead. I’ve never tried subbing rice crumbs, but it should work!
Would this work with tuna as well? I’m looking for meatless meal ideas for Fridays during lentn
I’ve never tried it with tuna, but let me know if you give it a shot!
I really want to make these but my sister is gluten free paleo and I was wondering if there are any good substitutions for the Panko? I know that there is gluten free soy sauce out there so I’m not concerned so much with that component.
Hi Bethanie! You can make your own breadcrumbs with gulten-free bread, or there are also already made gluten-free breadcrumbs available at many supermarkets. One brand I know of is called Gillian’s. Hope this helps!
I made these last night with ground turkey and added some of Penzey’s Bangkok Blend mixture in place of the pepper. I also added 1/2 tsp of baking powder which was a constant on another site and I figured it couldn’t hurt. These were scrumptious. I didn’t have low-sodium soy sauce, and that would have been better. As it was the sauce was salty, and low-sodium would have taken care of that. I added extra honey to compensate and they were still delicious. I also used my own cracker crumbs since I was out of Panko.. They weren’t a bit dry and held their shape. Thank you for this, and everyone at the party I attended thanks you, as well.
Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Emilie.
In the Teriyaki Chicken meatballs, which Panko breadcrumbs do you use? Are there plain ones? I usually see Italian
Hi Marti – Yes, there are plain Panko breadcrumbs, which is what I use. Enjoy!
Could you cook the meatballs, and then put them in the sauce in a slow cooker on low?
Hi Jessica! I’ve never tried this, but I think it would work. My only concern is that the meatballs would get too firm if cooked for too long. Let me know if you give it a shot!
Cooked these yesterday. Taste quite good and are easy to make. Best for Sunday cooking to freeze and eat mid week.
Made these tonight and they were a hit with the entire family. Very yummy, thank you for sharing!
Can these be made ahead without the sauce, and frozen until I am ready to use?
Hi Anne – I’ve never tried freezing these meatballs so I can’t say with certainty how they would turn out. Let me know if you give it a shot!
Do you think this would work without the brown sugar? Do you know anything that I could sub for that?
Hi Caroline – Omitting the brown sugar will alter the taste and consistency of the sauce.
the meatballs are awesome!! I used Turkey instead but I don’t know why the sauce did not thicken :(. Otherwise very yummy!!! Kids loved it!
Thanks for this recipe! I made it last night and it was awesome. I added a little Sriracha to it for a little kick of spice and it worked out great. Very moist and tasty meatballs.
Hi there! Very excited about making these, but wondering how well they would freeze? I love to prepare in advance, and usually freeze homemade burgers before they’re cooked.
Hi Sophi! I’ve never tried freezing them before so I can’t say with certainty how they would turn out. Let me know if you give them a shot!
Did you recently change the recipe and add pineapple juice? I made these meatballs about a month ago and I know there was no pineapple in the recipe at that time. Could I just omit the pineapple?
Hi Kristin! Nope! There’s always been pineapple juice in the recipe. I’ve never made them without it, but it sounds like it worked :)
Hello! I don’t have a mini muffin pan – should I use a regular muffin pan? Or would they be fine on a normal baking sheet? Thank you!
Hi Susie! A baking sheet (nonstick and sprayed with cooking spray) will work, too!
I made this for dinner tonight. Instead of chicken I used ground turkey and left them in the oven a little longer until the browned a little. Let me tell you, they were a complete hit with the kids!! My husband was out of town and he always complains that when he is not home I make delicious meals, so I guess we will have to make the sacrifice and make them again soon! :)
Haha! I love this! So glad you enjoyed the recipe :)
Oh my goodness, just made these for dinner tonight…AMAZING! They are a little bit of work but soo worth it. Very delicious and Weight Watchers Points Plus friendly! Great recipe!
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Shelby!
YES! pinned. need this. everything!!!! dead.
Yum, might try ground turkey for this. Hard to find ground chicken here
These meatballs sound so good! Perfect for taking to our next gathering!
My family would go nuts for these meatballs! So delicious!
Looks like a great weeknight meal, probably with some rice. Can’t wait to try it!
I’m saving this recipe for tailgating season! Love it!
Love you added pineapple in this recipe! It must taste AWESOME! Great recipe ;-)
I always am looking for a new meatball recipe!
delicious and yummy meatballs with my favorite chicken
LOVE the pineapple and pretty much everything about these. Great famliy dinner, Kelly!
these meatballs look seriously delicious..so craving some right now, inspired to give the recipe a go!
What a great idea!!! This would be awesome at a party or any time- really like this twist on classic meatballs!
YUMM! Well, I just found what I am making for dinner this week! I was JUST wondering, too! It’s like you knew! Looking forward to it – sounds easy AND I have a mini muffin pan so that will come in handy! =)
This looks delicious! I love a good meatball recipe with chicken…so tasty this way! Thanks for sharing!
This looks great! I’ll give this a shot tonight.
Awesome! Hope you enjoy the recipe, Matthew :)
Great recipe!! What could i pair this with for a healthy meal?
Thanks! I pair it with my Sweet and Sour Cucumber Noodles. Here’s the recipe – enjoy! https://www.justataste.com/2013/08/chilled-sweet-and-sour-cucumber-noodles-recipe/
This is the perfect weeknight, family meal. Love the addition of pineapple. Genius.
We love chicken teriyaki and these meatballs look like the perfect bite-sized solution when we don’t want to fuss with a more complicated recipe. Thanks for sharing!