Juicy Thai turkey meatballs in a sweet chili sauce are flavored with staples of the Thai cuisine: ginger, pepper, basil, and more. Easy to prepare and bake in the oven, these meatballs are perfect for a weekday dinner or lunch for the week.
This post is part of our Basic Cooking Skills series. Each week we will be doing a deep-dive into one basic cooking skill and a brand new recipe to accompany it to practice that newfound skill. Check back throughout the series for updates and new posts.
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why turkey meatballs?
To put it simply, turkey meatballs are a healthier alternative to beef meatballs. Turkey is a much leaner meat than beef, which typically has a higher fat content (and hence, more flavor).
When it comes to a burger I’ll choose beef over turkey 10/10 times. But when I’m using ground meat, I rarely purchase beef.
Sprucing up ground turkey is easy when you have fresh herbs and spices, such as ginger and basil. Adding big pops of flavor, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference with these tasty meatballs.
Seasoning your food properly is essential and can greatly enhance the flavor of your meals. Check out Seasoning with Herbs and Spices for more details about seasoning.
how to: make meatballs
Classic meatball recipes consist of ground meat, breadcrumbs, chopped onion, and egg.
There is a reason this recipe has been cherished for generations: it’s THAT simple.
I alter this standard recipe a little bit and swap out white onion for green onion. If you or anyone in your family suffers from GERD, frequent acid reflux, or digestive disorders, you may be familiar with FODMAPs. Monash University is my go-to for all FODMAP-related materials.
Essentially, high-FODMAP foods may cause more difficulty to an already struggling digestive system. Green onions are low-FODMAP, compared to other kinds of onions that are high-FODMAP. Making this switch may help if you’re having stomach issues.
Mix those 4 base ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined. Next we will incorporate Thai flavor by adding ingredients that form an exotic Thai spice blend.
how to: enhance Turkey meatballs with Thai flavor
A Thai spice blend consists of a variety of flavors that create an amazingly distinct taste. These include ginger, basil, garlic, onion, chili peppers, coriander, lemon grass, and pepper.
In this recipe I keep it simple by using ginger, basil, chilies, coriander, and black pepper.
Finely dice the ginger and basil. If using fresh chili peppers, slice into medallions. If using dried chili peppers, chop off the tops of the peppers and squeeze out the seeds.
Stir until combined.
how to: bake thai turkey meatballs
With all your ingredients mixed together in a bowl, coat your hands with a little bit of olive oil and roll the mixture into equal sized balls.
Place on a lined sheet pan and cook for 15-20 minutes or until brown.
Serve with sriracha or your favorite sweet chili sauce for extra zings of flavor.
Thai Turkey Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/3 cup green onions sliced thin
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tbsp ginger minced (about a 1 inch piece of ginger root)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 3-4 dried chili pepper seeds (or sliced thin if fresh)
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- dash of salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- chili sauce for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine ground turkey, green onions, breadcrumbs, and egg in a medium bowl. Add ginger, basil, chilies, coriander, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until well combined.
- Rub olive oil between your hands and round mixture into 1-inch sized balls. Transfer to a lined sheet pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached at least 165 degrees. Serve with chili sauce.
What are your favorite meatball recipes you grew up on? Mine is a standard meatball with BBQ and grape jelly. Share in the comments below!
71 thoughts on “Thai Turkey Meatballs in a Sweet Chili Sauce”
It looks so tasty. What can it be eaten with?
I love eating it over rice! They’d be great on a salad as well
These look tasty. I love turkey burgers, so I will 100% give it a go
I love using ground turkey! It’s so much easier to flavor
My mouth is watering just looking at the photograph! I love meatballs and the fact these are healthier and packed full of Chillis is making me want to try them! I will definitely considered cooking these over the weekend! Thanks for sharing!x
These sound delicious. I’ve never tried turkey meatballs before.
They’re so great and flavorful!
I love making a bunch for lunch at the beginning of the week! Thank you!
