Baked Mongolian Beef Meatballs

One of the most popular recipes from my blog is this Whole30 Mongolian Beef. It’s been around forever, and you guys just can’t get enough of it. Another thing that *everyone* loves is MEATBALLS. So when I had some ground beef the other night in my fridge but was craving Mongolian Beef I thought, let’s make Mongolian Beef Meatballs. Great decision. 

With this recipe, everything is done right in your oven to help make for an easier clean up and less brain work. The end result is a delightful new savory meatball recipe that will scratch the itch for your take-out chinese cravings in a fun, new Whole30 way. I love that these meatballs can be served for dinner (alongside some rice, cauliflower rice, sauteed veggies, or roasted veggies) OR they could make for a super fun appetizer at a party! I’ll leave that up to you. 

I get my grass-fed, grass-finished beef products from ButcherBox, which you an learn more about here. Right now, ButcherBox is proud to offer the Defined Dish community ground beef for life + $20 off your first order! All new members will receive 2 pounds of pasture-raised, 100% grass-fed and grass-finished ground beef in every box for the lifetime of their subscription. Ground beef is always great to have on-hand in your freezer for last-minute meals, so take advantage of this great offerGround Beef for life ends on 3/29/2020, but you can always click the link for the most up-to-date offer.

Baked Mongolian Beef Meatballs

Serves: 4 people
4.80 from 15 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes


For the Meatballs:

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 lbs. ground beef 85% lean
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos I like Big Tree Farms Brand
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 tsp finely and freshly grated ginger about 1/2 inch knob of ginger, peeled
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper black pepper is okay, too
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion white and light green parts only

For the Sauce:

  • 1.5 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp red boat fish sauce
  • 2 tsp arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp ketchup I use Primal Kitchen unsweetened
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper [or more if you like it hot] optional, for spicy

For Serving:

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 thinly sliced green onions green part only


Make the Meatballs:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and drizzle oil in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, place the ground beef, egg, coconut aminos, arrowroot, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper and green onion. Using your hands, mix until the meat is just combined (try not to overwork the meat and over mix here).
  • Roll into 1.5 inch round meatballs and place in the prepared baking dish. Bake in the oven until cooked through and lightly browned on the edges, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce:

  • In a small bowl, combine all of the 'for the sauce' ingredients and whisk until well combined. Set aside until the meatballs are done.

Finish the Meatballs:

  • When the meatballs are browned and cooked through, remove them from the oven (but keep the oven on). Using tongs, carefully transfer the cooked meatballs to a paper towel lined plate. Discard the excess fat in the bottom of the baking dish and using a paper towel, gently wipe down the inside of the dish.
  • Place the cooked meatballs back into the dish and pour sauce over the meatballs. Transfer back into the oven and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and transfer meatballs to a serving plate. Spoon sauce over the meatballs and then garnish with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds.


  • Reply
    Suzanne Reilly
    January 18, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    5 stars
    How many carbs. Please list your nutritional contents on your recipes.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    Now that we have Sidedish, would the creamy sesame sauce work vs the scratch sauce? How would they compare?

  • Reply
    September 12, 2022 at 11:28 am

    If were serving these for a cocktail party could I make the meatballs a day ahead, then make the sauce the following day and add to meatballs in a crockpot and set on warm after I thicken sauce on the stovetop? Looking for an easy way to serve while not trashing my kitchen hours before the party 🙂

    • Reply
      September 12, 2022 at 2:48 pm

      Yes, that should work great and would be such a fun way to serve a crowd!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2022 at 1:52 am

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazing, one of her bests! I heated up the sauce in a sauce pan and it congealed and thicken nicely. Then I put it on top of the meatballs. So delicious.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    5 stars
    These are absolutely incredible Alex! I have both the books but was looking for a recipe and it’s in pretty heavy rotation now. Even my daughter that doesn’t like beef loves these. Love it! 100/10 recommend.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Can I substitute tomato paste for the Ketchup?

    • Reply
      September 12, 2022 at 3:20 pm

      yes that should be okay– just keep in mind it’s a little thicker– so you may need to loosen up the sauce a bit.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    How many meatballs does this make?

  • Reply
    February 17, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    5 stars
    Sooo good! We made half the amount of meatballs with the same sauce portions for the 2lbs of beef. Instead of pouring the sauce over the meatballs and putting back into the oven, we did that part on the stove top and let the sauce thicken. Definitely will be making again!!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    5 stars
    My husband and I love these. He’s on a strict low Fodmap diet and all I had to do was eliminate the garlic from the recipe to make it work. It still SLAPS without the garlic. We also love the Mongolian Chicken and Beef recipes but find the meatballs to be easier since we don’t have a large pan to fry up all the meat.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2021 at 4:44 am

    2 stars
    Ugh, I hate giving any Defined Dish recipe less than four or five stars but these just didn’t hit the mark. I opted to pick this for dinner based on reviews so I felt I owed it to add mine.

    I cooked them exactly as instructed. They worked out fine as far as texture and preparation go but my fiancé and I both agree they won’t be in our rotation. The sauce tastes amazing but once it cooked with the meatball it kind of disappeared. The sauce lost the flavor punch and all you really tasted was the ground beef.

