by Olena

Thai Meatballs

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
4.9 from 58 votes

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This healthy Thai meatballs recipe is inspired by many of the best flavors Thai cuisine has to offer. In one little bite-sized meatball, you’ve got flavors from curry paste, fish sauce, ginger, basil, green onions, and coconut milk! Jam-packed with scrumptiousness, these sweet, savory, and spicy meatballs are made in one skillet in under 1 hour. Enjoy a bowl on their own or served over rice, noodles, or quinoa for a complete, delicious Thai-inspired, healthy dinner!

Skipping the take-out and making restaurant-quality dinners right at home is my favourite way to eat! Celebrating cultural influences and creating recipes out of them is part of what makes creating recipes so much fun. Chicken curry, Ukrainian borscht, and Italian pasta salad are just a few of my family’s favourites!

thai turkey meatballs with red curry sauce being poured on it

Healthy Thai Meatballs

Sometimes you’ll see meatballs smothered in tomato sauce, which is great for spaghetti and meatballs, but these are different! Much like my slow cooker porcupine meatballs, these can be eaten on their own with a toothpick for an appetizer, like our Mexican meatballs, or as a main dish with a side of rice or quinoa, just like our Turkey quinoa meatballs, both smothered in amazing sauces. They don’t require hours of simmering just cooked in a skillet in 30 minutes, and you can have a complete, healthy, protein and veggie-packed dinner that everyone will crave again and again!

Skip the take-out and make these at home. The flavours rival any Thai restaurant dish, but this version contains no eggs, bread, or breadcrumbs! Through making my zucchini turkey burger and healthy Turkey meatballs, I found that shredded zucchini makes any ground meat juicier so, these meatballs are as moist as they come. They bind together well and won’t fall apart on you either.

I usually use venison for this recipe, but I realize not everyone hunts, so there are definitely other options like turkey, beef, chicken, and buffalo that will work as well. Customize them how you like them, and watch how quickly these irresistible little meatballs disappear. Don’t forget to sop up all the sauce as well!

Why This Recipe for Thai Turkey Meatballs Work?

  • Signature Thai flavours that everyone loves can be tasted in these aromatic meatballs which makes them DELICIOUS!
  • An easy version made right in the skillet. Just combine, sear, and cook in the sauce until done.
  • Moist meatballs without eggs or breadcrumbs which means if you’re using certified gluten free fish sauce these meatballs are gluten free! Dairy free too because we’re using coconut milk.
  • Healthier than your typical meatball. Added zucchini for moisture which means every bite has some veggie in it.
  • A quick and easy dinner idea and leftovers can be enjoyed the next day.

Ingredients for Thai Curry Meatballs

  • Ground turkey – On its own ground turkey is quite dry but it works with this Thai curry meatballs recipe because of all of the moisture and flavors that hold their own. You can also use venison, beef, or chicken.
  • Zucchini – Grated and squeezed of excess moisture, this is a key player in keeping moisture locked in and adding tons of flavour.
  • Fish sauce – A lovely salty condiment that is a popular ingredient in many Asian dishes. Will be used in the meatballs as well as the sauce.
  • Green onions – Finely chopped, green onions add the fresh vibrant onion flavouring without overpowering.
  • Fresh basil – Finely chopped basil adds a freshness like the green onions however without the pungence.
  • Fresh ginger – Grated. Also a staple ingredient in so many Asian inspired dishes. Add it to the complex flavour combination of these ingredients and they all work in harmony. It’s amazing!
  • Garlic cloves – Grated fresh garlic goes hand in hand with the ginger.
  • Red curry paste – A spicy, sour, and salty flavourful paste, used widely in Asian cooking. A delicious addition to both meatballs and the sauce.
  • Coconut milk – I like Thai Kitchen coconut milk because it doesn’t come with a bunch of unnecessary ingredients, but any will work. Will be used in the meatballs for moisture as well as the base for the sauce.
  • Red pepper flakes – To kick up the heat a notch. The amount can be adjusted to your preference in the meatballs and the sauce.
  • Cooking spray – I use Misto because it’s essentially olive oil which is a healthier option.
  • Tomato paste – Concentrated tomato purée adds colour as well as helps to thicken up the sauce and add tomato flavour to it as well.
  • Kaffir lime leaves – An optional ingredient that may take a little hunting for either online or in any Asian food market. They are sold dry and last forever, but they’re completely optional. Just a way to take it up a notch!
thai turkey meatballs recipe

