Main Dishes, Recipes, Turkey

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

I’ve said before that I don’t really repeat recipes… but it seems like I have so so many one and done meals or desserts or whatever. The exception, of course, is tried and true family recipes that I grew up on or that Ben adores. Repeating recipes is boring. Usually I’m just game to try a new variety of soup, chili, pasta, chicken, brownie, cake, or pie. You get the idea. It’s not like I intend to have so many one and done recipes, because everything I blog about is something I’ve made and loved–otherwise, why would I share it? But these Teriyaki Meatballs Bowls? They are most certainly not a one and done recipe.

Teriyaki Meatballs | The Pajama Chef

Beth posted the recipe at the end of January, and I can think of no less than three, maybe four, occasions over the past months that I’ve made this awesome dish for dinner. Sometimes it’s been just for us to enjoy; other times, I’ve made them for new baby meals for friends. This meal is great for entertaining or for new baby/sympathy/etc. meals [so I’ve heard] because it’s hearty and filling, but still sort of light… a good alternative to the typically heavy, cheesy meals people love to serve and give away. Those are good too, of course, and I love them, but sometimes you just need something different. Something more complex.

And complex this teriyaki sauce is! It’s sweet and salty, with rich overtones of ginger and garlic. You can practically eat it with a spoon! Don’t be scared of making what’s normally a bottled sauce–it comes together in a flash, while the meatballs are cooking, so no panicking about making a sauce and cooking meatballs and making rice. We’re all about using multiple appliances for less stress here. 🙂

Teriyaki Meatballs | The Pajama Chef

Though I love how the homemade teriyaki sauce coats the meatball [that is the emphasis of this dish, after all], my absolute favorite bites of this meal are the last ones at the bottom of the bowl. Here, if you’ve added enough sauce, the rice is absolutely saturated with rich teriyaki goodness! Nothing could be better. Homemade teriyaki is where it’s at! If you don’t agree, well… haters gonna hate. That’s all there is to it. Though I do always want for you to try the recipes I post, this is one you really should try because it’s absolutely incredible. One tip though: use low sodium soy sauce. That will be salty enough–I promise. 🙂 Enjoy!

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls [from Budget Bytes]

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for meatballs

  • 1 pound ground meat [I’ve used ground turkey most often, but also ground beef, and the original recipe calls for ground pork.]
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled & grated [I’ve also subbed 2 teaspoons ground ginger.]
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 green onions, minced [green and white parts]
  • freshly ground black pepper

for teriyaki glaze

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled & grated [I’ve also subbed 2 teaspoons ground ginger.]
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

for serving

  • hot cooked rice
  • minced green onions


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet or glass baking dish with foil.

In a large bowl, add ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, ginger, soy sauce, onions, and some freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to massage ingredients together, then roll into tablespoon-sized balls, placing on prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, begin making teriyaki glaze. In a saucepan set over low heat, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, water, oil, and ginger. Stir until brown sugar dissolves. At this point, you can also start preparing the rice, if you haven’t already.

Next, dissolve the cornstarch in a small amount of water–just enough to be pourable. Add to the saucepan, then turn heat to medium-high. Cook unti thick, stirring occasionally. When glaze has thickened, add sesame seeds.

By this point, meatballs should be about done. Remove from baking sheet and degrease if needed, then add to the glaze, tossing gently to coat. Serve meatballs over rice with extra sauce and green onions. Enjoy!

Time: 45 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.

Main Dishes, Pork, Recipes

Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir-Fry

So, on Monday, I shared the fabulous recipe I use for Carnitas. It makes more than any couple or family could reasonably eat for one meal, or even for one meal plus leftovers. Seriously, this makes a ton. Thank goodness it’s so tasty!! But you know what I think possibly could be tastier?

Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir Fry | The Pajama Chef

If you guessed Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir-Fry, then you would just so happen to be RIGHT! [Bet you didn’t see that one coming from a mile away, huh?]

I usually shy away from combining various ethnic-type foods in a single dish. Habit, I suppose. But this meal takes a bit of Mexican food [carnitas] and adds in a bit of Asian food/preparation methods to come up with something really special. To add to the culture confusion, the combo of pork and apples is classic Americana [yes?]. Hold that thought. Just googled it… and apparently pork and apples is a classic dish for many of European descent, including the British and the Danes. Who knew?

Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir Fry | The Pajama Chef

Regardless of heritage, blending traditional flavors of many cultures in a stir-fry may seem a bit weird, but give it a chance. The sauce alone–sweet, salty, deep–is worth giving this recipe a shot. The way it coats the tender, tender pork and the substantial veggies… oh man! You will want to drink it with a spoon, I tell ya! And just wait til you get a bite with some fresh ginger. Absolutely amazing! Since the ginger is grated, it’s not too intense of an experience, but it does make an ordinary leftover-remake dinner a pretty awesome meal of its own. Enjoy!

Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir-Fry

  • Servings: 4
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adapted from


  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 pound cooked shredded pork [leftover Carnitas]
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 4 cups vegetables [I used half carrots and half lima beans]
  • hot cooked rice, to serve


Preheat wok or large skillet set over medium heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, and applesauce. Set sauce aside.

In another bowl, toss together pork and cornstarch. Set aside.

Add oil to wok, then add ginger, garlic, and onion and saute until soft. Then add vegetables and cook until tender. Add pork and sauce and stir to combine. Cook until hot, then serve over rice.