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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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!!!!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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!!!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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. 🙂

  15. 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…

  16. 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!:)

  17. 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.

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