thai turkey and zucchini meatballs

Life is so hectic nowadays with both a baby and a toddler that I keep f***ing up while following recipes.  Luckily, things still usually turn out and this is one of those instances.  This is adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Thai turkey meatballs and it’s adapted because I straight up f***ed up the original recipe.  Basically, I put waaay more zucchini in the meatballs – hence I’m calling these turkey and zucchini meatballs – than the recipe calls for as most of the zucchini was actually supposed to be sliced up and added to the sauce. I was worried the meatballs would fall apart and the whole thing would be a disaster but it turned out really well and we all loved it!  Whew.

(We’re still cooking Whole30 for Rock but I’m not 100% strict about using ‘compliant’ ingredients if getting them makes my life 100% harder.  But if you are strict about it, you can use homemade chicken stock and crazy expensive compliant fish sauce.)

3 zucchini  /  1 lb ground turkey  /  3 stalks of green onion  /  1 clove garlic, minced  /  1 and 1/2 tsp grated ginger  /  small bunch of cilantro, chopped  /  1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes  /  zest and juice of 1 lime  /  1 tsp sea salt flakes or salt to taste  /  1 tsp grapeseed oil  /  3 tbsp Thai green curry paste  /  1 (14 oz) can coconut milk  / 2 cups chicken broth  /  3 tbsp fish sauce  /  a large handful of sugar snap peas  /  optional: limes cut into wedges & small handful of Thai basil leaves to serve


To make the meatballs, trim the ends of the zucchini and coarsely grate onto a piece of paper towel.  Squeeze out as much water as you can from the grated zucchini and toss into a large bowl.  Finely chop the white parts of the green onion and add that along with the ground turkey to the bowl.  Next, add the garlic, ginger, 2 tbsp of the cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes, lime zest and salt to the bowl.  Using your hands, mix the meatball mixture just until everything is combined.

IMG_1124To measure out the meatballs, use a heaping teaspoonful for each one and then simply roll into balls.  You’ll end up with about 30 meatballs.


Finely chop up the green parts of your green onion.  Heat up the oil in a large dutch oven or lidded pan and give chopped green onion a quick fry.  Add the curry paste and then the coconut milk, chicken broth and fish sauce.  Let the sauce come to a boil and then gently drop the meatballs into the soup.  Drop them in going around the dutch oven in a circle going from the outside inward.  I was worried they wouldn’t all fit in but they did!


Let the sauce come to a boil again and then slap the lid on and turn the heat down to a simmer.  Let it simmer for about 20 minutes and check that the meatballs are cooked through.  Add the snap peas and the juice of the one lime.  I didn’t do this but if you want you can serve with some Thai basil and lime wedges.

Thai turkey and zucchini meatballs




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