April 10, 2012

Thai Turkey & Carrot Meatballs

thai turkey carrot meatball subSince I returned home from my brief trip to Thailand, I've been really eager to try my hand at cooking Thai dishes at home. I wish I could say that this recipe was a brilliant and creative attempt at recreating Thai flavours in my own dish, but I actually made this dish a couple of months before I even went there, and it wasn't my idea but was inspired by an intriguing recipe I found from Foodland Ontario.

Nevertheless, these little turkey and carrot meatballs do pack a ton of Thai ingredients like ginger, lime, cilantro, fish sauce, and chili hot sauce, and they make for a juicy and tasty little bite that's bursting with flavour! They obviously aren't a dish you'd expect to find in Thailand, but I thought they were a really nice way of incorporating some Thai flavours into more of a familiar Western-style dish.

I also love that these are fairly healthy because they're baked instead of fried, and they're made with lean ground turkey, lots of carrots, and other good-for-you ingredients like ginger, garlic, and cilantro. I can imagine a vegetarian version made with something like lentils and cashews, though I haven't tried that yet - maybe that will be my next project!

thai turkey carrot meatballsThese are really easy to make and the recipe makes a ton of meatballs, so they can serve a big group as a party appetizer, or can be frozen to be eaten later in any recipe you like! I ate some of mine on their own with the peanut dipping sauce suggested in the original recipe. I wasn't a fan of the sauce because it had a coconut milk base that was too sweet for me, but with a regular peanut sauce or Thai chili sauce, these would be great!

I then discovered that throwing the meatballs in a sub bun with carrot slaw, cilantro, and lots of peanut sauce made for one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. It was really messy but as long as I ate it in private so no one would see my sauce covered face and hands, it was amazing! I think the meatballs would also be great in a peanut noodle dish or a coconut curry soup - be creative and let me know what works!

I hope to start experimenting with more authentic Thai dishes soon, and hopefully I'll end up with a few successful recipes to share with you guys!

thai turkey carrot meatball sub
Thai Carrot & Turkey Meatballs

Adapted from Foodland Ontario, as seen on 50Plus

Makes about 50 small meatballs


3 cups grated carrot (about 2-3 large carrots, weighing about 1 pound total)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (or more for more spice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 cup breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add all ingredients except for the last two (breadcrumbs and turkey) to a large bowl and mix well. Add breadcrumbs and ground turkey and mix in until everything is thoroughly combined.

Roll about 1 tablespoon of the turkey mixture into a ball and place on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the mixture, until you have about 50 meatballs. Place in preheated oven and bake 12-16 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until meatballs are firm and no longer pink inside.

Serve warm on skewers with a peanut sauce dip, sweet chili sauce, or other dipping sauce.

To make Meatball Subs:

I used a white baguette for the bun, covered the bottom half in a storebought broccoli-carrot slaw that I'd coated in a good amount of (storebought) peanut sauce, placed as many turkey meatballs as I could fit on top of that, sprinkled some fresh cilantro on top, then added another drizzle of peanut sauce.


  1. Ooh, do you have a recipe for the peanut sauce? These meatballs look great - my husband is in love with Thai food, and I love the idea of a healthier Thai-inspired sandwich like this. 

  2. Hi Natalie!

    I adore Thai food and these look great! I will have to give them a try. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Thanks!  I used the peanut sauce from the original recipe, but like I said, I wasn't a bit fan of it because of the coconut milk .. I haven't made any other peanut sauce in a long time so I can't recommend a recipe, but I'm sure there's better ones out there!

  4. Love the thai flavours! :) I may have to try & make these with lentils as you mentioned. 

  5. It's a beautiful dish and I bet the Thai spices gave it a perfect kick. Now I'm craving Thai food :)

  6. I'm always looking for new ways to infuse thai flavors into my life and a peanut-sauce smothered meatball sub sounds like the perfect way to do so! I'd have to vegetarianize the meatballs, but I think it's totally doable.

  7.  That was a last minute idea when I was writing this but it might work!  Lentils aren't exactly a Thai ingredient but I don't think turkey is either!

  8.  Thanks, Ben!  I kept mine pretty mild but you could definitely increase the spice with more chili sauce!

  9. I think so too, I just haven't tried it yet, but I bet Thai veggieballs would be delicious!


Ingredient Index

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips