These Basil Ginger Meatballs are jam-packed with rich + robust flavor while enrobed in a fragrant, Thai-inspired Coconut Red Curry Sauce. The meatballs are super tender and blend with the likes of sautéed peppers, onions, green beans, authentic Thai curry paste, aromatic spices, and much more. Serve these saucy meatballs with jasmine rice for an easy weeknight meal that everyone will love!

meatballs in red curry sauce in large skillet

I have the most delicious Thai restaurant in my area that serves up some of the most incredible Asian cuisine. From pad thai to flavorful curries to drunken noodles, I can’t get enough of Thai food. The flavors are extra rich and deeply fragrant in nearly every single dish. I developed these meatballs in coconut red curry sauce as a fusion of cultures coming together (cuz meatballs aren’t very Thai ya know), but still very much Thai-inspired. I think you’ll dig it.

Basil Ginger Meatballs in Coconut Red Curry Sauce 😛

This recipe starts with ground chicken loaded with spices, fresh herbs, and aromatics and shaped into meatballs. The basil ginger meatballs are so tender and juicy and brimming with flavor. We’ll set the meatballs aside while we build the rich and fragrant coconut red curry sauce. It’s full of aromatics and Thai-forward flavors all while being a 1-pan wonder that’s weeknight-friendly!

basil ginger meatballs in coconut red curry sauce with rice in blue bowls

⇢ When it comes to meatballs, they’re some of my favorite recipes to develop. These jerk meatballs are full of Caribbean flair, these traditional meatballs are a classic Italian-style move that hits, and these chicken piccata meatballs are a dreammmm! A meatball-centered situation for everyone, ha! 👅

Why You’ll Love These Thai Red Curry Meatballs

Here’s why we’re obsessed with this recipe, y’all:

  • FLAVOR-FILLED CENTRAL: I love recipes of culture because most of them don’t play when it comes to being *flavorful*…This Thai-inspired recipe promises just that. From the meatballs to the red curry sauce, every inch of this dish is loaded with big-time, bold and rich flavor that you will appreciate.
  • COZY & HEARTWARMING: I’ll forever be that big kid who does a little jig whenever I eat something that gives me this type of feeling, ha. These red curry meatballs have that cozy comfort food goodness we all enjoy ♡.
  • EASY, VERSATILE RECIPE: Where are my 1-pan fans at?! I mean, you might like that this entire dish comes together in one vessel idk. It’s also perfect to serve up for an anytime lunch/dinner and great as a meal prep situation to have on hand during the busy week!
ingredients for basil ginger meatballs in coconut red curry sauce laid out on white surface

Ingredients You’ll Need For The Basil Ginger Meatballs:

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Ground chicken: I love the use of ground chicken for these meatballs.
  • Eggs: We’ll use two eggs to act as a binding element and for texture.
  • Breadcrumbs: These are clutch to help bind the meatballs as well.
  • Shallot: A little aromatic pop of sweetness and flavor, yum.
  • Ginger & garlic paste: I prefer paste as opposed to the minced counterparts of these because of how well they blend and add more robust flavor.
  • Basil: I use fresh chopped basil and dried basil for a basil-forward punch!
  • Spices: Ground allspice, smoked paprika, and salt/pepper- to taste.
  • Olive oil: For browning the meatballs in the skillet.

& What You’ll Need For The Saucy, Coconut Red Curry Sauce:

  • Bell peppers: A red bell pepper + yellow bell pepper…did you know that these colors are sweeter in taste than a green bell pepper? The hint of sweetness they carry is a nice contrast to the slight spiciness of red curry paste.
  • Onion: We’ll sauté this along with the bell peppers.
  • Garlic & ginger paste: Not only do the meatballs have these items, but we’re also gonna flavor the sauce with it for heaps of garlicky, gingery goodness!
  • Brown sugar: A touch to help balance the flavors.
  • Thai red curry paste: We love Maesri Thai Red Curry Paste for this recipe because of its authentic and intense flavor! It has ingredients like red chili pepper, lemongrass, kaffir lime, and heaps of fragrant spices in it.
  • Coconut milk: This recipe is dairy-free thanks to creamy coconut milk for the broth. When I tell you the coconut essence combined with all the rich flavors and spices going on here…beyond delicious.
  • Chicken broth: For more flavor and to round out the coconut curry sauce.
  • Fish sauce: This umami-forward condiment is a staple in Asian cuisine!
  • Lime juice: A little acidity and brightness for depth.
  • Green beans: Adds even more texture and a filling bit to the dish.

How To Make This Thai-Inspired Recipe:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

Make meatball mixture & shape. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients. Mix the meatball ingredients until just combined- careful not to over-mix. Then shape the meatballs by using a spring-loaded scooper to scoop the mixture into golf ball-size meatballs.

Brown meatballs. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm up the oil. Then add the meatballs into the skillet in a single layer, and work in batches to brown the meatballs on all sides. After browning, set the meatballs aside.

Build the red curry sauce. Add the bell peppers and onion into the same pan and cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Then add in the garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and red curry paste and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and lime juice, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Let the sauce come up to a simmer, stirring every so often, about 5-7 minutes.

browned basil ginger meatballs in skillet with coconut red curry sauce

Now Let’s Finish It Off…

Bring it all together & simmer. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, add in all the browned meatballs with any residual juices along with the green beans, and gently toss to coat with sauce. Let the meatballs + green beans continue cooking with pan sauce for 10-15 minutes, gently swirling the skillet every few minutes. The sauce will reduce a bit, the meatballs will finish off and meld with the pan sauce, and the green beans should be tender. Then remove from heat. 

