Thai Baked Turkey Meatballs
Healthy Paleo Meatballs
Meatballs aren’t normally what we think of as “health food”.
After all, rich juicy meatballs are usually loaded with saturated fat and empty carbs.
However, today we’re sharing a baked meatballs recipe that is packed with flavor, is ultra-soft and tender, and that also fits into a low carb, keto, paleo, gluten free, and dairy free diet!
These little Thai Turkey Meatballs have become a new family favorite, and we know you will love them just as much as we do!
Thai Meatballs Recipe
So why Thai?
Traditional Thai ingredients like lemongrass, garlic, ginger, basil, and fish sauce provide so much vibrant flavor, you won’t even miss the dairy (milk and cheese) or carbs (bread crumbs) in this recipe.
Ground turkey offers a lean palette for all the ingredients to mix and mingle, while almond flour and an egg hold the ingredients together.
This results in bite-size flavor bombs you simply can’t stop eating. Good thing they are so light and lean!
Thai Baked Turkey Meatballs Ingredients
- Ground turkey – You can use standard ground turkey or extra lean.
- Almond flour – Use this in place of breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, or panko.
- Eggs – To bind the ingredients together.
- Scallions – Chop both the white and green ends.
- Basil – Fresh basil leaves. If you can find it, buy Thai basil!
- Garlic – Freshly minced.
- Fish sauce – Look for fish sauce without sugar or gluten.
- Lemongrass – Fresh or packaged.
- Crushed red pepper – For a little kick!
- Coconut oil – Or olive oil.
Speaking of lemongrass… In some grocery stores, you can find fresh lemongrass in the produce department. Simply peel off the tough outer layers, and minced the tender stems inside.
However, when you can’t find fresh lemongrass, look for dehydrated (or freeze-dried) lemongrass in the spice aisle. Or use tubes of lemongrass paste from the produce refrigerated section. Use an equal amount of either in place of fresh lemongrass.
Are They Really Paleo Meatballs? Keto Meatballs??
As long as the fish sauce is made with clean ingredients, these meatballs are both paleo and ketogenic friendly!
Just made sure to read the label and look for a fish sauce that is made with just fish (anchovies) water and salt. Some paleo brands also include vinegar.
Turkey Meatballs Vs Chicken Meatballs
This recipe calls for ground turkey. However, the Thai baked meatballs taste just as delicious made with ground chicken.
The nutritional facts stay just about the same as well.
Thai Baked Meatballs
I’ve pan-fried these turkey meatballs in a skillet, cooked them submerged in broth, and baked them in the oven.
Of all the cooking methods, the baked meatballs stay the most tender, while retaining their shape.
I found the pan-fried turkey meatballs created a darker crisper coating, but were a little drier on the inside.
Baking meatballs is the most fool-proof method to keep them juicy!
Thai Baked Turkey Meatballs Recipe FAQ
Yes! But they must be baked before freezing. The meat mixture is so soft, it’s not a good idea to try to freeze them raw. Thaw at room temperature before reheating.
Yes! These little guys taste just a delicious days after cooking, so they are perfect to package in meal prep boxes with roasted vegetables or salad.
Of course! Just substitute an equal amount of bread crumbs for the almond flour.
Very. Lemongrass has a distinct flavor, that tastes like a combination of lemon and dare I say it… grass? Or at least lemon and mellow herbs. You can use a small amount of lemon zest if you can’t find it in any form, but they won’t quite taste the same.
More Thai Favorites
- Classic Thai Fried Rice
- Red Curry Shrimp Noodles
- Thai Drunken Noodles
- Keto Thai Larb Rolls
- Panang Chicken Curry
- Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Must Try Paleo Recipes
- Chicken Chile Verde
- Steak Fajita Rolls
- Paleo Chinese Lemon Chicken
- Paleo Cashew Chicken
- Paleo Coconut Shrimp
- Croatian Chicken Skillet and Vegetables
- Skillet Chicken Puttanesca
Thai Baked Turkey Meatballs
- 2 pounds ground turkey (or chicken)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce (paleo)
- 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass (fresh, paste, or freeze-dried)
- 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (or olive oil)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Set out a large mixing bowl. Add the ground turkey, almond flour, eggs, scallions, basil, garlic, fish sauce, lemongrass, and crushed red pepper. Mix until well combined with a smooth texture.
- Use a 1.5 tablespoon scoop to portion out balls. Gently roll the balls and lay them on a baking sheet. The meat mixture will be very soft and sticky, so try not to roll the balls too much.
- Once all the balls are formed. Warm the coconut oil, then drizzle it over the tops of the meatballs.
- Place the meatballs in the oven for 10 minutes. Then flip each meatballs and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Serve warm.
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