This baked orange-glazed meatballs, baked in mini muffin tins are the next great orange-glazed thing! You’ve got to try them!

Since orange chicken is right up there as one of Brian’s favorite meals in the history of ever, I suppose it was only a matter of time until something else orange-glazed arrived at the dinner table (and in the interest of full disclosure, he loves, loves, loves the stuff at Panda Express, even if I do not, and since we’ve lived many years without it until just recently, he’s been reunited and it feels so good).

The next great orange-glazed thing just happens to be meatballs.

A white platter with cooked meatballs covered in an orange glaze.

They are quick and simple and terribly delicious. Plus, I learned a trick that makes me want to make meatballs every single day of my life. Bake them in a mini muffin tin.

A cooked meatball getting dipped into a bowl of orange sauce.

Brilliant, right? Not only do they hold their shape, but they are a bit smaller than I’d probably normally make them and are just plain adorable. You know, if meatballs cared about being adorable.

Cooked meatballs in a mini muffin tin.

Of course you don’t have to use a mini muffin tin (see the notes in the recipe) but if you have that type of pan, you should try it because it could bring you a lot of happiness like it did to me. Simple pleasures.

The meatballs are tender. The orange sauce is flavorful. The combination is delicious.

What to Serve With This

A white platter of meatballs with an orange glaze poured over the top.

Baked Orange Glazed Meatballs

4.63 stars (16 ratings)



  • 1 ½ pounds ground turkey (see note)
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs, panko, homemade, or storebought
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, about 2 teaspoons, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped

Orange Glaze:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 ¼ tablespoons cornstarch


  • Preheat the oven to 475 degrees and lightly grease a mini muffin tin (see note above if you don’t have that kind of pan).
  • For the meatballs, combine all the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl and mix until combined (you might need to just get your hands in there and go to town).
  • Shape the meatball mixture into small balls, a couple tablespoons each, and place into the prepared mini muffin tin. The meatballs will shrink down a bit while baking.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Immediately (but carefully) spoon the meatballs out of the tin and onto a layer of paper towels to drain any excess grease (you may not need to do this if the meat was extra lean).
  • For the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve the meatballs with the glaze (either poured over the meatballs or served separately for each person to drizzle on as they like).


Meat: ground chicken or lean ground beef can be subbed for the ground turkey.
Ginger: I always buy chunks of ginger and cut them into 1-inch pieces, toss them in a freezer ziploc bag (unpeeled) and then when a recipe calls for fresh ginger, I grab a piece straight from the freezer and grate it on the small holes of my box grater or on the microplane.
Cooking the Meatballs: if you don’t have a mini muffin tin, scoop the meatballs onto a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet and bake that way.
Add Some Heat: finally, if you like a little heat with your sweetness, try adding a little chile-garlic sauce or red pepper flakes to the sauce.
Serving: 1 Meatball, Calories: 64kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 138mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g

Recipe Source: inspired and adapted from this recipe at Just a Taste (altered a few ingredients in the meatball recipe and created a simple, homemade orange glaze instead of using orange marmalade)