Today I have a recipe for Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatballs with sesame, ginger, water chestnuts and sweet and spicy hoisin sauce. In this recipe, see how easy it is to transform lean ground turkey into a savory Asian meatball for a fun party appetizer or football snack food!

Hoisin Glazed Asian Turkey Meatballs - a fun new football snack to share with friends! Get the recipe on Healthy Seasonal Recipes by Katie Webster #football #superbowl #appetizer #snack #turkey #asian #hoisin #meatballs


I originally shared these Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatballs on February 4th, 2011. I have updated the recipe, text and photographs today. That’s right! These Hoisin Glazed Asian Turkey Meatballs are new and improved! They’re like the 2 point 0 version of one of my most popular recipes ever, and they are even better!

Why We Love Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatballs

Hoisin-Glazed Meatballs combine two delicious exotic cuisines: Asian and Italian. And let me tell you, the coming together of these continents produces a meatball that is so tender, flavorful, perfectly juicy, and loaded with tons of sauce that they will quickly disappear!

The best part is they are a one-bowl wonder and only take 30 minutes to make. Simply combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl, mixing until just combined. Shape into 26 equal size meatballs and bake. It doesn’t get any easier than that! Plus, you can double the batch and freeze half for a later date!

Display these meatballs on a festive game-day or holiday platter and garnish them with sesame seeds and green onions.

And while I love serving up these Hoisin-Glazed Meatballs as a delicious game-day appetizer, they do make a wonderful main course when served with a side of cauliflower rice or a bowl of hot noodles.

But one thing is for sure, these little sweet bite-sized meatballs are so good that your guests will be poppin’ ‘em in their mouth and doing their favorite end zone dance every time they enjoy one!

Key Ingredients For This Recipe

asian turkey meatballs ingredients with text

Lean ground turkey

Use your favorite brand of lean (minimum 90%) ground turkey. I have not tested this recipe with pork, beef, or chicken, however; my guess is any of these substitutions would be wonderful.


Use plain panko breadcrumbs to give the meatballs stability verse regular fine breadcrumbs. If you’re looking to make this dish gluten-free, feel free to use your favorite gluten-free panko breadcrumb brand. I prefer Ian’s brand.

Hoisin Sauce

Made from fermented soybean paste and other spices, hoisin sauce combines umami with sweet, tangy, and spicy elements to Asian inspired dishes. Plus, it’s not made with any animal products and therefore can be used in vegan and vegetarian dishes. Hoisin sauce can be high in sodium, so check labels and pick a brand on the lower sodium side if you need to watch your salt intake.

Water Chestnuts

Finely chopped water chestnuts add a lovely crunch to the velvety smooth texture of the meat mixture of the meatball.


In meatballs, egg is used as a binding agent to hold together all the ingredients.


Also known as green onions, these young plants have a much milder flavor profile than more mature onions. When using in the meatballs, be sure to mince the white bulb part while reserving the green stalk for garnish.


I prefer to use fresh ginger with a rasp-style grater, however; if you are unable to find fresh ginger root at your local grocer feel free to use dried.

Sambal Oelek

Sambal Oelek is a spicy chili paste that can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets, Asian markets and health food stores. If you are unable to locate it, feel free to substitute in Sriracha.

Lime Juice

Freshly squeezed lime juice is best as the flavor will be more robust but if you are in a pinch, pre-squeezed store-bought 100% real lime juice will work just as well.

Soy Sauce

I recommend using reduced-sodium soy sauce. If you are looking to make this dish gluten-free, I suggest using San-J Tamari reduced-sodium soy as this brand is solely made from fermented soybeans and results in a 100% gluten-free product.

Toasted Sesame Oil

Using toasted sesame oil brings in a subtle almond-like flavor that pairs really well with the other meatball flavors. My favorite brand of sesame oil is La Tourangelle because of their superior high-quality product.

Sesame Seeds

Used as a garnish. Feel free to slightly toast them to bring out their nutty flavor. If you do not have any on hand, feel free to omit it completely.


Fresh chopped cilantro adds a lovely fresh and citrusy note to the final product. If you are not a fan of cilantro, feel free to substitute in coriander or leave off completely.

