There are a few recipes that become your favourite. Orange Chicken is one of those recipes that has become a favourite from the day I actually made it the first time. The crispy chicken pieces coated in orange sauce, that is tangy but sweet with a little hint of spice, is what makes it a delicious one. The other day while grocery shopping, when I saw oranges at the store I couldn’t resist picking up a few for this new recipe, Orange Chicken Meatballs.
This recipe turned out to be an exciting version of the classic Chinese Orange Chicken. Just one simple twist flipped chicken to meatballs and paired them with a very quick and easy Orange Sauce – and there you have the most addictive chicken meatballs ever. The best thing is that these meatballs are pan-fried and NOT deep fried (tried making them a bit healthier). There is no coating (no flour used). There’s always a healthier version and that is to bake them but for a first-time, I wanted to pan-fry the meatballs.
The star ingredient of the dish is Sambal Oelek Sauce. A hot sauce made with ground chillies. It is easily available at Asian/Condiments section of most grocery stores (In Pakistan it’s available at Al-Fatah). This sauce gives the meatballs and it’s sauce a kick of heat. You can totally adjust the spice level according to your liking. The sauce is really quick and easy with no added sugar. It gets the sweetness from jam, yes jam it compliments the fruitiness of the orange juice and adds flavour to the sauce.
Best of all, these orange chicken meatballs are a quick fix meal prepared in about 30 minutes and are so so delicious – you’ll be hooked!
I served them with garlic noodles to balance the flavors. Spicy meatballs in orange sauce with garlicky noodles, sounds yum and fancy right? The combo was really awesome. You can have them with noodles or basmati rice and serve them in bowls.
For weight-watchers skip noodles/rice and simply bake these Orange Chicken Meatballs, don’t forget to lightly brush the baking tray with oil or some cooking spray. Have it with cauliflower rice or just the meatballs as protein. Enjoy the deliciousness!
Orange chicken meatballs make a great appetizer too. Simply stick in some toothpicks, make extra sauce for dipping and serve as a bite-size appetizer to your guests. These are perfect for a make-ahead kind of a meal. It can also be stored in the freezer for about 3 months. Although the sauce can be prepared ahead too, I prefer making it fresh. It tastes better like that.
This recipe is kid friendly too (just adjust the spices) your little ones will enjoy these delicious chicken meatballs because
Do try Orange Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Noodles. It is extremely addictive so be prepared for it to be your Make-Again dish!
Orange Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Noodles
For Chicken Meatballs
- 1 lb Ground Chicken
- 1 Egg (lightly beaten)
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp Ginger (grated)
- 1 tsp Onion Salt (optional)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper (crushed)
- 1 tsp Sambal Olek Sauce
- 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 2-3 tbsp Oil (for frying)
For Orange Sauce
- 1/2 cup Orange Juice
- 1/3 cup Apricot Jam
- 2 tsp Sambal Olek Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Garlic (minced)
- 1/2 tsp Ginger (grated)
For Garlic Noodles
- 1 lb Noodles
- 5 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese (grated)
- 1 Stalk Spring Onion (thinly sliced)
To make the meatballs
- In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients for chicken meatballs. Be careful while adding the egg, add little by little as you don’t want the mixture to be too soft. Refrigerate the mixture for about 15 minutes
- Lightly cover hands with oil or warm water and shape mixture into golf size ( about 1 1/2) meatballs. For uniform size, you can use a cookie scoop.
- Now heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat and fry meatballs about 3-4 minutes each side, until browned and cooked. Don’t over crowd the pan. Try to cook in batches
To make the sauce
- In the meantime prepare the sauce by adding all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer. Don’t forget to reserve sauce for serving
- Toss the prepared chicken meatballs in the Orange sauce and glaze completely
To Prepare Garlic Noodles
- Prepare the noodles according to package instructions
- In a pan melt butter over medium heat. Add olive oil and minced garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant (don’t brown the garlic). Add salt and pepper and remove from heat
- Pour the garlic-butter sauce over the prepared pasta. Toss well and let stand for 2-3 minutes
- Garnish noodles with grated Parmesan and spring onion green. Add glazed Chicken Meatballs on the top and serve with remaining orange sauce