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30 Minute Meal/ One Pan

Thai Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

 

These easy weeknight Thai meatballs are kid friendly and healthy! With a creamy red curry and coconut milk based sauce, these tender and flavorful Turkey Zucchini Meatballs are ready in about 30 minutes!

 

Turkey Zucchini Meatballs with Thai sauce in cast iron skillet

 

When it comes to our family weeknight dinners, we strive for easy, healthy, and delicious! Just like our Masaman Beef Curry, this is one of those recipes that we keep in our back pocket and enjoy often – its relatively simple to make, and the entire family adores it! Its flavorful enough that my husband and I love it, while still being a kid-friendly dinner! We always serve this with a side of rice and a simple veggie.

 

thai meatballs in cast iron skillet with bowl of rice

 

How to Make Meatballs without Breadcrumbs

Traditionally in meatball recipes breadcrumbs are used as a binding agent to help hold everything together. This recipe for thai meatballs doesn’t use a binding agent, and yields soft and tender meatballs that kids love.

 

Here are a few tips for making the best zucchini and turkey meatballs without breadcrumbs:

 

  • Zucchini is a really “wet” vegetable. After shredding, make sure that you squeeze out as much of the excess moisture as you can. I like to place my shredded zucchini in a double layer of paper towels and squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can. This helps the meatballs stay together better.
  • Do not over mix your meatballs – mix until just combined to not get
  • This recipe for thai turkey zucchini meatballs calls for an exact amount of coconut milk – and you will have some left over! It seems like a tiny amount to waste, but under no circumstances are you to add this leftover coconut milk to the meatballs or the sauce! It is measured perfectly, and this extra amount makes the thai red curry sauce too thin to adequately cover the meatballs. I mean, it won’t ruin your dinner, but its much better if you follow the recipe. Instead, I suggest adding this extra coconut milk to your rice as it cooks. You don’t need to adjust the liquids (cook rice at a ratio of 1 part rice, 2 parts water), just throw it in!)

 

cast iron skillet with thai meatballs

 

Its a great recipe for a weeknight because it only takes about 30 minutes to make start-finish, and its soo tasty! We love thai flavors, and anything with sauce to pour over rice or soak up with bread is a big hit in our family (we can’t live without our carbs).  Its quick, its healthy, its delicious. Even both kiddos really loved this and we will definitely be making it again! (Yes, the 4 year old and the 11 month old both ate it and liked it!)

 

turkey meatballs with thai sauce in cast iron skillet

 

How Your Kids Can Help in the Kitchen:

  • Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure everything, plus stir together the sauce ingredients.
  • Kids aged 4-6 can help do everything above, plus help you open the cans of coconut milk and tomato paste and shred the zucchini.
  • Kids aged 7-10+ can help do everything above, plus help you mix and shape the meatballs.

*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.

cast iron skillet with thai meatballs and bowl of rice

 

Great Thai Books for Children:

Because I am such a bookworm myself, and I think there is no easier way to gets interested in things than with books, I always include a great list of books that go along with my recipes. Think of this list as your road map to a fun meal – not only does it set the scene for the flavors and ingredients, but it also gives you great conversation topics for while you eat!

Jenni Ward/The Gingered Whisk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

  • Mela and the Elephant by Dow Phumiruk is a cute story about a sister named Mela who goes on an adventure without taking her little brother with her. Things don’t go as planned, and Mela learns an important lesson. There are beautiful illustrations in this book, and lots of great Thai customs.
  • Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho is a cute story about a mother trying to get her baby to go to sleep and asking the local animals to be quiet.
  • The Umbrella Queen by Shirin Lim Bridges is a story about a little girl who helps her family make umbrellas

 

This giveaway is open world-wide, except where prohibited. (If the winner is outside of the continental U.S., they will receive the value of the mixer + $75 as an Amazon gift card.) Winner must be 18+ (21+ in some locations). Open Dec 10 – Dec 21, 2018 at 11:59 PM. Winner will be drawn within 72 hours after the giveaway closes and will be contacted via email. Follows from inactive/spam/bot social media accounts will be disqualified. See full terms and conditions for more information. This giveaway is not sponsored by Kitchen Aid, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or Rafflecopter.