You had me at Thai Turkey Meatballs. Another great recipe. I love the flavours in this recipe and the turkey as a great alternative to beef. Thanks as always for sharing,
The ginger gets me every time!! Thank you 🙂
They look so delicious, and sweet chilli is one of my favourites! I usually mix turkey and beef in my meatballs, but I’m going to try just turkey 🙂
Anika | chaptersofmay.com
I love the idea of mixing different meats! Pork is great for italian style meatballs too
As always, Kalin! Look delicious and easy to make ! Saved and pinned this xxx
Love to hear it!! Thanks!
I’m pretty sure that would go perfectly well with a cup of rice! Looks very savory. Love it x
My favorite side to pair with it!
Wow……this is something so new to me. It looks delicious. Thank you for sharing your brilliant recipe.
You’re so kind, thank you 🙂
Wow. Can’t wait to try this! It looks easy and you’ve broken it all down really well. Now let’s hope this bad cook can make it happen haha!
Haha I believe in you! Thanks for checking it out
I love thai food and these look amazing. Sweetcorn cakes are my favourites but these look worth trying for sure.
That sounds so good too. Thanks for reading!
These look incredibly delicious 😋
I will definitely try these. I liked your suggestion of using green onions instead of white onions if someone has digestive issues.
Thank you! I had no idea onions and garlic were so hard to digest! And I put them in many recipes so I’m trying to be conscious of when I can substitute them out
These look gorgeous! I’ll have to give these a go, thank you for sharing x
Thanks for reading and for your comment!
They look delicious. Love it!
Thanks so much for reading!
My family love eat meatballs, l like to try your recipe, it looks yummy😋
Me too, they’re so easy and fun to make!
These sound delicious – am going to make some and serve them with sweet chilli sauce. And I can second the FODMAP/Monash suggestion…
FODMAPs have rocked my world and it’s so interesting!!
These look absolutely delicious! I’ve made Thai fish cakes before which look very similar to these. I love a healthier turkey alternative!
Thanks so much, I appreciate it!!
These look absolutely delicious!
Thank you 🙂
We always use turkey meatballs for the same reason you state: they’re healthier. No lack of taste either. These look and sound delicious!
I definitely prefer ground turkey to ground beef now!
Wow, the variety of flavors in this recipe is already making my mouth water! I love Thai flavors, so I will definitely be trying these. Thank you for sharing!
I’m so glad!! Thank you!
Holy moly these look tasty! I’ll have to give them a try. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you! I hope you like them
Oh wow! These look tasty! I can’t wait to try making them.
Thanks so much for checking it out!
Looks really tasty
Thank you 🙂
I am NOT a fan of ground beef, so these are right up my alley!!!
Great! I hope you like them!
These sound delicious! Have bookmarked for later, thanks for sharing! 😀 x
Thank you so much!
I love Thai flavors as well as meatballs. Can’t wait to try the combination! Thanks
I hope you enjoy!
That looks delicious!
Looks delicious 🤤
Thanks so much!!
Oh yum! I love turkey meatballs! I need to try these out! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
Thanks so much for reading! Hope they’re yummy 🙂
Looks really good, I can’t help but think of a few of these in a bun.
They would taste so good on a nice fresh roll!
This is looking yummy, will try it.
Thank you! I hope it turns out great for you 🙂
I actually have some turkey mince in the fridge for this week.
I couldn’t decide what to do with them but I’ll give this a go! Thanks for sharing x
I hope they turn out great if you make them!
These look so good! I’ve got to try this.
Thanks so much for reading!
Wow these look fantastic Kalin! I was actually looking for a good Meatball recipe a few weeks ago. I found a sweet and sour stir fry recipe with meatballs. The stir-fry bit and sauce were great! But the meatballs weren’t quite right. I’m going to try this. I’ve got it pinned. Thank you!
I hope they turn out great for you! I always struggle with meatballs and getting them just right each time. Let me know how it goes!
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