These handmade baked Thai turkey meatballs in a flavorful red curry sauce are a delicious yet healthy cold weather comfort meal that comes together in under 30 minutes.
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These Thai turkey meatballs in a red curry coconut sauce are a flavorful and healthy twist on traditional meatballs. With just 7 ingredients in the meatballs and 5 ingredients in the sauce, these meatballs come together easily and quickly.
You won’t find any dry or bland meatballs here. These Thai turkey meatballs are packed with flavor from ginger, garlic, scallions and red curry paste and swim in a rich and flavorful red curry sauce made with coconut milk.
These homemade meatballs are baked, which means no oil and it also means you can save time by preparing the sauce while the meatballs are in the oven.
Serve with your favorite sides, but I recommend serving these turkey meatballs with rice to soak up all that delicious sauce and a green vegetable, such as baby bok choy or broccoli.
These meatballs are a great meal any night of the week and are also perfect for meal prepping.
Ground turkey: I used 93% lean (7% fat) ground turkey. I wouldn’t recommend anything leaner or your meatballs might turn out dry.
Ginger: Ginger is a strong aromatic that brings a ton of flavor to these meatballs. I love using ginger paste to save on time.
Garlic: Compliments the ginger and adds lots of aromatic flavor.
Scallions: Scallions in place of onions in this meatball recipe add some freshness and zip without it being overpowering.
Red curry paste: I recommend Thai Kitchen red curry paste as it is delicious and readily available in most grocery stores.
Breadcrumbs: I recommend regular plain breadcrumbs, not panko.
Egg: The egg is added as a binder to help the meatballs stick together.
Red bell peppers: I always like to sneak in a vegetable in my meals and the bell pepper soaks up all the delicious flavor from the red curry sauce.
Ginger and garlic: to compliment the flavors in the meatballs, we’re also bringing ginger and garlic in to flavor the red curry sauce.
Red curry paste: we’re doubling up on the red curry paste in this recipe for maximum flavor.
Coconut milk: I recommend full fat coconut milk that comes in a can.
Fresh cilantro: for garnish
Make the Meatballs
In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, scallions and red curry paste. Using your hands, gently mix the ingredients just until incorporated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400°F.
Grease your hands with oil and using a cookie scoop, scoop a portion of the meatball mixture and gently roll into a smooth ball. Place on baking sheet and repeat until all of the mixture is used.
Bake meatballs at 400°F for 15 minutes. Turn oven to broil on high and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until tops of meatballs are golden.
Make the Sauce
While meatballs are baking, heat one tablespoon of coconut or avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper strips and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for one minute, then add minced ginger and red curry paste. Mix to coat the bell peppers in ginger and curry paste.
Add coconut milk and bring the sauce to a simmer. Garnish with cilantro and add meatballs to the sauce.
- Be aware of the spice level on the red curry paste you purchase as it will have an impact on the final product of this dish.
- Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Use your hands to mix the meatballs, as this is the best way to incorporate ingredients.
- Do not over mix the meatball mixture. Use light pressure with your hands when mixing.
- Spray your hands with oil spray before rolling to help prevent sticking.
Why are my Thai turkey meatballs rubbery?
Rubbery meatballs means the meatball mixture was over mixed. Use your hands and gently mix; don’t squeeze the mixture or compact it between your hands.
Mix meatballs just until the ingredients are barely incorporated (there will be streaks of curry paste). Whisking the egg before adding to the mixture might also help.
How do you get turkey meatballs to stick together?
Use a ground meat with some fat in it. I don’t recommend using anything higher than a 93% lean meat.
Additionally, it’s best to grease your hands before rolling to prevent the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands. Use light pressure when rolling so the meatball sticks to itself and not your hands.
Is it better to bake or fry turkey meatballs?
Both are great options. However, baking meatballs tend to be healthier than frying in oil.
Additionally, baking meatballs are less messy and more hands off, which means you can prepare the sauce while they are in the oven.
How do I best store Thai turkey meatballs?
Allow meatballs to cool and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If meal prepping this recipe, keep sauce and meatballs separate until ready to reheat and eat.
Ground turkey: Feel free to use ground chicken in place of ground turkey.
Red curry paste: while it will change the flavors in this recipe, you can use a different curry paste, such as yellow or green to switch things up.
Breadcrumbs: If you have stale bread, you can use an equal amount in place of the breadcrumbs. Just chop it up or pulse it in a food processor into crumbs.
Coconut milk: While the sauce won’t be as rich and creamy, you can use light coconut milk in place of full fat coconut milk, if it’s more in line with your nutritional needs.
Cilantro: if you don’t like cilantro, I recommend using Thai basil as a garnish. It, of course, will bring a different flavor to the dish, but it will work wonderfully with the flavors.
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- Indian Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
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If you make these Thai Turkey Meatballs, be sure to leave a comment below and rate this recipe! If you snap a pic, be sure to tag me on Instagram @thechowdown! I love seeing your creations!
Thai Turkey Meatballs
- 1 lb ground turkey or chicken
- 1 tbsp minced ginger or ginger paste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Red Curry Sauce
- 1 red bell pepper seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger or ginger paste
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400°F. In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, scallions and red curry paste. Using your hands, gently mix the ingredients just until incorporated.
- Grease your hands with oil and using a cookie scoop, scoop a portion of the meatball mixture and gently roll into a smooth ball. Place on baking sheet and repeat until all of the mixture is used.
- Bake meatballs at 400°F for 15 minutes. Turn oven to broil on high and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until tops of meatballs are golden.
- While meatballs are baking, heat one tablespoon of coconut or avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper strips and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute, then add minced ginger and red curry paste. Mix to coat the bell peppers in ginger and curry paste. Add coconut milk and bring the sauce to a simmer. Garnish with cilantro and add meatballs to the sauce.