These Firecracker Honey-Glazed Meatballs are sweet, slightly spicy and FULL of flavor. They make the perfect appetizer if you’re hosting a game day party or as a deliciously filling healthy meal.
The sauce is just enough to coat the meatballs, with a little leftover for dipping. Want a HUGE punch of flavor? Double the sauce to drizzle over your sides! These meatballs are simple to make, can be prepped ahead and can be frozen for future meals.
Why you’ll love these meatballs
You’ll absolutely love honey-glazed meatballs and all their flavor. While store-bought meatballs may taste great, most brands are saturated in sugar, preservatives and other ingredients that aren’t real-food friendly. You can avoid all that excess sugar and empty calories with this delicious, homemade recipe. Plus, they’re baked, not fried, and are packed with flavor. They’re easy to prepare, simple to store and a tasty addition to your diet!
The other great news? You can use this basic meatball recipe to toss with any sauce you’d like (BBQ sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Tzatziki Sauce), so we definitely urge you to save or PIN it for later!
Simplifying the week with food prep
If your week is anything like ours, HECTIC, you can absolutely prep ahead:
- If serving your meatballs with grains, such as rice or quinoa, cook them on your meal prep day.
- Combine the meat mixture the night before, store it in the refrigerator overnight, shape into balls and bake your meatballs the next day.
- Prepare the sauce ahead.
Serving your meatballs as a meal
We typically make a batch of whole-grain rice and chop and sauté chunks of eggplant. Then, we serve 2 or 3 meatballs in a bowl with rice, eggplant, a few matchstick carrots, sesame seeds and sauce. It is AMAZING!
You could easily serve them in a lettuce wrap, hoagie roll or with a side of charred broccoli.
How to make your Firecracker Honey-Glazed Meatballs kid-friendly
Our 3-year-old, Isla Grace, LOVES these Firecracker Honey-Glazed Meatballs. Rather than tossing her meatballs in the firecracker sauce, we cut them up and serve them with honey drizzled over them. It’s a simple way to modify a meal so that our entire family can enjoy it!
A great appetizer for entertaining
Looking for a deliciously simple appetizer for entertaining? You can easily throw your meatballs in the slow cooker too. Simply cut the baking time in half so the meatballs cook the rest of the way in the slow cooker (about 2 hours on low) and double the sauce so the meatballs stay nice and tender.
If you frequent FULLforLife, you know we’re a huge advocate and fan of batch cooking whenever possible. At this point, we make double batches of 75 percent of our meals to simplify the weeks to come.
While the ingredients are out and the dishes are dirty, why not make more to use throughout the week or to freeze for future meals? These meatballs are no different! They’re simple to freeze and are great for an impromptu dinner when friends or family pop over.
Once your baked meatballs have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months (although they are so delicious, they definitely won’t last that long!). To reheat, thaw your meatballs overnight in the refrigerator and warm or bake them in the oven frozen.
What are liquid aminos? Why use them? Is there a soy-free alternative?
You may have spotted a bottle on shelves at a health food store or seen them listed in an array of real-food recipes, but what exactly are liquid aminos?
Liquid aminos are the concentrated amino acids extracted from soybeans. Different from soy sauce, liquid aminos contain amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins in our bodies. Unlike soy sauce, they don’t contain wheat (hello, gluten-free), are made of two basic ingredients (soybeans and water), have no added salt and are far less processed than soy sauce.
When it comes to taste, liquid aminos have a slightly less salty, milder and faintly sweeter taste than soy sauce. You can use them in just about any recipe that calls for soy sauce. Just make a 1:1 substitution and you’ll be all set.
If you choose to avoid soy, use can use coconut aminos 1:1 instead.
Top tips for making Firecracker Honey-Glazed Meatballs:
- Prep ahead: The meatball mixture can be prepared the night before and baked the day of, if desired.
- Forming your meatballs: Use a cookie scoop, ice cream scoop or spoon to help form your meatballs into 1” balls.
- Forming your meatballs: Wet your hands intermittently so the turkey mixture doesn’t stick to your hands.
- Family-friendly: If one of your family members isn’t a fan of sweet AND spicy, cut back on the hot sauce.
- Leftovers: If you plan on reinventing your leftovers with a different sauce, store your leftover meatballs separate from the Firecracker Honey sauce.
Some ways to “reinvent” your leftover Firecracker Honey-Glazed Meatballs
- A spruced-up salad: On a bed of greens topped with sautéed veggies
- Lettuce wraps: Combine with matchstick carrots and green onions
- Served cold, with BBQ sauce for dipping (great for school lunches!)
- Meatball sub with melted cheese
- Quesadilla style! Add leftovers to a tortilla. Top it with a small amount of cheese and a second tortilla. Grill it and garnish with avocado for a great tasting lunch.
- In a grilled wrap with pickles, sprouts, mustard and Swiss
- In a bowl. Bowls are literally one of the BEST ways to mix and match leftovers! (Use what’s in your fridge or snag and steam a bag of your favorite frozen veggies. Combine your leftover meatballs with veggies and Sweet Potato Home Fries or a rice and beans mixture. Stir together, top with some mashed avocado and enjoy.)
- Mixed in with scrambled eggs (add crumbled meat and salsa just before the eggs are completely cooked) and serve with avocado toast for a well-rounded breakfast
- Stuffed peppers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bell pepper and clean out seeds. Place on pan and bake 15 minutes. While peppers are baking, combine crumbled meatballs, additional ingredients of your choice (cheese, veggies) and some of your favorite spaghetti sauce in a bowl. Mix. Remove pepper from oven, stuff with mixture and bake an additional 7-12 minutes until pepper is desired texture. Top with avocado (optional), serve and enjoy!
- Served as a simple mid-day or after school snack (hot or cold)
- Pre-/post-workout snack: Because turkey is an easy-to-digest protein that powers you up without weighing you down, these meatballs double as a delicious pre-/post-workout snack. Cut them into quarters and enjoy 1-2 meatballs before or after a strenuous workout.
Did you make this recipe?
If you make these Firecracker Honey-Glazed Meatballs, we would love to hear how they turned out! Leave a comment below sharing how you served it (with rice, in a bowl, as an appetizer, etc.) and what your family thought of it. We love hearing from you and your ideas inspire us all! Don’t forget to tag @fullforlifegal on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! 🌟