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Weeknight Thai Chicken Meatball Khao Soi. This northern Thai inspired noodle soup is the simplest weeknight dinner. Made with flavorful Thai curry paste, coconut milk, and plenty of fresh herbs and lime juice. Toss in seared gingery chicken meatballs and plenty of delicious egg noodles, it’s hard to beat the easy Thai inspired soup. It’s the perfect any night of the week dinner that’s made in 30 minutes, hearty, cozy, and healthy too.

overhead photo of 30 Minute Thai Chicken Meatball Khao Soi

Say hello to my personal favorite recipe of the week. This soup is a combination of everything I love most. It’s colorful, hearty, full of so many vegetables, has crispy (flavorful) chicken meatballs, noodles, and truly the most delicious soup broth. If I wasn’t making a million other things every single week I would be making this soup on repeat. It’s one of my favorites…probably should have saved it for a possible future cookbook but I simply had to share.

Sooo, hopefully, that lets you know just how excited I am. I know this soup is different, but I beg you to try it.

meatballs after searing

The background + inspiration.

First, I want to share the background on Khao Soi, in case you’re unfamiliar with it. It’s a soup from Northern Thailand made with very specific Thai curry paste giving the soup its unique rich flavor. Additionally, it’s made with creamy coconut milk, which makes this more like a curry…but yet it’s still soup. Well actually, it’s somewhere in between the two!

After reading up on Khao Soi, I discovered there are actually a few variations throughout different parts of Thailand. Some parts of the country will use rice noodles, while others use egg noodles. However, the broth remains the same…curry paste and coconut milk. You can read up on the history here, if you’d like.

raw bok choy

So the inspiration? Of course, it’s once again my brother, Brendan. He’s traveled to Thailand a few times now and each time he brings me curry paste and noodles. It’s like winning the lottery, I love him so much for it. Praying he and Lyn’s head back soon because my stash is currently gone.

Anyway, this is their favorite soup. I’ve made a couple versions of it now, one you can find in the Half Baked Harvest Super Simple Cookbook. But I think today’s version might just be my favorite…

My point is, I just love the meatballs in this version, they’re such a fun twist.

overhead photo of 30 Minute Thai Chicken Meatball Khao Soi in soup pot

Here is how you make Thai Khao Soy.

Going to put this right out there before getting into details, this is not an authentic Khao Soi. This is just my take, it’s similar but different.

Moving along, aside from cooking the noodles, this soup is made entirely in one pot. The meatballs are the exact same mix that I used for my ginger sesame meatballs…ground chicken, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Roll this all together, then pan-fry the meatballs in a bit of olive oil to get them nice and crispy on the outside. Toss in some baby bok choy, or other greens of your liking, and sear them until they are crisp. At this point, you’ll remove everything from the pot so that the meatballs and greens don’t overcook or lose their crispness.

Next, you’ll want to sauté the Thai red curry paste for a minute or two before adding in the liquids. This will activate the flavors in the curry paste and give you a richer tasting broth. Now, just add in all the liquid, stir back in the meatballs and bok choy, and simmer everything together for a few minutes. You want the meatballs to cook fully through and the flavors in the soup to meld together.

While that’s happening, boil some egg noodles (or use rice noodles if you are gluten free). By the time the noodles are ready, the soup will be too!

side angled photo of 30 Minute Thai Chicken Meatball Khao Soi


Let’s talk about the toppings.

Because they are the best part! Well, maybe not the best part, but they contribute so much to this soup.

I am not shy with my toppings, I really like to layer them on. Use ingredients you love most, but here are my recommendations…plenty of fresh Thai basil, a generous handful of thinly sliced green onions, some very thinly sliced shallots (bonus points if you fry the shallots in oil first), lots of fresh-squeezed lime juice, and lastly – chili oil…lots and lots of chili oil.

For the chili oil, I simply make up a quick homemade batch, but you can easily use store-bought too. And if you can’t find any Thai basil, regular Italian basil works as well.

overhead close up photo of 30 Minute Thai Chicken Meatball Khao Soi

And that’s it, simple, so much flavor, quick, easy, extra color, and insanely good!

I really can’t begin to express just how good. If you loved my Thai ramen or my coconut milk braised chicken, I think you’ll also greatly enjoy this. Similar(ish) flavors, but very different dishes.

The broth, the crispy meatballs, the noodles, the toppings…everything all together. It is the BEST. Creamy, hinted with ginger and garlic, a touch spicy, a touch sweet, herby, salty, so perfect. Yeah, I think that pretty much sums this up. So how about a cozy bowl of Khao Soi tonight? You only need thirty minutes.

