For those nights when you’re craving barbecue flavor but just can’t deal with the grill, these baked chicken meatballs make the perfect dinner!
Meatballs are a favorite weeknight dinner in our house. They are always a hit with Alex and Owen, and I love that I can make them ahead of time and then just reheat them when it’s time to eat. Plus, you can do lots of different things with them, so we never get bored with the leftovers. I like to serve these meatballs over brown rice with extra barbecue sauce and lime wedges on the side, but any extras can easily be turned into meatballs subs or used as a topping for pizza. (Seriously, think about it: barbecue chicken meatball pizza. Maybe with pineapple??)
Even if you are a seasoned grill master who can barbecue circles around me, there are still plenty of warm weather nights when cooking outside just isn’t in the cards. Maybe it’s raining, or you’re just too tired, or too busy, or you finally managed to get your kid inside after literally hours of running around and there is no way in hell you are opening that door again for any reason whatsoever. In those instances, these meatballs are a great way to bring those great backyard summer flavors into your kitchen.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
- 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- To make the barbecue sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, just until sizzling and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the ketchup, honey, soy sauce, lime juice, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have blended and the sauce is slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. (Sauce can be made up to one week ahead.)
- To make the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it lightly with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, carrot, panko, onion, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, gently mix the ingredients together. Form into 12 meatballs and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
- Pour about 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce into a small bowl. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, brush the sauce over the tops of the meatballs. Transfer to the oven and bake until the meatballs are firm but still juicy, 15 to 20 minutes. Brush with some of the reserved sauce (be careful not to use any sauce that can into contact with the raw meatballs) and serve, passing the extra barbecue sauce on the side.