Tender and juicy baked turkey meatballs covered in a homemade teriyaki sauce and served with a side of crispy roasted broccoli. This simple and healthy Asian turkey meatball recipe is gluten free, refined sugar free, and paleo. The perfect lunch, dinner, or meal prep recipe!
The best easy Asian turkey meatballs
I absolutely love meatballs! They are such a delicious appetizer to share or a great meal on their own. Plus, I find them perfect for meal prepping since you can easily portion them out. I mean, who doesn’t love an easy to make, simple lunch and dinner recipe?!
These teriyaki turkey meatballs are so delicious it is hard to believe. Not only are they tender and juicy, but they are coated in a homemade teriyaki sauce that is made with no refined sugars and fresh orange juice. You get that traditional meatball taste you love while only using wholesome and healthy ingredients.
This paleo meatball recipe uses ground turkey meat rather than traditional beef, which makes them a great source of lean protein. Plus, they are made with 1 egg to keep them juicy, fresh green onion and ginger for flavor, and low sodium soy sauce or tamari (for my gluten-free friends)! Served on a bed of brown or white rice, with a side of my simple crispy roasted broccoli, these healthy Asian turkey meatballs are the perfect meal. Everyone, including your kids, will love this recipe!
Are turkey meatballs healthy?
Turkey is one of the best sources of lean protein you could choose! It is extremely high in protein and a great source of vitamins. In addition, this white ground meat is low in fat. Turkey is a much leaner source of protein than traditional beef meatballs. I promise these paleo turkey meatballs are so tender and juicy that you will prefer this recipe over red meat!
Ingredients in teriyaki turkey meatballs
When it comes to ingredients, we are keeping it very simple! You’ll need ground turkey, some seasonings, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and a few other staple pantry items. Here is what you will need to make these juicy Asian turkey meatballs with homemade teriyaki sauce and crispy roasted broccoli:
- Ground turkey: First up, you’ll need 1 pound of ground turkey. I like 94% lean and not 99%.
- Egg: add 1 egg to the mixture.
- Scallions (green onion): Then, 1/4 cup of finely chopped green onion.
- Soy sauce: 1 Tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce gives a lot of flavor to these paleo turkey meatballs.
- Panko bread crumbs: 1/3 cup of regular panko bread crumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs help bind these lean turkey meatballs together.
- Fresh ginger: Add in 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root for lots of flavors in these Asian meatballs.
- Spices: Then, add in 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, and salt & pepper.
Healthy Teriyaki Sauce:
- Arrowroot powder: 1 Tablespoon of arrowroot starch is needed to thicken this healthy homemade teriyaki sauce. You can also use cornstarch or tapioca flour.
- Cold water: Dissolve the arrowroot starch in 1/4 cup of very cold water to avoid clumps in your sauce.
- Soy sauce: For the base of this homemade teriyaki, you need 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce.
- Fresh orange juice: Followed by 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice, which is the juice of one large orange. This adds lots of natural sweetness without refined sugar.
- White wine vinegar: for the acidity, we are using 1 Tablespoon of white wine vinegar. You can also use rice wine vinegar.
- Honey: For a little added natural sweetness, add in 1 Tablespoon of honey.
- Sesame oil: For additional Asian flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil.
- Fresh ginger: 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root adds tons of flavor.
- Garlic: 1 minced garlic clove is key to the flavor of this sauce.
Simple Roasted Broccoli:
- Broccoli: Grab 2 large heads of broccoli and cut them into small florets.
- Olive oil: Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on top of the broccoli florets to help crispen them up.
- Salt & pepper: A dash of salt and pepper goes a long way flavor-wise.
Kitchen tools needed
I love simple and easy recipes that allow for an easy clean-up. You’ll need a few kitchen items to make this Asian turkey meatballs recipe. Start with two large baking trays and cooking spray, followed by a cutting board, knife, and large mixing bowl. Plus, you’ll need a few measuring tools: 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/3 cup, and 1/2 cup.
How to make baked turkey meatballs
This recipe is so delicious and easy to make you will want to make it all the time! It will take about 30 minutes from start to finish, which is perfect for busy people, moms, and meal preppers. Baked turkey meatballs are healthy, paleo, gluten-free, and easy to make. Here are step by step instructions:
First, start by preheating your oven to 400°F and lining two baking sheets with parchment paper. If you are making the broccoli, ensure there are two racks available in your oven.
Next, add the broccoli florets, olive oil, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl and toss to coat. Then, spread across one of the lined sheets and roast for 22 – 28 minutes, depending on how charred you want the broccoli.
While the broccoli is baking, grab another large bowl and combine the ground turkey, egg, scallions, soy sauce, panko breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and back pepper. Gently mix, and using a scooper or your hands, create 18 – 22 meatballs. Evenly space them across the lined baking sheet and bake them for 13 to 16 minutes, or until they are fully cooked (165 internal temperature). I recommend placing the meatballs on a rack above the broccoli for the best results.
Once the meatballs are done, carefully transfer them to the pot with the teriyaki sauce (directions below) and gently mix to coat all meatballs. Depending on the size of your saucepan, you can also do this in a mixing bowl. Serve your Asian turkey meatballs with some brown rice and roasted broccoli, and enjoy!
