Ginger Turkey Meatballs In Coconut Curry Broth Recipe

Meatballs have rightfully earned their spot in our day-to-day cooking. A quick source of protein that can be ready in under an hour, with cozy vibes to match? Sign us up. When you get tired of making Nonna's classic recipe (if that's even possible), we've come up with a warming spin on classic meatballs. Brought to us by Alexander Roberts, these ginger turkey meatballs are a curry dish inspired by Indian flavors, perfect for weeknights when you're craving something flavorful and filling. 

Instead of using ground beef for these, we're going to use ground turkey. Since turkey is leaner than beef, it'll go perfectly with the rich coconut milk broth. After shaping and briefly searing the meatballs, we'll build some flavor in the pan by toasting spices with tomato paste, then add our liquids and simmer the meatballs until fully cooked. While they simmer, make a quick side of grains or roasted veggies for serving time, and dinner is ready.

Gather the ingredients for ginger turkey meatballs in coconut curry broth

For starters, you'll need a pound of ground turkey. An egg goes into the mixture for binding, along with some breadcrumbs. Olive oil, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and a can of light coconut milk (full fat would work fine too) should also be on your list, as well as some salt, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic. For building a lovely spice flavor, you'll need ground garam masala and turmeric. A bit of fresh cilantro and parsley will go inside of the meatballs, but make sure to reserve half of the amount so you can add a little as garnish when you're ready to eat.

Step 1: Mix the parsley and cilantro together

Add chopped parsley and cilantro to a small bowl. Combine and set aside.

Step 2: Combine the meatball ingredients

Add turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and half of the herb mixture to a mixing bowl.

Step 3: Mix them well

Mix with hands until combined.

Step 4: Shape the meatballs

Shape turkey mixture into 2-inch balls.

Step 5: Heat the oil in a pot

Place a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.

Step 6: Sear the meatballs

Sear meatballs on all sides for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Remove to a plate.

Step 7: Add garlic, ginger, and tomato paste to the pot

Add garlic, ginger, and tomato paste to the same pot and cook for 2 minutes.

Step 8: Add the spices and salt

Add garam masala, turmeric, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and cook for 1 minute.

Step 9: Stir in the coconut milk and broth

Stir in the coconut milk and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.

Step 10: Cook the meatballs in the sauce

Add meatballs, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Step 11: Remove the lid, and simmer

Remove lid and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Step 12: Garnish and serve

Serve hot, topped with remaining herbs.

How can I make meatballs vegan?

If you're vegan or on a plant-based diet, you'll want to tweak this meatball recipe to suit your preferences. The easiest way to make this dish without meat is to swap the turkey for a plant-based ground meat. Beyond Meat or Impossible Meat would be excellent for these meatballs since they very closely imitate the texture and flavor of animal proteins. If you're going this route, you can simply substitute in a pound and follow the recipe as written. 

If you want to try making something completely from scratch, your best bet would be using a vegan protein, such as tempeh. Our vegan tempeh meatball recipe leans Italian with the seasonings, but you can always follow the base ingredients and swap them out for your desired flavorings before simmering them in the coconut curry sauce. If you'd rather avoid tempeh, our final suggestion would be to try a bean-based variation, like our vegan beet and black bean meatballs.

How can I make turkey meatballs in a crockpot or pressure cooker?

The only thing that could possibly improve this recipe is extra ease, which can be achieved by adding it to a slow cooker! Follow the recipe as written until you add the meatballs back to the sauce. You'll still need to give the meatballs a quick sear so they can gain some color, something a crockpot is not so great at (unless yours has a searing function). Instead of simmering the meatballs on the stovetop, transfer the sauce and seared meatballs to your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4 hours.

Once they're done, they'll be super tender, and the sauce will have thickened up perfectly. If you have the time to do a slow cooker recipe, this is a great one to test out. One important note is that if you have a larger capacity slow cooker, you may want to double the recipe and freeze portions for later consumption. Ideally, the broth should come at least half way up the sides of the meatballs, if not more, while they are cooking.

Ginger Turkey Meatballs In Coconut Curry Broth Recipe
4.7 from 6 ratings
Though these healthy meatballs in a creamy curry sauce are richly spiced and deeply comforting, they come together easily, in one pot, and in under an hour.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
4
servings
ginger turkey curry meatballs coconut
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ⅔ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
Directions
  1. Add chopped parsley and cilantro to a small bowl. Combine and set aside.
  2. Add turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and half of the herb mixture to a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix with hands until combined.
  4. Shape turkey mixture into 2-inch balls.
  5. Place a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  6. Sear meatballs on all sides for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Remove to a plate.
  7. Add garlic, ginger, and tomato paste to the same pot and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Add garam masala, turmeric, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and cook for 1 minute.
  9. Stir in the coconut milk and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.
  10. Add meatballs, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove lid and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  12. Serve hot, topped with remaining herbs.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 379
Total Fat 21.0 g
Saturated Fat 8.5 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 118.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 4.0 g
Sodium 670.9 mg
Protein 26.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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