How to Make Thai Turkey Meatballs

  1. Combine Thai meatball ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine meatball ingredients and mix with your hands thoroughly. Make 28 meatballs by scooping out 1 tbsp of mixture and rolling it between your hands into a ball. Lay on a cutting board or plate. Set aside.
  2. Whisk Thai sauce ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients ingredients for the sauce and set aside. Add as many hot pepper flakes as you like. Kaffir lime leaves are optional, but it give the sauce a nice sweet touch. You can find them dried, in any asian store or online (they last forever).
  3. Preheat a large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add Thai turkey meatballs and cook until brown or for 2-3 minutes, turning a few times. No need to cook the meatballs through as they will continue to cook in the sauce. 
  4. Add the sauce. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. 
  5. Serve warm. Brown rice or brown rice noodles are perfect to complete this Thai curry meatballs meal. 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

For more Thai menu inspiration, check out my simple, sweet and spicy, Google-winning Thai salmon.

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Swap the turkey for ground chicken, ground beef, venison, or buffalo. You’ll find that ground chicken and ground turkey are probably the least moist and flavourful, but with the number of tasty ingredients in thisThai meatball recipe, there is no wrong choice.
  • Use full fat or milk or even coconut cream for a thicker, richer sauce. It will contain more calories, but so worth it!
  • If you like the heat but don’t have any red pepper flakes, you can use chili paste, sriracha sauce, or for a sweet and spicy combination, Thai sweet chili sauce.

Tips for Best Results

  • Make sure to squeeze all of the excess water out of the zucchini. While it does help with adding moisture, too much liquid can cause problems in keeping the meatball intact, since there are no breadcrumbs to absorb it.
  • To avoid the meatball mixture sticking to your hands, wet them (your hands, not the meat) a little before rolling into balls.
  • If you are using ground turkey, try and see if you can get dark meat. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t, but it will help to add extra moisture.
  • The colder your meat, the easier it is to maintain its meatball structure.


How do you keep meatballs from falling apart?

These meatballs don’t use any binding agents like eggs or breadcrumbs so we need to use a little finesse. Use cold meat straight out of the fridge. The colder it is, the easier it will be to maintain its structure before cooking. Squeeze excess liquid out of the zucchini and don’t overpower the meatball ingredients with too many “bigger” ingredients. You want to leave the meat as the main portion of the meatball, so when it says “finely chop or grated” follow that direction!

Is it better to bake or fry meatballs?

That depends on what your goal is. Baked is deemed healthier because there’s no frying in any extra oil. There is also no grease splatter and easier clean-up. However, fried is the more traditional version and is typically a faster way to cook them. You also don’t need a ton of oil to fry them. So, in the end, it’s a matter of preference.

How long can raw Thai turkey meatballs stay in the fridge?

Roll them up and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours before you’re ready to cook them. It’ll make things go a lot faster later on!

Are Thai curry meatballs similar to Vietnamese meatballs?

Yes, they are. This Thai meatball recipe can be used with a variety of different meats while Vietnamese meatballs are typically made with beef or pork. Outside of that, there are, of course, slight variations but the overall essence of the sweet, spicy, sour flavour profile is quite similar.

Can I omit the fish sauce in this Thai meatball recipe?

Sure you can. It does add a delicious taste, but you can omit it or replace it with soy sauce, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, or coconut aminos instead.

Serving Recommendations

Rice or grain bowl: Place in a bowl with cooked brown rice (or cilantro coconut brown rice) or cooked quinoa (Instant Pot or stovetop).

Low carb: For maximum Asian flavor make or Thai Cauliflower Rice or make plain cauliflower rice.

Vegetable sides: Steamed or roasted vegetables.

Salad: Asian slaw or a green leafy salad with Asian dressing.

Making Thai Meatball Recipe in Advance

Make Ahead: Combine meatball ingredients, shape into balls and then, also combine sauce ingredients, store covered separately in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. On the day you plan to cook them, proceed with recipe instructions.

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.

