I used to avoid making meatballs. I didn't like it. I guess I thought it was too much of a pain to roll each one out; the same reason I don't like making cookies. But over the last year or so, I seem to have gotten over that. Now, every time I try a meatball recipe, we love them so much that it doesn't seem like such a pain to make them anymore. First there were Apple Cheddar Turkey Meatballs, then Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sweet Peanut Sauce. Now these Honey Garlic Meatballs. I made these with beef, but they can be made with turkey or chicken if you prefer. This recipe is an adaptation of one I saw at Meg's Everyday Indulgence, who got it from a Taste of Home cookbook, The New Appetizer.
Honey Garlic Meatballs
¾ cup milk
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
2 lbs. ground beef, turkey, or chicken
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 tbsp butter
¾ cup ketchup
½ cup honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk. Add the bread crumbs, onion powder, and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Roll into 2 tbsp balls. Place on two greased 15” baking pans.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or skillet, saute garlic in butter until tender. Stir in the ketchup, honey, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove meatballs from oven and, using tongs, transfer meatballs from baking sheet to saucepan. Carefully stir to evenly coat.
Makes 3 dozen meatballs.
Not only is the honey garlic sauce on these meatballs amazing, but the meatballs themselves are really good. I tried one before saucing them, just to see how it tasted plain, and I was surprised at how good it was. Probably the most soft, tender, pillowy meatball I've ever had. If you are looking for a good basic meatball recipe, forget the sauce and use this one. If you are making them as plain meatballs, you might want to add a little more seasoning to them, like some Italian seasoning, or something like that.
The original recipe called for ½ cup diced onion instead of the onion powder, but I cook for a man who is quite picky about onions in things and I knew that 15-20 minutes in the oven wouldn't be enough to thoroughly cook the onion pieces. The powder was a great substitute in this recipe.
The original recipe also called for making the balls smaller. Meg said to shape them into 1" balls, but since we were having them for dinner, instead of a party appetizer, I made them bigger. Use 1 tbsp instead of 2 if you are making them as appetizers, and then decrease the oven time to 12-15 minutes. If you are making these for a party, bake and sauce them as directed, then throw them into a slow cooker set to "warm".
The honey garlic sauce is really tasty. It's just the right amount of sweet and garlicky.
My husband has only one complaint whenever I make meatballs: I don't make enough. Normally I would have halved this recipe, but being the good wife that I am, I heeded his advice and made all 2 lbs. It made a lot of meatballs, 3 dozen. Finally he was satisfied! We ate our fill at dinner, and there were enough leftover that we both had them for lunch the next day. This is one of those instances where too much is better than not enough!
Tray #1: 20 meatballs. I have a 2 tbsp measuring spoon; comes in handy for things like this.
Tray #2: 17 normal-sized meatballs and one tiny one!
I served these with rice and steamed carrots. They were a big hit. I guess I am fully on board with meatballs now!
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