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Sweet Chili Meatballs

Need some sweet heat in your meal plan? These baked sweet chili meatballs deliver the goods.

Sweet Chili Meatballs

If you're like a lot of people, the only two times you think of meatballs is 1) in a crock pot simmering away in a vat of sauce or 2) on top of a big dish of spaghetti at an Italian-American joint. I'm here to tell you: you should think of meatballs more often!

Meatballs are a total crowd pleaser. They're super fun to eat, a breeze to throw together, and can also be made in a macro-friendly way—like in this recipe for baked sweet chili meatballs! Not convinced yet? Read on, reader!

Sweet Chili Meatballs Recipe

I use my local grocery store's pre-made sweet chili sauce for this recipe. Why? Because it's easy to get and I think it tastes good, that's why.

Of course, you could make your own sweet chili sauce and have the satisfaction of putting everything together from scratch. Sometimes, though, it's nice to eliminate the extra steps and make this a simple and quick item to throw together.

Turkey Meatballs, Baked!

While there are different methods for cooking meatballs, such as simmering in a slow cooker or frying in a skillet, I go with oven baking here. For me, the consistency and easy of cleanup win the day here. Plus, it's a way to avoid the excess oil that comes with frying.

Can I bake meatballs instead of frying?

Obviously, meatballs aren't the first food item to enter the baked vs. fried debate. Very often, it's a trade off, where fried foods are seen as indulgent and baked foods are seen as "healthy." In reality, nothing is quite that straightforward, but you have to cook these somehow, right?

With this particular meatball mixture, I find that baking still leads to the delicious crispy texture I'd expect to find in a fried batch—so no need to bust out the frying pan this time!

Sweet Chili Meatballs Ingredients

Have you ever tried to follow a recipe for meatballs and been mystified at the fact that it takes 20,000 ingredients to make what should be a simple dish? With this recipe, you're spared:

  • ground turkey
  • egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • chili powder

And, of course, your favorite

  • sweet chili sauce!

How to Make Sweet Chili Meatballs

The basic process goes like this: heat the oven, mix the meatball ingredients, form into balls, place on a baking sheet, and bake. Toward the end, pull out the meatballs, coat in sauce, and put back into the oven to finish.

Here's the full step-by-step process of making baked sweet chili meatballs:

Prep

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix all ingredients (except sweet chili sauce) in a large mixing bowl.
  • Use your hands or a cookie dough scoop to roll the mixture into balls. Spread out evenly and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake

  • Bake for 15 mins (or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees).
  • Add the sweet chili sauce to a bowl.
  • Add the meatballs to the bowl and stir to coat completely.
  • Place the meatballs back on the baking sheet and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve with ranch dressing, pasta, salad, rice or whatever you wish!

What can you use sweet chili sauce for?

If you haven't caught it yet, sweet chili sauce is a perfect complement to these delicious meatballs! In general, I find that sweet chili sauce is good for dipping things (e.g. rolls, dumplings, wraps), but it's a great coating in this recipe.

Tips for Making Baked Turkey Meatballs

For me, the ratio of ingredients gives me consistent meatballs at the right texture—not too dry, not too wet. Obviously, different products (such as ground chicken) might yield different results, so you may need to do some tweaking to get things right.

Because this is a simple recipe, you're really just looking to balance the dry breadcrumbs with the wetness from the egg/chicken. It's definitely easier to add more breadcrumbs than to add more egg, so I'd err on the side of having a slightly more moist mixture, knowing that they will lose moisture as they bake in the oven.

FAQs about Turkey Meatballs

How do you know when turkey meatballs are done?

  • Although ground meat is sometimes hard to check, you can put a probe in these meatballs to check for doneness like you would a full piece of meat. Ultimately, you're trying to bring the turkey up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should meatballs be cooked before putting them in sauce?

For these baked meatballs, we cook them most of the way before adding sauce and finishing. You could cook them completely and sauce them, but that isn't necessary from a food safety standpoint.

What sides go with sweet chili meatballs?

These can work as an appetizer or as a main accompanied by greens or rice. There have been times where I just had a serving as a snack. These play well with a lot of food combinations!

Do you need egg in meatballs?

For this recipe, an egg is used to bind the ingredients together. There are definitely some possible substitutes—greek yogurt or cheese, for example. I've even heard of someone using applesauce!

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

When you bake meatballs, you aren't introducing extra fat from oil that would come along with frying. Obviously, the final texture and flavor will be different, so it just depends. For my meal prep needs, baking works perfectly, and it's super easy to do.

Can I bake meatballs on aluminum foil?

Yes. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray. Then add rolled meatballs.

Why are my chicken meatballs tough?

Chances are, you've tried to pack the meatballs too tightly. There's no need to cram everything together—using a cooking scoop, I get about 30 meatballs from this recipe.

Looking for more recipes?

Need something to go with the baked sweet chili meatballs? I've got you covered:

Print Recipe
5 from 15 votes

Sweet Chili Meatballs

Need some sweet heat in your meal plan? These baked sweet chili meatballs deliver the goods.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meatballs, sweet chili, turkey meatballs
Servings: 4
Calories: 299kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Equipment

  • oven
  • baking sheet
  • bowl
  • cookie dough scoop

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ cup sweet chili sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix all ingredients (except sweet chili sauce) in a large mixing bowl.
  • Use your hands or a cookie dough scoop to roll the mixture into balls. Spread out evenly and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 15 mins (or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees).
  • Add the sweet chili sauce to a separate bowl.
  • Add the meatballs to the bowl and stir to coat completely.
  • Place the meatballs back on the baking sheet and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve with ranch dressing, pasta, salad, rice or whatever you wish!

Notes

If you use a cooking scoop, the recipe makes about 30 meatballs. Therefore one serving is about 7-8 meatballs. 
To log in MyFitnessPal search: "Jordo's World Sweet Chili Meatballs". 

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.1g | Protein: 25.9g | Fat: 11.8g | Saturated Fat: 3.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3.4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 129.9mg | Sodium: 434.5mg | Potassium: 297.5mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 10.1g | Vitamin A: 40.6IU | Calcium: 75.4mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Recipe Rating




Liane

Monday 8th of August 2022

Another winner! I love anything with a sweet chili sauce so this recipe will be a new favorite! Super easy, and I even made the sweet chili sauce recipe that you provided. These will be great for meal prep.

Pam

Thursday 4th of August 2022

These were surprisingly great! My 15 y/o could not tell they were turkey. Lots or flavor, will definitely make again. So glad I found your recipes and meal plan. Chicken parm casserole is up next.

Jamie

Sunday 19th of June 2022

Going to cook up some of these tonight. I already have the meatballs made. Going to use this sauce idea! Looks delish

Kim

Sunday 19th of June 2022

My family loves these meatballs!! Quick, easy and perfect for meal prep or a fast dinner!

Kendra

Friday 17th of June 2022

These meatballs were bomb! 💥