More Thai Inspired Recipes to Try

Thai Meatballs

Thai Meatballs {30 Minutes}

This healthy Thai meatballs recipe is inspired by many of the best flavors Thai cuisine has to offer. In one little bite-sized meatball, you've got flavors from curry paste, fish sauce, ginger, basil, green onions, and coconut milk! Jam-packed with scrumptiousness, these sweet, savory, and spicy meatballs are made in one skillet in 30 minutes. Enjoy a bowl on their own or served over rice, noodles, or quinoa for a complete, delicious Thai-inspired, healthy dinner!
4.9 from 58 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 28 meatballs
Calories: 51kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


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:


  • 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.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together Thai Meatballs Sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • 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.
    Thai Meatballs
  • 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.
    Thai Meatballs

Make Ahead: Make meatballs and sauce up to 24 hours in advance. Store covered separately in the fridge.

    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.


        • Meat variation: Use any meat you have on hand. We cook a lot of game meat, so I used venison for this recipe. You can also use turkey, beef, chicken or buffalo.
        • Kaffir lime leaves: You can buy kaffir lime leaves in any Asian store or online. They are sold dried and last forever in a sealed container. If you don’t have any, omit.
        • Coconut milk: Can be full fat or a coconut cream, just sauce will be more rich and higher in calories which is fine too.


        Serving: 1meatball | Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
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        176 comments on “Thai Meatballs

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        1. How was the spice level for your kids? I love spicy, but my 5 year old does not. Should I decrease the amount of curry paste or red pepper flakes?

          1. I would skip red pepper flakes then and reduce curry paste to 1/2 tsp in both meat and sauce, each. Might have to add a pinch more salt. Hope they like these meatballs!

        2. Do you think I could turn this into a crock pot meal? I was thinking to brown the meatballs, use the Thai meatball sauce as the base of the crock pot, add the meatballs and let simmer while I’m at work. Thoughts?

        3. Hello I am trying to cook this delicious dish today. I can’t seem to find red curry paste anywhere !!! Is there anyway I can substitute this with green??? Please help

        4. 5 stars
          My husband and I have been married nearly 25 years. When we first started sharing meals, he was a pizza/mac and cheese/baked chicken guy. Slowly he has eaten sushi and Indian food, etc… but has never had Thai curry. If we are at a restaurant with Thai food he usually gets chicken and rice. He also does not eat fruits and vegetables. I’m not kidding. Enchilada sauce is his vegetable. (I don’t know how he’s 138 lbs… but he runs a lot.) Tonight I tried this recipe and told him it would be turkey meatballs in a sauce made with coconut milk and red curry paste. I explained it would not taste like Indian curry but he’d probably still like it, and if he doesn’t there’s an emergency pizza in the freezer. Then I kicked him out of the kitchen while I cooked. He ate it! He liked it! And he said the meatballs were so moist, and turkey is not typically like that. And I said because it had ZUCCHINI in it! And he said there were no chunks so he could not tell. (Thank you Ninja Foodi.) I had some lemongrass in a squeeze tube – and read the prior note about it – so I added that. I added about 1/4c gluten free breadcrumbs. And when I blasted the zucchini to shreds I added white onion. You have now broadened a 45 year old’s horizons! Thank you!! Huzzah!

          1. Sounds like this recipe is a HUGE win for your family. I am so happy to hear how much it was enjoyed 🙂

        5. I want to make this tonight but want to make sure I’m reading the coconut milk line correctly. It’s a 1/2cup of canned coconut milk? Or 1 1/2cups?


          1. Hi Kelly! We recently switched to different software and some things didn’t convert clearly. It is 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk. Happy cooking!

        6. 5 stars
          I started meal planning for a diet this week and this recipe was great! My stove stayed too hot so a lot of the sauce evaporated. I made another batch to pour over but added juice from a lime, a LOT of crushed red pepper and a bit of chili powder and it brought the sauce to a whole new level. I served the meatballs and sauce over Thai rice noodles. Awesome!!

        7. 5 stars
          Absolutely LOVED this recipe!! This is definitely going to be a new regular in my household, I ended up only using 1lb of meat and adding some veggies to the mix (red pepper, onion, & broccoli) just because I love extra veggies but wow so good. Best turkey meatballs I’ve ever made!

        8. 5 stars
          I have made this a couple of times and really enjoy the flavors. I served it on butternut squash noodles tonight which kept it super light!

        9. 5 stars
          This was so easy to prepare and super delicious! This was perfect! We chose to serve ours atop brown rice noodles and it was yum! Thanks so much for sharing!

        10. 4 stars
          These were really tasty. I’ll make again with a few tweaks. Next time I’ll use 1.5 pounds of ground turkey. There were too many meatballs in my largest skillet and the crowding prevented them from browning the way I would have liked. This was likely also caused by the mistake I made of using large Tablespoon of coconut oil to fry them in. Next time will follow recipe instructions and just use a light coating of cooking spray to get browner results.

