Sweet chili turkey meatballs are delicious, tender and juicy, and quick and easy to make. Loaded with classic Thai flavors, these meatballs are baked and then tossed in a homemade sweet chili sauce. They're savory, sweet, and tangy with an incredible depth of flavor. Serve sticky Thai turkey meatballs on their own with extra sweet chili sauce, over a bowl of steamed rice and vegetables, or with a green onion dinner roll. Plus, you can make a big batch and freeze them either cooked or uncooked for an easy freezer meal on a busy weeknight.
Why You’ll Love Sweet Chili Turkey Meatballs
- Quick and easy. Sweet chili turkey meatballs are a great weeknight dinner option because they are quick and easy to make. Plus, you can marinate and shape them ahead of time, and pop them into the oven for 20 minutes when it's time for dinner. Some of my other favorite meatballs for busy weeknights include: Baked Turkey Meatballs, Swedish Meatballs, and Sticky Honey Garlic Meatballs.
- Freezer-friendly = perfect for meal prep. These meatballs are freezer-friendly both before and after cooking. It's a great recipe to double or even triple batch on a Sunday and freeze for another day when you don't have much time to prepare dinner.
- They’re packed with flavor. These turkey meatballs are marinated in delicious Thai flavors including green onions, fresh garlic, red curry paste, fish sauce, and fresh ginger. They are ready to bake after just 20 minutes of marinating, or let them marinate overnight for a stronger depth of flavor.
- Homemade sweet chili sauce. These wouldn’t be sweet chili turkey meatballs without a delicious, sweet, savory, and tangy homemade sweet chili sauce. Made with six simple ingredients, the sauce comes together quickly and easily to complement the freshly baked turkey meatballs.
Ingredients And Substitutions
To make these easy sweet chili turkey meatballs, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in the recipe card below):
- ground turkey
- green onions
- red curry paste - this is optional, it adds a slightly spicy kick.
- fish sauce
- sweet chili sauce - we made homemade sweet chili sauce using white vinegar (or rice vinegar), water, sugar, garlic, Sambal Oelek garlic chili paste (or crushed red pepper flakes), and cornstarch (or all-purpose flour). You can also use store-bought sweet chili sauce if it is more convenient.
How To Make Sweet Chili Turkey Meatballs
- Prepare the meatballs. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey with green onions, garlic, ginger, curry paste (if using), fish sauce, breadcrumbs, egg, and salt. Mix well to form into a uniform consistency. Set aside for at least 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight to allow all the flavors to infuse better.
- Shape the meatballs. Take 2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture at a time and roll into meatballs. Transfer the meatballs onto a parchment-lined half sheet baking pan and lightly coat with some oil to keep them from sticking, if needed.
- Bake the meatballs. Bake in a 400 F preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until fully cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165F as read on a meat thermometer. Set aside.
- Make the sweet chili sauce. In a shallow saucepan, whisk together vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, chili paste, and cornstarch until sugar and cornstarch is fully dissolved. Keep stirring and heat the mixture over medium heat until thickened to a desired consistency, about 4-5 minutes.
- Toss in meatballs. Add the baked meatballs and toss well to coat evenly. Serve immediately with extra sweet chili sauce on the side, or over white rice and veggies.
How to Cook Sweet Chili Turkey Meatballs in the Air Fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 375 F, about 3 minutes. Place meatballs in a single layer in the air fryer basket and lightly spray with cooking oil to coat evenly. Air fry the meatballs for 12-14 minutes until browned and the center of the meatball reaches 160 F as read on a meat thermometer. Shake the basket halfway during cooking to brown evenly.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- How to store: Keep leftover sweet chili Turkey meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
- How to serve: Most meatball recipes are served up with pasta, but these sweet chili turkey meatballs aren’t like any other regular meatball dish. Instead, serve them on their own, over white rice with steamed veggies, or on a freshly toasted roll.
- How to freeze: Turkey meatballs freeze well either before or after cooking.
- To freeze uncooked meatballs: Place the shaped meatballs on a large half sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper. Transfer the pan to the freezer and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Then, transfer the meatballs into a freezer bag or freezer-safe airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To cook, allow the meatballs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator first, then cook as per recipe instructions on the stove.
- To freeze cooked meatballs: Once cooled, store the meatballs in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.
- How to reheat: You can reheat turkey meatballs in the microwave, on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through, or in a 350 F preheated oven or air fryer for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
More Turkey Recipe
- Baked Turkey Meatballs
- Ground Turkey Pasta Bake
- Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
- Leftover Turkey Stuffed Peppers
- Turkey Parmesan
- Leftover Turkey Fried Rice
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