Thai Coconut Turkey Meatballs Curry (Paleo + Whole30 Option)

Lovers of Thai food will love this meatballs curry. Think juicy baked turkey meatballs dunked in a creamy Thai coconut milk sauce! An easy comfort food dinner that is Paleo and comes with a Whole30 Option.

a plate with Thai coconut turkey meatballs curry served with rice

Meatballs are life.  Between Swedish Meatballs, my Zucchini “Neat”balls,  and my BBQ Slow Cooker Meatballs I could eat them everyday. Some may say I have an obsession – or at least that I certainly have enough meatballs recipes on this site.  But let’s be frank, meatballs is just one of the easiest dinners to put together!

You can glaze them and serve them as an appetizer with toothpicks or douse them in  a sauce before throwing them in a crockpot…basically meatballs have unlimited possibilities.These Thai Turkey Meatballs are just what my meatball recipe collection was still missing – a Thai twist on an All American Classic! Meatballs in cream Red Thai Curry Sauce! You guessed it -Your meatball game just reached a new level.

thai coconut meatballs curry served with rice and lime wedges

This meatballs curry is deliciously savory, packed with protein and super healthy because the meatballs are made with lean turkey.  Thai Meatballs Curry will definitely be on repeat in my home.

There are two components to this simple recipe — the meatballs and the homemade Thai curry sauce—that can be made at different times for meal prep or at the same to then come together as one.

thai turkey meatballs swimming in coconut broth

While the turkey meatballs are baking in the oven, we whip up the Thai coconut curry sauce in a deep skillet. The sauce is super creamy and just spicy enough – the perfect blend of heat from ginger, chili and Thai curry paste and creamy sweet coconut milk.  Once the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce. I like to simmer them for an additional 5 minutes to make them even more tender as they absorb the sauce and curry flavor.

Baking these instead of frying produces a softer meatball with a more tender crust which I love.

As these are baked there’s no extra oil needed for cooking the meatballs so they’re more calorie conscious. Baking the meatballs is a hands off approach, with minimal monitoring involved. Just set a timer because those 20 minutes will fly.

close-up of a serving of thai turkey meatballs served with a side of rice and lime wedges

How to make Thai Coconut Turkey Meatball Curry

a picture collage demonstrating how to make baked turkey meatballs

Prep:Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 1 – In a small bowl, mix together curry powder, ginger, lime zest, chili, garlic powder, almond flour, and 1 teaspoon salt. In another small bowl, whisk together egg, curry paste, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Step 2 – In a medium bowl, mix together ground turkey and curry powder mix. Add egg mixture and incorporate well (start with a fork then use your hands, it’s easier!).

Step 3 – Shape the meatballs into 1 -1.5-inch diameter balls rolling them between the palms of your hands, and place them on a prepared baking sheet. You should get about 35 meatballs.

picture collage demonstrating how to bake turkey meatballs in the oven and make thai curry sauce

 Step 4 – Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes (don’t be surprised if they do not brown, it’s normal) and remove from the oven.

 Step 5 – While meatballs are baking, make the Thai curry sauce. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add coconut oil. Add the onion and bell peppers. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

Step 6 – Add garlic and ginger and fry for about 30 seconds. Add curry paste and fry for another 30 seconds or so.

picture collage demonstrating how to make thai coconut curry

Step 7 – Add all of the coconut milk. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes until the curry paste is completely incorporated into the sauce. Add salt and coconut sugar. Taste and add more if needed.

Step 8 & 9 – Add meatballs to the sauce, turn off the heat and let everything stand for at least another 5-10 minutes. The meatballs will soak up some of the sauce and get even better. Finish the dish off with lime juice, then top with fresh Thai basil or cilantro. Serve with rice (or cauliflower rice to keep paleo/whole30).

overhead shot of a skillet with thai turkey meatballs

Serve the meatballs straight from the pan and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro or Thai basil.

How to serve Thai Coconut Meatballs Curry:

I normally serve this over rice but you could go low carb and serve the meatballs with cauliflower rice. Another great low carb side would be zoodles or spaghetti squash.

And let me tell you – the sauce will taste even better the next day! You can store it in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze some. You can also freeze the sauce along with the meatballs and simply reheat everything on the stovetop when ready to serve.

Can I make this Whole 30 approved?

Yes, by using date paste instead of coconut sugar.