          The sauce was delicious, though I doubled just about all the spices because I like spicy food. Based on another review, I subbed lime zest for the leaves, and I though that lent a freshness that was really nice.
          Served over cauliflower rice to be a Paleo/Keto meal and my 14 year old picky eater gave the thumbs up.

        11. 5 stars
          Added a little more red pepper to up the heat and it was absolutely perfect. I recommend basmati rice to give a traditional feel to the dish! Highly recommend.

        12. 5 stars
          Hi Olena,

          Thanks so much for this recipe. It took me longer than suggested time but I know that was going to happen. Once I do it again it will be a lot faster and closer to your recommended time. For the meatballsI added in grated carrot, and finely chopped spinach leaves and coriander (cilantro) instead of basil. I was lazy and did not squeeze the grated zucchini and it was fine.

          I served this with brown rice and steamed veg and lime.

        13. 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?

        14. 4 stars
          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.

        15. This dish is amazing! I had to swap Green for the Red curry paste, and cabbage for the zukes but that lent a nice crunch.

          1. 4 stars
            Very tasty!!! Even my 4 year old enjoyed them. I served them with brown rice and snap peas. The flavor of the meatball was excellent. I added a bit of shredded carrot and red bell pepper, just for extra vegetables, so I added a bit more of the spices as well. The sauce was a little bland in my opinion and didn’t have that big Thai flavor I was looking for. Definitely a good start!! Next time I think I’d double some things… definitely more curry paste, fish sauce, much less tomato paste as I feel the sauce is too tomato-y, maybe add some sriracha or just more red pepper flakes. Overall a very good starter recipe though!!! I just recommend some extra spices if you’re looking for a “bigger” flavor.

        16. 5 stars
          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.

        17. 5 stars
          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.

        18. 5 stars
          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!!

        19. 5 stars
          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.

        20. 5 stars
          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.

        21. 5 stars
          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 🙂

        22. 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.

        23. 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.:)

        24. Want to try making these for my small group tonight, but one of our ladies can’t have gluten. Are these gluten free?

        25. 5 stars
          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.

        26. 5 stars
          Just made your Clean Thai Turkey Zucchini Meatballs, and they are superb. Flavorful and healthful. Can’t beat that! I was a bit concerned when I read the reviewer who wrote that these were bland, but when I saw the ingredient list, I couldn’t help but wonder what he left out. Thanks for a great recipe!

        27. I’m excited to try these tonight! Can I substitute almond milk for coconut milk? We have so much of it on hand that my kids drink and I didn’t know if I had to out and get the other too?

          1. Hi Nicole. Unfortunately that wouldn’t work. I know what you mean but you need to go and buy a can of light coconut milk. Canned and carton coconut (almond) milk are 2 different things. Canned one is thick and carton one is made with water.

        28. Does the fish sauce give the meatballs a fishy taste? I don’t eat fish or any seafood but I really want to try this recipe. I was concerned about omitting the fish sauce from your comment saying the meatballs won’t be the same.

        29. 5 stars
          I just made this recipe for Thai Turkey Meatballs and it was really tasty. The prep takes some time but it was worth it.

          1. Oh, yay, Alaina. I can’t believe how popular this recipe is…I remember whipping it up o na dreary rainy winter day and thinking pictures are not OK and recipe not sure what people will think of such a twist LOL

        30. 5 stars
          Just tried this recipe today- so easy! And more importantly – it’s sooo good! I put it over quinoa in a bowl – perfect! And the house smells amazing 🙂

        31. 5 stars
          Great recipe! Was very surprised how well the zucchini minded all of the ingredients together. I substituted the green onions for sweet onions just because of personal preference. I was a little bit thrown off that there is no salt to be added to the dish, so i definitely had to add to both the sauce and the meatballs. Overall great dish!

          1. Hi Magda. Awesome! Salt is definitely a personal taste. I find fish sauce is salty enough but we do not eat a lot of salt so our tastebuds are different.

        32. 5 stars
          Shocked… First of all that they stayed together with no eggs or breadcrumbs. And second that my daughter who eats nothing (and I mean nothing) had seconds. She has literally never had seconds in her life. Then she said,”Can you make them again because I loved them.” Haha, I almost started crying. These were the best meatballs I have ever had. I can’t believe they were so healthy and tasted like that. Just followed you on Pinterest, and am looking forward to more of your recipes. Thanks!!!!!

