The best summer Weeknight 30 Minute Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs…with spicy mango salsa. This dish incorporates a variety of Thai flavors, all with an abundance of health benefits. It’s a delicious mix of cozy and healthy, and a great way to use up those garden bell peppers and fresh basil. It’s made creamy and extra saucy with coconut milk, spiced with curry paste, and served over steamed rice. Top with spicy mango salsa and toasted coconut for a DELICIOUS quick meal. Best part…all you need for this recipe are pantry ingredients and 30 minutes!
If there’s one thing I love doing, it’s taking something kind of boring, like chicken meatballs, and reinventing the dish to be exciting and extra delicious. Why? I guess I love a good challenge. So much so that I’ve made this a game I play with myself to help keep things fresh and creative. I get bored of things incredibly fast, especially when it comes to food. So challenging myself to reinvent dishes helps to keep things refreshing and fun for me.
What’s the game?
Basically, I just force myself to take a recipe that feels a little boring and completely switch it up. I might mix up the process by making the recipe in the instant pot or on a sheet pan. Or I might combine two cuisines into one. Or maybe even turn something traditionally meat-based into something vegan. Who knows, but I’m always trying to switch things up, even if it’s only a little bit.
And with these meatballs that is definitely the case.
Truth is, I’ve never been someone who has cared for meatballs and red sauce, or really meatballs of any kind. In fact, the word meatball really weirds me out. BUT my oldest brother loves meatballs so much, he’s always asking me to make them.
The other thing Creighton loves? Curry…of any kind, whether it’s Indian or Thai, he just loves curry.
So I thought why not combine his love of meatballs and his love of saucy curry. I know it sounds odd, but stick with here, this curry is good. It’s not like any other chicken curry you’ve ever had. It’s a mix of Thai with a touch of Indian flare. So much flavor, so saucy, creamy, and full of vegetables. All in all, a great healthy dinner that’s flavorful and easy to throw together too.
So here are the details…
The meatballs. I like to cook them in the oven. I know it’s summer, and I know it’s hot, but using the oven is just easier, cleaner, and faster. It also creates the perfect non-dry chicken meatball. I like to use a mix of ground chicken, green onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. The secret…a touch of Worcestershire sauce, which adds a really delicious, salty, and almost umami-like flavor. You don’t know it’s there, but it adds so much.
There are no eggs and no bread crumbs in these meatballs. I wanted to keep them simple. Really, I just want them to be a base for the coconut curry sauce. Meaning, the meatballs soak up the sauce instead of being the key flavor.
Roll the meat into balls, place them on a baking sheet, and then bake them at a high temp. They will brown on the outside and cook perfectly on the inside.
Meal prep tip: double the meatball recipe, bake them all, then freeze half of the meatballs for another time. You can then easily turn this dinner into a 15 minutes situation since all you’ll need to do is thaw the meatballs and toss them with the sauce. EASY. Additionally, you can use the meatballs for other recipes too!
The sauce. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce on the stove. It’s pretty simple, but made incredibly flavorful with shallots and ginger. I like to use bell peppers as my vegetable, Thai curry paste to keep things spicy, and canned coconut milk for a super luscious and creamy sauce. I then add a splash of soy sauce and fish sauce for saltiness, then fresh basil or cilantro.
If bell peppers are not your favorite, try using broccoli florets or sliced summer squash. Really any vegetable you enjoy will be great here!
Now, toss in the meatballs and let the curry cook for a few minutes to thicken up the sauce. While this is happening, prep the mango salsa, which is simply diced mango, jalapeño, and lime. My favorite.
Serve the curry over steamed rice, top with mango salsa, and toasted coconut. Quick, simple, beyond good, and bonus? This dish is super healthy too! To make this even healthier, you can serve with brown rice, quinoa, or even over cauliflower rice.
Meal prep tip #2: if you like, you can freeze the meatballs and sauce together. Just thaw overnight in the fridge, then warm on the stove until heated through…and now you have a 10 minute dinner. Again, EASY and perfect for back to school/back to work/back to reality. That time of year we are all soon to enter.
So…have I convinced you that these Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs will make a great summer dinner for tonight?
My hope is the answer is YES and that you’re running to the store to pick up any ingredients you might not have on hand. Then head home to make the best summer chicken curry. It’s kind of cozy, but yet lite at the same time. And the bottom line…every last spoonful of this saucy curry is oh so satisfying. You will love it.
If you make these weeknight 30 minute coconut chicken curry meatballs be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Watch the How To Video:
Weeknight 30 Minute Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs
Calories Per Serving: 375 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- kosher salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 2 red or orange bell peppers sliced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 2-3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 can (14 ounce) full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or basil, roughly chopped
- toasted coconut and steamed rice, for serving
Spicy Lime Mango
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 jalapeńo or red Fresno pepper, seeded and chopped
- juice and zest from 1 lime
- 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.2. Add the chicken, green onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a bowl. Mix until just combined. Coat your hands with a bit of oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-20 meatballs) placing them on the prepared baking sheet. The mix will be wet, but it will firm up in the oven. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp and cooked through. 3. Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, bell peppers, and ginger. Cook until the fragrant and the peppers softened, 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.4. Stir in the curry paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Stir to combine, bring the mixture to a boil. Add the meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.5. In a small bowl, combine the mango, jalapeño, lime zest, and lime juice. 6. Serve the meatballs and sauce over bowls of rice topped with toasted coconut, spicy mango, and additional herbs.
To Freeze the Meatballs: Bake as directed, then freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer for 2 hours. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or simmer in curry sauce over low heat for 20 minutes, until thawed. To Freeze the Meatballs in the Sauce: Spoon the meatballs and curry sauce into a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw overnight in the fridge, then warm on the stove until heated through, about 15 minutes.