Sticky Orange Chicken Meatballs

A fun twist on classic orange chicken! These orange chicken meatballs are a fresh & healthy makeover that will rival any takeout order. Featuring tender juicy chicken meatballs loaded with green onion & Asian seasonings all tossed in a sweet & spicy orange sauce! Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!

A serving bowl filled with orange chicken meatballs sitting on a bed of rice next to steamed broccoli and fresh orange slices

When it comes to Chinese takeout – orange chicken reins supreme. These orange chicken meatballs have all the same flavors just packed into a deliciously juicy meatball! They’re bursting with orange flavor and couldn’t be easier to make. (Love Asian-inspired meatballs? Try my teriyaki pineapple meatballs next!)

I really love the flavors in this dish. Like an orange chicken dish, finding the right orange sauce can be a bit challenging. Some are too sweet, others too vinegary and some tend to have a bitter orange flavor that lingers far too long. This orange sauce is just right! Perfectly sweet and tangy with a hint of spice that pairs incredibly well with the soy and ginger flavors in your meatballs.

These are the BEST orange chicken meatballs!

Ingredients used to make orange chicken meatballs

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ground chicken: I always sue 96% lean ground chicken for ours. (Ground turkey can be used instead.)

Panko breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are a MUST for these meatballs! They’re more delicate than regular breadcrumbs giving your meatballs a light and airy texture.

Egg: You’ll need 1 egg for this recipe.

Green onion: Use the green and white parts for maximum flavor!

Garlic: An essential ingredient for any meatball recipe! You’ll need 2 minced garlic cloves for the meatballs and 3 garlic cloves for the sauce.

Soy sauce: We use low sodium soy sauce for ours.

Oranges: Fresh orange juice and zest is used in the honey-orange sauce. (You’ll need at least 2 large oranges for the sauce.)

Rice vinegar: We always use natural rice vinegar. It’s mild in flavor and gives your sauce the perfect vinegary bite.

Honey: Used to sweeten the sauce. You’ll need 2 tablespoons of honey.

Cornstarch: Used to thicken the orange sauce.

Water: When mixed with the cornstarch, the water helps to create a “slurry” that you’ll use to thicken the sauce as it boils.

Spices: Ground ginger, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes are needed for the meatballs and orange sauce.

A large clear mixing bowl filled with ingredients used to make orange chicken meatballs
Seared chicken meatballs sitting in a large clear baking dish
A large sauté pan filled with fresh baked orange chicken meatballs tossed in a sweet and spicy honey-orange sauce

How To Make Orange Chicken Meatballs

1. Preheat the oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish with cooking spray (or line a baking sheet with parchment paper).

2. Form the meatballs. Add the meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix them together with your hands. Form the mixture into 1 inch balls and place them in your prepared baking dish. (Alternatively, you can brown the meatballs in a sauté pan for a few minutes on each side before baking them.)

3. Bake. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

4. Make the orange sauce. Whisk the orange sauce ingredients together in a bowl (except for the cornstarch and water). Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. While the sauce heats, whisk the cornstarch and water together to make a “slurry”. Once boiling, add the cornstarch slurry and whisk until the sauce begins to thicken.

5. Toss & serve! Toss the meatballs in the sauce until they’re fully coated. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onion (if desired) and serve immediately.

A close up photo of orange chicken meatballs coated in a sticky orange sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds and green onion

Serving Suggestions

These meatballs are full of bold robust flavors so simple side dishes are the key! You can go with more traditional Asian side dishes or your standard favorites! Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

  • Steamed white rice
  • Fried rice/cauliflower rice
  • Stir fried veggies
  • Roasted veggies (We love roasted broccoli or green beans!)
  • Garlic edamame
  • Sautéed zucchini
  • Asian cucumber salad
Orange chicken meatballs sprinkled with sesame seeds sitting on a bed of rice next to steamed broccoli

Why you’ll love this chicken meatball recipe!

  • A fun spin on classic orange chicken! All the flavors of your favorite orange chicken combined into a saucy flavorful meatball!
  • Easy to make! A few simple ingredients & no special equipment required! These meatballs come together quickly & can be on the table in 30 minutes or less!
  • A versatile meal! Serve them as a main dish, appetizer or prep them the for easy lunches during the week!

[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments – I love seeing what you create!]

Sticky Honey Orange Chicken Meatballs

A fun twist on classic orange chicken! These orange chicken meatballs are a fresh & healthy makeover that will rival any takeout order. Featuring tender juicy chicken meatballs loaded with green onion & Asian seasonings all tossed in a sweet & spicy orange sauce! Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: baked meatballs, chicken meatballs, meatball recipes, orange chicken meatballs, orange sauce
Servings: 16 meatballs
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 stalks of green onion, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Sliced green onion, for garnish (optional)
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

For the orange sauce:

  • ½ cup orange juice (about 1½-2 oranges)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (depending on your desired spice level)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish with cooking spray (or line a baking sheet with parchment paper).
  • Form the meatballs. Add the ground chicken, panko breadcrumbs, garlic, green onion, egg, soy sauce, ground ginger, salt and black to a large bowl and mix together with your hands.
    Form the mixture into 1 inch balls and place them in your prepared baking dish. (Alternatively, you can brown the meatballs in a sauté pan for a few minutes on each side before placing them in the dish.)
  • Bake. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Make the orange sauce. While the meatballs bake, whisk the orange juice, orange zest, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, soy sauce and red pepper flakes together in a bowl until the honey dissolves.
    Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. While the sauce heats, whisk the cornstarch and water together to make a "slurry". Once boiling, add the cornstarch slurry and whisk until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Toss & serve. Toss the meatballs in your sauce until they're fully coated. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onion (if desired) and serve immediately.

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