by Olena

Thai Meatballs

by Olena

4.9 from 8 reviews

Healthy Thai Meatballs Recipe with turkey, coconut milk, red curry paste and zucchini instead of breadcrumbs. Rave reviews from EVERYONE!

Healthy Thai meatballs recipe with turkey, coconut milk, red curry paste and zucchini instead of breadcrumbs. They are full of your favourite Thai flavours like curry paste, fish sauce, ginger, basil, green onions and coconut milk. Both, the sauce and the meat.

Meatballs don’t have to be smothered in tomato sauce (just see my slow cooker porcupine meatballs) nor do they have to be simmered for hours. They can have your favourite Thai flavours, be cooked in a skillet, within 30 – 40 minutes. Healthy dinner can be ready that fast.

Meatballs do not have to contain eggs, bread or breadcrumbs. I found with zucchini turkey burger that shredded zucchini makes any ground meat juicier. Use any meat you have on hand. We cook a lot of game meat, so I used venison for this recipe. But because I realize most people are “normal” and do not hunt, I’m giving you an option to use turkey, beef, chicken or buffalo.

How to Make Thai Meatballs

  1. In a medium bowl, combine Thai Meatballs ingredients and mix with your hands thoroughly. Make 28 meatballs by spooning heaping 1 tbsp of mixture and rolling between your hands. Lay on a cutting board or plate. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together Thai Meatballs Sauce ingredients and set aside. Add as many hot pepper flakes as you like. Kaffir lime leaves are optional, but give the sauce a nice sweet touch. You can find them dried, in any asian store or online (they last forever).
  3. Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add meatballs and cook until brown or for 2-3 minutes, turning a few times. No need to cook the meatballs through. Healthy Thai Meatballs Recipe with turkey, coconut milk, red curry paste and zucchini instead of breadcrumbs. Rave reviews from EVERYONE!Healthy Thai Meatballs Recipe with turkey, coconut milk, red curry paste and zucchini instead of breadcrumbs. Rave reviews from EVERYONE!
  4. Add the sauce, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Healthy Thai Meatballs Recipe with turkey, coconut milk, red curry paste and zucchini instead of breadcrumbs. Rave reviews from EVERYONE!
  5. Serve warm with brown rice or brown rice noodles. Add garnish like fresh cilantro and green onions. We served these turkey zucchini meatballs with organic short grain brown rice. You can easily get away with whole wheat spaghetti or even quinoa. Healthy Thai Meatballs Recipe with turkey, coconut milk, red curry paste and zucchini instead of breadcrumbs. Rave reviews from EVERYONE!

And if by any chance you are a lover of all things Thai and salmon, try my Google winning Thai salmon.

Print

Thai Meatballs

4.9 from 8 reviews

Healthy Thai Meatballs Recipe with turkey, coconut milk, red curry paste and zucchini instead of breadcrumbs. Rave reviews from EVERYONE!

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 28 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Thai
Scale

Ingredients

For Thai Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground turkey*
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded & liquid squeezed out
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk, light (canned)
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)

For Thai Meatballs Sauce:

  • 1 + 1/2 cup coconut milk, light (canned)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, more to taste
  • 56 dried kaffir lime leaves (optional)**

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine Thai Meatballs ingredients and mix with your hands thoroughly. Make 28 meatballs by spooning heaping 1 tbsp of mixture and rolling between your hands. Lay on a cutting board or plate. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together Thai Meatballs Sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add meatballs and cook until brown or for 2-3 minutes, turning a few times. No need to cook the meatballs through.
  4. Add the sauce, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Serve warm with brown rice or brown rice noodles. Add garnish like fresh cilantro and green onions.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.

Notes

*Use any meat you have on hand. We cook a lot of game meat, so I used venison for this recipe. But because I realize most people are “normal” and do not hunt, I’m giving you an option to use turkey, beef, chicken or buffalo.

**You can buy kaffir lime leaves in any Asian store or online. They are sold dried and last forever in a sealed container.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

 

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

137 comments on “Thai Meatballs

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  1. Hi Olga
    Thinking of making this tonight for dinner, I don’t have any zucchini at home, I can use an egg as binder right?

  2. Great recipe! I preferred more curry and red pepper flakes to the sauce. I also added cumin into the sauce. The meatballs I made were from ground turkey 85/15 and they were fantastic. I used 1 lb of meat but kept rest of ingredients the same. I wonder if I were to use 2 lbs that they would have been under seasoned and dry. Excited to make again.

  3. This is a recipe I keep in my constant rotation. It is a teensy bit of work involved, but the payoff is worth it! Great flavors. I like to double the sauce to put over the meatballs and rice. I also, instead of the lime element suggested here, squeeze a lime wedge over my meal before eating. Highly recommend.

  4. Incredible recipe! I subbed the fish sauce for soy sauce because I couldn’t find it at my local grocery store. I also used dried ginger and basil versus fresh, already minced garlic (the kind that comes in a jar), and made everything the night before. I think that really enhanced the flavor, because the taste was even better the next day than right after they were done. The last thing I added was about four tablespoons of curry to the mix once it was done cooking and then gently stirred it all together for some extra spice. It came out really really good! I made this for a work potluck and had four people ask for the recipe.

  5. Here in my part of the States, it is unusually hot, so tasty meals without the use of the oven are a must. These Thai meatballs w/sauce were super easy, SUPER tasty, and I never broke a sweat over a hot stove!

    Like you, Olena, we eat venison more often than beef, and the venison paired so well with the ginger, coconut milk, and red curry paste. Turkey would be good too, but in all honesty, I think the red meat adds another layer of richness to this dish that is so satisfying! Excellent with the nutty taste of brown rice.

    Company-worthy and family pleasing meal!!

  6. Tried this the other day and served over basmati rice. Felt like the sauce could have had a little more (we like thing s Spicey!) . I did not have the lime leaves. Not sure that would make a difference. Might add more red pepper next time. Still very good and I will make again. Healthy.

  7. The recipe is easy and delicious, one of my favorites. I live in Calif. so am able to get all the ingredients easily and not have to make substitutions.

  8. Thanks so much for the recipe! Have made it a could of times now and is so yummy! I also add some more veggies to the meatballs such as shredded mushrooms and broccoli 🙂

  9. The Thai meatballs are great. Didn’t use turkey mince but pork and veal. The sauce is very tasty over fish or vegetables. I am taking recipe camping to use over various meats and just rice. I use powdered coconut milk to ensure there is no waste as I’m only cooking for 2.

  10. Hey Olena! This is gonna sound stupid XD How do you keep your meatballs from burning in the pan? This has become one of my favorite meals to make! But I’ve taken to cooking the meatballs up in the oven first (to get them to hold together and avoid burning/sticking to the pan), THEN browning them, THEN letting them simmer in the sauce to finish cooking. I know I must be missing something fairly simple here. Thanks!

    1. Not stupid at all. I use non-stick pan, ceramic like this one is the best. Then you can use cooking spray and meatballs will be easy to turn without breaking or burning. If you are using a cast iron pan then I recommend to use a tablespoon or two of oil for frying. It should help you to eliminate many steps.:)

  11. I’ve made these a couple of times and they are delicious. I’m going to make them tomorrow to serve with spaghetti squash and papaya salad.

    1. Glad to hear! Papaya salad sounds amazing! I can eat papaya non stop. Exactly what I do in Mexico. They run out of papaya in a restaurant because of me.

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