        33. Hello! I’m going to make these tonight. Just wondered if I can use unsweetened almond milk in sub of the coconut milk? Thanks!

          1. Hi Amy. No. And you have to use canned coconut milk not from the carton. Those are two very different things. Good you have a day to run to the store.

        34. Hi! Do you think it is alright to skip the fish sauce? I am doing a Whole30 and the only fish sauce that I can find without sugar is only available online (and expensive)…. but I really had my hopes on making these meatballs!

          1. Hi Andrea. Meatballs won’t be the same without the fish sauce. I just checked the label and considering sugar is listed last and nutritional info states 0g sugar I bet you will consume a ridiculous few grains of sugar.

        35. When you use venison, do you use straight venison, or venison mixed with pork? I have pure ground venison and would love to use it as is in this recipe but don’t want it to be too dry. Thanks!

          1. I use pure venison because I simply do not have any other ground organic meat most times. They were great anyways because of the rich sauce. But I see how with pork they will be more moist. That extra fat. I wish I found organic pork…

        36. can’t wait to try this recipe!!! I love Thai food & it’s rich & spicy flavors… fyi..most of my family & friends hunt!!! so it’s very normal….
          I can’t wait to try this recipe!! love meatball’s & absolutely love Thai food, sounds amazing!! FYI… Hunting is very normal….Most of my family & friends hunt… just saying!!!

        37. 5 stars
          found these on Pinterest and made them for dinner tonight. Served over Cauliflower Rice. They were fantastic! Very flavorful, and my sauce was quite spicy – I think it is really dependent on the Red Curry paste that you use. I added about a teaspoon of brown sugar to the sauce and lime zest, since I could not find Kaffir Lime leaves. Forget to put the cilantro on top at the end, but it was still wonderful!

        38. 5 stars
          Saw this recipe on Pinterest, made them today, so nice! Meatballs were nice and moist and flavoursome, served with brown and wild rice. Can’t wait for the leftovers tomorrow.

        39. 5 stars
          Saw this recipe on Pinterest – just tried it for the first time tonight and it was delicious!! Served it over rice. Thank you very much for something different than I usually make and yet soo yummy. My husband loved it and said when he was finished he could definitely eat that a couple times a week. 🙂

        40. Looks good and will like to try it, but on a sidenote: being that half my family hunts and I know many others that do so as well, I can assure you thet are just as normal as anyone else…

        41. 5 stars
          Olena, I have made these almost weekly since I first tried the recipe. They are amazing. I use turkey and even though turkey can be dry the zucchini keeps it moist. The last time I made them I added one piece of Lemon Grass I smashed up a bit to release the oils, to the sauce while it simmered. They are so good, I make a huge batch so I can take some to work for lunch the next day.

          1. Awesome! Lemon gras is a great addition. In fact, all Thai food should be made with it. I omitted it because not all stores carry and and many people don’t have it on hand often. Like me.:) Glad everyone is enjoying these!:)

        42. 5 stars
          I prepared this dish for my family. I had to be careful of the spice because they are young but other than that this was amazing. My son wanted 2nds and 3rds I was shocked but we have to leave some for tomorrow. I will definitely pass this on in my cooking group. Amazing, Magnificent, and Delicious.

          1. I’m amazed how much kids like these. Glad they made your dinner rock. I too control how much kids eat of meatballs vs side served with them lol

        43. I am curious how eating meat is “clean” . Eating meat is the oppposite of clean eating. I feel a lot cleaner since going vegan. Sauce looks good though. May try veganizing this.

        44. 5 stars
          These are awesome and have made it into our regular dinner rotation! I have 4 young kids who are all picky eaters and they all scarfed it down. Some even had seconds (unheard of). So thank you! We’ve found that we like them better with ground beef and a little extra salt, but other than that perfection.

        45. 5 stars
          I made these today and they taste amazing!! I stirred a little bit of apricot jam into the sauce to sweeten it a bit for my little one and picky husband! About three tablespoons and it is AMAZING!!

        46. 5 stars
          I made these last night and follow the recipe, except for the lime leaves, and they are delicious! If I were to make these again, I wouldnt use fish sauce, bc I’m really not a fan of anything fishy. Though, I only used it in the meat and not the sauce and i dont really taste it, I just know its there. Thanks for the recipe!

