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These Thai Meatballs are paleo, gluten-free, and bursting with flavor. The meatballs themselves, made from ground turkey, are full of veggies and infused with the perfect flavor combination of ginger, chili, garlic, and more. A total crowd-pleaser that gets rave reviews!
Healthy Thai Turkey Meatballs
Let me (re)introduce you to one of my favorite recipes from the early days of this blog! These Thai Meatballs are from the first few years of blogging and I’m excited to be giving it an update with new photos, so more of you can find this amazing recipe. These meatballs are bursting with Thai flavors, filled with some extra hidden veggies, and have stood the test of time. I know you are going to love them as much as my family has over the years!
When a meatball recipe is as delicious as these are–plus, easy-to-make–you know you have yourself a dinner-time favorite. Mix all the ingredients, toss on a baking sheet, bake, and enjoy! They make for a great meal prep option too! Protein-packed, nutritious, and easy to take on the go.
And don’t worry, if you’ve had trouble making gluten-free turkey meatballs in the past, we’re sharing our tips for working with turkey meatballs to make this recipe fool-proof.
Thai Meatball Ingredients
- Ground Dark Meat Turkey
- Garlic + Ginger
- Coconut Aminos
- Chili Paste
- Salt + Red Pepper Flakes
- Sesame Oil
- Fish Sauce
Here are some common substitution questions answered for this recipe:
Turkey: Feel free to swap out the turkey for ground dark meat chicken!
Fish Sauce: We know we often get questions about this. This is optional! But recommended as it does add a really nice flavor to the meatball.
Coconut Aminos: This is a soy-free alternative to soy sauce. You can use soy sauce in this but omit the added salt.
Sesame Oil: This adds a really nice flavor, but can be substituted for olive oil or avocado oil.
Chili Paste: If you don’t have this, you can swap it with sriracha.
Tips for Making Turkey Meatballs
Making gluten-free meatballs with ground turkey can be a little tricky. Follow these best practices to make for the best Thai meatballs!
- Don’t use only white meat ground turkey. It will be too dry. Stick to ground dark meat or a mix of white and dark meat. If you can’t find ground turkey already in the case, check with the butcher to see if they can grind up some boneless dark meat for you fresh!
- Work with very cold meat! The colder the meat mixture, the easier it is to work with. We’ve even stuck the meatballs in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to shape them better when need be.
- Make sure to wet your hands! This helps prevent the meat mixture from sticking to you.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion out the meatballs to ensure even-sized meatballs.
How to Serve Thai Meatballs
There are two main ways to serve these meatballs. The first is as an appetizer! These meatballs have frequently been served as an Hors d’Oeuvre in my house over the years, and to great fanfare! Or, you can serve this as a meal on it’s own (and they make great meal prep!).
If serving them as a meal, serve them with any of these sides for a complete lunch or dinner:
- Cauliflower Rice
- Coconut Rice
- Stir Fry Veggies
- Roasted Veggies
- Zucchini Noodles
- Rice Noodles
- Spaghetti Squash
Watch the video:
Like this healthy meatball recipe? Try these other favorite meatball recipes:
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup scallions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili paste
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and set aside a baking sheet.
- Add all of the meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix together. Portion out about 2 heaping tablespoons amount of the mixture and form into meatballs with wet hands. If the mixture is difficult to handle, place in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes.
- Place meatballs on the baking sheet for 14-16 minutes or until meatballs are golden on the outside and reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Meanwhile make sauce ingredients: Add all of the sauce ingredients to a medium pot and whisk together. Cook over medium heat until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until sauce thickens up.
- Toss the meatballs with 3/4 of the sauce, and serve over rice or another side dish, or as an appetizer with some extra sauce on the side.