This recipe is…. wow. So good.
The meatballs are great on their own but are taken over the top with the coconut sauce. Like I actually just want to make a batch of this sauce every week to put on all of the things. I also love changing up your typical meatball by using ground chicken instead of beef and Thai spices.
Below are some of the ingredients you may need to shop for in this recipe:
- Almond Meal/Flour: In most recipes (especially desserts), almond meal and almond flour are not interchangeable. Almond meal is has a more course texture, and the almonds usually still have the skin on them when they are ground up. Almond flour is a finer powder and the almonds have the skin removed before they are ground up. With these meatballs, whichever is easier for you to find (or you feel you’ll get more use out of) is fine. I personally use almond meal in this recipe–you can find it pretty inexpensively at Trader Joe’s in the nut and dried fruit section.
- Coconut Aminos: An alternative to soy suace that is a Paleo staple and totally Whole 30 compliant. It’s also a lot less salty than soy sauce. Coconut Secret is a brand you can likely find in your grocery store, but Thrive Market’s label is good, too.
- Red Curry Paste: Thai Kitchen is a good brand; you can find it in any grocery store or on Thrive Market.
If you are doing Whole 30 (or really, any time–but especially on Whole 30), the only things to be conscious of in this recipe is the coconut milk and almond butter. Ensure that the almond butter is nothing more than almonds and a little salt and that the coconut milk does not have any funky additives.
Thai Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Sauce (Paleo, Whole 30)
Makes about 30 1.5-inch meatballs
For the Meatballs
- 1.5 lbs ground chicken thigh
- 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup almond meal/flour
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- .5 tsp coriander
- .5 tsp dry mustard
- .5 tsp cumin
- .5 tsp ginger
- .5 tsp red pepper flakes
- .5 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 c lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1 egg
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
For the Coconut Sauce
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or a small pinch of ground ginger)
- 2 gloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 Tbsp red curry paste
- 1 Tbsp creamy almond butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs (except the cilantro) until combined. It might be dirty, but your hands are definitely the best tool for the job!
- Once the meatball ingredients are all incorporated, use a small cookie dough scoop to form into 1.5-inch balls. Space them evenly among the two cookie sheets.
- Bake in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.
- Start the sauce as soon as the meatballs go in the oven.
- In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk until it comes back together (the cream at the top and the water will be separated when you open the can).
- Once the coconut milk has combined, add the remaining sauce ingredients.
- Whisk the mixture over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer, uncovered and stirring frequently, for 10 minutes and remove from heat. The sauce will thicken a bit more as it cools.
- Serve the meatballs covered in the coconut sauce. They are great on their own or served over cauliflower rice that has been sauteed with some garlic powder. Garnish with a bit of fresh cilantro.
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