Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs

chick_teriyaki_meatball2So, it’s some kind of crime that I haven’t already mentioned my love affair with my slow cooker.  All three of them.  I don’t mention the number to suggest my kitchen is excessively or lavishly stocked (it isn’t).  I mention this to convey the depth of my devotion (dependence, really) on this extraordinary little device.  It’s brilliant for summer time cooking when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen.  Equally brilliant during the winter just for the plethora of comfort dishes it’s well-suited for (not to mention how amazing it makes your house smell).  Ok, so we are all agreed then.  Slow cookers are essential.  And when you can cross them with something else equally essential like, oh, a MEATBALL, well jack pot.

The recipe here is actually for a double batch of meatballs.  It’s the only way I roll.  Trust me, the next time you’re coming up empty for time and dinner ideas and you remember you’ve got a meatball stash in the freezer, you’ll thank me.  Another thing you should know about me and meatballs–I only bake them.  Because I don’t mess with perfection when I’ve found it.

I usually make the meatballs during nap time and then throw them in the slow cooker for the rest of the day, but you could very easily make them the night before (or pull them out of the freezer) and slow cook all day.  In a pinch, you could also make them at dinner time and just quickly simmer them on the stovetop.  I used bottled teriyaki sauce today (here’s my favorite MSG-free brand), because that’s what I had handy, but if you’ve got the time and the recipe to from-scratch it, do it!

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 scallions (greens only), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1⅓ cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 2 tbsp AP flour
  • ¼ cup cold water
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Prepare two baking sheets either with a baking rack or by lining them with parchment paper
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and stir until just combined (alternatively, use a large bowl and clean hands to mix)
  4. Using a small scoop (2-tbsp sized), measure equal sized portions of the meat mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet
  5. Once all of the mixture has been scooped out, roll each meatball gently with hands until evenly rounded
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes (if using parchment paper, turn meatballs after 10 minutes)
  7. In the meantime, turn the slow cooker on to low and add the teriyaki sauce
  8. Wash, peel and chop the carrots into one-inch pieces (larger if slow cooking all day)
  9. Add the carrots to the slow cooker
  10. When the meatballs are done cooking, remove from oven and let rest for five minutes before placing half of them (about 20 meatballs) into the slow cooker
  11. Let the meatballs, carrots and sauce simmer on low in the slow cooker for at least 3-4 hours
  12. Just before serving, remove the meatballs from the slow cooker
  13. Combine 2 tbsp flour with ¼ cup cold water and stir
  14. Add the flour mixture to the sauce in the slow cooker and stir for one minute
  15. Return the meatballs to the slow cooker and mix gently to coat the meatballs in the sauce
  16. Serve over rice or thing spaghetti
  17. To freeze the other half of the meatballs, allow meatballs to cool to room temperature. Place them in the freezer on a baking sheet or glass pan in a single layer for about 30 minutes or until partially frozen. Remove from freezer, place in freezer bags and return to freezer until ready to use.