Baked Ground Chicken Teriyaki Pineapple Meatballs with Rice

These Baked Ground Chicken Teriyaki Pineapple Meatballs with Rice are made with ground chicken, crushed pineapple, and tossed in a homemade teriyaki sauce.

Serve over rice with sauteed bell peppers for a quick, easy, and delicious meal your whole family will love.

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? They are quick and easy to make and shouldn’t be limited to just Italian night. These chicken teriyaki pineapple meatballs are bursting with flavor.

Here are some other meatball recipes you will want to try: traditional Italian meatballs, chicken apple meatballs, sage chicken meatballs with brown butter sauce.

Chicken teriyaki casserole in a white casserole dish.
Chicken teriyaki casserole in a white casserole dish.

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Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This is a quick and easy meal that is full of flavor.
  • These meatballs use common everyday ingredients.
  • Because they are baked instead of fried, these meatballs are healthier than traditional pan fried meatballs.
  • Easy make ahead recipe. Just assemble all of the ingredients and store in the refrigerator and reheat when you are ready to eat.
Chicken pineapple meatball ingredients on a dark background.
Chicken pineapple meatball ingredients on a dark background.
Teriyaki sauce ingredients on a dark background.
Teriyaki sauce ingredients on a dark background.

Ingredients

Ground Chicken: If you can’t find ground chicken you can either substitute ground turkey or ask your butcher to grind 1/2 a pound of chicken breasts and 1/2 a pound of chicken thighs together.

Panko Bread Crumbs: These bread crumbs are found by the regular bread crumbs at the grocery store but they are crispier than traditional bread crumbs. Breadcrumbs help bind meatballs together and absorb moisture to create more tender meatballs.

Milk: Milk adds additional moisture to the meatballs. When combined with the bread crumbs it also prevents the meat proteins from shrinking and creating tough meatballs.

Pineapple Chunks: Pineapple is the secret to moist chicken meatballs. Use the fruit in the meatball and reserve the juice to use in the homemade teriyaki sauce

Egg: Egg helps to bind the meatball together and adds additional fat, moisture, and flavor.

Soy Sauce: My recipes are formulated using reduced-sodium soy sauce.

Green Onions: Green onions are also known as scallions. They are milder than a regular white or yellow onion.

Garlic: Fresh garlic will give you the best flavor. You can use freshly chopped garlic cloves, chopped garlic from a jar, or use some garlic paste from a tube. If you only have garlic powder reduce the amount to 1 1/2 teaspoon for the meatballs and 1 1/2 teaspoon for the sauce.

Fresh Ginger: If you don’t have fresh ginger you can substitute ground ginger or try ginger paste which can be found in the produce section of the grocery store next to the fresh herbs. If using ground ginger reduce the amount to 1/4 teaspoon for the meatballs and 1/4 teaspoon for the sauce.

Did you know fresh ginger can be frozen? Never run out of fresh ginger or throw away moldy ginger again.

Sweet Chili Sauce: Sweet chili sauce adds just a touch of spice to the teriyaki sauce.

Honey: Just a bit of honey sweetens the teriyaki sauce without making it overly sweet.

Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken the homemade teriyaki sauce.

Red and Green Bell Peppers: Red and green peppers add some color and crunch. Don’t like bell peppers? Try substituting broccoli, snow peas, or cabbage.

Toasted Sesame Seeds: Toasting sesame seeds makes them crunchier and gives them a nutty flavor. As a shortcut, you can buy already toasted sesame seeds in the spice aisle.

Equipment

Large Mixing Bowl: These are my favorite mixing bowls. They come in a huge range of sizes, nest together for easy storage, and are easy to clean.

Grater: A quality grater will make quick work of grating everything from the fresh ginger in this recipe to parmesan cheese. This grater which is available on Amazon was highly rated by America’s Test Kitchen.

9×13 Casserole Dish: When making casseroles I love my glass pyrex pan.

Thermometer: The easiest way to know when the meatballs are fully cooked is to check their temperature. Full cooked meatballs should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Farenheight. The Thermapen Mk4 from Thermoworks is my favorite thermometer. It is durable, fast, and easy to use, and clean.

Directions

Meatballs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheight.

In a large bowl mix together the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, milk, pineapple, egg, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, ginger, and sweet chili sauce.

Mix with your hands until just combined.

Shape the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs using approximately 2 tablespoons of the mixture for each meatball.

Place meatballs in a 9×13 casserole dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Meatballs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Farenheight. You can also cut a meatball in half to make sure the meat is no longer pink.

Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce coating the back of a spoon.
Teriyaki sauce coating the back of a spoon.

While the meatballs are baking, combine the soy sauce, water, honey, pineapple juice, garlic, ginger, and sweet chili sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.

