Thai Red Curry Baked Vegetable Meatballs

Meatballs! Meatballs! Said like my Italian grandmother would say. Hand gestures and all.

Except these are so not my grandma’s meatballs.

Recipe for thai red curry baked vegetable meatballs. Flavorful veggie and chickpea meatballs served in a creamy thai red curry sauce! Finished with fresh basil!

But oh am I excited to share these with you today.

Now, as we’ve established previously, I am one of those people who, when I’m into something, can eat it over and over and over. And over. That whole obsessive personality I guess.

And to say I am still on quite the kick with this thai red curry with peppers and cashews would be the understatement of the year.

But unfortunately, that husband of mine does not feel the same way about eating the same thing again and again. So I had to get all sneaky and serve him these meatballs. Because hellooooo very similar sauce. Just a totally different way to serve it.

I had the idea for this dish after seeing Dannii’s recipe for thai chicken meatballs – which sound so good!

Except we’re going meatless here today with lots of veggies and chickpeas! Like the curry! I told you, I’m still obsessed with it.

Recipe for thai red curry baked vegetable meatballs. Flavorful veggie and chickpea meatballs served in a creamy thai red curry sauce! Finished with fresh basil!

So. Let’s talk about this dish.

We’ll start by making the meatballs. We have some walnuts, some chickpeas, a bunch of different veggies. It all gets mixed together with some breadcrumbs, flour, an egg and spices. We form them into balls and off they go into the oven to bake away!

{Also, the meatballs are totally freezer friendly – you can make them in advance, freeze and then just rewarm when ready!}

Then, while the meatballs are baking, we’ll whip up that oh-so-flavorful thai red curry sauce. Onion, garlic, ginger, curry paste! Lots of coconut milk! So creamy, so dreamy!

When the meatballs are done cooking, we’ll add them to the sauce and sprinkle on some fresh basil.

And then serve them up however you like! I’ve been loving eating them over egg noodles, but I think they could be awesome any number of ways.

PS – did I mention that the husband actually thought these were regular meatballs (i.e. made with meat)? Tricky tricky!

Recipe for thai red curry baked vegetable meatballs. Flavorful veggie and chickpea meatballs served in a creamy thai red curry sauce! Finished with fresh basil!

Products I Love & Use To Make This Recipe (may contain affiliate links):

Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste – I’ve mentioned this before but this is the curry paste that I use. If you use this same brand, the curry is not overly spicy. Super flavorful but not really spicy. If you do want more heat, you can definitely add some red pepper flakes. I can’t speak to any other brands since this is the only one I have used / found at my local stores!

Yield: about 4 servings

Thai Red Curry Baked Vegetable Meatballs

Prep Time:25 minutes

Cook Time:30 minutes

Total Time:55 minutes

Recipe for thai red curry baked vegetable meatballs. Veggie and chickpea meatballs served in a creamy thai red curry sauce! Finished with fresh basil!

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • ¼ cup raw walnut halves
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • ½ cup minced carrot (from about 1 medium carrot)
  • ½ cup minced red or orange bell pepper (from about 1 small pepper)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce (vegetarian worcestershire if desired)

For the sauce:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, grated
  • 3 tablespoons thai red curry paste
  • 2 ½ cups canned full-fat coconut milk*
  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • chopped fresh basil, for garnish

Serving ideas:

  • cooked rice or cooked egg noodles

Directions:

For the meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add the walnuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground (but don’t go so far that it turns into a paste). Transfer to a large bowl. Next, add the chickpeas to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until about half of the chickpeas are pureed, but the rest still have some texture. Add to the same large bowl, along with the green onion, carrot, pepper, garlic, breadcrumbs, flour, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix until well combined. Add the egg and the worcestershire sauce to the bowl. Mix until incorporated.
  3. Form the mixture into balls that are about 1 ½ inches in diameter (a cookie scoop works great here!) and place on the prepared baking sheet. The mixture will be on the wet side but it should form into balls without a problem – I get about 18 meatballs.
  4. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until firm and lightly browned.

For the sauce:

  1. Meanwhile, set a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add in the garlic, ginger and curry paste and stir until combined. Add the coconut milk, broth, soy sauce, salt (I would suggest starting with the lower amount and adding more later as needed) and sugar to the skillet and mix to combine.
  2. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat and let simmer gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
  3. Add the cooked meatballs to the skillet and stir gently to coat. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and serve as desired.

I like to mince the carrot and bell pepper in the food processor as well for this recipe. Gets them nice and small and even in size.

*For the canned coconut milk, you’ll need to use about 1 ½ cans to get this amount. I add both cans to a small saucepan and heat on the stove over medium heat until just combined and no longer separated (it doesn’t need to be warm or hot). I then measure out what I need for the recipe and save the rest for smoothies, etc.!

Also, only the meatballs are freezer friendly!

Cook Nourish Bliss

Pssst. Looking for more recipes with chickpeas? Be sure to check out the salad recipe I created for Oh My Veggies!

Get it here! —> Vegetarian Cobb Salad

Vegetarian Cobb Salad