Here’s how to make date paste: cover 4 pitted Medjool dates with boiling water, let them soak for 5 minutes and blitz in a food processor (without the water) until smooth. Please note that using date paste with alter the color of the sauce.

thai coconut curry meatballs served with rice

Tips & Substitutions:

  • Mix the meat mixture well, but don’t overwork. Mix the ground chicken with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, gently whisking the egg with a fork then folding everything together until lightly incorporated. Then, dig in.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to keep your meatballs the same size to allow for even baking.
  • The red curry paste in this dish really makes all the flavors pop but it also adds great color to the dish. You could go with green curry paste but the color will be less pretty.
  • Use damp hands to mix and make the meatballs smooth. Lightly dampen hands so the meat doesn’t stick to your hands when mixing and rolling into balls. Using wet hands also makes a smoother meatball that’s less shaggy. If the meatballs become filmy or gummy, use less water.
  • Meal prep-approved -Turkey meatballs can be baked, chilled and frozen for later.
5 from 5 votes
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Thai Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs

Lovers of Thai food will love these baked turkey meatballs dunked in a creamy Thai coconut milk sauce! An easy comfort food dinner that is Paleo and comes with a Whole30 Option.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Keyword curry with meatballs, meatball curry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 - 8
Calories 489 kcal

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 2 lb ground turkey -1 kg
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest finely
  • 1-2 Thai or birds eye chillies seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Thai red curry paste if on a Whole30 diet, make sure it’s a compliant brand

Curry

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste if on a Whole30 diet, make sure it’s a compliant brand
  • 1 14 oz can + 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • salt to taste start with a small amount ½ tsp - curry pastes come with added salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar to make Whole30 compliant, use date paste – see recipe in the notes below
  • 2 small limes juiced or 1 big
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Thai basil or fresh cilantro for serving

Instructions

Meatballs

  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together curry powder, ginger, lime zest, chili, garlic powder, almond flour, and 1 teaspoon salt. In another small bowl, whisk together egg, curry paste, and 1 teaspoon salt.

  3. In a medium bowl, mix together ground turkey and curry powder mix. Add egg mixture and incorporate well (start with a fork then use your hands, it’s easier!).

  4. Shape the meatballs into 1 -1.5-inch diameter balls rolling them between the palms of your hands, and place them on a prepared baking sheet. You should get about 35 meatballs.

  5. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes (don’t be surprised if they do not brown, it’s normal) and remove from the oven.

Curry

  1. While meatballs are baking, make the Thai curry sauce. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add coconut oil. Add the onion and bell peppers. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

  2. Add garlic and ginger and fry for about 30 seconds. Add curry paste and fry for another 30 seconds or so,  then add all of the coconut milk. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes until the curry paste is completely incorporated into the sauce. Add salt and coconut sugar. Taste and add more if needed.

  3. Add meatballs to the sauce, turn off the heat and let everything stand for at least another 5-10 minutes. The meatballs will soak up some of the sauce and get even better. Finish the dish off with lime juice, then top with fresh Thai basil or cilantro. Serve with rice (or cauliflower rice to keep paleo/whole30).

Recipe Notes

  • How to make date paste: cover 4 pitted Medjool dates with boiling water, let them soak for 5 minutes and blitz in a food processor (without the water) until smooth. Please note that using date paste with alter the color of the sauce.
  • Mix the meat mixture well, but don’t overwork. Mix the ground chicken with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, gently whisking the egg with a fork then folding everything together until lightly incorporated. Then, dig in.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to keep your meatballs the same size to allow for even baking.
  • Use damp hands to mix and make the meatballs smooth. Lightly dampen hands so the meat doesn’t stick to your hands when mixing and rolling into balls. Using wet hands also makes a smoother meatball that’s less shaggy. If the meatballs become filmy or gummy, use less water.
  • Make them for now and save them for later. Turkey meatballs can be baked and frozen for later.
Nutrition Facts
Thai Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (1 /6)
Calories 489 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 19g119%
Cholesterol 110mg37%
Sodium 880mg38%
Potassium 778mg22%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 42g84%
Vitamin A 2237IU45%
Vitamin C 62mg75%
Calcium 79mg8%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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Clean Eating Dairy Free Gluten free Low carb Main Dishes Meal Prep Meat Paleo Paleo/Primal Primal Quick & Easy Meals Recipes Refined Sugar Free Soups & Stews Turkey Whole30 Winter Recipes
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