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Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce


Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

The holidays are upon us. Once again. How does this time of the year always sneak up on me? I feel like I should have my shopping done, but here I am with 5 tabs open, hunting for a Patagonia hat that conveniently seems to be out of stock EVERYWHERE. I’ve never been very good at this whole planning ahead thing.

And that is why I’m thankful for Amazon. I can avoid malls, Wal Mart, Target, etc. and just make/eat meatballs while I wait for gifts to arrive.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce Spoon

This recipe has become one of my favorites for several reasons.

The first – and perhaps most obvious reason is that it is delicious. I mean, really, really good. One-of-the-best-things-I’ve-ever-eaten good.

Second – I didn’t know what we were going to make when we started cooking. We just had turkey and other assorted ingredients and went to work.

Third – I love this recipe because it was a harmonious and magical joint effort between the two of us. Clark handled the meatball-making as he has mastered the art of making ground turkey both juicy and flavorful – two things that it inherently, is not. And when he was done, he stepped away and handed the baton to me. “Your turn. You’re the sauce-master, you should make the sauce for them.” 😒 <- My reaction.

At some point along the Fitchen way, Clark began to refer to me as the sauce-master and the nickname stuck. I think it all started with a creamy pasta sauce. (Which, between you and I, was a stroke of luck.)

But this time, I had really just planned on following Clark around with the camera and then shooting the finished meatballs covered in some kind of tasty sauce that he created. But alas –

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

Clark used lots of fresh, bright flavors for the meatballs, so I made up a creamy sauce with a hint of heat. As the mixture cooked down, it all started to come together. Sometimes the best things are unplanned.

These meatballs are tender and juicy with a hint of crisp from their quick pan sear. And when you smother them in that thick, rich curry sauce and serve them over a bed of steaming basmati rice, magic happens. Christmas magic.

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce


Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

  • Author: Jordan Cord
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 30-32 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Main



  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons green curry paste*
  • 1 Tablespoon lemongrass paste*
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce*
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar*
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon red chili flakes*
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, whole canned
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt



  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except olive oil (turkey, green onion, ginger, cilantro, garlic, green curry paste, lemongrass paste, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix together using your hands until well combined.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment – this will be where the meatballs rest before frying.
  3. Form the mixture into balls about 2 tablespoons in size and roll between your hands to shape. Set aside on baking sheet as you finish.
  4. In a large cast iron or nonstick skillet, bring olive oil to medium high heat and add meatballs carefully to the pan. Cook 6-7 minutes and then turn to brown on both sides. Watch closely to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Coconut Chili

  1. In the same skillet where you cooked the meatballs, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bring the pan to medium heat and add green onion. Sauté 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are softened and translucent.
  2. Add minced garlic, chili flakes, and curry powder. Continue stirring as the garlic softens.
  3. Carefully pour in vinegar and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  4. Shake coconut milk thoroughly and then pour into the pan, stirring to combine. Increase heat until the sauce is at a low boil.
  5. Add meatballs and simmer until meatballs are hot. Serve over rice or noodles as desired and garnish with fresh cilantro.


If you don’t have fish sauce in your pantry, simply use the same amount of soy sauce instead.
If you don’t have soy sauce in your pantry, simply use the same amount of soy sauce instead.
If you don’t have rice wine vinegar in your pantry, you can substitute white wine vinegar.
Green curry paste can be found in most grocery stores – check the asian/ethnic food section.
Lemongrass paste can also be found in most grocery stores – check the refrigerated section near the fresh and dried herbs.
If you’re not a fan of spicy food – ease up on the red chili flakes. To me, this dish is not “spicy,” but there is a subtle heat to it. It can be easily dialed back by using half the amount of chili flakes.


  • Serving Size: 3 meatballs
  • Calories: 231
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 622
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 18 g

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Rice in Pan Spoon

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce Spoon

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  • Lisa
    February 19, 2020

    The flavours were all there. The taste was amazing! Though, the sauce was definitely not enough for the two pounds of turkey. We decided we’re definitely making it again because it was DELICIOUS but halving the meatball recipe and using the same amount of sauce next time.

    • thefitchen
      February 20, 2020

      Thanks so much for the feedback! I’ll play around and retest the recipe to see what the issue is. :)

  • Yasmine Tamir
    October 7, 2019

    Looks like a nice recipe other than the fact that the nutrition is based on the fact that this recipe would feed 10+ people… (“yields 30-32 meatballs” and the bottom says “serving size: 3 meatballs”) …

    • thefitchen
      October 7, 2019

      It makes around 30-ish meatballs, I recommend serving 3 per person, so yes, that means it serves about 10 people.

  • Jamey P.
    June 27, 2019

    Made this one tonight and I can’t stop thinking about it! Followed the directions exactly (except I couldnt find lemongrass paste so I subbed a stick of fresh lemongrass, finely chopped) and this might be one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. So, so delicious. Divided leftovers into single serving containers and put it in the freezer. Keeping this one on hand, at all times.

    • thefitchen
      July 11, 2019

      Heck yes! I love hearing that. Totally agree – this recipe is SO delicious! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. <3

  • Becky Payne
    June 22, 2018

    We made this tonight for dinner. It was okay. We were hoping it would taste as amazing as the yummy yellow curries we get from Thai restaurants. It was very good and we ate almost all of it. We went exactly by the recipe — except — except we only had 1 lb of ground turkey (Instead of 2 lbs) so we added broccoli, carrots, red bell peppers, peas. We like lots of sauce that is thick and creamy and sorta sweet. But like I said, it was still good. Thanks.

    • thefitchen
      July 20, 2018

      I’m sorry you weren’t a big fan of this dish! It’s definitely not a traditional Thai curry dish. The Thai flavors are present throughout, but it’s not a soup style dish with lots of sauce. It sounds like you improvised and made something delicious!

  • Shen
    February 4, 2018

    What is the serving size for the calories listed??

    • thefitchen
      February 4, 2018

      Hi Shen! Sorry about the confusion – I just updated the nutritional info to make it more clear. That calorie count is for 3-4 meatballs.

  • Liz
    December 18, 2015

    A nice recipe. Thank you. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    • thefitchen
      December 18, 2015

      Thank you, Liz! To you and yours as well. :)

  • brita
    December 18, 2015

    YUM! These look so good. Adding this to my long list of “must try soon” recipes. :)