Step By Step Instructions to Make This Recipe

steps showing how to make this recipe

Step 1: Prepare Baking Sheet

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line large baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Set aside.

Step 2: Make Meatball Mixture

In a large mixing bowl, combine Tamari or soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and sambal or crushed red pepper.  To liquid seasoning add minced scallions, egg, ground turkey, panko, and water chestnuts.  Stir to combine but do not over mix

steps showing how to make this recipe

Step 3: Portion and Shape Meatballs

Using a medium ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, portion and shape 26 meatballs with moistened hands.  Place meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and cook for 17-19 minutes or until fully cooked, flipping halfway through.  Take out of the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Prepare Meatballs

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  In a large bowl, stir to combine sauce ingredients.  Take half of the meatballs and place them in the bowl.  Gently stir to coat.  Repeat until all meatballs are coated in sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining sliced scallions and sesame seeds.  Serve hot with toothpicks. 

Hoisin Glazed Asian Turkey Meatballs - a fun new football snack to share with friends! Get the recipe on Healthy Seasonal Recipes by Katie Webster #football #superbowl #appetizer #snack #turkey #asian #hoisin #meatballs

FAQ And Expert Tips For This Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatballs Recipe

Can I freeze these meatballs?

Yes, store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. For best results, I would suggest freezing the baked meatballs without the sauce. When you are ready to eat, defrost the meatballs overnight in the fridge. Then reheat the meatballs in the microwave or in the oven. Then make the sauce and toss the meatballs in the sauce!

How can I prevent the meat from sticking to my hands?

If the meat is sticking to your hand, slightly moisten your palms prior to scooping and rolling into balls.

What is Sambal Oelek?

Sambal Oelek is a spicy paste, originating in Southeast Asia. Generally made with hot chili peppers, vinegar, and water it can be likened to Sriracha. However, Sambal Oelek tends to have a more intense flavor profile than Sriracha.

More Delicious Recipes To Serve With These Asian Turkey Meatballs

My easy take-out style Sesame Noodles make a simple side dish to serve these with. This Asian Coleslaw would make another tasty side dish.

For more Football and game-day appetizers, make this classic Guacamole, or check out ways to amp up Guacamole 5 Ways.

Make this BBQ Beef in the slow cooker and heat up some slider buns for Football fans to serve themselves!

My Roasted Garlic Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Black Bean Hummus are all contenders for the dipping crowd!!

Hoisin Glazed Asian Turkey Meatballs - a fun new football snack to share with friends! Get the recipe on Healthy Seasonal Recipes by Katie Webster #football #superbowl #appetizer #snack #turkey #asian #hoisin #meatballs

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter for healthy recipes delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Hoisin Glazed Asian Turkey Meatballs on circular serving dish with toothpicks and a slice of lime

Hoisin-Glazed Asian Turkey Meatballs


Hoisin Glazed Asian Turkey Meatballs with ginger, sesame and water chestnuts. The simple hoisin glaze is a mixture of hoisin sauce, lime and cilantro, and gives these lean appetizers a sweet and spicy kick! Serve them for a football snack or appetizer and watch them disappear!


  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root, preferably grated with a rasp-style grater
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek sauce (see *ingredient note) or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 scallions, minced plus sliced scallion greens for garnish, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 20 ounces 90% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup drained, finely chopped water chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup purchased Hoisin Sauce (see *ingredient note)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (coriander)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Black and/or white sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Whisk Tamari or soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and sambal or crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Add 2 minced scallions, egg, turkey, panko and water chestnuts and stir to combine.
  3. Drop turkey mixture by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, gently re-shaping into ball shapes with moistened hands. Transfer to the oven. Bake until the meat is cooked through, 17 to 19 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes.
  4. Stir Hoisin sauce, cilantro and lime juice in a large bowl. Add half of the cooked meatballs and gently stir to coat. Transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Sprinkle with the remaining sliced scallions and sesame seeds and serve hot with toothpicks.


Ingredient Note: Sambal Oelek is available in the Asian section of large supermarkets, Asian markets and health food stores.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • Serving Size: 3 meatballs
  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 7.2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Protein: 12 grams

Keywords: Asian Meatballs,Asian Turkey Meatballs,Turkey Meatballs,Hoisin meatballs,hoisin turkey meatballs