In a small bowl mix together the corn starch and 1 tablespoon of water. Slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce. Continue whisking the sauce until it has thickened slightly.

Assembly

Top the meatballs with the remaining pineapple chunks and red and green pepper chunks. Pour the teriyaki sauce over everything and continue baking in the oven for 30 minutes until the peppers are fork-tender.

Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

What to serve with teriyaki pineapple meatballs

I love to serve these meatballs over rice with sauteed bell peppers and drizzled with the homemade teriyaki sauce. If you are looking for a lower carb serving suggestion, try substituting riced cauliflower for the rice.

These meatballs also make a delicious addition to a lettuce wrap.

Chicken pineapple meatballs with pineapple, bell peppers, and rice on a white plate.
Chicken pineapple meatballs with pineapple, bell peppers, and rice on a white plate.

Storage

Store leftover meatballs in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat over low heat in a saucepan or in the microwave.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use ground ginger instead of fresh ginger?

Fresh ginger will provide the best flavor. You can either buy a knob of ginger that you peel and then grate using the fine side of a cheese grater or you can purchase ginger paste which can be found in the produce section of the grocery store next to the fresh herbs.

If you only have ground ginger you will want to reduce the amount by half. This recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger so you will want to use 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger.

Can meatballs be made ahead of time?

Yes. Shape the meatballs and place them in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet, being careful to not squish them together. Cover and refrigerate for up to one day.

Why are my meatballs tough?

Meatballs become tough when they are overworked, formed into too tight of balls, or are overcooked.

Don’t over-mix the ingredients. Remember the mixture will continue to mix together when you are rolling it into balls.

Can I use ground turkey instead?

Yes, you can substitute ground turkey for ground chicken. The cooking time will be the same.

Tips

  • If you can’t find ground chicken you can either substitute ground turkey or ask your butcher to grind 1/2 a pound of chicken breasts and 1/2 a pound of chicken thighs together.
  • To keep the meatballs from sticking to your hands when rolling them into balls, spray your hands with a little nonstick cooking spray.
  • Don’t overwork the meat. Mixing the ingredients by hand allows you to ensure the ingredients are combined completely without overworking the mixture. Overworking the mixture creates tight tough meatballs.
  • When shaping the meatballs, all of the meatballs should be similar in size to ensure they will cook at the same rate. Loosely roll the meat into balls. Rolling and squeezing them into tight balls will create tough overworked meatballs.
  • If you are looking for a shortcut, feel free to substitute your favorite bottled teriyaki sauce.
Chicken pineapple meatballs and peppers on a bed of white rice.

Chicken Pineapple Meatballs

Yield: 20 Meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

These Baked Ground Chicken Teriyaki Pineapple Meatballs with Rice are made with ground chicken, crushed pineapple, and tossed in a homemade teriyaki sauce.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pineapple chunks - save the remaining chunks and juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 red bell pepper - sliced into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • remaining pineapple chunks
  • sliced green onions for garnish
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

Meatballs

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheight.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, milk, pineapple, egg, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, ginger, and sweet chili sauce.
  3. Mix with your hands until just combined.
  4. Shape the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs using approximately 2 tablespoons of the mixture for each meatball.
  5. Place meatballs in a 9x13 casserole dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Meatballs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Farenheight. You can also cut a meatball in half to make sure the meat is no longer pink.

Teriyaki Sauce

  1. While the meatballs are baking, combine the soy sauce, water, honey, pineapple juice, garlic, ginger, and sweet chili sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the corn starch and 1 tablespoon of water. Slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce. Continue whisking the sauce until it has thickened slightly.

Assembly

  1. Top the meatballs with the remaining pineapple chunks and red and green pepper chunks. Pour the teriyaki sauce over everything and continue baking in the oven for 30 minutes until the peppers are fork-tender.
  2. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Notes

  • If you can’t find ground chicken you can either substitute ground turkey or ask your butcher to grind 1/2 a pound of chicken breasts and 1/2 a pound of chicken thighs together.
  • To keep the meatballs from sticking to your hands when rolling them into balls, spray your hands with a little nonstick cooking spray.
  • Don’t overwork the meat. Mixing the ingredients by hand allows you to ensure the ingredients are combined completely without overworking the mixture. Overworking the mixture creates tight tough meatballs.
  • When shaping the meatballs, all of the meatballs should be similar in size to ensure they will cook at the same rate. Loosely roll the meat into balls. Rolling and squeezing them into tight balls will create tough overworked meatballs.
  • If you are looking for a shortcut, feel free to substitute your favorite bottled teriyaki sauce.
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 564Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 2267mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 4gSugar: 46gProtein: 37g

    This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from an online calculator. Although raspberriesandkohlrabi.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Close up of chicken pineapple meatball casserole.
    Close up of chicken pineapple meatball casserole.

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