Tangy. Sweet. Delicious. This dish combines all of the flavor of classic sweet and sour chicken, wrapped up in an easy-to-make meatball. Added bonuses – these little balls of yummy-ness are low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, and gluten-free! Enjoy them for dinner tonight and, while you’re at it, whip up and extra batch or two to stick in the freezer for times when you need a super quick, super tasty meal.
- 2 pounds ground turkey breast
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup cooked rice
- ¼ cup Egg Beaters or one egg, beaten
- 1 green onion, minced
- 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1-2 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup honey or brown sugar
- ¼ c pineapple juice or juice from 8 oz can crushed pineapple
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in about ¼ c water
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Combine the egg, soy sauce, and rice in a large bowl. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. While the rice mixture is sitting, prep green onions, garlic, and ginger, if necessary. Add to rice mixture.
- Gently fold in ground turkey and water until combined. Mixture should feel wet. Be careful not to over mix! Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 7- 8 minutes.
- Remove meat mixture from refrigerator and shape into meatballs. (Size should be a little bigger than a golf ball.) Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and line up the meatballs so that they are not touching. Spray the top of the meatballs with the spray. (This will help them brown up in the oven.) Bake for 12-15 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.
- Combine all ingredients, except the cornstarch, in a saucepan over Medium heat. Stir sauce until honey (or brown sugar) dissolves and sauce begins to bubble (not a full rolling boil, just a gentle bubbling).
- Turn heat to Med/low and add cornstarch dissolved in water. Let sauce thicken, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes.
- Take meatballs out of oven and place in an oven- or microwave-safe bowl. Pour sauce over meatballs. Gently toss.
- Serve with a side of pineapple and and a side of fresh coleslaw mix (plain or tossed in a little rice wine vinegar and salt). Top with green onions.
The prepared, uncooked meatballs can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Place them on your baking sheet and cover them with aluminum foil. Remove foil before placing the baking sheet in the oven.
Cooked meatballs can also be frozen.
Start by getting the meatballs ready to go. Preheat the oven to 475. Yes, I know that is hot, but it works really well for this recipe. It cooks the meatballs quickly and leaves them a little crispy on the outside, giving them a nice texture! Next, combine 1 beaten egg, 1/4 c soy sauce, and 1/4 c cooked rice in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes. The rice will absorb some of the mixture, which will help keep the meatballs moist.
While the rice mixture is sitting, mince 1 green onion, 3 cloves of garlic, and a 2-inch piece of peeled ginger, if necessary. If you already have these done (or if you used your market as your sous chef, buying them already prepped – my favorite time saver), pump your fists in the air like the rock star that you are! Stir the green onions, garlic, and ginger into rice mixture.
Gently fold 2 lbs ground turkey and 1/4 c water into the rice mixture until combined. Be careful not to over mix! You want everything mixed up, but you don’t want it to be macerated. The mixture should feel wet. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 7- 8 minutes. Letting this set for a few minutes in the refrigerator will make the mixture easier to work with. By the way, at this point, you can totally throw this in the refrigerator and leave it for 2-3 days, until you are ready to serve the meatballs. Just take the bowl out of the fridge and take up where you left off with the recipe. Note: You can also put the meatballs in the refrigerator in their “meatball form,” on the baking sheets, covered with aluminum foil, and ready to go into the oven. Great weekday time-saver, if you have the room in your refrigerator to store them that way.
Take the meat mixture out of the refrigerator and shape it into individual meatballs. Each meatball should be a little bigger than a golf ball. You should be able to make about 30 meatballs. Spray an aluminum foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray and line up the meatballs so that they are not touching. Spray the tops of the meatballs with the cooking spray. This will help them brown up in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Combine in a saucepan over Medium heat: 1/2 cup chicken broth; 1/4 cup soy sauce; a 1-2 inch piece of peeled and minced ginger; 2 minced garlic cloves; 1/4 cup honey or brown sugar; and 1/4 c pineapple juice or the juice from an 8 oz can crushed pineapple. (I like to use the canned pineapple because I can serve the actual pineapple on the side.) Stir the sauce until the honey (or sugar) dissolves and the sauce begins to bubble (not a full rolling boil, just a gentle bubbling). Turn the heat to Med/low and add 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in about 1/4 c warm water. Let the sauce thicken, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes.
Take the meatballs out of the oven and place them in an oven- or microwave-safe bowl. They will be HOT, and you don’t want your bowl to melt or break! Pour the sauce directly over the meatballs and gently toss, coating the meatballs. Serve with a side of pineapple and plain fresh coleslaw mix (or toss the coleslaw mix in a little bit of rice wine vinegar and salt). This is also delicious over cooked rice. Top with green onions. Enjoy!