These sweet and spicy honey sriracha meatballs are flavorful, succulent bites that can be made on the stovetop or crock pot. Perfect as a party appetizer, game day snack, or added to a main dish, these glazed meatballs are packed with flavor, background heat, and undertones of ginger and garlic.
Hot honey meatballs are the ultimate pop of flavor in every bite! They are ideal to serve as an appetizer with plates or toothpicks and garnishes nearby so guests can continue going back for more!
The meatballs can easily be doubled or tripled for a larger crowd.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Sweet and spicy - The honey and sriracha give the perfect combination of heat and sweet. The rice vinegar cuts through for an extra pop of flavor, and tastes delicious next to the ginger in the meatballs.
Textures - The meatballs have a soft, juicy texture that gets covered in the sticky honey sriracha sauce. They're totally mouthwatering and leave you wanting to go back for bite after bite.
Easy to eat - These meatballs are made rather small so each one is easy to eat in one or two bites. Serve them with mini forks or toothpicks for a poppable bite!
- Ground meat. A combination of ground beef (80/20) and ground pork are used. All around beef or all ground pork can be used, if desired. Chicken or turkey can also be used, but will be slightly less moist.
- Bread crumbs. Unseasoned panko bread crumbs will hold the most moisture and are the preferred type of bread crumb for this recipe.
- Milk. Whole milk will provide the most moisture to the dish, but any variety of milk can be used.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic cloves are needed for both the meatball mixture and the honey sriracha sauce.
- Ketchup. This is a big portion of the sauce base. I used standard ketchup, but low sugar ketchup or your preferred variety is great.
- Sriracha. Any brand of sriracha you can find is great. Feel free to reduce the amount if you'd prefer the sauce to be slightly less spicy.
- Honey. This not only sweetens the sauce, but also helps to make it a sticky, thick glaze.
- Rice vinegar. Helps to cut through the sweet and spicy of the sauce. If you don't have rice vinegar, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used.
See recipe card for full ingredients list and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Use frozen or premade meatballs in place of homemade. Look for smaller cocktail-style meatballs.
- Rather than making these honey sriracha meatballs on a stovetop, they can also be cooked and served in crockpot for a more hands off method.
- Use ground chicken or turkey in place of the beef and pork. This version will be slightly less moist.
- Try the honey sriracha sauce with 1" sliced kielbasa (pan fried first) for a different meat variation.
- Use maple syrup in place of honey.
Honey Sriracha Sauce
This sweet and spicy sauce is perfect as a sauce, glaze, or marinade.
Try adding it to salmon, shrimp, chicken, pork chops or a pork loin as a brushed on glaze during cooking!
Alternatively, rather than serving these meatballs as an appetizer, serve it with rice, salad, or noodles for a quick meal or meal prep idea.
How to Make This Recipe
One: Mix together the breadcrumbs and milk and set aside.
Two: Add the ground meats and remaining meatball ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Three: Mix together the meat and mix ins until combined.
Four: Add the soaked breadcrumbs and gently mix again until incorporated. Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
Hot tip! Add a small chunk of meat to hot pan and cook on both sides until done. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt to the raw meatball mixture, if needed.
Five: Use a cookie scoop to create flush mounds of meatballs.
Six: Drop them onto a lined cookie sheet about ½" apart.
Seven: Wet your hands, roll the meatballs into smooth balls, and return to the cookie sheet. Bake, then broil until browned.
Eight: Sauté the garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
Nine: Add the ketchup, sriracha, honey, and rice vinegar and heat over medium heat until bubbling.
Ten: Add the meatballs and carefully toss to coat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, then uncover and cook for another 10 minutes. Add to a bowl or platter and sprinkle over the garnishes.
- I like to make them cocktail size (1-1.5") for a more manageable bite.
- Use a cookie scoop and pull it flush on the side of the bowl so each meatball is the same size.
- Wet your hands during the rolling process, as the meat will begin to stick to your hands.
- Taste sauce before adding in the meatballs. Add more sriracha if you want it spicier, and more ketchup for a less spicy version.
- Carefully toss and turn the meatballs in the sauce to coat. Be careful not to puncture any or make them fall apart.
No, you don't, but this helps the meatballs hold shape, add caramelization, and adds a bit texture to the meatballs. You could add them straight into the sauce or crockpot to cook.
Adding binders like egg and soaked bread or breadcrumbs help with this. Additionally, rolling the meatballs with wet hands creates a tighter ball.
Absolutely. For ease and quickness, feel free to buy your favorite store bought meatballs. Look for a smaller, cocktail style meatball (about 1-inch).
The meatballs can be made a day in advance and stores in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The day you plan to serve, make the sauce and cook the meatballs in the sauce until hot.
Store the cooked meatballs in a sealed container in the fridge for 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
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Honey Sriracha Meatballs
- Cookie scoop
- Sheet pan
- Large pot
- crockpot optional
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- 1 lb ground beef 80/20
- 1 lb ground pork
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 large egg
- 2 large garlic cloves grated or finely minced
- ⅓ cup scallions finely chopped
- 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
Honey Sriracha Sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 large garlic cloves finely minced
- ⅓ cup sriracha
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- scallions thinly sliced
- cilantro roughly chopped
- sesame seeds
- Mix together the breadcrumbs and milk and allow it to soak.1 cup panko breadcrumbs, ⅔ cup whole milk
- To a large bowl, add the ground meats, ginger, egg, garlic, scallions and salt. Use your hands to mix everything together until broken down and evenly distributed.1 lb ground beef, 1 lb ground pork, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, 1 large egg, 2 large garlic cloves, ⅓ cup scallions, 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
- Add the wet breadcrumbs and mix again until just combined. Take care not to over mix. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to rest for 15-30 minutes at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Use a 1 or 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop and drop even scoops of the meatball mixture onto the baking sheet.
- Wet hands, and roll each meatball into a tight ball and return to the cookie sheet. Allow about ½ inch of space in between each meatball.
- Bake the meatballs for 10-12 minutes, then broil on high until golden on the tops. Set aside while you make the sauce.
- To a medium or large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic, stir, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the sriracha, ketchup, honey, and rice vinegar and bring to a low boil, stirring to combine.1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 3-4 large garlic cloves, ⅓ cup sriracha, ½ cup ketchup, ½ cup honey, ¼ cup rice vinegar
- Add the meatballs (removing each individually from the pan and leaving all grease behind) and gently toss to coat (I like to use a rubber spatula to do this). Cover the pot and cook over medium low heat for an additional 10 minutes, tossing again at the 5 minute mark. Then, cook for 10 more minutes uncovered, allowing it to bubble slightly to reduce the sauce.
- Transfer the meatballs to a platter or bowl, and garnish with scallions, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Serve with mini forks or toothpicks.scallions, cilantro, sesame seeds