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Weeknight style 30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles. Pan-seared gingery chicken meatballs tossed with plenty of spicy Thai style chili sauce, bell peppers, peanuts, and basil. Serve these sticky chicken meatballs over toasted sesame rice noodles and top with mango chili sauce plus fresh herbs. Every bite is sweet, spicy, and hinted with basil – delicious. Major bonus? This comes together in no time at all, just about 30 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknights when you’re looking for something exciting, but easy too.

overhead photo of 30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

I didn’t mean to share two Thai chicken recipes in one week but I’m just very into the Thai recipes right now. Well, actually, what’s really got me going is my oldest brother, Creighton. As I’ve been saying on repeat, Creighton has been quarantining with my parents for weeks. He loves Thai, meatballs, and really anything saucy, so I’ve been making a lot of his favorites.

And these meatballs? They have his name written all over them. If you don’t love meatballs, or you’re not into Thai, I am so sorry. Maybe check out yesterday’s cauliflower gnocchi? Or last week’s crockpot carne asada tacos? Plenty of other options for you!

So yes, Creighton may have influenced this recipe, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. Because you guys, I really love this recipe. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it feels very fresh, springy, and even kind of summery with all those fresh herbs. So with that, I’m jumping right into the process.

overhead photo of 30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs in skillet after cooking

First, let’s talk about the sauce.

You all know how strongly I feel about sauces, a flavorful sauce adds so much to a dish. And when it comes to Asian style recipes, sweet, spicy, and extra sticky are my favorites. Today’s sauce is a mix of pantry staples…soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sambal oelek (chili sauce), and fresh lime juice and zest. While the lime is not technically a pantry staple, they’re a produce that many people often stock in their fridge.

To help thicken up the sauce I added a bit of cornstarch. You can omit this if you’d prefer, but your meatballs will be just a little less sticky.

Once the stir fry sauce is made, I also like to make a quick mango chili sauce. I use all of the same ingredients, minus the water and cornstarch, and plus some diced mango. I LOVE this extra sauce for serving, but some may feel it’s not needed. So, I’ll leave that up to you…but if it was up to me…I’d make the extra sauce.

overhead photo of 30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles and chopsticks in bowl with noodles

The sticky Thai Meatballs.

Now that the sauce is all ready to go, make the meatballs and finish up this recipe.

The meatballs are a pretty simple mix of ground chicken, garlic, ginger, and lots of black pepper. Roll this all together, then pan-fry the meatballs in a bit of olive oil to get them nice and crispy on the outside. At this point, add in the shallots, bell peppers, and peanuts. Let this cook a bit, then pour in that stir fry sauce and simmer away until thickened.

This doesn’t take long at all, so watch the sauce closely. You don’t want it to thicken up too much.

While all that is cooking, prepare the noodles. Then toss with a little olive oil and toasted sesame seeds for crunch. By the time the noodles are done cooking, the meatballs should already be finished, and yes, dinner is complete.

Spoon the noodles into bowls, then spoon the sticky meatballs over and add the sauce from the skillet. Finish each bowl off with all the fresh herbs you can find. I used lemon mint, basil, and cilantro, but you can use your personal favorites. If I had to pick just one, I would go with cilantro, second choice basil.

Enjoy. Immediately.

Yes, this is that simple and that quick-cooking. Honestly, this will take you no more than thirty minutes to make. I know it feels like a lot of ingredients, but promise, this comes together quickly!

overhead close up of 30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

Notes and substitutions…

For the bell peppers, you can really use whatever vegetable you have on hand. Broccoli would be my top pick, then asparagus. But you could also use bok choy, carrots, and even toss in some cabbage. Really, use whatever you’ve got or whatever you love most.

I like to use vermicelli rice noodles, but you could use any variety of rice noodles or even Italian style pasta. And while I love serving these meatballs over noodles, I’m sure steamed rice would be equally great.

And well, that’s kind of it! Simple, simple, but extra saucy, extra sticky, and one of those dinners you’re (hopefully) going to have on repeat.

overhead photo of 30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles with chopsticks in bowl

Looking for other Asian recipes? Here are some favorites…

Coconut Popcorn Chicken with Sweet Thai Chili Lime Sauce

Better Than Takeout Garlic Butter Shrimp Pad Thai

Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken

Lastly, if you make these 30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles, 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!

