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close up shot of chop sticks holding a turkey meatball and dipping in sauce

Asian Turkey Meatballs

Whether you want a tasty appetizer for a party or a healthy, satisfying dinner for the fam, this creative spin on meatballs does the trick. Bake the Asian Turkey Meatballs and serve alongside the Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce. Or, serve over brown rice and stir fried veggies with a drizzle of the sauce for a nutritious and fun spin on Asian take out. Freezing instructions included.

Yield: 4-5 servings (20-24 meatballs) 1x
Prep: 20 minutesCook: 20 minutesTotal: 40 minutes



  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (about 3)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (sub: fresh parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 garlic cloves, minced)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (see GF option in notes)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup plain Panko bread crumbs* (see GF option in notes)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 11 1/4 pounds ground turkey**
  • Optional (but recommended): a squirt or two of Sriracha hot chili sauce

Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce: 

  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (see GF option in notes)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 green onions, sliced (sub: 2 tablespoons minced dried onion)
  • A squirt of Sriracha sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes


*We like to use the whole wheat Panko for extra nutrition, if you can find it. 

**We recommend NOT using the 99% lean ground turkey. It’s much better to get turkey that’s less lean, so the meatballs are more moist and flavorful. You could also use half ground turkey/chicken sausage and half ground turkey/chicken to add more flavor.

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Make It Now:

  1. Prep: Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (for easier clean up). Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Make Meat Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, add the green onions, cilantro/parsley, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, bread crumbs, beaten egg, and the turkey. Use your clean hands to gently combine.
  3. Form Meatballs: Scoop one heaping tablespoon of the turkey mixture at a time and shape into about 1 ½-inch diameter meatballs. Place meatballs in rows on the baking sheet, making sure to leave a little room between each one. 
  4. Bake: Bake for about 15 minutes. The meatballs are done when there is no more pink in the middle when cut open or a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 160-165°F (the internal temp will rise about 5 more degrees after you remove from oven). (Note: If you want the meatballs to have a crispier exterior, remove the meatballs after 13 minutes of baking. Turn on the broiler and place the pan on the top oven rack. Broil for about 2 minutes, until golden on top and cooked through.)
  5. Make Sauce: While the meatballs bake, make the Dipping Sauce. In a medium saucepan, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, green onion, and Sriracha or red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer (watch closely so it doesn’t boil over!). Cook for about 5 minutes. 
  6. Serve: Serve the warm meatballs with a small ramekin of dipping sauce. Or, serve meatballs over brown rice with stir-fried vegetables and drizzle the sauce over the top. 

Freeze For Later: Label and open a gallon-sized freezer bag and lay it on the counter. Follow Step 2 and 3, however, place the meatballs in a single layer in the freezer bag. Seal, squeezing out excess air, and freeze flat. Then, combine all the ingredients for the Dipping Sauce in a quart-sized freezer bag, seal, toss to combine, and freeze along with the meatballs. You can also include a bag of cooked brown rice and a bag of frozen stir fry veggies to complete the meal kit.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw the meatballs, sauce, and rice in the refrigerator. Follow Step 1 and then Steps 4-6 to cook the meatballs and sauce. Warm up the rice in the microwave and prepare the stir fry veggies according to package directions.


  • It’s very likely you’ll have leftover meatballs. Freeze them for later!
  • Gluten-Free Version: In place of soy sauce, use coconut aminos or Tamari gluten-free soy sauce. In place of the Panko bread crumbs, use almond meal or gluten-free bread crumbs (I prefer to make my own with GF bread). 
  • Where We Get Meat: We get our meat from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves. Read my honest review here.
© Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
Cuisine: Asian Method: Bake