Chicken Meatballs in Red Curry

Some people are afraid to get into the kitchen and try new things, but I am not one of those people. I’m so lucky to love cooking, even though I grew up in a family where my mother really didn’t love to cook. One of the many great things I learned from my mom was either you can spend your life resisting it, or learn to love something you are going to do the rest of your life. I’m in my kitchen every day, cooking, creating, trying and refining recipes (both my own and other people’s), as well as scouring the internet, cooking magazines and social media for inspiration.  For everyday, I prefer to keep it healthful with protein, vegetables, and some fruit, with less grains, less sugar and less carbs–and only with ingredients I can pronounce. Not that eating any other way is bad; I simply delight in making everyday food both healthful and really delicious. Taking non-compliant recipes, or recipes with ingredients I prefer not to eat, and adjusting them–it’s sort-of my superpower. Let’s just say I can be very dedicated, and I won’t stop until it’s perfect…and then I still continue to change it! LOL

When I saw the original recipe for these meatballs from @themodernproper, who has so many wonderful ideas, I knew I could make a Whole30/Paleo version. They are luscious, delicious, and soul-satisfying. The sauce is magic; you don’t need pasta underneath…it is perfect as is! If you do feel like you need something, serve them on cauliflower rice. If you are lucky enough to have any leftover sauce, absolutely save it in the freezer for a future magic elixir that can turn an ordinary chicken breast into a smothered delight. Are you watching my daily stories on Instagram? I’m well known for them because they’re a way to share from my kitchen to yours with ideas on what to make next for dinner. 


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Chicken Meatballs in Red Curry in a large pan

Chicken Meatballs in Red Curry

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Dinner


For the Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground dark chicken meat
  • 1 lb ground light chicken meat
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste (I like Thai Kitchen)
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 21/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil for sautéing 

For the sauce

  • 3/4 cup onions, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste (Thai Kitchen is what I use)
  • 214 oz cans of coconut cream 
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup basil, cut into thinly sliced ribbons
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Mix all meatball ingredients together in a bowl, except for the coconut oil. Take your time to mix very well. I mix by hand in a large bowl, but you can also use a stand mixer on medium speed with a flat beater attachment.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop, portion and roll the meatballs. I make mine just under 2 oz., but make them any size you like, just be sure they are all the same size.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat the coconut oil and brown the meatballs on all sides. You want to just brown them, not cook through. Set aside.
  4. Drain all but 1 tbsp of the oil from cooking the meatballs, being sure to keep the crunchy goodness and leftover meatball bits in the pan. Then sauté the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  5. In a small pan, warm the chicken stock. Using 1/3 cup of the warmed chicken stock, deglaze the sauté pan, being sure to scrape the bottom to get all the bits of loveliness. Then dissolve the curry paste in the remaining 2/3 cup of the warm chicken stock. Add to the pan, followed by the coconut cream and whisk until everything is dissolved and smooth.(Important Note: Before using coconut milk or cream in a recipe, open and blend in a blender, because it naturally separates when canned) 
  6. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, and coconut aminos, stir, and bring to a boil. Then return the meatballs to pan, cover, turn heat down to simmer for 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  7. Add the optional fresh herbs. Stir to combine. Serve over cauliflower or regular rice and Enjoy!

Keywords: chicken meatballs, whole30 meatballs

19 thoughts on “Chicken Meatballs in Red Curry

  1. I’m making these tonight! I’m new to the Paleo scene, and was worried that I’d miss all of my favorite foods and recipes making the transition, but your recipes are all so delicious that the hubby and I don’t even miss our non-Paleo goodies. Thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipes!

  2. Great recipe!💖

  3. Made this last night, it was delicious! But the leftovers today for lunch were even better! I served with cauliflower rice with lime and cilantro, but it was 10x better today after sitting in the sauce in the container I brought for lunch. Thank you for a great W30 recipe!! Also really enjoy all the details you provide in your insta stories.

    1. Did you use 2 cans coconut cream that were smaller or 2 cans of coconut milk? Mine was good but my sauce was a very pale red.

      1. Sometimes I use coconut cream sometimes I use coconut milk, depending on what I have on hand. The sauce can be a different color each time, so don’t worry about the color of the sauce. And here’s the good news, just add more curry paste so you have the color you want. With my kind of cooking, it’s different each time. Recipes are great but don’t get too locked into it and use your intuition. Thanks so much for the comment and hope this helps! I’ve got lots of episodes over on Instagram TV for recipes.

  4. I made this tonight! It was delicious but my sauce seemed too thin and lacked a little flavor. I’m very new to cooking. Any ideas how to make it better next time??

    1. Also. My sauce separated over night? Is that normal? I did blend the coconut cream before use but it felt like it never totally blended together all the way? Could that be a reason? Should I keep my coconut cream in the fridge or in a cabinet before I open it?

      1. Ashley, the coconut cream is a “fat” so it will naturally float on the “water”. Goes right back together when you reheat. No worries. Yummy!!

      2. You know what, it separates and sometimes it doesn’t totally come together because it’s a fat. But I wouldn’t worry about it, just stir it up and enjoy! Thanks so much for the comment.

  5. I made this tonight with shrimp instead of the meatballs because that is what I had on hand. It was a HUGE hit in my house! Thank you for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it with the meatballs.

  6. THis was fabulous….I had shrimp in the freezer so used that instead of the meatballs,..but for sure will make with the meatballs very very soon…the next day I stir fried some bok choy and asparagus and ate the left overs on top of that. So delicious. This will be made again and again. Thank you and keep the delicious recipes coming!

  7. Does anyone else find it hard to print anything from this site?

  8. OMG!!! Even my kiddos loved this. I am gonna use these meatballs is a few other dishes as well. Let you know how it goes~

  9. Can you reccommend a brand of coconut cream?

    1. Native Forest, Tai Kitchen, or the Whole Foods 365 brands are all great. Look for the organic version if you are eating paleo as an AIP. Otherwise the Whole Foods 365 brand tastes the best to me and is the least expensive.

      1. Molly you are so fantastic… I’ve been a little under water with all the comments but am trying to catch up with them. Thank you! And Judy, as Molly suggested, Tai Kitchen is absolutely wonderful. I sure appreciate the comments and hope you all are following the Instagram as well!

  10. AMAZING!! Huge hit with my family. They are always very leery of trying something new. This blew them out of the water. It will be in regular rotation.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to say something so kind. That absolutely makes my day! Have you tried the Spicy Chipotle Meatballs ( ) or my Heroine Chicken ( )? You’re gonna love them and if you’re not already following on Instagram get on over there because that’s where we have so much fun.

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