Firecracker Meatballs are the perfect combination of spicy and savory. These little balls can be served as an appetizer or made into a complete meal. Whatever you do, don’t forget the firecracker sauce! It’s loaded with flavor and the perfect topping for this appetizer.
Looking for other meatball recipes? Don’t miss our Bisquick sausage balls.
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Why We Love Firecracker Meatballs
- Quick and easy appetizer.
This is our favorite Hello Fresh recipe, so we adapted it to make at home in the oven! This recipe is perfect for a quick appetizer made in 30 minutes.
- Make it a meal.
Add asparagus or green beans to the outer edges of the sheet pan for a complete, one-pan dinner! You can also serve it with Instant Pot Jasmine rice, Instant Pot coconut rice, and loaded hash brown casserole.
- One-hit wonder sauce!
The savory sauce elevates these “ordinary” meatballs to an extraordinarily quick and easy dinner you’ll serve over and over.
If you want a less spicy alternative, try our Bang Bang sauce.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, soy sauce, Sriracha: These condiments combine to make an amazing firecracker sauce.
- Ground beef: You can use ground chicken, pork, or turkey. If you use beef, we recommend 85/15 (lean).
- Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are the best option.
- Green onions (scallions): These will be sliced and divided by the green and white parts.
- Ginger: We love using fresh ginger in this recipe, but you can use ground if you prefer.
- Red pepper chili flakes: These add a nice spicy kick!
- Salt and pepper: Kosher salt is best for cooking.
- Sesame seeds: These add texture and flavor to this meatball appetizer recipe.
Firecracker Meatballs Recipe Tips for Success
- Combine the sauce.
The first step in making this meatball appetizer is to whisk the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl until they’re smooth. Doing this first saves time and allows the flavors to meld together.
- Gently mix the meat and breadcrumbs.
Mix the meat, breadcrumbs, and seasonings together in a large bowl with your fingers.
Be careful not to overmix.
- Form into balls and bake.
Using a scoop or a spoon, form the mixture into balls and press together tightly.
Bake in the oven until they’re cooked through to 165°F. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature.
Drizzle on the sauce and top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
Meatball Appetizer FAQs
Yes, you can leave out the crushed red pepper and cut back on sriracha for a more mild taste.
Be sure to press the ingredients together tightly to help them stick together when baked so they don’t fall apart.
When using ground meat, it’s important to handle it as little as possible. The more it’s mixed and stirred, the tougher it becomes.
Storing and Reheating
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
This is also a great recipe to freeze and save for later. The firecracker sauce helps the meatballs stay wonderfully moist even after reheating.
To reheat these from frozen, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave in 30-second increments until they’re heated through.
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce divided
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef I recommend 85/15 (lean)
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 4 green onions (scallions) sliced, divided by green and white
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Prepare baking sheet by spraying with cooking oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and sriracha to taste. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, panko breadcrumbs, ginger, red pepper flakes, green onions (scallion) whites, remaining soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Form mixture into 22-24 meatballs (slightly smaller than a golf ball). Place them on prepared baking sheet, spaced about 1” apart.
- Roast for 15-18 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked through. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer – it should read at least 155ºF internally (for beef).
- Drizzle on firecracker sauce over the top and sprinkle with green sliced scallions and sesame seeds before serving.
Can substitute with ground chicken, turkey, or pork.
I recommend panko type breadcrumbs for their lighter texture.
Omit the red peppers and cut back on sriracha for a more mild taste.