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General Tso’s Chicken Meatballs

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General Tso’s Chicken Meatballs are an easy, healthier version of the traditional fried, Chinese takeout favorite.  It has all flavor and none of the guilt.

General Tso's Chicken Meatballs

We all love Chinese takeout, am I right?  The problem is, a lot of it’s just not that good for you.  It’s generally full of sodium and let’s be honest, the best stuff is the fried stuff.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t still crave it from time to time.  But what about if you could make a healthier version, at home, of one of your favorites, like General Tso’s chicken or orange chicken.

General Tso's Chicken Meatballs

How do you make it healthier?  Here’s the secret, you make the same delicious sauce, but you get to control the amount of sodium you put into it and the quality of the ingredients you use.

Then, instead of fried chicken,  you pour it over much healthier baked chicken meatballs.  You still get all of the flavor, but not all of the extra fat and calories.

General Tso's Chicken Meatballs


I know you probably love the crunch that you get from the fried chicken.  My secret for giving the meatballs a little crunch is to add in chopped water chestnuts.  Crunch minus the guilt!

As a main dish, I love to serve them over either jasmine rice or cauliflower rice.  They also are a great party appetizers, your guests will love them.

Next time you’re craving Chinese takeout, give these General Tso’s chicken meatballs a try.  They only take about an hour from start to finish and most of that time is simmering and baking time.  I promise you’ll love them.

General Tso's Chicken Meatballs

Yield: 4 servings

General Tso's Chicken Meatballs

General Tso's Chicken Meatballs

General Tso's Chicken Meatballs are an easy, healthier version of the traditional fried, Chinese takeout favorite.  It has all flavor and none of the guilt.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


For the sauce:

  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup reduce sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water

For the meatballs

  • 1 (5 oz) can water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/3 cup green onions, plus more for garnish, sliced
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sesame seeds for garnish, optional
  • Cooked rice for serving.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat peanut oil in a saucepan over medium low heat.

Add garlic and sauté until garlic becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Stir in ginger paste and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more.

Stir in chicken broth, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey and ketchup.

Bring mixture to a boil.

Stir in cornstarch mixture.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare meatballs.

In a mixing bowl, combine water chestnuts, ginger paste, green onions, chicken breadcrumbs, soy sauce and garlic.

With your hands, mix until ingredients are well combined.

Form mixture into 1 inch meatballs.

Place meatballs in an oven safe skillet or baking dish that's been coated with oil.

Bake meatballs for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and pour sauce evenly over the meatballs.

Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Garnish with sliced onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Serve immediately with cooked rice.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 2216mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 4gSugar: 17gProtein: 35g


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Sunday 18th of July 2021

These were so good!! A little time consuming making the meatballs but other than that it was perfect. I think I will add some pineapple at the end next time just for color. Overall simply amazing and I didn’t feel like it was unhealthy or over my caloric intake for dinner.


Monday 19th of July 2021

@Kneice, Awesome, I’m so happy you liked them! I think adding pineapple sounds like a great idea!

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