Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry
Homemade oven-baked Thai turkey meatballs are flavored with ginger, scallions, and a ginger marinade. They cook up in 12 minutes and are served with an easy coconut curry sauce, white rice, and lots of fresh herbs. A vibrant, healthy dinner with minimal effort!
How to make turkey meatballs
Main flavor profile here is Thai. Super pumped about that. Combine the following in a large bowl:
Ground (dark meat) turkey, ginger marinade, an egg, ginger paste, kosher salt, breadcrumbs, and scallions.
I like to combine all the wet ingredients in the bottom of the bowl first, which helps ensure I never overmix or over work the meat in meatballs. Next, add in the dry ingredients and blend until just combined.
Note: you can substitute ground turkey with ground chicken, beef, pork, or veal. Just don’t use LEAN chicken or turkey meat or the meatballs will dry out!
Pro tip: form meatballs with a cookie scoop!
No, we’re not making cookies, but yes we still use the cookie scoop to create uniform sized meatballs. Scoop the meat out onto a rimmed baking sheet, then use your hands to gently roll into round balls. Easy!
These meatballs are about 2″ round.
If you’ve been here a while, you know that I am a BIG fan of baking meatballs. I hate standing over an oven and flipping meatballs endlessly, getting my stovetop greasy and messy. I’d much rather bake homemade meatballs.
Place a rack about 3″ away from the top of your oven, then preheat broil to high. Turkey and chicken need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165F to be safe to eat.
Cook turkey meatballs on high for 6 minutes, flip once, then cook 6 minutes more. Perfect meatballs every time!
Side note: beef, lamb, veal, and pork meatballs all cook in slightly less time. About 10 minutes total, depending on the size of the meatballs (I usually make them about 1 ½ – 2″ round).
Coconut curry sauce
Let’s talk coconut curry sauce. Do NOT be intimidated! One can of coconut milk is combined with red curry paste (an absolute MUST in my fridge at all times!!), ginger paste, and turmeric. Add a squeeze of half a fresh lime if you’ve got one!
It’s vibrant, healthy, flavorful, and BOLD in the best way. But like, it doesn’t require 20 different ingredients, which I appreciate.
Finish the curry sauce with about 2 cups of baby spinach or whatever tender greens you’ve got on hand waiting to be used up. Let them wilt just a bit, then serve!
I like to keep the toppings on my rice bowls pretty simple and straightforward. Lots of fresh herbs — cilantro, scallions, basil — fresh lime juice, sesame seeds (black or white, either is great!), and that’s it.
If you are craving something crunchy, a handful of chopped or crushed peanuts would be stellar.
And yes, you could absolutely use brown rice or cauliflower rice, but we keep things easy around here. Good ol’ white rice it is!
Honestly, such an easy weeknight dinner! The meatballs cook up in no time, the sauce takes actual minutes to throw together. Such a no brainer after a busy day.
Bonus? Each component can be made ahead of time! Meatballs can be frozen either before baking of after (I ALWAYS keep baked meatballs in the freezer, such a lifesaver during weeks that are hectic!). To defrost frozen meatballs: place on a microwave safe plate then heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute until warmed through.
Alternatively, you could allow meatballs to thaw overnight in a refrigerator, slice in half, then heat cut side down in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Flip after 1-2 minutes, cook 1 minute more. The meatballs get crispy and I LOVE IT.
This is the type of cozy, comforting meal that my family longs for. Packed with flavor, simple to prep and execute, and healthy! Thai turkey meatballs are the shake up your weeknight dinner routine has been longing for!
If you make Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry, please let me know by leaving a rating and review below.
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For more simple weeknight dinners, check out of the following recipes:
Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry
For the Thai turkey meatballs
- 1 ⅓ lb ground turkey dark meat
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tbsp ginger sesame marinade
- ½ tsp ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
- ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 scallions (about 3 Tbsp) thinly sliced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
To make coconut curry
- 1 (13.5 oz) can lite coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp red curry paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 ½ oz baby spinach about half a bag
- ½ lime juiced
- white rice cooked
- scallions thinly sliced
- fresh basil
- lime wedges
- crushed peanuts optional
- sriracha optional
To make meatballs
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg, ginger marinade, and ginger paste. Add ground turkey, breadcrumbs, scallions, and kosher salt. Use hands to mix until just combined.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion out meatballs into equal sizes. For 1 ⅓ lbs of turkey, I can get 15 meatballs approximately 2" round in size. Place meatballs about 2" apart on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil on high for 6 minutes, carefully turn each meatball over, then cook an additional 6 minutes more.
For coconut curry
- Meatnwhile, add coconut milk to a large skillet or sauce pan, then bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Add red curry paste, ginger paste or fresh ginger, and turmeric, then whisk until dissolved. Pour in water, then simmer until meatballs are cooked. Just before serving, add baby spinach and squeeze half of a fresh lime into the sauce, then stir until spinach is wilter, about 1-2 minutes.
- Serve meatballs and coconut curry sauce over white rice (or other rice), then top with fresh cilantro, basil, and/or thinly sliced scallions. I like to use them all! Optional: sprinkle with sesame seeds, crushed peanuts and/or sriracha. Serve with lime wedges on the side.