My Thai Style Chicken Meatballs are full of flavour, easily made and ideal to serve as a delicious appetiser! Red curry paste, coriander, kaffir lime and garlic combine for a tasty meatball. Try these at your next dinner party or drinks catch up – they’re sure to be popular with your family and friends!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
One great advantage of these Thai Style Chicken Meatballs is that you can make them ahead of time: a great help when entertaining.
They can be frozen in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. To thaw, just pull them out of the freezer and place them in the refrigerator to defrost. Reheat the cooked meatballs prior to serving and enjoy!
You will love these Thai Style Chicken Meatballs because:
- The meatballs are baked not fried – less fat and less mess!
- They are gluten-free, making them ideal for people who are unable to eat gluten.
- Chicken mince is lean, making it a healthy choice.
- They are tender, moist and full of flavour.
- For easy entertaining, keep some in the freezer.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Mung bean vermicelli noodles – also known as bean thread, cellophane or glass noodles. These are not the same as rice vermicelli. The dried noodles are similar in appearance but have different characteristics. Glass noodles are translucent and gelatinous when cooked, whilst rice noodles are white and slightly chewy.
Coriander/cilantro – this herb is also known as Chinese parsley. I use the leaves and some of the stems in the Chicken Meatballs. It adds a citrus-like flavour.
Kaffir lime leaf – sold fresh in Asian stores, and in some supermarkets, they add a bright citrus flavour. The remaining leaves can be frozen for up to one year.
Coconut cream – is thicker and richer than coconut milk. It adds flavour and moisture without adding excess liquid.
Thai fish sauce – this is an essential ingredient in Thai cooking. When used in balance with other ingredients, it does not make a dish taste “fishy”. It adds a savoury, umami element.
Lime juice – my preference is always for fresh juice; I believe the flavour is fresher and brighter than bottled juice.
Red curry paste – I use the brand Mae Ploy – it is a concentrated paste. If using other brands, you may need more. We recommend adjusting to your taste – cook a little of the mixture to check that the seasoning is to your liking prior to baking the Thai Chicken Meatballs.
Garlic – I use fresh garlic. It has a better flavour than bottled garlic and there are no unnecessary additives.
Chicken mince – also known as ground chicken. This is generally low in fat, making it a leaner, healthy choice.
Carrot – finely grated carrot adds texture, moisture and nutrients to the meatballs.
How to Make Thai Chicken Meatballs:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
1 – Soak the noodles:
Soak the vermicelli noodles in cold water until softened – this will take about 10 minutes. Drain them, and then cover with boiling water. Stand for about 2 minutes or until soft. Drain completely, turn onto a chopping board and cut into lengths about 3 cm (1 inch). Set them aside.
2 – Prepare the flavour base:
In a small food processor blend the coriander leaves and some stems, finely sliced kaffir lime leaf, coconut cream, fish sauce, lime juice, red curry paste and crushed garlic until well combined. Pour into a mixing bowl.
3 – Add your other ingredients:
To your flavour base, add the grated carrot, vermicelli noodles and ground chicken mince.
4 – Mix to combine:
Mix well until just combined but do not over mix – this will toughen the texture.
5 – Spoon into muffin tins:
Spoon the mixture into the two muffin tins, filling them just above the top of each hole. Or, use a small ice cream scoop to make even sizes. Alternatively, you can scoop them onto a lined baking sheet. They should all be a similar size so they cook evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
6 – Serve the Thai Style Chicken Meatballs:
Once the meatballs are baked, turn them onto a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve immediately with a dipping sauce or set them aside to cool and refrigerate for later use.
Tips for success and FAQs:
These delicious Thai Style Chicken Meatballs are simple to prepare and packed with flavour. For the best results, follow our handy tips below!
It’s a good idea to taste the meatball mixture before cooking. Just make a small patty and pan-fry to check that the seasoning is as you would like. Adjust it if necessary. It is better than discovering after you have cooked the meatballs that you would have liked a little extra flavour, especially as all brands of curry paste can vary.
For tender meatballs, mix the meat and other ingredients until they are just combined. We have added mungbean noodles to help prevent the mixture from being too dense. To help keep the meatballs moist, we add grated carrot and coconut cream. When forming the meatballs, do not firmly compress them. It is also important to not overcook them.
If you make them a day ahead, warm them through gently in a covered ovenproof dish in the oven or microwave. Do not overheat or they will dry out.
The Thai Style Chicken Meatballs can be frozen both cooked or uncooked.
For cooked: freeze once completely cool in an airtight container.
For uncooked: freeze on a lined baking sheet first, so they do not stick together. Then, transfer to an airtight container. The meatballs can be kept in the freezer for up to three months. Always label and date your containers.
Variations and substitutions:
Mini muffin tin – no tin? No problem! You can use a small ice cream scoop and scoop the mixture out onto a lined baking sheet. They may not hold their shape as well, however, they’ll still be just as delicious!
Chicken mince – lean ground pork mince is a great substitution.
Kaffir lime leaf – if you are unable to source, substitute with the zest of one lime.
These delicious Thai Chicken Meatballs are a fantastic appetiser or can be incorporated as part of your main meal. Serve them alongside:
- Steamed rice or Thai Red Curry Chicken Fried Rice;
- Lettuce cups and shredded vegetables;
- Roasted Bok Choy;
- Sweet Chilli Sauce.
