These easy chicken meatballs are packed with classic Thai flavors of cilantro, garlic, ginger and sweet chili sauce. They are crispy on the outside and moist in the middle. Tossed in a sweet chili sauce and ready in under 30 minutes total!
This chicken meatball recipe makes juicy chicken meatballs perfect for an easy weeknight meal. The cooking time is only about 18 minutes and the healthy chicken meatballs are made with just a handful of ingredients easy to find at the grocery store.
They make a delicious appetizer served with toothpicks. Or eat them as a main course with some favorite sides, in meatball subs or lettuce wraps. Great for meal prepping to for easy weeknight dinners or a quick lunch. And these are perfect flavorful meatballs for game day celebrations too.
What makes this skinny?
Using ground chicken versus ground beef which can be much fattier is an automatic calorie and fat saver. This lighter chicken version is a calorie win.
Making healthy baked chicken meatballs instead of frying or cooking an a higher calorie sauce.
The ingredients to flavor these Asian chicken meatballs are all lower calorie choices with great flavor too!
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Ground chicken. We recommend 96% lean ground chicken. Don't use ground chicken breast as you'll need some fat in the meat for it to hold together and for flavor.
Panko Breadcrumbs. Using panko breadcrumbs or other fine grain bread crumbs without any added flavor can be used. Regular or gluten-free breadcrumbs can be used.
Sweet chili sauce. This can be found in the international section of the grocery store. It's a sweet thick sauce that is used in the meatballs and in the optional sauce.
Soy sauce. Regular or gluten-free soy sauce or tamari can be used. We don't recommend low-sodium for this recipe unless needed for dietary purposes.
Ginger. You'll use fresh ginger that has been peeled and grated. Grating the ginger allows it to better mix with the other ingredients. Ginger paste can also be used.
Garlic. Like ginger you'll grate the garlic cloves for a total of 1 ½ teaspoons. Garlic paste can be substituted.
How to make Thai Ground Chicken Meatballs
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
STEP 2. Make the ground chicken meatballs
In a large mixing bowl combine ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, minced cilantro, grated garlic, and grated ginger to a large bowl (photo 1). Gently mix until well combined (photo 2).
Scoop the meatball mixture into golf ball sized portions (1.5 tablespoons) using a cookie scoop. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet with at least 1 inch space between them (photo 3).
STEP 3. Bake
Bake the meatballs for 15-18 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 165F (photo 4).
STEP 4. Make the sweet chili sauce
While the meatballs are cooking, in a large bowl combine the ½ cup sweet chili sauce and juice of 1 lime freshly squeezed. Whisk together (photo 5).
Remove the meatballs and place into the bowl with the sweet chili sauce. Toss to coat (photo 6).
STEP 5. Serve
Serve with chopped cilantro, sliced green onion or sesame seeds as a garnish.
Use ground turkey. If preferred swap in ground turkey instead of ground chicken.
Add some red pepper flakes. If you like some spicy heat add some red pepper flakes to the uncooked meatballs mixture or to the sweet chili sauce.
What to serve with it
These ground chicken meatballs can be served with toothpicks as an appetizer or over rice with a favorite vegetable side dish for a main meal.
How to Store leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.
Freezing meatballs is a handy way to get ahead. Make a double batch and freeze them! Cook the meatballs as directed but do NOT put them in the sauce.
- Place the cooked cooled meatballs on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet with some space in between.
- Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours to flash freeze them. This allows you to remove as many meatballs as desired and so they don't stick together.
- Once frozen, put the meatballs in a freezer safe container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw the frozen meatballs in the refrigerator. Reheat in a medium heat oven on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toss in sauce and serve.