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Hidden Veggie Teriyaki Meatballs - Kid Friendly Dinner Ideas

Hidden Veggie Teriyaki Meatballs are one of those perfect kid friendly dinner ideas - sweet, savory, and secretly good for you! These Asian inspired meatballs bring big flavor to a simple 30 minute meal.
Course Main Course
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Morgan Wieboldt


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground turkey or other lean meat
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp freshly grated ginger or ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1 small yellow squash grated and squeezed to remove water (about ½-¾ cup squeezed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil I used olive

For the Sauce:

  • 1 clove of garlic finely minced
  • ½ tsp freshly grated ginger or ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 20 oz can of pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1 cup steamed baby carrots
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil optional


  • Preheat oven to 400 and prepare a large oven safe skillet with the oil.
  • Combine all ingredients except for the meat and oil into a large bowl until everything is moist. Add meat and mix thoroughly.
  • Portion into small meatballs, about 1 tbsp each in size. Place into the skillet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. While they are baking, remove the fruit from the juice (save the juice!) and chop to your desired size. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set them aside, then put the skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat.
  • Add chopped garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add 1 cup of the chopped pineapple (save the rest for on top of yogurt or in smoothies!) and saute about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for a minute before adding the meatballs back in.
  • Cook another minute or two, and then serve over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped cilantro or green onions if desired. 


Feel free to use any ground meat. Hidden veggie meatballs tolerate lean meats well since the veggies add a lot of moisture.
Sesame oil is optional but adds a ton of flavor. If you regularly cook Asian food, definitely grab a small bottle. Use sparingly as the flavor can overpower the dish.