Cozy dinner season is HERE and wow do I have a brand new, extra delicious one for your weeknight menu. This is actually a recipe that I developed for a project years ago that never ended up making it on the blog. Why? Because life gets busy and my Google Drive folder is a wild place.
So, from the archives, welcome my incredible jalapeño curry chicken meatballs with fluffy coconut rice, a rainbow of veggies, and an addicting yellow curry sauce. You probably know by now that meatballs are one of my fav things to cook for dinner because you can really get creative with the flavors, sides, and sauces that bring them together. Plus, they’re FUN and my kiddos love them.
These protein-packed curry chicken meatball bowls truly check all of the boxes and are perfect for meal prep. Dinner is served!
Everything you’ll need to make these curry chicken meatballs
Incredible flavors, beautiful veggies, fluffy rice, and plenty of protein — what more could you need in a weeknight meal?! These curry chicken meatball bowls truly have it all. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Ground chicken: we’re using lean ground chicken for the perfect protein-packed meatballs.
- Egg: you’ll also need 1 egg to help bind the meatballs.
- Panko bread crumbs: a little bit of panko will also hold the meatballs together.
- Fresh herbs & spices: the meatballs get mixed with garlic, cilantro, basil, green onion, ground turmeric, curry powder, cumin, and salt. You’ll use many of these for the coconut rice and curry sauce as well! The rice and sauce also have freshly grated ginger, and the sauce gets a little cayenne pepper.
- Rice: this dish becomes a complete meal with fluffy white jasmine rice cooked in creamy coconut milk.
- Vegetables: add a delicious kick of heat by mixing a diced jalapeño into the meatball mixture. Then we’re adding carrots, green beans, and a red bell pepper to the rice.
- Coconut: you’ll cook the veggies and rice in a little coconut oil and coconut milk, then use more coconut milk for the curry sauce. Feel free to use light or full fat coconut milk.
- Tahini: the curry sauce gets extra creamy and savory with tahini!
- Maple syrup: a little maple syrup brings out the curry sweetness in the sauce.
- To garnish: I love topping the bowls with lime wedges and more chopped cilantro, basil, and sliced green onion.
Make these meatball bowls your own
There are a few easy ways to customize these curry chicken meatball bowls:
- Swap the ground chicken. Feel free to use ground turkey in this dish if you’d like! I’d recommend using no leaner than 94% so that the meatballs stay juicy.
- Choose your veggies. You can really throw in any vegetables you have on hand. More bell pepper or even sweet potato would be delicious, or try stirring in peas or spinach after the rice cooks.
- Make them gluten free. Simply swap the panko bread crumbs for gluten free bread crumbs, or mix in 2-3 tablespoons of coconut flour instead of bread crumbs.
My best meatball-rolling tip
If you’re using your hands to form meatballs, I recommend wetting your hands or coating them with a little olive oil or nonstick cooking spray to prevent the meatball mixture from sticking. So easy!
How to make curry chicken meatball bowls
- Cook the meatballs. Mix together all of the meatball ingredients, and then bake them up on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Make the rice & veggies. Heat up the coconut oil in a large deep skillet, then saute the garlic, ginger, and veggies. Add in the coconut milk, water, and salt, bring everything to a simmer, and fold in the rice. Cover the skillet and cook the rice on low. Once it’s done, fold in the bell pepper, cover the pot again, and let the rice steam for a few more minutes.
- Make the sauce. While the meatballs and rice are cooking, whisk together all of the curry sauce ingredients until the sauce is nice and smooth.
- Assemble & serve. Divide the rice and veggies between bowls, top with meatballs, and drizzle with the curry sauce. Add your fav garnishes and enjoy!
Can I make them ahead of time?
Absolutely! Save time by making the coconut curry chicken meatballs ahead of time, then finish with the rice and sauce when you’re ready to serve them. Here’s how to do it:
- Mix and form the meatballs as directed in the recipe.
- Cook them as directed and store them in the fridge for up to 2-3 days until you’re ready to continue with the recipe, OR place them raw on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Tightly cover the meatballs with plastic wrap.
- Put the raw meatballs in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. You can prep these meatballs 1-2 days ahead of time.
- Once ready to cook, simply follow the recipe as written. Start at step 4 of the recipe if you’ve already cooked your meatballs ahead of time.
Freezer-friendly curry chicken meatballs
- Bake first, then freeze: simply place your meatballs in a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let the meatballs thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, and then reheat them in a pan on the stovetop until they’re nice and warm.
- Freeze before baking: you can also freeze these meatballs before cooking them! Form your meatballs as instructed, place them on a baking sheet, and put them in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Then, transfer your frozen meatballs to an airtight, freezer-friendly bag or container and place them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw them, simply place them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight and then cook them as directed in the recipe.
Store any leftovers in airtight glass containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. This is the perfect meal prep dinner for the week!
More meatball recipes you’ll love
Get all of my meatball recipes here!
I hope you love these curry chicken meatballs! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
Jalapeño Coconut Curry Chicken Meatball Bowls
Flavorful jalapeño curry chicken meatballs with gorgeous veggies and a delicious, sweet and savory yellow coconut curry sauce. These protein-packed curry chicken meatball bowls are easy to make for the perfect weeknight meal!
- For the meatballs:
- 1 pound 93% lean ground chicken (or ground turkey)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 jalapeño, finely diced (seeds included)
- ¼ cup finely diced cilantro
- ¼ cup finely chopped basil
- ¼ cup finely diced green onion
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon yellow curry powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- For the veggies + coconut rice:
- 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- ¼ cup sliced green onion (white part only)
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 12 oz green beans, ends trimmed and cut into roughly 2 inch long pieces
- 1 (15 oz) can light or full fat coconut milk
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup jasmine white rice
- 1 large red bell pepper, julienned
- For the yellow coconut curry sauce:
- ⅓ cup light or full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, to sweeten
- 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
- ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To garnish:
- Lime wedges
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup julienned basil
- ¼ cup sliced green onion (green part only)
For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix add all ingredients for the meatballs: ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, basil, green onion, ground turmeric, yellow curry powder, cumin and salt. Use clean hands to mix together the turkey. Use a medium cookie scoop or your hands to gather the meatballs. Roll into balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. You should end up with about 14-16 meatballs.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Set aside.
For the rice: Add coconut oil to a large deep skillet or pan and place over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add in garlic, ginger, green onions (white part only), sliced carrots and green beans. Saute for 2 minutes, then add in coconut milk, water and salt. Bring to a simmer then stir in the rice. Immediately cover the pot, reduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes.
After rice cooks, fluff with a fork, then gently fold in the red bell pepper. Cover again, turn off the heat and allow rice to continue steaming for 5 more minutes. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
For the sauce: While everything cooks, whisk together all ingredients for the curry sauce in a medium bowl until smooth.
To serve: Divide rice and veggies between bowls, then top with meatballs and drizzle the curry sauce over the top. Finish off with a squeeze of fresh lime and garnish with fresh cilantro, fresh basil and green onion.
See the full post for tips, tricks, and ways to customize these meatball bowls!
Serving: 1serving (based on 4)Calories: 619calCarbohydrates: 62.2gProtein: 33.3gFat: 28.1gSaturated Fat: 13.5gFiber: 6.4gSugar: 7.3g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats