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.
- Ground (dark meat) turkey – Any ground meat will work, but ground turkey or ground chicken will offer a subtle flavor that doesn’t overpower the marinade, red curry sauce, or other ingredients
- Ginger marinade – I love this ginger sesame marinade for getting lots of flavor in a short amount of time! Super clean ingredients too.
- 1 egg – To bind the thai meatballs together
- Ginger paste – For a slight bit of heat, and a flavor that is zesty, sweet, and warm
- Kosher salt – To season the entire dish
- Breadcrumbs – For meatballs, I always recommend traditional dried or homemade breadcrumbs, not panko. The texture of panko is too coarse!
- Scallions – Adds a subtle onion flavor without changing the texture of the Thai curry meatballs much
We recommend combining all the wet ingredients in the bottom of the bowl first, which helps ensure you never overmix or over work the ground 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 a 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 we are big fans of baking meatballs. We hate standing over an oven and flipping meatballs endlessly, getting the stovetop greasy and messy. We recommend baking or broiling 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 Thai 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 Red Curry Sauce
Let’s talk coconut curry sauce. Don’t be intimidated! One can of coconut milk is combined with red curry paste (an absolute must in our fridge at all times!!), ginger paste, and turmeric. Add a squeeze of half a fresh lime if you’ve got one!
This homemade red curry sauce is vibrant, healthy, flavorful, and bold in the best way. But like, it doesn’t require 20 different ingredients, which we 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!
We like to keep the toppings in our rice bowls simple. 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!
We rarely serve anything alongside this — meatballs! rice! red curry sauce! it’s a complete meal! — but if you’re looking for a fun side salad? Thai noodle salad with peanut sauce looks bomb!
Honestly, such an easy weeknight dinner! The turkey meatballs cook up in no time, the sauce takes actual minutes to throw together. Perfect, simple dinner recipe 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 super crispy — the best ever!
This is the type of cozy, comforting meal our family longs for. Packed with flavor, simple to prep and execute, and healthy! This Thai turkey meatball recipe is the shake up your weeknight dinner routine has been longing for!
If you make Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry, please let us know by leaving a rating and review below.
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For more simple weeknight dinners, check out of the following recipes:
7-minute eggs marinated in soy sauce (shoyu tamago)
Easy chicken milanese with fennel
Crispy skin salmon with lemon parmesan sauce
Easy stuffed portobello mushrooms with fontina
Whole30 Asian stuffed peppers
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 or seasoned breadcrumbs (NOT panko!), see note
- 2 scallions (about 3 Tbsp) thinly sliced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
To make coconut curry
- 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk regular or lite
- 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.
- Do not use panko breadcrumbs when making meatballs (any meatball recipe!). Use plain or seasoned breadcrumbs, which will help keep the texture of the meatballs smooth. Panko will create a coarse texture throughout.
- Meatballs can be frozen after baking. Allow to cool completely, then place in a freezer safe airtight container. To defrost: place frozen thai turkey meatballs 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.
- Ground turkey: feel free to substitute turkey with ground chicken, beef, pork, or veal. Do not use extra lean meat or the meatballs will dry out.
If you love Thai Turkey Meatballs, check out more of our favorite meatballs: