These Teriyaki Meatballs are not only easy to make but oh so flavorful, with a homemade teriyaki sauce and just the right amount of seasoning in the ground beef. Serve over rice to turn them into an easy weeknight dinner or add them to the appetizer table at your next party.
Homemade Meatballs with Teriyaki Sauce
These teriyaki meatballs are the bomb. Ground beef is mixed with ingredients like ginger, garlic, and soy sauce to infuse the meatballs themselves with some great Asian-inspired flavor. Then the teriyaki sauce is made from scratch with mirin, sake, and soy sauce. Combine the two and every bite of these meatballs is an explosion of flavor. So good!
I usually serve these meatballs over rice for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Add a side of your favorite vegetable and you have a filling, wholesome meal in under an hour.
If you love easy meatball recipes as much as we do, you might also like these grape jelly meatballs.
What You’ll Need
Both the sauce and meatballs are made from scratch in this recipe. While most of the ingredients are common, there are a few ingredients you may not have on hand. They can usually be found in the Asian aisle at any grocery store. Be sure to check the recipe card below for measurements.
For the Meatballs:
- Ground beef – A lean ground beef, like 85/15, is ideal as it maintains flavor while not adding excess grease.
- Breadcrumbs – I used panko breadcrumbs but regular breadcrumbs will work as well.
- Green onion – Adds flavor without the harsh flavor of other raw onions.
- Ginger – Adds an Asian flavor to the meatballs.
- Sesame oil & soy sauce – Add flavor and moisture to the meatballs.
- Egg – Helps to hold the entire mixture together.
For the Teriyaki Sauce:
- Vegetable oil
- Garlic & ginger – Add a bit of a zesty flavor to the teriyaki.
- Sake – Sake is fermented Japanese alcohol. If you can’t find it, dry sherry or Chinese rice wine can be used.
- Mirin -Mirin has a similar flavor to sake but more sugar and less alcohol. In a pinch, you can use dry sherry instead.
- Soy sauce – Adds the classic umami flavor and a bit of saltiness.
- Toasted sesame seeds – Add a nutty flavor to the teriyaki.
- Cornstarch – Mixed with water to thicken the sauce just a bit.
Can I Use Storebought Teriyaki Sauce?
Yup. If you want to save time, you can make these meatballs with your favorite bottled teriyaki sauce. Just warm it up before adding it to the meatballs.
How to Make Teriyaki Meatballs
These juicy, flavorful meatballs come together in just a few steps.
- Combine the ingredients. Mix all of the meatball ingredients together with a wooden spoon or clean hands.
- Shape the meatballs. Roll 3 tablespoons of the mixture in your hands to form a ball.
- Bake. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Make the teriyaki sauce. While the meatballs are cooking, begin making the teriyaki sauce. Heat the oil, garlic, and ginger over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the sake, mirin, and soy sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes to cook off the alcohol. Stir in the sesame seeds. Combine the cornstarch with the water to create a slurry. Stir into the sauce and stir until thickened.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce. Once the meatballs are fully cooked, add them to the pan with the sauce and stir to coat.
- Enjoy. Serve the meatballs over rice, garnished with more sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Tips & Variations
Here are a few tips and variations for making these easy teriyaki meatballs.
- Swap out the ground beef. You can easily replace ground beef with ground chicken, turkey, or pork. Teriyaki chicken meatballs are a popular and tasty variation!
- Make all meatballs the same size. To ensure all the meatballs cook fully, try to make them the same size. They should each be about 1oz, which will give you 22 to 24 meatballs.
- How do I know when the meatballs are done? The meatballs are done baking when they’ve reached an internal temperature of 165F.
- Stir the sauce frequently. As you saute the ginger and garlic, stir it frequently. Burnt garlic is not a great flavor! You’ll also want to stir the sauce frequently as it thickens.
- Don’t overshape the meatballs. Don’t squish the meatballs into a super tightly formed ball, which can cause them to be dense and chewy. Just lightly roll them into a uniform shape in your hands.
I like to serve these teriyaki meatballs over rice. Cauliflower rice would be a good alternative. For sides, I like to make roasted broccoli or asparagus. These crab rangoon egg rolls are a favorite anytime we have any Asian-inspired dishes as well.
You can drizzle any extra teriyaki sauce over the meatballs and rice or serve it on the side for dipping. Soy sauce is also an excellent dipper.
If you want to serve these as an appetizer, arrange them on a tray with toothpicks so guests can grab and go. They’re a nice alternative to the sweeter cocktail meatballs, like grape jelly meatballs.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Store any leftover teriyaki meatballs in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until hot. Be sure to store them with any extra sauce.
Can I Freeze Teriyaki Meatballs?
Yes, you can freeze these meatballs, both with and without the teriyaki sauce. In either case, all them to cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge then reheat as directed above.
More Homemade Meatball Recipes:
For the Meatballs:
- 1.5 lbs Ground Beef
- ⅔ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup Green Onion Chopped
- 1 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
- 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Egg
Make the Meatballs
- Preheat the oven to 400℉ and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and non stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, add all the meatball ingredients and mix using a wooden spoon or clean hands.
- To roll the meatballs, place 3 Tbsp of the meatball mixture into your hands and roll using the palms of your hands. The meatballs should weigh about 1oz each and get 22-24 meatballs.
- Place the meatballs in the baking sheet so that they are not touching. Bake at 400℉ for 10-12 minutes until completely cooked through and reach an internal temperature of 165℉. While the meatballs are cooking, start on the teriyaki sauce.
Make the Teriyaki Sauce
- Add to a saucepan the vegetable oil, garlic and ginger. Heat over medium for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add the sake, mirin, and soy sauce, simmer for about 5 minutes or until the alcohol has cooked off. Stir in the sesame seeds and prepare the cornstarch slurry by mixing the 1 tbsp of cornstarch with the 2 tbsp of the water. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the teriyaki sauce and stir over medium heat until thickened. Set aside
- When the meatballs are cooked, add into the saucepan with the teriyaki sauce and carefully stir them to coat them in the teriyaki sauce.
- Serve the teriyaki meatballs over rice and garnish with more sesame seeds and sliced green onions. Enjoy!