Asian Turkey Meatballs are a Delicious Twist on a Favorite Classic: Easy 30-Minute Recipe

There’s a reason everyone loves meatballs. They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and coated in delicious sauces and seasonings. But the best part about meatballs? They are surprisingly versatile. Any combination of ground meat and cuisines from around the world are fair game. So when we heard about Asian Turkey Meatballs, we had to try them. Bursting with flavors like ginger and hoisin, these baked meatballs are a healthy and delicious twist on a weeknight meal. We’re sharing our favorite recipe, so easy to make in 30 minutes, plus a sweet homemade dip and chef tips for cooking ground turkey. Here’s everything you need to know to make Asian turkey meatballs!

What are Asian turkey meatballs?

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Asian turkey meatballs are a type of meatball using ground turkey instead of the more traditional beef or pork, egg and breadcrumbs. We call them “Asian” thanks to their delicious flavor made with traditional East Asian ingredients, including ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and fish sauce. These meatballs are a lighter, juicy and aromatic alternative to traditional meatballs, perfect to enjoy as a main course or as an appetizer.

What are some of these ingredients?

You may not be familiar with some of the Asian ingredients listed above, but don’t worry. Even if you don’t cook with them every day, incorporating them into dishes like Asian turkey meatballs can really enhance their flavor profiles — and you can easily find them in most grocery stores. Here’s a quick overview with food blogger Jessica Chan of Jecca Chantilly.

1. Fish sauce
“Fish sauce has an intense salty, umami taste with a funky aroma,” says Chan. “It is made from fermented salted fish and is often used to add depth and complexity to dishes.”

2. Hoisin Sauce

“Hoisin sauce is a thick, flavorful, sweet and slightly spicy sauce,” says Chan. “Not only is it used for cooking, but it also serves as a dipping sauce for many Asian dishes.”

3. Ginger

“Ginger has a warm, slightly peppery taste that can be used in a variety of dishes,” says Chan. “It is spicy and slightly sweet and can be used to enhance both savory and sweet dishes.”

For more delicious Asian dishesclick to see Kung Pao Beef and Frozen Soup Dumplings

Chef’s Tips for Cooking Ground Turkey

Lean ground turkey is a great heart-healthy protein to cook with if you’re looking for an alternative to red meat. But the key is to make sure it’s flavorful, because turkey has less fat and can taste bland or turn dry quickly. Cooking ground turkey to perfection requires a few chef tips. Here’s what you need to know from Chef Nicole Abisror of Merois West Hollywood and Executive Chef Alisa Vannah of Mr. T in Hollywood.

1. Try bread soaked in milk

“Turkey meatballs are usually dry, but my technique for making the meat juicier is to add bread soaked in milk or cooked rice,” says Vannah. “This can keep the meatball more tender without adding extra fat.” Simply dip ½” thick cubes of white bread in milk until they become a doughy binder.

2. Pile on Flavor

Turkey requires a little extra love to develop its flavor. And sauces are a great solution! Chef Abisror recommends a Nam Pla sauce to dip your turkey meatballs in. It is “a fish sauce made (with) Thai chili, ginger, garlic, lime leaf, all chopped (and) mixed with lime juice and fish sauce” .

Related: 5 Fun Leftover Turkey Ideas (That Aren’t Sandwiches)

30 Minute Asian Turkey Meatballs Recipe

This is a recipe we turn to again and again, and it does not disappoint! These meatballs are first seared in a pan to obtain a nice crust before finishing in the oven. We like to serve them with rice and broccoli for a quick and healthy dinner.

Asian Turkey Meatballs

Asian Turkey Meatballs



  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 1 egg

  • 1 C. salt

  • 1 C. pepper

  • 2 tbsp. I am willow

  • 1 tbsp. hoisin

  • 1 C. fish sauce

  • 1″ piece of ginger, grated

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, grated

  • 1 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs, plus more

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, and more


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the ground turkey. Using gloves, add the egg, salt, pepper, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and fish sauce. Grate the ginger and garlic. Mix well.

  3. With an ungloved hand, add the Panko breadcrumbs and continue mixing. Continue adding breadcrumbs until the mixture holds its shape. Form into golf ball sized balls (1½” thick).

  4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Sear the meatballs on all sides for about 2 minutes until browned. Place meatballs on a large lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the meat is tender, then remove and serve.

Homemade Asian Turkey Meatball Dip

Asian Turkey Meatballs

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While these Asian turkey meatballs are great on their own, they’re even better with a thick, sweet sauce for dipping. This recipe comes from Gimme Some Oven and can easily be made in advance for convenience. The sauce also serves as a glaze to coat the meatballs once they’re out of the oven and cooled!

Sesame Dip



  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined. Garnish and serve with meatballs. If using a glaze, dip each meatball with a toothpick or pour it over the meatballs in a large bowl and stir until covered.

How to Serve Asian Turkey Meatballs

Since these meatballs are made with Asian flavors, it seems only fitting to share some fun Asian-inspired dishes to serve them with. So, try these creative ideas and make your Asian turkey meatballs the star of the show!

1. In lettuce cups

Make your meatballs by hand by wrapping them in large pieces of butter lettuce.

2. In a sub

Just like regular subs, arrange the meatballs on crusty bread and add Asian toppings like cabbage, vegetables or even kimchi!

3. In a bowl of rice

Pure comfort in a bowl! Add vegetables like broccoli or carrots for added flavor.

4. With egg noodles

You can’t go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs, or in this case, Chinese egg noodles. Brown them with the dip for extra flavor!

For more mouthwatering meatball storiescheck them out below:

You’ll love these party-perfect stuffed meatballs: they’re cheesy and easy to make

The secret to making perfect meatball subs, while cutting prep time in half!

Air-Fryer Meatballs are the Perfect Party Appetizer – Easy Recipe Ready in 12 Minutes

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