Honey Garlic Meatballs

12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Honey Garlic Meatballs are easy, tender, and coated in a sweet, savory, sticky sauce made with honey, garlic, ketchup, and soy sauce.

These homemade meatballs have quickly become a party favorite. They’re perfect to put out on a platter and serve with your other favorite Appetizers like Bacon Wrapped Smokies and Buffalo Wings.

Honey Garlic Meatballs in skillet


This Honey Garlic Meatball recipe is quick, easy, and so tasty! Simple meatball ingredients are combined in a matter of minutes. Then you just put them in the oven to bake to tender, crispy perfection. Lastly, they’re coated in a sweet honey glaze that adds so much amazing flavor and contrast to the savory garlic meatball recipe. It’s the ultimate combination of a sweet, sticky glaze with the classic ground beef meatballs. 

This meatball recipe is the perfect party finger food to put out during a holiday gathering or the next time you’re hosting game day. The sweet honey glaze is sure to be a favorite with all your guests. Plus, you can put out sauces like BBQ or hot sauce for fun dipping options. 

Collage of prep steps for Honey Garlic Meatballs

Rather than serving them as party food, you can also make Honey Garlic Meatballs the main dish for a filling family dinner. Meatballs quickly turn into a full meal with rice. Simply scoop the meatballs and honey garlic sauce over White or Brown Rice. The rice will soak up the flavor of the sweet honey glaze and makes a great base for the tasty meat. Finish off the bowl with sesame seeds and green onions for garnish. 



  • Bread: Add the bread to the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, and then pour milk over the top for it to absorb. The milk-soaked bread makes for more tender meatballs than dried bread crumbs would. 
  • Onion: Next, add butter to a pan and turn on the heat to melt. Add in the minced onion and cook on medium-low until they’re translucent and browned. Remove from the heat and let the onions cool. 
  • Meatball mixture: Add the ground beef, onion, eggs, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce over the top of the bread. Turn the stand mixer to low, and let it break apart the bread to combine it with the other ingredients. Using a stand mixer to mix the beef with bread helps to keep the mixture cool and tender. 
  • Form: Use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to form the meat into 1-inch balls. Place each meatball in a single layer on your baking sheet with a little bit of space between them. 
  • Cooking time: Bake for 20-22 minutes until the ground meat is cooked through. 
  • Honey garlic sauce: During the cooking time, add the vegetable oil and garlic to a large skillet. Cook them together for 1 minute. Next, whisk in the ketchup, honey, and soy sauce. Bring the honey garlic sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer for 3-4 more minutes. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and stir to combine. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the meatballs are glazed.  

Honey Garlic Meatballs closeup served over rice with fork


  • Brown sugar: If you’d like a darker more caramelized sweet flavor, you can use brown sugar instead of honey. Use ¾ cup brown sugar to replace the ½ cup honey in the recipe.
  • Seasonings: For some extra flavor, try adding different spices like onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper powder, cumin, or chili flakes.
  • Ground chicken: Instead of a classic ground beef meatball recipe, you can make a slightly lighter dish by using ground chicken. Combine the ground chicken with the same ingredients as listed in the recipe and bake as usual before adding the sauce.


  • To make these meatballs in the slow cooker, start by prepping the bread and onions. Then combine the meat mixture and form the meatballs according to the recipe in this post. 
  • Add the meatballs to a baking sheet and broil for 8-10 minutes.
  • Next, whisk together the sauce ingredients, and pour the sauce into the slow cooker.
  • Add the meatballs, and stir until they’re coated in the sauce.
  • Turn the crockpot to low for 3-4 hours to cook through.



  • Serve: Don’t leave this meatball recipe at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: You can keep baked meatballs in the fridge for 3-4 days. Let the leftover meatballs cool, then transfer meatballs to an airtight container to seal them. 
  • Freeze: Frozen meatballs will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the fridge before reheating them in the oven. 

Honey Garlic Meatballs closeup

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Honey Garlic Meatballs

Honey Garlic Meatballs are easy, tender, and coated in a sweet, savory, sticky sauce made with honey, garlic, ketchup, and soy sauce.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Meatball Recipe:

  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 slices bread
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion , minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef , (80/20)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Honey Garlic Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking pan with vegetable oil spray.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer add the milk to the slices of bread.
  • Melt the butter in a pan and add the minced yellow onions.
  • Cook them on medium-low until translucent but not browned.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • In your bowl with the milk-soaked bread add the rest of the meatball ingredients including the cooked onions.
  • Mix it on low until the bread is broken apart and the meat is combined with the ingredients (using the stand mixer and not your hands helps keep the mixture cold and tender).
  • Using a meatballer/ice cream scoop or your hands, scoop them into balls about the size of a ping pong ball and place on the baking sheet.
  • Cook, uncovered, for 20-22 minutes.
  • While meatballs are cooking add vegetable oil and garlic to a large skillet on medium heat.
  • Cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
  • Whisk in sesame oil, ketchup, honey, and soy sauce.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add cooked meatballs to skillet, stir to combine.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes until well glazed.


Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 674mg | Potassium: 351mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg

Honey Garlic Meatballs collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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    1. Cloves come in different sizes of course but yes, 12 cloves. Please stop back by after you’ve tried the recipe with the amazing Honey Garlic sauce (super tasty) and let us know what your thoughts!

  1. I used turkey meat and added a few more spices and these meatballs were so moist and flavorful. I suggest doubling the sauce cause I could drink it.

  2. I made this with the brown sugar substitute and my husband said “one of the better things I’ve cooked!” It will go in the rotation for sure!
    My only question for nutritional purpose is what constitutes a serving? Thank you!

    1. The issue is that people will have ingredients of different sizes. Packaged products are weighed and measured at the time of creation which makes their measurements accurate. The only way to accurately know the measurements of meals is to weigh and divide.

  3. This came out great! I added a little orange juice to the sauce and added crushed peanuts at the end. Was so good! Thank you for this recipe!

  4. These are the BEST! I tried them last night for the first time and we really stuffed ourselves with them. SO good. I will say the prep time was way longer than 10 minutes but so worth it! Thanks for yet another great recipe.

  5. This recipe is 3rd recipe of yours I have used this week that was a win for the pickiest of eaters!!! Only thing I had to do was make sure she was busy not watching me while I chopped the onions for the meatballs.

  6. Hmmm, dear Sabrina, tomorrow will a lunch with my dear daughter in my home.
    This recipe is fine and beautiful – I choose it for our lunch!
    Thank you very much, Sabrina!!!
    Have a great weekend!