by Olena

Thai Meatballs

by Olena

4.9 from 9 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 9 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.

142 comments on “Thai Meatballs

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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!!!

  8. 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”.:)

  9. 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.

        Thanks,
        Jen

        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!

  10. 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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