30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 847 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. In a glass jar, whisk together 1/3 cup cold water and the cornstarch. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, chili paste, lime zest, and lime juice.
    2. Add the chicken, ginger, garlic, and a pinch of pepper to a bowl. Mix until combined. Coat your hands with a bit of oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-20 meatballs).
    3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil shimmers, add the meatballs and sear until crisp, about 4-5 minutes, turning them 2-3 times. Remove the meatballs from the skillet. To the skillet, add the shallots, peppers, and peanuts, cook another 2-3 minutes, until the peppers begin to char. Pour in the honey/soy sauce mix. Add back the meatballs. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.
    4. Meanwhile, cook rice noodles according to packaged directions. Drain and toss with a couple drizzles of olive oil and the sesame seeds.
    5. To serve, divide the noodles among bowls and top with meatballs. Serve with additional herbs, limes, and mango chili sauce (if desired). Enjoy


Mango Chili Sauce: combine 1/4 cup honey, 2-3 tablespoons sambal oelek, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, zest and juice of 1 lime, and 1 cup diced mango. 
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  1. 2 stars
    The mise en place for this recipe takes a minimum of 30 minutes, never mind the cooking time, which is actually more like an hour. Very tasty in the end, but please stop perpetuating the myth of the 30 minute recipe. Eye roll…

    1. Hi David,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! Sorry to hear this took longer than expected:) Have a great day! xx

    2. 3 stars
      Have to agree with David here. My wife and I together spent easily a half hour in prep work. Total was a little over an hour.

      Our friend made the 30 min Thai Basil Beef tonight and was about 1.5 hours total start to finish.

      I’d love to see a video in real time of someone having this or other 30min meals on the table in 30mins. Not the first time this has happened.

      Love cooking but your recipes, but these 30min meals aren’t realistic time wise.

      1. Hi Kyle,
        Thanks for sharing your feedback regarding the prep time, so sorry this took longer than expected. xx

  2. 4 stars
    Not sure what I did wrong on the meatballs but they came out very dry.
    The sauce was delicious! I couldn’t find chili paste in the store so I used mild chili crisp.
    I substituted bok choy for the peppers and I think it paired really well.

    1. Hi Madeleine,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe! So glad to hear it was enjoyed:) Sorry to hear about the meatballs, you could try adding an egg next time! xx

      1. 5 stars
        Made it again with some added panko bread crumbs and an egg and made the meatballs smaller and they came out nice and moist!

  3. 5 stars
    Love loved this dish…but next time 1 tablespoon of chili sauce..🔥🔥…haha but we ate it 😋…the flavor was outstanding….as always a keeper

    1. Hi there,
      I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have a great day:)

  4. 5 stars
    Made it with a cucumber mango salsa and it was perfect!
    Your recipes are always my go to for an easy quick lunch i’m sure we will all enjoy!

    1. Hey Dina,
      Happy Wednesday! I really appreciate you taking the time to make this recipe, I love to hear that it was a hit! xxT

  5. 5 stars
    I love your recipes because I can easily customize without losing flavor. I absolutely love this recipe. I added 1/2 c. Panko and an egg to the meatball mixture. I added some thinly sliced carrots to the sauce. I didn’t have mango, so I used pineapple in the second sauce. It was SO GOOD. I served over rice. I am definitely going to find ways to use the second sauce again. Thanks for another amazing recipe.

    1. Hey Jenn,
      Awesome!! Thanks so much for your review and what worked well for you:) Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try! xx

    2. oooh those modifications sound good! my meatballs came out dry so the panko and egg addition might help with that issue.

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing; very flavourful with great textures. I found it took closer to 45-50 minutes to make. Will definitely make again.

    1. Hey Holly,
      Happy Friday! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback and trying this recipe out! Love to hear that it was enjoyed:) Sorry this took longer than expected! xxTieghan

  7. I’ve made this recipe twice and it’s been amazing both times! The flavors are amazing and it’s such a satisfying meal

    1. Hey Shannon,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed!! Have the best week:) xTieghan