Thai Turkey Zucchini Meatballs


I always love to find recipes that use ground turkey. This recipe was just for the meatballs and the sauce, but I felt it needed some vegetables in there as well. I didn’t want to add zucchini because that was in the meatballs and I thought it would be boring. Red and green pepper slices, carrots and green onions all had just the right amount of crunch to help make this a very tasty meal that was pretty easy to make. But honestly, any vegetables would taste great with this sauce. I was lucky I just happened to have everything in this recipe at home, even the Thai red curry paste. It had been sitting in the refrigerator for more time than I want to admit because I didn’t have a recipe for it. Well, I have one now!

For Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground turkey, extra lean
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded and liquid squeezed out
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely choped
  • 2 Tbsp basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut milk, light (canned)
  • 1/8 tsp hot pepper chili flakes (I didn’t add this because the red curry paste is hot enough for me)
  • Cooking spray

For the Sauce:

  • 1 + 1/2 cup coconut milk, light (canned)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (can be increased to 3 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp red curry paste (with caution; this stuff is hot!)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce  (had to add more at the end for my tastes)
  • 1/8 tsp hot pepper chili flakes, or to taste
  • 5-6 kaffir lime leaves (optional)

For Veggies

  • 1 small green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • (have also added zucchini sliced like matchsticks and broccoli)
  • lime, fresh cilantro or lemon basil and green onions for garnish


  1.  In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for meatballs, and mix with your hands thoroughly.  Make 28 meatballs by spooning a heaping Tbsp of mixture and rolling between your hands.  Lay on a cutting board or plate. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. Wash and slice vegetables. You can microwave the carrots a bit so they are somewhat softened.
  4. Preheat large, 12″ or larger skillet on high. Spray with cooking spray. Add meatballs and cook until brown, for about 2 or 3 minutes.  No need to cook the meatballs through. Add the sliced vegetables. (For al dente vegetables, add them after the meatballs have cooked for 10 minutes.) Add the sauce, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Taste and readjust seasonings. If you want it saltier, add a bit more fish sauce.  If you want it spicier you can add the red pepper chili flakes now. I always squirt fresh lime into the sauce to brighten the taste a bit.
  6. Serve warm with brown rice or brown rice noodles. (Have used soba noodles, yakisoba or ramen.)  Add garnish like fresh cilantro or basil and green onions and more fresh lime.
Published in: on May 20, 2017 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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