Sticky Mongolian Beef Meatballs // 30 Minute Recipe

Hand holding chopsticks eating bowl of mongolian meatballs.

Sticky Mongolian Beef Meatballs made in under 30-minutes! The meatballs and broccoli bake together on one baking sheet for extra easy cleanup. Tossed with a delicious, thick, sweet sauce and served over rice or noodles.

My recipe for Mongolian Beef has always been a hit on the blog. Especially on Instagram. Every time that photo with the glossy sauce hits my feed, the love pours in. And since I aim to impress, I thought I’d do a fun twist on that swoon-worthy recipe, with these Mongolian Beef Meatballs.

My original recipe calls for frying up strips of beef that are coated in cornstarch to make them extra crispy. They truly are delicious! But honestly, I’m not a huge fan of frying. It freaks me out a bit to have a pan of hot oil on the stove and it makes such a mess! This recipe swaps in meatballs. They bake in the oven, right alongside some broccoli (read: easy cleanup).

For the meat, I used ground beef. But ground turkey, chicken or pork would all work! I seasoned the meatballs with spices that are echoed in the sauce – ginger, garlic and green onions.

I like to bake them on a baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper or foil for extra easy cleanup. Just arrange the meatballs on half of the baking sheet, and scatter some broccoli florets on the other half. Bake for about 15 minutes until the meatballs are deliciously crispy and the broccoli is tender.

Uncooked meatballs and broccoli on baking sheet.

Meanwhile, it’s the perfect time to whip up the sauce. The sauce is exactly the same as I used in my original Mongolian Beef recipe. It cooks up so deliciously sweet, tangy and spicy. And could I just say that I wish my hair were as glossy as this sauce. Definitely swoon-worthy.

Just bring the sauce to a boil and let it thicken for about 15-20 minutes. It should be done about the same time that the meatballs are ready. Then, toss the meatballs with the sauce, until they’re perfectly coated.

Serve it all up over a bed of instant pot rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. These Mongolian Beef Meatballs are also delicious served over noodles, instant pot quinoa, or even cauliflower fried rice for a low carb option.

Or, just make the meatballs (skip the broccoli) and serve them as an appetizer either with toothpicks or on mini skewers. So much fun!

Close up of meatballs in skillet with mongolian sauce.

What’s in Mongolian sauce?

  • Soy Sauce (Be sure to use low-sodium or the sauce will be too salty)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Cornstarch

What to serve with Mongolian Beef Meatballs:

Mongolian meatballs arranged in brown bowl with rice and broccoli.

Pairings for Mongolian Beef Meatballs:

  • While I normally pair my dishes with wine, these spicy Mongolian Beef Meatballs were begging to be paired with an icy cold beer. I paired these beauties with a refreshing golden lager. With a smooth, dry taste and a crisp finish, it was the perfect companion to these slightly sweet meatballs.

If you loved this Mongolian Beef Meatballs recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Mongolian meatballs arranged in brown bowl with rice and broccoli.

More take out recipes:

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Two hands holding bowl of mongolian beef meatballs and chopsticks

Sticky Mongolian Beef Meatballs

Sticky Mongolian Beef Meatballs made in under 30-minutes! The meatballs and broccoli bake together on one baking sheet for extra easy cleanup. Tossed with a delicious, thick, sweet sauce and served over rice or noodles.  
4.15 from 27 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 4 green onions (finely chopped, plus more for serving)
  • 2 inch fresh ginger (grated (or 2 Tbsp. ginger paste))
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced or grated)
  • 1 head broccoli (cut into florets)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger (minced)
  • cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (whisked with 1/2 cup water)
  • Kosher salt and pepper (to taste)

To Garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • Add the ground beef, green onions, ginger, and garlic to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until just combined. Roll into tablespoon-size balls, placing them on one side of the prepared baking sheet. Add the broccoli to the other side of the baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium skillet add the oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, water, rice wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook over medium-high heat, for about 10 minutes. Whisk together cornstarch with 1/2 cup water and add to your sauce. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the cooked meatballs to the skillet of sauce and toss, until the sauce coats the meatballs.
  • Serve the meatballs and remaining sauce over bowls of rice topped with additional green onions and sesame seeds. Serve the broccoli on the side.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Skillet
Baking Sheet
Parchment Paper

Nutrition

Calories: 691kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 2276mg | Potassium: 1042mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 1171IU | Vitamin C: 140mg | Calcium: 167mg | Iron: 5mg

12 comments

  1. Jason

    5 stars
    Mongolia, my friends showed me the way they grill meat on the fire. Sticky Mongolian Beef Meatballs serve with steamed rice is delicious. Beef meatballs are infused in spicy. With me, I especially like sauce inside, we can pour on the rice. Very interesting!

    Reply

  2. Karen

    I see the nutritional information but not the serving size. Also- it doesn’t say what kind of beef the nutritional Information is based on…80/20? 90/10? Could you please specify?

    I’m also assuming the nutritional information is for the meatballs and broccoli only, not the rice, since you are mentioning options of how to serve.

    Thank you! Can’t wait to try this!!!!

    Reply

  3. D Sears

    4 stars
    I am a novice cook. These came out good for me but not as good as I was anticipating. I’m wondering how thick or sticky the sauce should be. I cooked mine for at least 30 minutes or more over med/high heat,…but it continued to be fairly thin and watery. Not really “sticky”. Do you cook yours longer to make it sticky? or what is the secret? …thanks.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi! Yes, I would try raising the heat a bit and cooking for a bit longer to reduce the sauce. Hope that helps!

      Reply

  4. Karen

    4 stars
    The sauce did not thicken! What did I do wrong? Served with rice and broccoli and was still a big hit even though sauce was like water.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Karen – Thanks for the feedback! I’ve received this comment before and I’m going to retest the recipe next week. Will report back!

      Reply

  5. Stephanie

    5 stars
    Great recipe. I saw a few comments about the sauce not getting thick and noticed the same (even after bringing to a boil) so I dissolved 1 tbsp. of cornstarch into 1/2 cup of cold water to make a roux and added until I got the thickness I wanted. It was perfect.. Thanks for the goodness!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks for sharing that tip Stephanie!!! I’m going to be retesting this recipe soon and was thinking cornstarch would do the trick!

      Reply

  6. Danielle

    5 stars
    I made this tonight with venison instead of beef! It was amazing! The flavors really complemented the venison. Reduced the red pepper to 1/4 tsp to our taste and did a mix of water and cooking sherry which gave it a nice depth. For those that had trouble getting the sauce to thicken…when she says med-high heat it means med-high heat…not medium, and use the full 29 mins. You’re basically caramelizing the brown sugar as a thickener. I whisked almost constantly to keep it from burning…but let it get frothy…that’s how you know it’s doing it’s thing. 😊

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks for this feedback Danielle!!! The higher heat definitely helps to reduce the sauce down further!

      Reply

  7. Kelly S

    5 stars
    Very quick and yummy! The sauce didn’t quite reduce correctly for me so I ended up adding a cornstarch slurry to get it to thicken up, and added some other veggies to the tray (red pepper, onion and asparagus). Easy to throw together or make ahead and pop in the oven, thanks!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You’re welcome Kelly! Thanks so much for the feedback!

      Reply

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