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Sweet and Tangy Cocktail Meatballs

Sweet and Tangy Cocktail Meatballs

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Ready in 35 minutes
Makes 28 meatballs




  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup red onion, grated (use large holes of a box grater and grate against the grain of the onion)
  • 1 tablespoon jarred Hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon jarred chili paste (we used Sambal Oelek brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey (white and dark meats)


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup finely minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon jarred chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 6-ounce cans pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup jarred Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon water to make a corn starch slurry
  • Sesame Seeds to garnish each meatball (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and spray the paper with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Mix all meatball ingredients except the turkey in a medium bowl then gently mix in the ground turkey to combine.
4. Try not to over work the mixture.
5. Using a small scoop that you dip in water between each meatball, scoop out 28 meat balls onto your cutting board.
6. Wet your hands between rolling each meatball and roll each one into a ball, placing them onto the prepared sheet pan.
7. Bake for 12 minutes and remove from the oven.
8. While meatballs are cooking, melt butter in a medium sauce pan and add shallots and ginger. Sauté this for two minutes over medium to medium high heat.
9. Add garlic chili paste and tomato paste and sauté over medium for two more minutes.
10. Add pineapple juice, brown sugar, Hoisin sauce and rice vinegar and bring to a boil. Lower to a fast simmer and simmer for ten minutes.
11. Mix the corn starch with the water and make a thick slurry.
12. Add this to the sauce and stir.
13. Add the meatballs and simmer for ten more minutes.
14. At this point, they can be served immediately, however placing them in a slow cooker for a few hours on low will soften the meatballs a bit and infuse the flavors better.
15. Sprinkle optional sesame seeds over served meatballs if serving on a platter.
Recipe by Martha Pesa of