thai turkey meatballs

Thai Turkey Meatballs in a Sweet Chili Sauce

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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.

thai turkey meatballs

how to: make meatballs

meatball filling

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

ingredients for meatballs

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.

turkey meatballs on a pan

Place on a lined sheet pan and cook for 15-20 minutes or until brown.

thai turkey meatballs

Serve with sriracha or your favorite sweet chili sauce for extra zings of flavor.

Ingredients Needed

Equipment Needed

thai turkey meatballs

Thai Turkey Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce

Flavorful turkey meatballs filled with delicious Thai flavors and topped with a sweet and spicy chili sauce.
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: meatballs, thai, turkey


  • 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.
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thai turkey meatballs with a sweet chili sauce
thai turkey meatballs
thai turkey meatballs

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!

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71 thoughts on “Thai Turkey Meatballs in a Sweet Chili Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    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

  2. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 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

  3. We always use turkey meatballs for the same reason you state: they’re healthier. No lack of taste either. These look and sound delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    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!

  5. 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!

  6. Pingback: Spicy Jalapeno Deviled Eggs - Abundance of Flavor

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