Here’s a full list of the bloggers participating! Thank you, bloggers, for joining me for a great giveaway:

 

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Print
turkey meatballs with thai sauce in cast iron skillet

Thai Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

  • Author: Jenni
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: 30 Minute Meal
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: Thai Fusion

Description

These Thai Zucchini Meatballs are a great weeknight meal with lots of flavor, but healthy, too! These meatballs are kid friendly!


Scale

Ingredients

    meatballs:

    • 1 lb ground turkey
    • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
    • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
    • 1/8 cup green onions, finely chopped
    • 1 TBSP fresh basil, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
    • 1/2 tsp red curry paste
    • 1 TBSP coconut milk
    • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

    sauce:

    • 1 + 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 3 TBSP tomato paste
    • 1 tsp red curry paste
    • 1 tsp fish sauce
    • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

    chopped cilantro for garnish


      Instructions

      Preheat a large 12″ skillet on high with 3 TBSP oil.
      In a medium bowl whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
      In another medium bowl combine the ingredients for the meatballs, mixing thoroughly (the best way is to get dirty and use your hands).
      Form the meatballs into about 1 1/2″ balls.
      Cook until brown, about 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally (you don’t have to cook them all the way through)
      Pour the sauce over the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
      Serve with rice or noodles and garnish with fresh cilantro.
      Enjoy!


      Notes

      • This recipe for thai turkey zucchini meatballs calls for an exact amount of coconut milk – and you will have some left over! It seems like a tiny amount to waste, but under no circumstances are you to add this leftover coconut milk to the meatballs or the sauce! It is measured perfectly, and this extra amount makes the thai red curry sauce too thin to adequately cover the meatballs. I mean, it won’t ruin your dinner, but its much better if you follow the recipe. Instead, I suggest adding this extra coconut milk to your rice as it cooks. You don’t need to adjust the liquids (cook rice at a ratio of 1 part rice, 2 parts water), just throw it in!)

      Keywords: Meatball Recipe, Thai Recipe,

      9 Comments

    • Reply
      korenainthekitchen.com
      August 29, 2014 at 12:27 AM

      Yum, these sound tasty!

    • Reply
      lisa
      November 17, 2017 at 1:38 PM

      How is it that I’m reading this at 8:30 in the morning and I want it for breakfast? Wonderful flavors and it sounds like a really healthy meal. I need to mix this recipe into our week.

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      October 30, 2018 at 3:26 PM

      Made these for dinner last night, and they were amazing! I love that there’s hidden veggies in them too!

    • Reply
      Naomi
      December 10, 2018 at 6:39 AM

      My mom is allergic to fish. How can I replace the fish sauce?

      • Reply
        Jenni
        December 10, 2018 at 12:47 PM

        Hi Naomi! Fish sauce is a tricky one to replace! There are recipes out there for making your own vegan version, but they require seaweed and a bunch of hard to find ingredients. If interested, you can find it here: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/6610-making-a-vegetarian-substitute-for-fish-sauce. You could simply substitute with soy sauce, but it won’t give you the full depth of flavor that fish sauce brings. I would suggest using a vegan Worcestershire sauce – you can find them at Whole Foods or other health market stores. Golden Mountain Seasoning sauce would also be a good replacement, but probably harder to find.

    • Reply
      Wendy
      December 12, 2018 at 6:43 PM

      Gotta love recipes the kids will eat, especially when it has extra veggies!

    • Reply
      Sara
      December 14, 2018 at 6:07 PM

      This looks delicious and I love that my kids can help prepare it, as well!

    • Reply
      Sara
      December 15, 2018 at 10:44 PM

      These look AMAZING – and I love that they only take about 30 minutes!! I can’t wait to try them out!

    • Reply
      Madison Wetherill
      March 11, 2019 at 1:37 PM

      My family absolutely loved this recipe! I was a little nervous about using all of the ingredients that were a bit new to us, but the meatballs turned out perfectly and we ate every last one they were so good!

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