Serve these basil ginger meatballs in coconut red curry sauce, STAT. Listen, we love this dish over jasmine rice with a garnish of fresh chopped scallions and/or fresh chopped cilantro + lime wedges for squeezing. And a little naan/pita bread on the side to sop up the coconut red curry sauce is an extra dose of having a really good time here. Those extra elements tho, chef’s kiss, trust me! 😍

basil ginger meatballs in skillet with coconut red curry sauce

Recipe Tips + Tricks & More Information

As with many recipes, you may have additional questions about this meatball recipe. Like other BBR recipes, I always advise sticking to the recipe as it is written in the recipe card directly below. However, here’s some extra info:

  • Can I use x, y, z type of meat? I prefer the taste and flavor of ground chicken for these basil ginger meatballs but feel free to use ground turkey if you’d like a more lean option. Or you could opt for ground beef or pork, too.
  • Meatball rollin’. I find it helpful to dampen my hands with a bit of water while rolling these meatballs. This will prevent the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands while you shape/roll the mixture into balls. Keep a little bowl of water next to you while rolling, and wet your palms, as needed.
  • Gluten-free needs? Swap the breadcrumbs for superfine almond flour (just don’t pack it in the measuring cup- spoon/scoop and level flour) as a 1:1 ratio for a gluten-free alternative.
  • Don’t overwork the meatball mixture. Over-mixing the meatball ingredients will make the meatballs super tough. The key is to mix just until combined.
  • Is the coconut red curry sauce spicy? I would say that the spice level here is medium, not mild and not super spicy, especially with the Maesri brand.

Storing Leftover Meatballs In Coconut Red Curry Sauce

To store: You can store any leftover basil ginger meatballs with sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator, they’ll keep for 3-4 days. Otherwise, to freeze the completed recipe, store it inside of freezer-safe containers and it’ll keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To reheat: When ready, if frozen, let the dish thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of extra broth/water to help loosen the sauce, as needed.

basil ginger meatballs in red curry sauce with rice in small blue bowls

These Basil Ginger Meatballs in Coconut Red Curry Sauce are beaming with fragrant flavor and insanely delicious, peeps. Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

More easy, weeknight mains to dive into:

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
meatballs in red curry sauce in large skillet

Basil Ginger Meatballs In Coconut Red Curry Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired
Save Recipe

Description

These Basil Ginger Meatballs are jam-packed with rich + robust flavor while enrobed in a fragrant, Thai-inspired Coconut Red Curry Sauce. The meatballs are super tender and blend with the likes of sautéed peppers, onions, green beans, authentic Thai curry paste, aromatic spices, and much more. Serve these saucy meatballs with jasmine rice for an easy weeknight meal that everyone will love!


Ingredients

Scale

For the basil ginger meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

For the coconut red curry sauce:

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 (4-ounce) can red curry paste- we love Maesri Red Curry Paste for this recipe!
  • 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for squeezing
  • 1 cup trimmed green beans
  • Chopped scallions and/or fresh chopped cilantro, for garnishing- optional
  • Cooked jasmine rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make meatball mixture. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, shallot, ginger paste, garlic paste, chopped basil, dried basil, allspice, paprika, and salt/pepper- to taste. Mix the meatball ingredients until just combined- careful not to overwork the meat mixture to prevent tough meatballs. 
  2. Shape meatballs. Set aside a large plate/platter. Use a medium spring-loaded scooper to scoop the mixture into golf ball-size meatballs. Then roll the meatball in the palm of your hands just until a smooth shape is formed. Place the formed meatballs on the plate/platter and repeat this process until all meatballs are shaped, you should end up with about 20-23 meatballs.
  3. Brown meatballs. In a deep, large nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm up the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, gently swirl the skillet to evenly coat the bottom. Add the meatballs into the skillet in a single layer, careful not to overcrowd the skillet, work in batches. Brown the meatballs on the bottom until a nice sear appears, about 3-4 minutes. Then carefully turn them onto the other side to brown, about 3-4 minutes. At this stage, the meatballs may not be fully cooked but will finish in the pan sauce later; use a slotted utensil to transfer the browned meatballs to a clean plate/platter. Repeat the process with the remaining half of the meatballs- if your pan looks dry, add a slick more oil into the skillet, only if needed.
  4. Build the red curry sauce. With all browned meatballs set aside, add the bell peppers and onion into the same pan and cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Then add in the garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and red curry paste and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. 
  5. Stir in the coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and lime juice, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Let the sauce come up to a simmer, stirring every so often, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Bring it all together & simmer. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, add in all the browned meatballs with any residual juices that have been collected along with the green beans, and gently toss to coat with sauce. Let the meatballs + green beans continue cooking with pan sauce for 10-15 minutes, gently swirling the skillet every few minutes. The sauce will reduce a bit, the meatballs will finish off and meld with the pan sauce, and the green beans should be tender. Then remove from heat. 
  7. Serve these meatballs in red curry sauce over fluffy jasmine rice with a garnish of chopped scallions and/or fresh chopped cilantro + lime wedges for squeezing, if desired. A little naan/pita bread on the side is also clutch for sopping up the coconut red curry sauce, too. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Gluten-free needs? Swap the breadcrumbs for superfine almond flour (just don’t pack it in the measuring cup- spoon/scoop and level flour) as a 1:1 ratio for a gluten-free alternative.
  2. Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Recipe by: Quin Liburd- Butter Be Ready

Photography by: The Mindful Hapa