Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs are a majorly kid-friendly and fun twist on this classic sticky Asian dish. 


I’m a teriyaki sauce junkie. I love using it either as a marinade or for dipping for chicken, shrimp, or grilled vegetables. I even toss it with rice as a simple flavor booster. The tough part is finding good brands that don’t rely on corn syrup to sweeten it. Frustrated with my limited bottled options, I came up with my own homemade teriyaki sauce years ago to mimic a brand with a sweet pineapple flavor that I enjoy.


Both of my kids love using toothpicks to eat their dinner (who knew toothpicks could be such fun), so I thought mixing my beloved teriyaki sauce with some ground chicken and making these little meatballs would be fun for them both to poke and eat for dinner. Not only did it wind up being an entertaining dish for Kenya and Chloe — they happily scarfed down almost a double batch — but luckily we had enough leftovers to put in their lunch boxes the next day.

Toothpicks make it so much fun! Great for dinner one night and then perfect to pick up and eat the next day for lunch too!


Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs

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Servings: 6 meatballs with extra sauce
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes


  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapples in juice
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the pineapples, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and garlic. Whisk in the cornstarch and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 2 minutes. Allow mixture to cool.
  • Place the chicken, breadcrumbs, salt and 1/4 cup of the teriyaki sauce in a bowl and mix until well combined.
  • Using a 1 tablespoon measure or small ice cream scoop, shape the mixture into balls.
  • Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, until cooked through.
  • Serve with the extra teriyaki sauce for dipping.
  • To Freeze: Place uncooked meatballs on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes, then transfer to a labeled freezer bag. Defrost in the fridge overnight and continue cooking as directed above in step 5. Alternately, bake the meatballs directly from frozen, adding 5 minutes to the cooking time.


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 1470mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. I am making these for my fan but I have baby under a yr, can I use agave instead of the honey?

  2. So yummy!! So easy!! We’re trying out recipes in preparation for our first year at school and these are a HIT. And just as an aside, the grocery store didn’t have any ground chicken today, so I subbed turkey – still delicious.)

  3. School lunch is served at room temp. I pack lunch the night before, keep it in the fridge, then pack it with an icepack in the morning to keep everything at a safe temp by lunch time. Lunch is not warmed up, but it also is not cold like it just came out of the fridge. 🙂

  4. These look delicious! I know my kids will love these. Do you warm these up for their lunch? If so what do you store them in? Thank you!!

  5. Love so many of the recipes on weelicious but sadly, these did not work for my 6 yr old boys or my husband. I must admit the taste was not very appetizing.

  6. […] Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs from Weelicious […]

  7. Everyone in the family loved these! I used 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa in place of the breadcrumbs, and everyone chowed–including my 2 1/2 year old. This recipe is going right into my Real Food Whole Life Meal Plan this week!

  8. […] for those times you’re short on ideas for what to feed your child. Every month, I make these teriyaki meatballs. I use turkey instead of chicken, and they come out super moist. I double the meat quantities but […]

  9. I have soy yay veri veri teriyaki in my fridge already can I use this you think or should I make the one in the recipe please let me know thanks!

  10. My kids love any finger foods and they’ve loved all the recipes i’ve made from this site so far- even my husband!

  11. […] 4. Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs by Weelicious […]

  12. Hi Catherine 🙂
    I couldn’t get my sauce to thicken. I had a 20 oz can of pineapple – so used 8 oz of juice… Then tried less. Help? Stirred constantly… Is there a little trick to thickening sauces in general? Thx!!

  13. I loved making this for my family. My toddlers ate them, they love meatballs but to have them with fruit is great. I used fresh pineapple, and I loved the sauce. Did reduce the salt a little bit, personal preference.

  14. Wonderful recipe–cooks up nicely. And can I just say that I LOVE the baking as opposed to frying. Thank you!

  15. Just made these tonight and they were too salty for my taste. If I make them again, I will be sure to use a low sodium soy sauce and maybe even omit the additional salt. But even with making the teriyaki sauce from scratch, they were simple and fairly quick 🙂

  16. Just made these with thawed ground chicken… I couldn’t get them into little balls because they were way to sticky to handle… any suggestions…??

  17. Thanks for the recipe! I’m allergic to pineapple do you think I could substitute mandarin oranges and a splash of lemon juice to achieve the sweet/tart balance?

  18. Thanks for a great recipe! That is the most chicken my two year old had ever eaten! By far! And he loved eating them with a toothpick!

  19. Kelly,

    I made mine gluten free as well, but I used Rice Chex (well, generic anyway) and it turned out really well. I’m not sure if it’s really necessary, but it does work, just in case 🙂

  20. My very picky 3-year-old did eat these, with a lot of prodding. I loved them, though! Thanks for the recipe! (I used gluten-free soy sauce and omitted the bread crumbs.)

  21. I ran out of soy sauce, so I added a bit of water and didn’t whisk cornstarch consistently. Despite this, the meatballs and sauce were delicious!!! I just found another go-to recipe!!! I can’t wait to make these again–as per the recipe next time! Lol!

  22. Those carrots are awesome! My little one loves to eat with a toothpick too, so I’ll be making a batch of these soon.

  23. Thank you so much for this recipe. I just bought some teriyaki chicken meatball from Costco and loved them but I was told Costco was not carrying it al.l the time. Now I can make my own.

  24. I think you may be right. I followed the recipe exactly, like I always do. For once, the sauce was super salty. I tried to cut the saltiness by adding more pineapples and honey. I even tried to scoop out all of the salt that I had added to the meat mixture. I managed to get big spoonfuls out, but the dish was still salty.

  25. I love the recipe and will be trying it (slightly modified) tonight – but the tsp salt, along with the 1/2cup soya sauce seems like the sodium content might be through the roof here… even with ‘lower sodium’ soy sauce and completely omitting the additional salt. Thoughts?
    p.s. I use aminos all the time in place of soy sauce as it’s GF and we really like it!

  26. It just so happened that I was looking for a teriyaki recipe to use with ground turkey when this recipe came to my in-box. I’ve been wanting to try to make my own teriyaki with pineapple, but hadn’t found a recipe that inspired me yet. Your’s is so simple and it was such a huge hit! My 3.5 yr old son kept wanting more! Thank you so much! It was delicious for the adults as well and would make a great Holiday appetizer!

  27. I have ground turkey in my freezer and I am going to try it this weekend. My toddler is not a big meat fan so I always try different ways to get him to eat protein. This should be a fun try. Thank you for all your awesome recipes!

  28. Yes you can! Freeze for up to 4 months, defrost in the fridge overnight and heat up in the microwave or toaster oven!

  29. I just entered this recipe into Livestrong for the nutrition and using extra lean chicken it came out to:

    Serving Size: 7 1/2 meatballs (assuming I made 30 meatballs and this served 4 people)
    Calories 246
    Total Fat 0.78g
    Saturated Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 65mg
    Sodium 1114.63mg –> I entered the salt as just a “dash” and not the full amount in the recipe
    Total Carbohydrate 28.77g
    Dietary Fiber 1.06g
    Sugars 9.06g
    Protein 28.75g

  30. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’ve heard that coconut aminos make a great soy sauce substitute!

  31. Love this recipe! But, my son has a soy allergy – anything I can substitute for the soy sauce?

  32. I’m curious when you do them for kids’ lunches the next day are they reheated or just eaten cold? Thanks!

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