You can do it!

overhead close up photo of 30 Minute Thai Chicken Meatball Khao Soi with chopsticks in soup bowl

If you make this Weeknight Thai Chicken Meatball Khao Soi, 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!

Weeknight Thai Chicken Meatball Khao Soi.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 347 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. Add the chicken, green onions, ginger, garlic, and a pinch of 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).
    2. Heat a large pot 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. Toss in the bok choy and cook 2 minutes more, until just charred on the edges. Transfer everything to a plate.
    3. To the same pot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and the curry paste. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce, and honey. Slide the meatballs and bok choy back into the soup. Simmer over medium heat until the meatballs are cooked through, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the herbs.
    4. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.
    5. Divide the noodles between bowls and ladle the soup over. Top each bowl as desired with basil, green onions, shallots, lime juice, and chili oil.
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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this soup 3 times in 2 weeks! Everyone in my household loves it! The flavors are complex and delicious!! I added 4 cups of broth instead of two to make it feed more. I’ve made my meatballs mini and larger and both worked great!!!

    1. Hey there,
      So sorry I haven’t, please let me know if you give it a try! I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    We made this for supper tonight. It was super delicious! I made it rice noodles, next time I will try egg noodles.

  3. Love this recipe! I’m trying to eat healthier so this time I subbed the noodles for Quinoa and it was delicious! I also upped the veggies and doubled the curry paste (because I had a lame grocery store curry paste). SO GOOD. I’ve been feeling uninspired about what to make lately and this turned it around for me. Thanks for providing such lovely recipes!!!

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Fantastic!! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

  4. Delicious recipe! I’m Vietnamese and am fairly picky about Southeast Asian flavors, and definitely enjoyed this recipe. I added a pinch of salt to the broth at the end and added some Vietnamese chili sauce on the side (sriracha works, too!). Thank you Tieghan for this awesome recipe.

    1. Hey Krystine,
      Fantastic!! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

  5. 4 stars
    Liked it but we have tried other soups similar on the site that are staples. Would play around with the meatball spices next time!

    Of note: we could not find any fresh basil at our supermarkets this week and could have affected the flavour.

    1. Hey Kendra,
      Fantastic!! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

  6. 3 stars
    This recipe was just okay. I found the soup kinda flavourless so added my own spices at the end. The meatballs also felt out of place and didn’t really go with it/ were dry.

    In the end the broth was really nice would maybe make it again without the meat or maybe sub tofu

  7. 5 stars
    My 11YO cannot get enough of this recipe! She wants it for dinner every night and would take it to school for lunch every day if she had her way. It’s quick and easy to make, the flavor palette is a 10, and it’s the perfect antidote for cold winter days. Thanks T!

    1. Hey Kelly,
      Awesome! Thanks a lot for making this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Thursday❄️ xxT

  8. 5 stars
    My husband and I LOVED this recipe. I have already passed it along numerous times. Cannot wait to make it again! I wouldn’t change a thing.

    1. Hey Mary,
      Awesome! Thanks a lot for making this recipe. I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Thursday❄️ xxT

  9. 5 stars
    I can’t get enough of this soup. I keep making it and loving it. The broth is the best flavor I’ve had. I literally want to drink the broth, it’s so good.

    1. Hey Wanda,
      I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for testing it out! Have a great week! xTieghan

  10. Tried this recipe tonight. I was very excited because I love all things curry. I rated this three stars. I found this to have a very mild flavor and it tasted mostly like a warm spiced coconut milk. I expected and prefer more of a strong curry profile. It wasn’t terrible but it isn’t something I’d make again.

      1. 5 stars
        Absolutely LOVED this dish! I just used chicken breast and threw everything for the meatballs into the food processor to blend and they came out perfect. This will be a repeat for sure!

        1. Hi Stephanie,
          Fantastic!! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

      1. I often wonder when comments like this are made whether the person perhaps didn’t use real coconut milk or used the lite coconut milk or the “coconut milk” that is mainly water. It’s hard to use full coconut milk, 1/4 cup of curry, and 3 tablespoons of fish sauce and have it be bland.

  11. 5 stars
    This soup is so delicious! I was lazy and just sauteed the meatball ingredients first without making into balls, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly and it was adored by my husband and even my 4 and 7 year old daughters. We will be putting this one on repeat!

    1. Hey Patti,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try! Happy Holidays!🎄🎁 xTieghan

    1. Hey Marcelle,
      Happy Friday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed. Thanks so much for making it and happy holidays!❄️ xTieghan

  12. 4 stars
    Very good recipe! The broth was FANTASTIC!! However, the next time I think I’ll try adding some spices to the meatball recipe, they were a little bland. Instructions were great also.