Ground turkey is a great alternative to beef because it’s low in fat and high in protein. Turkey gets a bad rap for lacking flavor, but these Thai Turkey Meatballs are anything but boring. They’re tender, juicy and bursting with big flavors from fresh herbs and spices like garlic and ginger. The meatballs soak up a spicy and creamy coconut curry peanut sauce. It’s all served over a bed of warm, fluffy brown basmati rice. It’s the perfect combination of cozy and healthy. This delicious and satisfying dish will turn you into a ground turkey lover!
Thai Turkey Meatballs
1 lb (454 g) lean ground turkey
1 large egg, beaten
½ cup (45 g) whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp (15 ml) soy sauce
1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 ml) Sriracha
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup (25 g) coarsely chopped green onion
¼ cup (12 g) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup (35 g) coarsely chopped water chestnuts

2 tsp (6 g) minced ginger
2 tsp (6 g) minced garlic
Coconut Curry Peanut Sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil
½ medium white onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
¾ to 1 tsp salt, divided
1 tbsp (9 g) minced garlic
1 tbsp (9 g) minced ginger
2 tbsp (30 g) red curry paste
1 (15-oz [444-ml]) can light or full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup (65 g) smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp (45 ml) honey or agave
2 tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
½ tbsp (8 ml) rice wine vinegar
½ tbsp (5 g) cornstarch
1 tbsp (15 ml) cold water
Juice of ½ small lime
For Serving
2 cups (370 g) brown basmati rice, cooked
½ cup (24 g) finely chopped fresh cilantro
To make the Thai turkey meatballs, combine the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, soy sauce, Sriracha, salt, black pepper, green onion, cilantro, water chestnuts, ginger and garlic in a large bowl. Gently mix until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated; do not overmix the ingredients.Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, grease a large baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
Using a cookie scoop or small spoon, scoop out portions of the turkey mixture and roll each into a ball. You should be able to create 16 to 18 medium-sized meatballs.
Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the meatballs to firm up. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator 15 minutes before baking the meatballs.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Bake the meatballs for 16 minutes, flipping them halfway through the baking time, until the meatballs are light golden brown.
Meanwhile, make the coconut curry peanut sauce. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and ½ teaspoon of the salt and cook the mixture for 2 to 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic and ginger are fragrant. Add the red curry paste and cook it for about 2 minutes, until it becomes a rusty red color.
Add the coconut milk, peanut butter, honey, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and remaining ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt and stir until the ingredients are well incorporated. Bring the sauce to a low boil and cook it for 3 to 5 minutes, until it thickens slightly.
Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl and mix them together until no lumps are present. Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce and stir to combine it with the sauce. Increase the temperature to medium-high and cook the sauce for 3 to 5 minutes, until it thickens slightly.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Add the lime juice and stir it into the sauce.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer.
Add the meatballs and cook them in the sauce for 3 to 5 minutes, until the meatballs’ internal temperature reads 165°F (74°C) and they have absorbed the sauce.
To serve, place the meatballs over the rice and garnish the meatballs with the cilantro.