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These Teriyaki Pork Meatballs are perfect for meal prepping, and are even better when paired with U.S.-grown jasmine rice. They’re pan-seared in a skillet, then baked to perfection and coated in the most delicious sticky-sweet teriyaki sauce.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by USA Rice and The Feedfeed. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help run this site!
Teriyaki pork meatballs are basically the perfect meal prep recipe. I typically don’t do a ton of meal prepping since I make a handful of new blog recipes every week, but I must admit that having meatballs on hand is absolutely a good idea.
These pork meatballs are made with ground pork (duh!) and coated in the most delicious teriyaki sauce. It’s sticky and sweet and gives these meatballs tons of flavor.
But you can’t just eat meatballs on their own. I mean, you totally can, but these meatballs are even better when paired with U.S.-grown jasmine rice. The quality of U.S.-grown rice is impeccable and you’ll be happy knowing that the rice was harvested with care. Did you know 95% of rice grown in the U.S. is grown on family-owned farms?
Why these pork meatballs are so good
- They’re seared over the stove then baked, meaning they’re the perfect texture
- The teriyaki sauce is out-of-this-world delicious, but also made with ingredients you already have on hand
- The meatballs are great on their own, but taken up a notch when paired with U.S.-grown jasmine rice
Pork: The recipe calls for ground pork, but you can absolutely substitute it for your favorite ground meat, like beef or turkey.
Soy sauce: Soy sauce is a good staple ingredient for many Asian-based sauce recipes. If you want to sub it for something else, try tamari, which is basically just a gluten free soy sauce. You could also try using coconut aminos, though that will change the flavor (it’ll still be good, just a little bit sweeter tasting).
Breadcrumbs: The breadcrumbs help to hold the meatballs together, plus they add a little extra flavor. I like using plain Panko breadcrumbs, and I actually tested these with gluten free panko breadcrumbs and they worked out great! If you can’t find Panko/want a sub, any sort of breadcrumbs will work, just make sure they’re plain vs. Italian flavored.
Maple syrup: The maple syrup adds a hint of sweetness to the sauce, and it pairs perfectly with soy sauce, but you could also use honey. Basically, you just want some sort of sugar to help create the correct flavor.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is *key* if you want the sauce to thicken (which you do!). Once the cornstarch is mixed with the other sauce ingredients then heated, it’ll thicken the sauce so that it’s no longer water-y (is there anything worse than water-y sauce?!). If you’re looking for a substitution, give arrowroot a try.
U.S.-grown Jasmine rice: I’ve been working with USA Rice and The Feedfeed to create delicious recipes using U.S.-grown rice, and high-quality U.S.-grown jasmine rice is simply the best. It’s sticky (in a good way!) and is a great base for this meatball recipe.
Step 1: Cook the rice over the stove according to the package instructions. At this point you should also preheat the oven to 400°.
Step 2: Next, add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, then use a large spoon or your hands to mix everything together.
Step 3: Use your hands to form the mixture into approximately 18 meatballs, placing them directly into a large oven-safe skillet. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet.
Step 4: Pan fry the meatballs for 3-5 minutes, or until they’re golden brown on all sides, then place the whole skillet into the oven and bake the meatballs for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re cooked through.
Step 5: While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
Step 6: Once the meatballs are baked, place the skillet back on the stove over medium-low heat and add the minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the sauce and stir until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are coated in the sauce. Serve the meatballs over the rice with a side of your favorite vegetables (like this easy broccoli, perhaps?!).
FAQs and Expert Tips
- Don’t over-mix the meat. What does this mean? If you over-work the meat, the end result will be dry, tough pork meatballs, which we don’t want. The same thing applies when actually forming the meat into meatballs. Form them gently, and resist the urge to pack the meatballs too tightly.
- Do a taste test before cooking the meatballs. Yes, I’m serious, but I don’t mean that you should eat raw meat. Instead, form a mini meatball and fry it up in a skillet, then taste it and adjust the seasonings as needed. With that said, remember that with this recipe, at least half or more of the flavor comes from the sauce, so the end result WILL be flavorful.
- If you don’t have or don’t want to use soy sauce, try using tamari or coconut aminos instead.
- Can’t find ground pork or want to try something else? Ground beef or turkey work as well.
Can I make these ahead of time?
Yep! You actually have a few options. First, you can mix the meat and then just leave the bowl in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours and then make the meatballs. Or, you can completely cook the meatballs and store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and then make and add the sauce right before you’re ready to eat them.
Check out these other meatball recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below!
Teriyaki Pork Meatballs
for the meatballs:
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1/4 cup yellow onion diced
- 2 scallions sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
for the sauce:
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp ginger grated
- 2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
- 2 cups U.S.-grown jasmine rice
- 1 head broccoli roasted
- scallions for garnish
- Start by cooking the rice: Add rice to a saucepan over the stove and cook it according to the package instructions. At this time, you should also preheat the oven to 400°.
- Add all meatball ingredients to a large bowl and use a spoon or your hands to mix everything together. You want everything to be combined, but you don't want to over-mix it. Then, use your hands to form the mixture into approximately 18 meatballs, placing them directly into an oven-safe skillet.
- Pan fry the meatballs for 3-5 minutes, or until they're golden on all sides. Then, place the entire skillet into the oven and bake the meatballs for 15-20 minutes, or until they're cooked through.
- While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce: whisk soy sauce, syrup, vinegar, ginger, and cornstarch together and set aside.
- Once the meatballs are cooked, remove them from the oven and place the skillet on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and stir for 1-2 minutes, then pour the sauce into the skillet and use a spoon to stir until the meatballs are coated with sauce. The sauce should thicken and that's a good thing! If it seems too thick, add 1 tbsp water.
- Serve the meatballs over U.S.-grown jasmine rice with a side of broccoli (or your favorite vegetable) and enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in February 2020. It was updated with new text in May 2020.