How to make healthy homemade teriyaki sauce:
The baked turkey meatballs are delicious on their own, but in combination with this homemade teriyaki sauce, your taste buds are going to explode. It is one of the best parts of bringing all the flavors together!
First, start by dissolving the arrowroot starch with the cold water and set it to the side. The water MUST BE COLD to avoid a clumpy sauce.
Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add in the low sodium soy sauce, fresh orange juice, white wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Bring the sauce to a quick boil.
Finally, reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in the arrowroot starch water. Let the sauce simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, making sure to continually whisk until the sauce has thickened.
Recipe tips for moist turkey meatballs
Do not overwork the turkey mixture. By over mixing the turkey mixture, the meatballs can become tough. We want super juicy and tender meatballs, so make sure to just mix until all the ingredients are combined.
Don’t skip out on the egg & panko bread crumbs. These two ingredients are binders that help hold the turkey mixture together and keep the meatballs moist when baking.
Use 94% lean ground turkey. Using 99% lean turkey can result in tougher meatballs. By using 94%, you are ensuring these Asian turkey meatballs are super juicy.
Dissolve the arrowroot powder in cold water first. This helps prevent the sauce from getting clumpy but still gives it a thick enough consistency.
Easy ingredient substitutions:
If you are missing an ingredient or two, don’t worry! Here is a list of my ingredient substitution recommendations:
- White Wine Vinegar: Swap this with rice wine viangar.
- Soy Sauce: Use gluten free tamari if you need or even coconut aminos.
- Ground Turkey: Swap this with ground chicken or beef if you want.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: Swap out for crushed up almond flour crackers if you need.
- Fresh Orange Juice: Use store bought orange juice or fresh pineapple juice.
- Arrowroot Starch: Use cornstarch or tapioca flour if needed.
Is teriyaki sauce healthy?
While teriyaki sauce can get a bad reputation due to its high sugar content, this homemade teriyaki sauce is absolutely healthy. Rather than relying on artificial sweeteners, this sauce uses the natural sweetness of fresh orange juice, plus a dash of honey. In addition, it only requires minimal familiar ingredients like soy sauce (or tamari if you are gluten-free), sesame oil, and vinegar to give you the best taste. You do not have to worry about complex additives or hidden ingredients in this amazing tasting, simple recipe!
How do I meal prep this recipe?
This recipe is a great option if you are looking to meal prep for your week ahead! All you need to do is prepare the recipe and let the meatballs completely cool after cooking. Then, evenly proportion the paleo turkey meatballs, rice, and broccoli into refrigerator-safe individual tupperware. Store for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze meatballs?
Yes! You can freeze baked turkey meatballs. Just, bake your meatballs without adding them to the teriyaki sauce, let them cool, and then store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, allow them to defrost in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can make your teriyaki sauce and then add the frozen meatballs to the pot to defrost after the sauce has thickened.
How to store and reheat leftovers
This recipe is so easy to store for later. Simply place your meatballs in one large airtight container or individual airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. For reheating, microwave the paleo meatballs and broccoli for 1 – 2 minutes and enjoy!
If you loved this healthy dinner recipe, check these out!
Need some more healthier, easy, and lunch, dinner and meal prep recipes? Here are some of my favorite Healthful Blondie recipes to try out….
- Grilled Honey Soy Chicken Thigh Skewers
- Greek Chicken Meatballs With Homemade Tzatziki
- Balsamic Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Healthy Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burgers
- Healthy Balsamic Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Healthy Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb ground turkey, 94% lean not 99%
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup scallions, green onion, finely sliced
- 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- ⅓ cup of panko bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger, very fine
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch or tapioca flour
- ¼ cup cold water
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice, juice from 1 orange
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger, very fine
- 1 clove garlic , minced
Roasted Broccoli (optional):
- 2 heads broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make sure there are two racks open.
- Roasted Broccoli: add broccoli florets, olive oil, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl. Toss to coat spread across one of the lined sheets. Roast for 22 - 28 minutes, depending on how charred you want the broccoli.
- Turkey Meatballs: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, scallions, soy sauce, panko breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and back pepper. Gently mix with your hands to fully combine.
- Using a scooper or your hands, create 18 - 22 meatballs. Evenly space them across the lined baking sheet and bake for 13 to 16 minutes, or until fully cooked (165 F internal temperature). I recommend placing the meatballs on a rack above the broccoli.
- Teriyaki Sauce: Meanwhile, dissolve the arrowroot starch with the cold water and set it to the side.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add the low sodium soy sauce, fresh orange juice, white wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Bring sauce to a quick boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in the arrowroot starch water. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, making sure to continually whisk until the sauce has thickened.
- Once the meatballs are done, carefully transfer them to the pot with the teriyaki sauce and gently mix to coat all meatballs. Depending on the size of your saucepan, you can also do this in a mixing bowl.
- Serve with some brown rice and roasted broccoli, and enjoy!
Recipe by Tati Chermayeff / Healthful Blondie + Photos by The Travel Palate
I only recommend products I absolutely love and use myself. In full disclosure, by purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. Everything counts to keep my dream afloat; thank you for supporting Healthful Blondie!
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