Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups

Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups

David and I ate these baked teriyaki meatball lettuce cups up so fast that we were left wanting more and so very sad that they were all gone.

What are baked teriyaki meatball lettuce cups, you ask? Let me tell you about them!

These lettuce cups are made with tender, juicy meatballs tossed in a sweet and tangy homemade teriyaki sauce, seasoned with ginger, garlic, and green onion. The meatballs are placed onto a leaf of Boston lettuce for serving with Basmati rice, toasted sesame seeds, and pineapple tidbits. Green onions and a few drops of sriracha garnish the meatballs for extra flavor.

Do you recall the teriyaki marinade for those delicious teriyaki chicken sandwiches David makes? Well, that teriyaki marinade is very versatile. I thickened it up beautifully with a little cornstarch for these baked teriyaki meatballs. Thickened, the sauce coats and clings to the meatballs better without running off.

Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups | Tender, juicy meatballs tossed in sweet, tangy teriyaki sauce,placed on Boston lettuce leaves for serving with rice, pineapple, green onion and sriracha. | TheMountainKitchen.com

The night I made these meatballs, I didn’t feel like standing over the stove. So, I decided to bake the meatballs inside of muffin pan.

This was the first time I had ever used a muffin tin for meatballs and I was pleased with the results. Baking the meatballs in a muffin pan helps you gauge the size of the meatballs making them more uniform. Additionally, the muffin pan helps the meatballs keep their shape. Furthermore, baking the meatballs in a muffin pan also makes the exterior a little more crunchy and significantly reduces mess as opposed to using a sheet pan, in which the meatballs can potentially roll around.

Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups | Tender, juicy meatballs tossed in sweet, tangy teriyaki sauce,placed on Boston lettuce leaves for serving with rice, pineapple, green onion and sriracha. | TheMountainKitchen.com

How To Make Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a mini-muffin pan or baking sheet; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Using a tablespoon of the meat mixture per meatball, form mixture into balls and place into the greased pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.

Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups | Tender, juicy meatballs tossed in sweet, tangy teriyaki sauce,placed on Boston lettuce leaves for serving with rice, pineapple, green onion and sriracha. | TheMountainKitchen.com

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pineapple juice. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cold water with a fork, making a slurry. Pour the slurry into the teriyaki sauce; stirring constantly, cook sauce until thickened. (The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.)

Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat in a dry pan for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups | Tender, juicy meatballs tossed in sweet, tangy teriyaki sauce,placed on Boston lettuce leaves for serving with rice, pineapple, green onion and sriracha. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Transfer cooked meatballs into a large bowl. Pour in the teriyaki sauce and toss gently to coat.

Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups | Tender, juicy meatballs tossed in sweet, tangy teriyaki sauce,placed on Boston lettuce leaves for serving with rice, pineapple, green onion and sriracha. | TheMountainKitchen.com

To serve, place 4 lettuce leaves onto a plate. Add a couple spoonfuls of rice to each lettuce leaf. Place 2 meatballs into each lettuce cup with rice. Sprinkle each with sesame seeds, a few pineapple tidbits and green onions, followed some droplets of sriracha, if desired.

Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups | Tender, juicy meatballs tossed in sweet, tangy teriyaki sauce,placed on Boston lettuce leaves for serving with rice, pineapple, green onion and sriracha. | TheMountainKitchen.com

These baked teriyaki meatballs are practically a flavor explosion inside your mouth. The sweet pineapple tidbits add a tangy sweetness to the teriyaki and the sriracha gives it just a touch of heat to balance it all out.

Serve these flavorful meatballs as an appetizer or eat them as a meal, but make sure you make enough, because this crowd pleaser will go will go fast!

My Signature

I’m sharing this over at Fiesta Friday today. Come on over and join in on the fun!

Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups | Tender, juicy meatballs tossed in sweet, tangy teriyaki sauce,placed on Boston lettuce leaves for serving with rice, pineapple, green onion and sriracha. | TheMountainKitchen.com
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Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups

Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups are perfect for entertaining, with juicy meatballs tossed in teriyaki served on lettuce cups with pineapple and rice.
Course Appetizer, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian
Keyword Baked, Lettuce Cups, meatballs, teriyaki, Teriyaki Sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 24 Meatballs
Calories 96kcal
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

The Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large scallions trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Teriyaki Sauce

  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • cup brown sugar
  • teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger fresh grated
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice Use juice from drained canned tidbits
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup cold water

For Serving

  • 6 whole Butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 8 ounce canned pineapple tidbits reserve juice, drained
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • 3 green onion sliced, (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a mini-muffin pan or baking sheet; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Using a tablespoon of the meat mixture per meatball, form mixture into balls and place into the greased pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pineapple juice. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cold water with a fork, making a slurry. Pour the slurry into the teriyaki sauce; stirring constantly, cook sauce until thickened. (The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.)
  • Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat in a dry pan for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Transfer cooked meatballs into a large bowl. Pour in the teriyaki sauce and toss gently to coat.
  • To serve, place 4 lettuce leaves onto a plate. Add a couple spoonfuls of rice to each lettuce leaf. Place 2 meatballs into each lettuce cup with rice. Sprinkle each with sesame seeds, a few pineapple tidbits and green onions, followed some droplets of sriracha, if desired.

Notes

Yield: (24) 1-inch Meatballs

Nutrition

Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 91mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1% | Vitamin C: 2.3% | Calcium: 1.6% | Iron: 3.6%
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10 thoughts on “Baked Teriyaki Meatball Lettuce Cups”

  • Debbie….
    Do you use basamati rice in the recipe for any particular reason? Is basamati a personal preference? I am a fan of jasmine….just curious.

    • Hey Elizabeth! Trisha Yearwood turned me on to basmati rice. It’s person preference, because I like the long slender grains. Any rice you choose will work just as well. Enjoy the recipe (and make extra ;)!

  • Debbie, I really love the sound of this. Though I love lettuce wraps, I must admit that I prefer eating the teriyaki meatballs with a good cup of white rice. 😀 But I will definitely try with lettuce wraps. Well, I guess I can do both, yeah? Thanks a lot for sharing – now, I have a new recipe to add to my list. x

    Question: I know it may sound weird, but I am not sure if the butcher knows (because I always ask the one near my home) about the chuck part of beef, is it okay if I use any part? (of course, the meaty part, haha)

    • Hi Jhuls! Whether you use rice or lettuce or both, I promise you will love these meatballs. As for the meat, you don’t even have to used beef. Ground chicken or turkey would work also. David and I like chuck, because chuck is cut from the shoulder, which contains enough fat to add flavor and juiciness. Basically there is a good ratio of fat and meat. (It’s also a good choice for hamburgers) You could use ground round, but the meatballs may be a little drier since there is less fat content. I hope I have answered your question. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

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