    We are fortunate to have lots of other Defined Dish recipes that exceed our expectations and pack the flavor punch (Thai basil beef, epic meatballs and pepper chicken are favs) so always willing to give Alex’s recipes a try!

    • Reply
      February 11, 2022 at 12:53 am

      I’ve tried it with ground turkey also and the flavor is much more obvious! I think I actually prefer it with turkey over beef, even though we love beef. I’d recommend turkey before signing it off the rotation!

  • Reply
    Chris David
    August 23, 2021 at 11:19 am

    5 stars
    These meatballs are a new family favorite! So easy to prepare and easy to freeze for future use. I’ve already shared the recipe with several friends and they love them also! Thank you!

    visit us: https://www.beckandbulow.com

  • Reply
    Missy Balleza
    March 5, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    5 stars
    Served these delicious meat balls for dinner with rice and broccoli….YUM!!!! I did double sauce as another reviewer recommended and was glad I did.

    • Reply
      February 10, 2022 at 10:42 pm

      I made these and my husband yelled from the other room “I can’t believe these came out of our kitchen!” … I decided to take that as a compliment:) These recipes continue to consistently be the best!

    • Reply
      Sabrina Miller
      July 16, 2022 at 8:48 pm

      What can I use instead of arrowroot flour?

      • Reply
        July 20, 2022 at 5:03 pm

        Tapioca Flour would be a good sub

  • Reply
    February 28, 2021 at 10:36 am

    What can be substituted for an egg allergy?

    • Reply
      March 1, 2021 at 1:08 pm

      I would make a “Flax egg”

  • Reply
    February 18, 2021 at 3:07 am

    5 stars
    Such a great recipe! So delicious and curbs all of those Asian food cravings plus it goes with any veggie or rice you might have laying around!

  • Reply
    - EBA
    February 14, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    Add a squirt of ginger paste to the sauce – adds some depth . Yum!

  • Reply
    Jen Riley
    February 12, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    5 stars
    So yummy! Family pleaser! Served with basmati rice and steamed broccoli.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    IF I wanted to make this and not include egg (egg allergy), what could I do???

    • Reply
      February 1, 2022 at 1:44 am

      I know this is a year later, but I forgot the egg one time and it just makes for a firmer meatball.

  • Reply
    February 6, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    What would be a good side(s) or addition to turn this into a dinner?

  • Reply
    Spencer Tumbach
    February 1, 2021 at 1:21 am

    5 stars
    So good! I left out the avo oil because I didn’t even see it, and it still turned out phenomenally!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Can I substitute the coconut aminos for soy sauce?

    • Reply
      February 1, 2021 at 12:55 pm

      yes! just omit the fish sauce so it’s not overly salty.

      • Reply
        February 5, 2021 at 2:31 am

        ThAnks! Made it and it was great!!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    I want to try this! Having difficulty getting the red boat fish sauce. Any substitution suggestions? Thanks!

    • Reply
      January 31, 2021 at 8:49 pm

      you don’t have to add fish sauce; however, it does add a lovely boost of umami flavor!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2021 at 5:43 am

    5 stars
    These were amazing! Loved by the whole family, even the 15 mos old. Served with rice and roasted carrots. Saving this recipe for the future!

    • Reply
      November 1, 2021 at 12:01 am

      5 stars
      Hi Alex, made this tonight and it was delicious! Do you know if this recipe will work well with ground chicken or Turkey as well? Thank you!!

      • Reply
        November 1, 2021 at 12:00 pm

        yes!! I would just opt for ground chicken/turkey dark meat so it doesn’t dry out easily!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Making this tonight i’m so excited! I dont have arrowroot Flour however- could i sub almond flour or regular flour?

    • Reply
      February 3, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      Almond flour should be fine for this recipe!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    Sounds delicious! Any suggestions on making this as a meal prep item and storing it?

    • Reply
      January 19, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      I would roll the meatballs and have them ready to just throw in the oven for best results!

  • Reply
    Julie Angelina Smith
    January 15, 2021 at 4:13 am

    5 stars
    So tasty! 1st two times I made this was pre-Jan Whole30 and both times I served with coconut rice. Bomb. I have used the sauce for stir fry dishes on days I just don’t know what to cook or prep.
    If I could I would post pics here because I sure did take pics- your dishes make my cooking look beautiful!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2021 at 12:37 pm

      Ill look into if I can add photos to comments!!!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Could I sub apple cider vinegar in the sauce recipe?

  • Reply
    January 4, 2021 at 2:08 am

    Absolutely spectacular! I would double the amount of sauce as my only critique.. but that could be my error as I forgot to add the broth/sesame oil. I got distracted!

  • Reply
    December 5, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    5 stars
    delish!! had to add a bit more ginger and garlic for seasoning. the entire family loved. we had with rice and broccoli!!

  • Reply
    Caroline S
    December 4, 2020 at 2:18 am

    Alex, you’ve done it again!!! These were AMAZING!!!!!! Made with quinoa and roasted broccoli and Brussels on the side and made extra sauce to drizzle on the veggies! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Making this tonight and got so thrown off by this saying baking dish at the top and later on a skillet

    • Reply
      December 3, 2020 at 1:00 am

      I’m sorry!! that was confusing, I just edited that!

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