A simple recipe that is ideal for entertaining is such a useful thing to have in your repertoire – especially when it is freezer friendly.
These easily made Thai Style Chicken Meatballs are my go-to recipe for many occasions. Their vibrant, fresh flavours are a great start to a successful meal or drinks party. They are fabulous served as finger food, or great the next day if you happen to have any leftovers. Grab some napkins, hand out the chicken balls and dipping sauce, and your party is underway.
Let us know what you think of this delicious recipe in the comments below.
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Thai Style Chicken Meatballs
- 20 gm (0.75 oz) mung bean vermicelli noodles See Note 1
- ½ cup chopped coriander – leaves and some stems See Note 2
- 1 kaffir lime leaf – centre vein removed and the leaf chopped finely See Note 3
- 2 ½ tablespoon coconut cream – not milk See Note 4
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice – freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste – or to taste See Note 5
- 1 clove garlic – minced
- 500 gm (1.1 lb) ground chicken mince
- 1 small carrot – finely grated
For accuracy, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
- Soak the vermicelli noodles in cold water until softened – about 10 minutes. Drain them then cover with boiling water. Stand for about 2 minutes or until soft. Drain completely, turn onto a chopping board and cut into lengths about 3 cm (1 inch). Set them aside.
- Grease two 12-hole mini muffin pans.
- Preheat your oven to 190 Degrees C (375 F).
- In a small food processor, blend the coriander leaves and stems, finely sliced kaffir lime leaf, coconut cream, fish sauce, lime juice, red curry paste and crushed garlic until well combined. Pour into a mixing bowl.
- To your blended mixture, add the grated carrot, vermicelli noodles and ground chicken mince. Mix well until just combined but do not over mix.
- Spoon the mixture into the two muffin tins, filling them just above the top of each hole. Or, use a small ice cream scoop to make even sizes. Alternatively, you can scoop them onto a lined baking tray. Ensure they are a similar size so they cook evenly.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until just cooked through.A thermometer should read an internal temperature of 74 degrees C (165 F)
- Turn onto a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve immediately with a dipping sauce or set them aside to cool and refrigerate if using later.
- Mung bean vermicelli: are also called bean thread noodles or cellophane or glass noodles because of their transparent appearance. They are made from mung bean flour and when cooked, they are clear like glass. The dry noodles are fine, wiry and tough and come in bundles. They are readily available in the supermarket.
- Coriander/cilantro: use some of the stems as well as the coriander leaves. The stems also have great flavour and will be cut finely in the food processor.
- Fresh Kaffir lime leaves: are available from Asian grocers and some supermarkets. If you are not able to buy fresh, you may be able to buy frozen. Store the unused fresh leaves in a zip-lock bag in the freezer.
- Tablespoon: we use a standard Australian tablespoon which is 20 ml (4 teaspoons).
- Red curry paste: we use Mae Ploy. Brands vary in their strength, and if you are using a different brand, you may require more paste. If you are unsure, cook a little of the mixture to test the flavours.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
This post was originally published in July 2018. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.
Made these for dinner tonight and they were a hit! The whole family devoured them and asked me to make them tomorrow, too! I made them exactly as instructed with no substitutions and it was absolutely perfect. I may make a double batch tomorrow so we have leftovers – thanks for sharing!
Hi Karen, I am so pleased that your family enjoyed our Thai Style Chicken Meatballs. It’s a great idea to make a double batch. 🙂
Thank you Alex for this delicious recipe. Easy to double. Very moist and juicy. I made the mini muffin version for entertaining but can’t wait to make larger ones for a main meal.
Hi Helen, thank you for your fantastic feedback on the Thai Style Chicken Meatballs. I am so pleased that you enjoyed them and do appreciate that you let me know. 🙂
I had never thought of Thai flavours in my meatballs and I so glad I tried. I used ground Turkey because I could t find chicken, but they turned out perfect. We just had them with salad for dinner and we both loved it.
Hi Deanna, thank you for your lovely comments on the Thai Style Chicken Meatballs. I am so pleased that you enjoyed them; turkey is a great substitute for chicken. I do appreciate that you took the time to contact me. 🙂
oh yum so many wonderful flavours here. i tend to use turkey mince these days as it is so tender but chicken is great too!
Hi Sherry, I am so pleased that you enjoyed the Thai Style Chicken Meatballs; turkey is a great substitute for chicken. Thank you for your feedback. 🙂
I made these meatballs for my Thai friend and she loved it! She said it had all the flavors of Thai food and requested I make this for her again the next time we meet. I served them with sweet Thai chili sauce on a bed of lettuce.
Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try. I am so happy that you and your friend enjoyed the meatballs. Your serving suggestion sounds delicious 🙂
These were so good! I love kaffir lime leaves and the other flavourings.
Hi Devan, I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the Thai Style Chicken Meatballs. Thank you for letting me know. 🙂
5 stars!! I had all these ingredients leftover from curry night and decided to make this for lunch. Amazing!! I used ground turkey instead of chicken but pretty much followed the recipe otherwise. Highly recommend!
Hi Katherine, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the Chicken and Noodle Meatballs. What a great idea to use ground turkey instead! 🙂