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Thai Chicken Meatball Curry

This recipe is: dairy freeegg free

Serve the with a side of garlic rice with a side of steamed broccoli for a full meal. Or, make a few batches as an appetizer for your next party. Just don’t forget to serve them with the extra sauce – and maybe a little extra cilantro, if you love it as much as I do.

A skillet full of thai chicken meatball curry.

What I love about these Thai chicken meatballs

What do you do when you have a craving for peanut sauce and the only thing you have in your freezer is a pound of ground chicken? You make Thai chicken meatballs with spicy curry sauce, of course.

Even though this meal came together in a sort-of happy accident, it’s become a menu regular at our house. I usually leave a few meatballs plain for the kids to eat and serve the peanut curry sauce on the side so they can help themselves.

Close up of a plate with thai curried meatballs, garnished with cilantro and chopped peanuts and white rice with a lime wedges.
Thai chicken meatball curry in a skillet.

How to make Thai chicken meatballs

Combine the meatball ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Use your fingers or a form to gently incorporate everything. Be careful not to over mix the meatballs, or you’ll end up with tough ones.

Portion the mixture and roll them into balls about 2 – 3 tablespoons in size.

I like to bake my chicken meatballs when I’m making this recipe, but you can also pan fry them as well. If you want to pan fry the meatballs, heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and sauté the meatballs until they’re golden brown, turning to brown all the sides.

You may need to work in batches, depending on the size of your skillet. When they’re cooked remove them from the pan and make the sauce.

To bake them, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook them in a 400˚F oven for about 15 – 20 minutes. While the meatballs are baking, make the peanut curry sauce.

How to make peanut curry sauce

Heat a large skillet to medium. Add the peanut butter and heat until it begins to melt. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.

The peanut butter based sauce gets thick really quickly, so I like to turn off the heat until I’m ready to use it to prevent sauce from thickening too much. If your sauce gets too thick, you can easily stir in a little water to thin sauce.

When the meatballs are ready, remove them from the oven and add them to the skillet. Stir to coat them in the sauce. Then, garnish with additional cilantro and chopped peanuts before serving.

Chicken meatballs on a plate with white rice and a fork.

Thai Chicken Meatballs: FAQS

Why are my chicken meatballs tough?

Ground chicken does have a different consistency than ground beef, so don’t be surprised if your meatballs seem a bit more dense that a traditional meatball. Keep in mind, over working the meat when mixing will contribute to making meatballs tough, so make sure to only mix until everything is combined well. Another way to avoid having tough meatballs is to make sure you do not compress them too tightly when shaping them.

Do more eggs make meatballs soft?

A lot of meatball recipes will call for egg, which is used as a binding agent, typically in combination with breadcrumbs. Because of this, they actually will make a meatball more dense which sometimes is ideal (when using beef or pork) but when making meatballs with chicken or any other poultry it is best to skip the egg.

Close up of chicken meatballs in a peanut sauce.

More meatball recipes you’ll love:

More Thai recipes you should try:

Close up of meatballs in a peanut sauce on a bed of white rice, garnished with chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts.
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Thai Chicken Meatball Curry


  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8

Description

Serve the with a side of garlic rice with a side of steamed broccoli for a full meal. Or, make a few batches as an appetizer for your next party. Just don’t forget to serve them with the extra sauce – and maybe a little extra cilantro, if you love it as much as I do.


Ingredients

Scale

Meatballs:

  • 2 pounds lean ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Sauce:

  • 1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 12 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

For garnish:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Chopped peanuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine the meatball ingredients. Portion meatballs into 2-3 tablespoon sized balls and place on prepared baking sheet.

  3. Bake meatballs for 15 – 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165˚F.

  4. While the meatballs cook, heat a large skillet to medium. Add peanut butter and allow it to melt. Whisk in remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Turn off heat until ready to use to prevent sauce from thickening (if needed, stir in water to thin sauce).

  5. Remove from oven and transfer to the skillet. Stir to coat the meatballs in sauce.

  6. Garnish with cilantro and chopped peanuts before serving.

  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 353
  • Sugar: 2.4 g
  • Sodium: 765.1 mg
  • Fat: 20.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.8 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 29.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 67.8 mg

Keywords: thai chicken meatballs, chicken meatballs, thai meatballs, meatballs with peanut sauce, curried meatballs, thai curry meatballs, thai peanut curry meatballs, peanut curry meatballs

Last Updated on May 12, 2022 by Melissa Belanger

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18 Comments

    1. I tried it with lamb total disaster they were so dry and tasted like cardboard not sure why mabe I over cooked them I did add some cumin that may have been the downfall but I did them with beef and made a satay sauce much better and great to serve at a drinks party .

  1. How are these as leftovers? I have a family-style potluck dinner coming up and I was thinking this might be a nice twist/addition. Also, do these need any browning before they go into the oven?

    1. I think they’re really great as leftovers. You can reheat them in the oven and just add a little more sauce to keep them from drying out! There’s no need to brown them because they take color from the basting process in the oven.

  2. How are these leftover? I have a large group potluck later this week right after work and I want to either allow time to make them in advance and then reheat or leave work a little early to have time to get them in the oven before the potluck.

    1. I think they’re really great as leftovers. You can reheat them in the oven and just add a little more sauce (there is plenty of sauce) to keep them from drying out, but I would say they’re definitely better fresh out of the oven. If you’re going to reheat them, maybe take a few minutes off of the original cook time, that way they won’t be overcooked or dy.