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+ servings
5 from 4 votes
Overhead picture of Huli Huli Chicken meatballs in a cast iron skillet
Huli Huli Chicken Meatballs
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
55 mins

With a sweet, savory, soy-pineapple glaze/sauce these Hawaiian-inspired Huli Huli Chicken Meatballs make delicious appetizers, rice bowls and sandwiches!

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Hawaiian
Keyword: Huli Huli Chicken, Huli Huli Chicken Meatballs
Servings: 6
Calories: 349 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup sweet chili sauce
  • cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ½ medium sweet onion
  • 1 medium red bell pepper Or a combination of different colored mini bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped.
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • sesame seeds for garnish, if desired
For the sauce:
  1. Heat sesame oil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. When hot, add the garlic, ginger and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant then add the remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch and water.

  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes or until reduced to about one half of the original volume. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl or cup. Add to the sauce mixture while stirring. Cook the sauce for another 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the meatballs:
  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F with a rack positioned near the top of the oven. Line a sheet pan with foil for easy cleanup. Spray the foil lightly with baking spray or rub with a bit of oil.

  2. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands or a sturdy spatula, mix until combined. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop up the mixture into 1 or 1½-inch portions. With slightly wet hands, roll each portion into a ball and arrange them at least 2-inches apart of the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Brush the meatballs with additional sesame oil or olive oil and bake for 8 minutes.

  4. Remove from the oven and, using a fork, dip each meatball into the sauce then return to the baking pan. Bake for another 5-6 minutes until meatballs are nicely glazed.

  5. Remove meatballs from the oven. Serve them in rice bowls drizzled with sauce or as an appetizer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired, for garnish. To serve as an appetizer, brush the meatballs with more sauce and serve with toothpicks or cocktail forks and the remainder of the sauce in a small bowl for dipping.

Nutrition Facts
Huli Huli Chicken Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 349 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 92mg31%
Sodium 1452mg63%
Potassium 700mg20%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 33g37%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 787IU16%
Vitamin C 36mg44%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.