I have a confession to make. I love to make meatballs. They’re SO easy and quick! These gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free thai turkey meatballs with coconut curry sauce are great for weeknights, meal prep, or a special occasion. They will also make a great appetizer served on their own. The flavors and spice level are perfection!
How about this one for a “savory” dish?! The first official one on the blog since my name change.
As you know, going gluten-free can make you think about what you’re going to use to replace regular “bread-y” products. Things like pizza crusts, crackers, and bread crumbs.
For these turkey meatballs, I used The Real Coconut original tortilla chips and I crushed them up really finely. These chips made with a coconut flour and cassava starch base make a perfect binder and added a slight sweetness and coconut flavor to the meatballs. That all goes really well with this creamy curry sauce.
The chips seem like they would be hard to break down, but I was able to crush them easily by putting a couple handfuls into a plastic baggie and going to town on the bag with a meat tenderizer. Not only are you making dinner, but you’re getting some aggression out. OK, I’m kidding. Not much muscle power actually goes into crushing up the chips.
You will want to find unsweetened coconut milk for this curry sauce. Typically the coconut milk separates in the can and the cream rises to the top. Give the can a good shake before opening it up. If it is still slightly separated when you pour it into the pan, that’s just fine because the heat will help to melt the cream.
Let’s talk about where you can find some of these ingredients in the store. Coconut milk, curry paste, and fish sauce will be found near the Asian foods in the ethnic food section of your grocery store.
Of course, each city/state varies when it comes to access to certain grocery stores. All of the ingredients are not that uncommon and can actually be found at Super Target. Every place has a Super Target, right?! The chips, of course, are a more specialty item so I would suggest you visit the store locator on The Real Coconut’s website to find where you an purchase these near you.
Thai Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce (Paleo)
For The Thai Turkey Meatballs
- 1 Pound Ground Turkey
- 1 Egg
- ½ Cup The Real Coconut Original Tortilla Chips (crushed) - Crush, Then Measure
- ¼ Cup Shredded Carrots
- 3 Tablespoons Fresh Yellow or White Onion - Chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thai Basil - Chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic - Chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Ginger
- ½ Teaspoon Pepper
- ½ Teaspoon Fish Sauce - (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (or Tamari or Coconut Aminos)
- ¼ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper - Optional
For The Coconut Curry Sauce
- 1 14 Ounce Can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
- ½ White Onion - Finely Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic - Finely Chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Ginger
- 2 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste
- 1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce - (Optional)
- ¼ Cup Thai Basil Leaves
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes - (Optional)
- 2 Tablespoons Avocado (or Coconut) Oil
- 4 Cups Cauliflower Rice - Or Regular White Rice (Cooked)
- 1/4 Cup Green Onion, Sliced - For Garnish
- Cilantro - For Garnish
- Lime, Sliced into Wedges - For Garnish
For the Thai Turkey Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
- Scoop out about 1 ½ Teaspoons of mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. A medium-sized cookie scoops works great to make even sized meatballs.
- Place meatballs either into a mini muffin tin or onto aa parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Then flip meatballs over and bake for another 15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit.
For The Coconut Curry Sauce
- While the meatballs are cooking, start making the coconut curry sauce.
- Add 2 Tablespoons avocado (or coconut oil) to a pan on the stovetop. Add in onions and garlic and season with salt. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes until they start to soften and the onions are translucent.
- In the same pan, add the coconut milk and red curry paste, ginger, fish sauce (optional) and salt and stir together well. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- When the meatballs are done cooking, add in the meatballs and thai basil and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve over hot cauliflower or white rice and garnish with green onions, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.
- To crush the tortilla chips, place about 2 handfuls of chips into a plastic baggie. Pound with something hard until they break apart into fine pieces. A meat tenderizer or the bottom of a glass work well.
- Fish sauce can be found near the red curry paste in the ethnic food aisle at the grocery store. It does not make the food taste fishy (unless you add too much), it just adds a rich umami flavor.
- Thai basil is different than the regular sweet basil that is more readily available at the grocery store. It has a very subtle black licorice flavor and is commonly used in thai cuisine. You can substitute regular basil if you can’t find thai basil.
- Using a medium-sized cookie scoop (about 1 ½ Tablespoons), this recipe will make 24 small meatballs.
If spice is your thing, then you can add in some crushed red pepper flakes to the meatballs and to the coconut curry sauce to really kick it up a notch. The red curry paste does have a little bit of spice to it, but it’s not overpowering at all. Trust me. I live in Minnesota. We are notorious for having bland food and regular black pepper is spicy to us. Personally, I think this has the perfect amount of spice!
You can certainly substitute ground chicken or even ground pork for this recipe if you prefer. And these make excellent leftovers. I may have even had these for breakfast one day!
Remember to visit my Pinterest page and save this recipe for thai turkey meatballs with coconut curry sauce!
This post is sponsored by The Real Coconut. Please know that I only work with brands I truly love and that I am confident you’ll love too!
Here are some other recipes I’ve created using The Real Coconut products!