Sweet Chili Meatballs with Sesame Lime Sauce
March 16, 2021
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

These crispy, sweet-and-spicy oven-roasted meatballs are perfectly paired with a zingy sesame lime dipping sauce, making them the ideal springtime finger food. Chicken thighs are an excellent source of protein and contain more immune-boosting zinc and iron than white meat. Dark meat also contains greater quantities of metabolism-regulating B vitamins, making it an excellent addition to your healthy recipe rotation.

Makes about 12 meatballs
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 pound ground chicken thighs
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs or gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, divided
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (black, white or a mix)
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh limes and chopped cilantro, to serve


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, panko, garlic, soy sauce, black pepper, 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Mix well to combine. If the mixture seems wet, add a bit more panko.
  3. Using your hands, form the meatballs so they are roughly the size of a golf ball. On a baking sheet, line up the meatballs so they’re evenly spaced, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, turning a few times throughout. They should be golden brown in spots, and firm to the touch.
  4. While the meatballs are hot, transfer them to a large bowl, and pour over the remaining tablespoon sweet chili sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and sesame seeds. Toss the bowl to coat all the meatballs evenly.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sriracha, remaining teaspoon sesame oil and lime juice.
  6. To serve, plate the meatballs, top with the chopped cilantro and arrange with the sauce and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Note: Any leftover meatballs and sauce make a delicious sandwich the next day.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: www.elizabethpalmerkitchen.com