We all adore General Tso’s Chicken, but let’s push that aside for a moment and marvel at how awesome these General Tso’s Meatballs are! Quick, simple, and can easily be made using frozen meatballs!
The photos and recipe for these general tso’s meatballs has been updated as of March 1st, 2016!
Having a food blog allows you to be creative and intuitive. I mean, you do not need a food blog to be creative with food, but us food bloggers get to show off our results in the end! I love coming up with creative ideas and when they turn out amazing, that is just an added bonus.
These General Tso’s meatballs were a result of buying ground pork on sale. I thought ground beef was on sale at our grocery store, but turns out I made an error. No big deal, my husband likes ground pork as much as ground beef. My sister told me to make tacos with the meat, but I wanted to do something even easier than tacos. That’s when these General Tso’s meatballs were born. The recipe takes little time and can easily be made gluten-free by using oats instead of breadcrumbs and a gluten-free soy sauce.
I knew with the ground pork I wanted to go Asian-inspired with this recipe, and for some reason General Tso’s chicken popped into my head. I went with a basic meatball recipe because I knew the sauce would be the star of the show. I am always worried about overpowering meat with certain ingredients (especially fresh ginger) and since I do not eat meat, I cannot taste my recipe along the way. Usually I have Dan taste test for me, but he was not home. I took the chance and hoped the meatballs would work out! My daughter inhaled the meatballs with no sauce on them so I am going to assume I had the recipe perfectly fine! The sauce was super easy to make and can actually be made vegetarian by subbing in water or vegetable broth. Obviously a vegetarian sauce is not needed for this recipe but you understand where I am going.
I found the sauce recipe was the perfect amount for these meatballs. If you wanted to keep your General Tso’s meatballs warm in a slow cooker, you could maybe add a bit more liquid but otherwise, as an appetizer, this is the perfect balance between sauce and meat. Serving them over rice may warrant doubling the sauce recipe.
If you do not have oats on hand, an all breadcrumb mixture works perfectly!
20 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 2 lb lean ground pork
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 1 bunch (1/2 cup) green onions (about 6-7 onions) chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs (sub in all oats for GF recipe.)
- 1/4 cup oats (I processed mine into flour in my food processor.)
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce (use Tamari or GF soy sauce instead for GF recipe.)
- 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
- Salt and pepper
- Dried chili flakes
- Green onions
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the pork, ginger, onions, garlic, bread crumbs, oats, eggs, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Give the meal a good mixing (hands work best,) but do not overwork it or you will have touch meatballs.
- Measure out 1 tablespoon-sized portions (I used a cookie scoop) and roll into balls. Place onto baking sheet (you may have to use more than one pan.) Place tray into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until meatballs are golden and cooked through (160F.)
- While the meatballs are cooking, it is time to make the sauce. In a small saucepan add a bit of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix together 1/2 cup chicken broth, tomato paste, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and dried chili flakes. Pour into pan and stir, bringing to a simmer. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup broth and cornstarch together, Pour into the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.
- Pour the sauce over the meatballs and garnish with green onions!
(Sauce adapted from Inspired Dreamer)
I am always looking for a great General Tso’s sauce and this one appeared really close. I have made a vegetarian version in the past with tofu, and also a lighter sauce version. So far, all have been outstanding and I like how you do not really have to measure your ingredients, it is all based on your personal preference. I am going to whip up this sauce again with chicken for my brother because he was disappointed with the last recipe he tried (and chicken is really expensive to see go to waste.)
Give these General Tso’s meatballs a shot the next time you have a party or are looking for a quick appetizer to whip up. Whenever I made meatballs in the past, I would fry them in a large frying pan, working in batches. I thought this was the only way to make them is how my dad makes them. Baking them in the oven is so much easier because you do not have to worry about turning the meatballs to brown them on each side and there is no standing around to make sure they do not burn. But if you prefer frying your meatballs, go right ahead!
Love these General Tso’s Meatballs?! Try some of these recipes: