Tender turkey meatballs made with Thai flavors inside and baked in sweet chili sauce. The meatballs are flavored with garlic, fresh ginger, cilantro, and chives, seared, and then finished in the oven with Thai sweet chili sauce. It’s a great weeknight dinner packed with spicy, sweet, and savory flavors.
Turkey meatballs is a great alternative to beef or chicken and the meatballs come out soft and tender. Turkey is a mildly flavored meat so it easily adopts to the flavors you add to the meatball mixture.
One of my favorite recipes is the Garlic Parmesan Turkey meatballs and it can easily be made into turkey burgers as well. I also love the sweet, spicy, and savory flavor combination of these Thai Sweet Chili Turkey Meatballs. There is an addition of fresh ginger, cilantro, red pepper flakes, and chives inside the meatball itself, which works very well together with the sauce.
These meatballs can be served as an appetizer since they’re just bursting with flavor. To make it a complete meal, serve the meatballs over rice or quinoa. You can also substitute cauliflower rice instead of rice as a low-carb option.
HOW TO MAKE TURKEY MEATBALLS
To make these turkey meatballs, you will start on stove-top and then finish the meatball in the oven. So make sure to use an oven-save pan for cooking.
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk the ingredients for the sauce together and set it aside to use later.
Combine all ingredients for meatballs in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Use a cookie scoop to get an even amount of meat mixture every time to make the meatballs all the same. I like to use #40 cookie scoop. Grease your hands with a little oil and shape the meatballs. Shape the meatballs first, before adding to the pan, and place them on a parchment paper.
Preheat a large, oven-safe pan and add oil. Add meatballs to the pan and cook for a few minutes on one side. Gently shake the pan to loosen the meatballs and flip each meatball.
Pour the sauce all over the meatballs and transfer the pan into the oven. Cook for 15-18 minutes.
HOW TO STORE TURKEY MEATBALLS
Leftover meatballs can easily be stored in the refrigerator, in the food storage container with a lid. Make sure the container can be closed air-tight. You can store the meatballs with the sauce together.
Cooked turkey meatballs will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
CAN TURKEY MEATBALLS BE FROZEN?
Yes, turkey meatballs can be frozen. Freeze them without sauce and cook turkey meatballs before freezing them.
Mix all the ingredients for turkey meatballs in a bowl and shape them into meatballs. Place meatballs into a large baking dish and bake them at 350° until done.
Cool completely before freezing. Place cooled meatballs on a cutting board covered in parchment paper and freeze for about 2 hours. (Set the timer to help you remember.)
Once the meatballs are just frozen, portion them into freezer bags, close them tight, label and place back in the freezer. (You can also store all the meatballs in one large freezer bag.)
Thaw frozen meatballs overnight in the refrigerator.
To prepare the meatballs with sauce, place thawed meatballs in a baking dish and add sauce. Bake for about 15 minutes, until sauce bubbles around the edges.
For more tips on freezing meatballs, check out my instructional post here.
CAN TURKEY MEATBALLS BE GLUTEN FREE?
Absolutely! To make these meatballs gluten free you simply swap a regular slice of bread for gluten free bread. Sauce is already gluten free.
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Sweet Chili Turkey Meatballs
- 2 lbs ground turkey 93/7% lean
- 1 small onion minced
- 6 garlic cloves pressed
- 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 extra large egg
- 2 oz sliced bread (1 or 2 slices depending on the bread)
- 2 tbsp milk to soak the bread
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp cilantro minced
- 1/2 cup chives diced
Sweet Chili Sauce
- 12 oz sweet chili sauce
- 1 lime juice only
- 1 tbsp cilantro minced
- 2 tbsp chives diced
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Whisk the ingredients for the sauce together and set it aside to use later.
- Combine all ingredients for meatballs in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Use a cookie scoop to get an even amount of meat mixture every time to make the meatballs all the same. I like to use #40 cookie scoop.
- Grease your hands with a little oil and shape the meatballs. Shape the meatballs first, before adding to the pan, and place them on a parchment paper.
- Preheat a large, oven-safe pan and add oil. Add meatballs to the pan and cook for a few minutes on one side. Gently shake the pan to loosen the meatballs and flip each meatball.
- Pour the sauce all over the meatballs and transfer the pan into the oven. Cook for 15-18 minutes.