Honey Garlic Pork Meatballs Recipe

Honey garlic pork meatballs in a bowl with a serving spoon

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 12 to 16 meatballs
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
204 Calories
5g Fat
22g Carbs
18g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 204
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 79mg 26%
Sodium 730mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 362mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Honey and garlic team up to make a sweet and tasty sauce for these homemade pork meatballs. These pork meatballs are perfect for any occasion—or no special occasion at all—and they can be kept warm and served from a slow cooker. Pork tends to make for a slightly drier meatball than those made with beef, but the egg and breadcrumbs bind the meatballs together and help add moisture and tenderness.

They're not cooked in the slow cooker or fried, but instead, the meatballs are baked and then coated with the flavorful sauce. The recipe is easily scaled up and doubled; you can freeze half of them, without the sauce, and make the sauce before serving. Serve these ground pork meatballs nestled into small lettuce leaves such as butter lettuce.

"These meatballs are the perfect weekday lunch or dinner. Usually, meatballs dry out quickly, but these stayed moist, especially when paired with the sweet, tangy sauce. If you like a bit of spice, I would definitely recommend adding a few dashes of hot sauce. I can’t wait to make these again." —Hannah Packman

Honey Garlic Pork Meatballs Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray, for the pan

  • 1 pound lean ground pork

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs (plain)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, optional

  • 2 medium green onions, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce or Tabasco, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for honey garlic pork meatballs
    The Spruce
  2. Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet, such as a jelly roll pan or half sheet pan, with foil. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

    Baking sheet lined with aluminum foil
    The Spruce
  3. Combine the pork with the beaten egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro (if using), green onions, 1 of the cloves of chopped garlic, and the salt and pepper. Using hands, combine the pork mixture until all ingredients are well blended.

    Ground pork and eggs combined in a bowl with bread crumbs, garlic, and cilantro
    The Spruce
  4. Shape the pork into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter, roughly 5/8 ounce each. Using a small cookie scoop to shape them helps. Arrange the meatballs on the baking sheet.

    Honey Garlic Pork Meatballs - shape meatballs and arrange on a baking sheet

    The Spruce

  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and no longer pink.

    Pork shaped into meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet
    The Spruce
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. When the butter is foamy, add the remaining 3 cloves of chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.

    Foaming butter and garlic in a saucepan
    The Spruce
  7. Add the ketchup, honey, soy sauce, and hot sauce, if using. Bring to a boil, about 2 minutes; reduce heat and simmer for about 1 minute.

    Honey barbecue sauce
    The Spruce
  8. Combine the sauce in a serving dish with the meatballs and serve immediately as an appetizer, or serve with rice and a side vegetable for a meal.

    Combine sauce with meat
    The Spruce

Tip

  • If you want to keep these meatballs warm for a long period of time, combine the sauce and cooked meatballs in the slow cooker. Cover and keep on the low setting.
  • When you're bringing together the meatballs, use your hands if at all possible. This gives you a feel for when the ingredients are combined, and it tends to prevent overmixing, which can make your meatballs tough.

Recipe Variations

  • If you don't want to use pork, there are plenty of other proteins that will yield the same delicious results. Try ground turkey, ground chicken or ground beef as a substitute for pork and bake for the same amount of time.
  • Add some minced fresh ginger to the meatball mixture.

How to Store and Freeze

  • These meatballs will keep in the fridge for three to four days.
  • Go ahead and freeze them for later use. Simply place in an airtight container and freeze. They will last for up to three months. To reheat, defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat in the crock pot or in a covered saucepan over low heat (you might need to add a splash of water). You can also reheat from frozen in a microwave.

How Can You Tell If Pork Meatballs Are Cooked?

Pork meatballs, when cooked, should reach 160 F on an instant-read thermometer and won't be pink.