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Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

Thai turkey meatballs are an easy weeknight dinner. This 30 minute meal is just the slightest bit spicy, full of flavor and really tasty on top of soba noodles with stir fried vegetables.

turkey meatballs with scallions and rice

Tender, juicy turkey meatballs flavored with green curry, ginger and garlic served with peanut sauce for a delicious midweek meal.

Ground turkey is a staple in our house, so these are always just 30 minutes away. This recipe is also perfect for meal-prepping, so make a double batch.

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Thai turkey meatballs

Meatballs have so many variations. The possibilities are nearly endless, which makes them great for almost anything you want to make with them.

Whether your preference is straight-up, classic Italian meatballs, swimming in marinara or thrown in a slow cooker with some BBQ sauce, meatballs are always a crowd-pleaser.  These are no exception.

thai turkey meatballs in wide shallow bowl

I have a certain client who repeatedly sends me glowing text messages about my meatballs. He told me that he basically “drank that peanut sauce”. So, if you needed any motivation to make these, there you have it.

Thai turkey meatballs with peanut sauce

We eat some variation of these at least once a month. When I am prepping our meals, I usually make double or even triple batches of our favorites. Then, they get sealed and stored in the freezer for nights when I’m running on empty.

On occasion, I even remember to take it out of the freezer before 5:00.

meatballs with pink background

My go-to for serving these is basmati rice, but I’ve also served them with soba noodles or rice noodles when I didn’t feel like having rice. 

Peanut sauce for Thai meatballs

Is this an authentic Thai peanut sauce? NO. Thai peanut sauce does not contain American peanut butter. However, this sauce is made with ingredients that are available in most grocery stores.

If you happen to live near an Asian market, take a trip and explore the aisles. For a real deal peanut sauce, made with fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind, check out this recipe.

Coconut green curry sauce

Sometimes, I omit the peanut sauce and make a quick green curry sauce with coconut milk instead. We’re using most of these ingredients in the meatballs, so the sauce with mimic those same flavors.

It is super simple to make:

  1. Combine a can of coconut milk with a tablespoon of two (depending on how spicy you like it) of green curry paste. 
  2. Add in a teaspoon of ginger and garlic, a squeeze of lime and a splash of fish sauce.
  3. If fresh ginger and garlic aren’t available, substitute granulated garlic and ginger powder in the turkey mince meatballs to taste. 

Start with a teaspoon of dried spices in the mix. Pinch off a small piece and fry it in a pan. Taste it and make any adjustments for you personal preference.

Thai turkey meatballs with chilies and scallions

If you don’t have coconut milk, or you have an allergy (or you just don’t like it), you can omit the coconut milk and thin the sauce with a little water instead. You might want to add a teaspoon of brown sugar to balance the salt.

Another easy sauce that comes together in minutes. It will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks. If you don’t feel like making a sauce, these meatballs are delicious on their own. Basically, you can’t go wrong. 

One last thing, if you want to learn how to make the curly scallions in the photo, pop over to Instagram and watch me make them. It’s super easy and fun to do with older kids.

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Yield: 4 servings

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

Tender, juicy turkey meatballs flavored with green curry, ginger and garlic served with peanut sauce for a delicious midweek meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger, about an inch piece
  • 2 tbsp. Thai green curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 thai red chili pepper, finely diced (WEAR GLOVES)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped - 3 tbsp for meatballs, reserve the remainder for later
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped - 3 tbsp for meatballs, reserve the remainder

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (13.5oz)
  • 1/8 cup 6 tbsp soy sauce - check labels if gluten-intolerant
  • 2 tbsp. sambal oelek
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar

Instructions

Make the Sauce

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pot over medium heat and whisk until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Make the Meatballs

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix gently until completely combined. Shape into small balls, I use a small cookie scoop to make sure they are uniform.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet and add meatballs. Brown in batches and continue cooking, covered, for an additional 20 minutes.
  3. Garnish with cilantro and/or scallions. Serve with rice and peanut sauce.

Notes

Chef's Notes:
- I serve this with coconut rice. Basmati or jasmine rice, rinsed thoroughly, then cooked according to package directions. Substitute 1 can of coconut milk for the same amount of water.
- Meatballs can also be baked in the oven, which I often do because I make large quantities at a time. 350°F for about 20 - 24 minutes.
- Ground chicken can be subbed for turkey

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 650Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 3201mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 42g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

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Originally published: 4/30/18, most recent update: 4/19/21

6 Comments

  1. This recipe was BURSTING with flavor! I never would have thought to add lime to a meatball, but it is AMAZING! This is going to be a staple in our house…I baked them because I made a triple recipe, and they were still very moist. and I think the next time I make it I’m going to try it as a meatloaf.

    1. Thank you so much!!! I’m thrilled that you like them! 🙂
      Hearing positive feedback from other people who make my recipes makes my heart happy!

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