These Korean Turkey Gochujang Meatballs are the ultimate weeknight dinner when paired with broccolini and edamame. All cooked on one sheet pan, it couldn’t be easier to prep, cook or clean up. And don’t forget the bell of the ball—a simple yet spectacular sweet and tangy gochujang drizzle sauce. You’ll love it one these meatballs and want to drizzle it on just about everything. 

Why I Love This Recipe

This recipe for gochujang meatballs is one of my favorite weeknight meals I’ve ever developed. First off, you know we love anything Korean-inspired around here. We’ve got loads of bulgogi recipes including beef, ground beef, chicken and pork.

This recipe is inspired by my Korean Beef Meatballs. I turned it into a sheet pan dinner and made it lighter with ground turkey and loads of veggies.

The best part? The gochujang drizzle sauce is an absolute game-changer. It’s sweet, tangy and spicy and absolutely heavenly with these meatballs or simply drizzled over rice. 

Ingredients Needed:

  • Broccolini: the thin tender stems make broccolini ideal for this sheet pan dinner. If you can’t find broccolini or would rather use broccoli that works too! If using broccoli, trim the tough ends off the stalks then peel the stalks using a vegetable peeler. Slice the broccoli into long thin stalks to they cool quickly. 
  • Frozen in-shell edamame: grab either a 10-ounce or 14-ounce bag, either work. 

Meatball Ingredients:

  • Olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper are pantry items we use often around here! 
  • Scallions are used for flavoring the meatballs and as a garnish for the finished dish. Look for scallions (also called green onions) that are crisp and vibrant in color.
  • Large egg is used as binder in meatballs and add moisture. If you skip the egg, skip the Panko too.
  • Panko: I prefer to use whole-wheat Panko, but regular works just fine as well. Panko is used to soak up excess liquid and firm up the meatballs. 
  • Gochujang is a Korean chili paste. It can be found in any Asian market or near the Asian sauces in most grocery stores. Gochujang is used to flavor both the meatballs and add spice to the sweet and tangy drizzle sauce.
  • Fresh Ginger is a must in these meatballs, it adds so much flavor! Ginger is often sold next to the garlic and shallots or in the refrigerated produce area next to the peppers.
  • Fresh garlic adds a punch of flavor to the meatballs. For easy prep, this recipe calls for grating the garlic (same with the ginger). 
  • Cayenne adds a punch of heat to the meatballs without adding additional moisture in the form of gochujang. If you prefer things more mild, skip the cayenne. 
  • Ground turkey: I find 93% lean ground turkey is best for meatballs and burgers. 99% lean turkey is just too lean. If you use 99% lean, I recommend adding a few teaspoons olive oil to the meat mixture. 

Drizzle sauce (aka glaze) ingredients:

  • Honey is the base of this sweet and tangy drizzle sauce.
  • Toasted sesame oil adds a lovely toasty, nutty flavor.
  • White vinegar or rice vinegar adds the tang.. 
meatballs coated in a red glaze set on top of rice with broccolini and edamame on a blue plate

FAQs & Test Kitchen Tips

What can I substitute for the edamame?

You can use snap peas or snow peas in place of the edamame. I recommend adding them when you add the meatballs. And keep an eye on the meatballs, since you’re using fresh produce instead of frozen, the meatballs will likely cook quicker.

Other than rice, what can I serve the Korean turkey meatballs with?

Rice noodles tossed with some sesame oil and salt would be a delicious alternative to rice. You could skip the starch altogether and serve with sesame cauliflower rice or shredded romaine for some crisp, crunch.

Can I make the meatballs gluten-free?

You can easily make the meatballs gluten-free by using gluten-free Panko in place of the whole-wheat Panko. Make sure you’re using gluten-free gochujang as well.

Can I make a double batch if I’m meal prepping?

You can definitely do a double batch. I would use two sheets and cook them on the upper-middle and lower-middle racks in the oven. It’s important to rotate the sheets around and top to bottom to encourage even cooking.

Did you make these Korean Meatballs? Leave a comment with a star rating below!

Korean Turkey Gochujang Meatballs + Sweet & Tangy Sauce

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Yield 4 servings
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Korean
Author Lauren Grant

Directions

All cooked on one sheet pan, this Korean Turkey Meatball dinner is the ultimate weeknight meal! Flavorful, healthy, and quick to cook and clean up.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches broccolini, about 1 pound, tough ends trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup Panko, preferably whole-wheat
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 (10- to 14-ounce) bag frozen in-shell edamame
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or rice vinegar
  • for serving, optional: cooked rice, cilantro, toasted sesame seeds and black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 425ºF (218ºC).
  • Toss broccolini with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Arrange in an even layer on baking sheet and roast 5 minutes.
  • Set aside 2 tablespoons chopped scallions.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg. Add remaining scallions, Panko, 1 tablespoon gochujang, ginger, garlic, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and cayenne; mix to combine. Add turkey and mix just until combined.
    scallions, breadcrumbs, gochujang mixture in a large glass bowl
  • Using a #24 scoop (about 2 ½ tablespoons each or 1.5 ounces), portion meat mixture into 1 ½ inch meatballs.
    ground meat mixture in a large bowl
  • Arrange meatballs on sheet around broccolini (moving broccolini to make space as needed). Roast 10 minutes.
    meatballs and broccolini on a sheetpan
  • Meanwhile, add remaining teaspoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt to bag of frozen edamame; toss to coat. Pour edamame on sheet over broccolini and around meatballs. Continue roasting until meatballs are cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted in centers register 165ºF, 10–15 minutes more.
    meatballs, broccolini and edamame on a sheetpan
  • Meanwhile for the drizzle sauce, whisk together honey, remaining 2 tablespoons gochujang, sesame oil, and vinegar.
  • Serve meatballs, broccolini, and edamame with cooked long grain rice (if desired) and top with gochujang drizzle sauce and black pepper.

Notes

I like to serve this meal with brown jasmine rice, but any long grain or brown rice works well.
I top each bowl with toasted sesame seeds, a few sprigs of cilantro and tons of black pepper. Feel free to serve with low-sodium soy sauce as well. 
For a lower-sugar, lower-carb option: skip serving this with rice and make a half batch of the sauce. Most of the sugar and carbs are coming from the honey-based sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 507kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 35gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 1399mgFiber: 6gSugar: 28g
Keywords gochujang meatballs, Korean turkey meatballs
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
meatballs coated in a red glaze set on top of rice with broccolini and edamame on a blue plate

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These meatballs were addicting. The texture and seasoning were spot on. I love the amount of flavor that comes from such a relatively quick and straightforward recipe. Super satisfying.