It’s Whole30 Round 2 and I’m craving some new flavors using chicken as a base. Because Brian doesn’t eat pork or red meat, we never cook it at home, so I always have turkey and chicken on hand, and sometimes fish. While we normally eat mostly vegetarian anyway, I have found that we’ve been eating a lot more meat while doing The Whole30. And when you only eat chicken and turkey, and some fish, it’s easy to get into a flavor rut.
I had some ground chicken in the refrigerator and wanted to make something brand new, so I did some googling for Whole30 chicken recipes and chicken meatball recipes and found the Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs recipe from The Bewitchin Kitchen. It looked amazing, so I printed the recipe and adapted it a bit to make it easier.
It’s important to note that I rarely make recipes that require weird ingredients I have never heard of or wouldn’t normally stock in my pantry. The few times I have, the ingredients later just sit in the cabinet taking up space and never getting used, then they get old and I just have to throw them out. Plus, often times unique ingredients are just too expensive to buy for one meal.
The recipe I found called for coconut aminos. I didn’t have it and I couldn’t find it at the store, so I just cut it out. I also increased the amount of carrots, garlic, red curry paste, and almond butter used, and decreased the the amount of cilantro.
From the very first bite, Brian and I were in taste bud heaven. The Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs Over Cauliflower Rice were amazing — and what’s even better is that there are leftovers and we get to eat it again!
The first step to making the chicken meatballs is getting the carrot and red onion pieces really small. I did this by sticking them in my Vitamix and pulsing it a few times. Then combine the ground chicken, carrots and onions, cilantro, lime juice, basil, ginger, garlic, cumin, red chili flakes, sea salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well.
Next, roll chicken mixture into 1 1/2 to 2″ balls and place them on a lined or greased pan. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes, turn them over, and bake for another 20 minutes. Don’t worry if the raw chicken mixture is pretty goopy and your raw meatballs aren’t very firm — they bake up perfectly!
Coconut Curry Sauce
This meal looks complicated, but it’s actually really easy! Making the meatballs is just like making burgers but smaller and baked instead of grilled. And, if you can heat things up on the stove, you can make the Coconut Curry Sauce.
While meatballs are cooking, combine coconut milk, red curry paste, almond butter, lime juice, and garlic in a large skillet. Stir ingredients together over medium heat until fully incorporated. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
I wanted to serve the Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs Over Cauliflower Rice, but I didn’t want to make cauliflower rice. I was so excited to find a bag of Green Giant Fresh Cauliflower Crumbles Fried Rice Blend at the store, which had tiny pieces of carrot and green onion mixed in. So much easier!
All I had to do was heat up some olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Then when the garlic started to grown, I dumped in the bag of cauliflower crumbles, stirred it around in the olive oil, and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring it periodically.
Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs Over Cauliflower Rice
After flipping the chicken meatballs over and putting them back in the oven for the final 20 minutes, I prepped the skillets for the cauliflower rice and the Coconut Curry Sauce.
- The coconut curry sauce takes about 5 minytes to prep and 10 minutes to simmer, so I started in first.
- Once the sauce ws simmering, I started the cauliflower fried rice, which also takes about 10 minutes.
The chicken meatballs, the sauce, and the cauliflower rice all finished at the same time — woohoo! I topped the cauliflower fried rice blend with the Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs, drizzled on some extra sauce, and sprinkled a tiny bit of red pepper flakes and cilantro on top.
OMG. I am in love with these meatballs and the sauce is fantastic.
Sometimes it’s hard to get out of my normal food routine and come up with a unique and exciting Whole30 recipes because it means you have to plan in advance and prep, but when you find a recipe like this one, it’s soooo worth it!
Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs Over Cauliflower Rice
A spicy coconut curry sauce takes juicy, flavor-packed chicken meatballs to the next level.
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped carrots
- 1/3 red onion, chopped
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 1/2 tbsp cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp basil
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 1/2 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place carrots and red onion in a high-powered blender or food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- In a medium bowl, combine ground chicken, carrots and onions, cilantro, lime juice, basil, ginger, garlic, cumin, red chili flakes, sea salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Roll chicken mixture into 1 1/2 to 2" balls and place them on a lined or greased pan. Bake for 20 minutes, turn the meatballs over, and bake for another 20 minutes.
- When meatballs have about 15 minutes left to cook, combine coconut milk, red curry paste, almond butter, lime juice, and garlic in a large skillet. Stir ingredients together over medium heat until fully incorporated. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
- When meatballs have 10 minutes left to cook, add olive oil and a few cloves of fresh pressed garlic to a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add caulfilower fried rice mix and cook over medium heat, stirring periodically.
- Remove chicken meatballs from oven and transfer to the Coconut Curry Sauce. Stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs over Cauliflower Rice.
Use this Broccoli Cauliflower Rice recipe or just grab a bag of cauliflower crumbles from the grocery store. For this dinner, I picked up a bag of Cauliflower Fried Rice Mix, which had tiny pieces of carrot and green onion mixed in.
Don't worry if the raw chicken mixture is pretty goopy and your raw meatballs aren't very firm — they bake up perfectly!