        47. Hi Olena, I have these on the menu for next week and I am really looking forward to trying them, just curious if there is anything I can substitute for the kaffir leaves. I have never used them before and I don’t know what they taste like or if there is anything similar to them in flavor. Thanks!

        48. 5 stars
          Firstly… thank you so much for sharing this recipe – the flavours in these meatballs are to die for – A+++ !
          Secondly… I’m on a mostly Paleo diet and when I came to the bit about serving with brown rice or brown rice noodles, ass I could picture was a saucepan full of delicious sauce, and meatballs in search of a comfy bed on which to be served – this wouldn’t be the end of the world, as I do eat rice occasionally, but… at this point I was hungry and didn’t feel like waiting around for rice to cook. I’d originally planned to make a side dish of Paleo mayo-free coleslaw but didn’t feel much like putting the effort into preparing that..
          Staring at the pan full of sauce and the lonely meatballs, knowing I need to get some veg into me somehow, I contemplated making cabbage & broccoli ‘rice’, as you would typically do with cauliflower as a substitute for grains in Paleo meals… I thought it’d be a great way to soak up that tasty sauce, add some veg, and create a nice bed for the meatballs… Asian flavours and cabbage go nicely gogether – so why not!?
          Anyways, I don’t usually step outside my comfort bubble of following the recipe to the T… BUT I DID IT… I INNOVATED!! Put the cabbage & broccoli through the food processor, removed the meatballs from the saucepan and added the ‘rice’ to soak up the sauce and cook for a few minutes…
          Boy am I glad I did – turned out to be a fabulous accompaniment for this dish.. and so I just had do share 🙂

          1. You are very welcome. Quite a dinner story you got. That sounds fabulous! I’m not paleo but I like veggies in all shape and form.

        49. 4 stars
          I tried this tonight and the flavor is great! However, I had some trouble with the meatballs sticking to my stainless frying pan as I was putting them in, even though I sprayed with cooking oil. Should I have used a non-stick pan or did I just not have the heat turned up high enough? I’ve only ever baked meatballs before.

          1. Hi Stevie. Use non-stick skillet next time. I have 2 stainless steel pans but never use them for same reason – almost everything sticks to them.

        50. These were yum! How rude of the one commenter who said they were terrible. Why even say that? Some people. Did you add any salt to this recipe? I’ve been trying to cut a lot of salt out but felt like the meatballs maybe needed a little salt in the mix? I’m a salt freak so maybe not. Please let me know!

          1. Hi Kelly. Salt is very personal thing, I would say. I didn’t add any extra salt. I have been off any processed foods for quite a while now so my tastebuds are very clean and sensitive LOL. But feel free to adjust it. I have a friend and she loves salt like you. She adds salt to all my food although nobody else at the table does.:) P.S. I suspect someone just doesn’t like Thai food period, hence the comment.:)

        51. Delicious! I didn’t have any ginger in the house but followed the rest if the recipe and service with steamed brocolli and basmati rice. Even my picky eater husband enjoyed it. Great recipe!

        52. 5 stars
          I made this recipe tonight, and it turned out amazing! I served it with bean thread noodles. This will be a new regular for us. Thank you so much!

        53. To replace meatballs for Vegan-izing this recipe, I can HIGHLY recommend lentils. We make a YUMMY lentil loaf for meatloaf and I am AMAZED at how much the lentils remind me of ground beef. (we are not vegan, and we eat meat and even my husband liked the lentil loaf) Use a good lentil loaf recipe to mix up a lentil mixture and then form into balls and fry. YUM!

        54. These were incredible! Even my 11 y/o son loved them. We did not do the zucchini because my kids don’t like sneaky veggies and we could not find fish sauce. Still they were fabulous!

        55. 5 stars
          I’ve made these meatballs without the rice tonight, and they were great!! Delicious, thanks for the recipe!

          1. Did you avoid rice because you’re Paleo??? I added grated cabbage and broccoli into the pan of sauce after the meatballs were finished cooking and then used this as a bed for the meatballs as you would rice – was wicked!

        56. Thanks for mentioning that you used venison! I’m always looking for recipes that would be great with the 50 pounds of ground venison in my freezer! Definitely putting this on the menu next week! 🙂

        57. I’m a mexican 80 years old lady and love to surprise my daughter,husbandand two grandchildren when they come to visit me! I will make them and taste to be sure
          they will enjoy them. THANKS. !!

