Hoisin Glazed Chicken Meatballs (Crock Pot or Stovetop)

Chicken Meatballs With a Sweet and Sour Sauce
Diana Rattray
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: About 24 Servings
Ratings (4)

These glazed chicken meatballs can be finished on the stovetop or in the slow cooker. The spicy Asian sauce is a snap to put together, but if you have a tight schedule, go ahead and use a purchased sweet and sour sauce or an Asian-style simmering sauce.

Boneless chicken thighs make the meatballs juicier and more full-flavored than chicken breasts, but feel free to replace about one-third to one-half of the chicken thighs with chicken breasts.

Serve the meatballs as an appetizer or as a main dish with rice or noodles. Garnish them with toasted sesame seeds or sliced green onion tops if you like.

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken thighs (boneless and without skin)
  • 1 slice bread (torn into pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves (or pineapple preserves, or sweet orange marmalade)
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 medium cloves garlic (pressed or finely minced)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste or ground ginger
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon garlic chili paste

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a shallow baking pan or jelly roll pan with nonstick foil.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Saute the finely chopped onion until it is translucent, stirring constantly. Set aside.
  3. Cut the chicken thighs into small chunks, trimming away visible fat as needed. Put the chicken chunks in the food processor and pulse until coarsely minced.
  4. Add the sauteed onion, bread pieces, milk, egg white, parsley, salt, and pepper to the chicken in the food processor. Pulse the mixture until the mixture resembles ground meat.
  1. Shape the chicken mixture into 1-inch meatballs, moistening your hands with water as you work.
  2. Place the meatballs in the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  3. The minimum safe temperature for ground chicken -- or any ground poultry -- is 165 F. 
  4. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

Slow Cooker:

  1. Put the cooked meatballs and sauce in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 2 hours, or until nicely glazed.


  1. To cook on the stovetop, combine the meatballs and glaze in a saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until they are hot and glazed, frequently stirring to keep them from scorching.


  • The chicken meatballs make a great pasta topping as well. Skip the Asian-style sauce mixture and simmer the meatballs in your favorite tomato pasta sauce or marinara. For more Italian flavor, add some basil or oregano and a few teaspoons of grated Parmesan cheese to the meatball mixture.