        58. 5 stars
          This was DELICIOUS! Sharing with all my friends. My one yr old ate 4 meatballs and my super picky 4 yr old ate them too (after a 15 minute stare-down with the meatball because she was convinced she wouldn’t like it). This is a keeper!

        59. 5 stars
          I found you via pinterest and made this recipe last night over some brown rice minus the chili flakes. It was delicious. The husband and 5 year old approved as well. thanks for the great recipe!

        60. 5 stars
          Just made these. They were great, but a little salty. We may try anchovies paste instead of fish sauce next time, since that’s the only possible source of salt in here, but this recipe was an absolute hit!

        61. 5 stars
          I made these for the first time 5 mins ago, and they are the best meatballs ever! I didn’t use any of the spicy ingredients because I don’t care for spicy food, however it still came out great!
          Thanks !

          1. Oh yay! Awesome! I had no doubt but after some reviews of not even dogs liking these… They must be not Thai food lovers. 🙂

        62. 5 stars
          Made this last night and it was a hit! Even my very picky 7 yr old liked it. My husband and I are not big on fish sauce, so I omitted that and added salt and it was still very flavorful. I also used the regular coconut milk. Great recipe and thanks for sharing!! I’ll definitely be making this again.

          1. That’s great, Sooki! This recipe can be tweaked depending what you got in hand and personal taste preference.:)

        63. I followed this recipe to the tee and it was the most tasteless meal I have ever eaten…like a dry meatloaf with no flavor. Even our dogs wouldn’t eat the meatballs…wouldn’t make again. Just my (and my family’s opinion). Sorry!

          1. Sorry to hear about your experience, Gretchen. Everyone has different taste and taste buds. So no worries. Maybe it was too spicy for the dogs?

        64. 5 stars
          I just made these tonight and they were amazing! Thank you for such a delicious recipe! I want to make these for a friend who just had a baby…if I make it ahead of time would I cook it all the way through then freeze? And when I take it to my friend would I just tell her to reheat on the stir top? Thanks again for a great recipe!

          1. Yes, you got it. Cook it all the way and freeze. She can defrost it on a counter and warm up in microwave. Or defrost in a pot. Or defrost in microwave. Anything. They freeze well. Glad you enjoyed!!!

        65. 5 stars
          Made this for the super picky husband tonight who requested a week of “healthy things that don’t taste like cardboard” – success! I didn’t use the lime leaves but going to add them in to the leftover tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

          1. Hey, Meg. You are so welcome. Tell your husband:”Good news, honey. There are many clean recipes that taste like real yummy food”.:)

        66. 5 stars
          Olena~ Thanks for posting this delicious recipe. I tried it the other night and it was a hit with both me and my husband. I added a little bit of sriracha chili sauce on top and it added a nice extra kick (we like things spicy down here in Texas!) The meatballs were extremely moist just as promised 🙂 We had to run a quick errand right after I finished dish so I just left it on the stovetop until we returned. A friend needed to come over and borrow something from our house so we just left our house open so he could run in and grab it while we were gone. He confessed that as he came into the house, he could smell this amazing aroma coming from the kitchen. He couldn’t resist and helped himself to a couple of meatballs while we were gone! He confessed the next day when we saw him again 🙂 I was honored that I executed the recipe and pleased not only my family but someone else as well. Thanks again for the quick and delicious dinner recipe.

          1. Oh, Holly. Thank you for your story. Means I should keep cooking.:) Means a world to me! Sriracha is awesome! I try to keep the spiciness down because of kids. I have the same neighbour – we feed each other.:)

            1. Hi, I was wondering about the zucchini, Am I supposed to
              steam it first and then drain water. Wasn’t sure what you meant by squeezed out. Also, Do you think it is too spicy for kids? My kids like a kick but not too spicy. Let me know if you think anything should be substituted.


              1. Hi Jen. No steaming required. Grate raw zucchini and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. These are great for kids. My kids loved these and their taste buds are similar to your kids’. Not too spicy. Enjoy!

        67. 5 stars
          Hi ! I did this dish yesterday. It was one of de best meatballs I had. I replaced the coconut milk with passata+essentiel coconut oil (we don’t have this milk in light version in Brussels); green curry past, fish sauce, soja sauce, salt, red peper and a half lemon juice. I ate it with konjac noodles. It was easy, fast, tasty, delicious. The meatballs I had were made with beef, cilantro, onions, no zuccini. Conclusion: one of the BEST. DISH. EVER.

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