Thai Inspired Chicken Meatball Soup
This Thai inspired chicken meatball soup is flavor-packed and easy to make with a creamy coconut curry broth, shiitake mushrooms, and oven-baked meatballs. Served warm with rice noodles or fluffy jasmine rice for the perfect cozy meal in less than an hour.
Ingredients in Thai Inspired Chicken Meatball Soup
Ground chicken: While white meat will work, dark meat will yield a juicier, more flavorful meatball. Buy chicken pre-ground or ask your butcher to grind a pound of chicken thighs for you. Ground turkey will also work if you prefer.
Aromatics: Ingredients like garlic, ginger, scallions, and cilantro are going to give the meatballs all their delicious flavor while a couple of shallots will act as the base for our broth. Make sure to use fresh aromatics. Taking the time to grate your own ginger and garlic makes a huge difference in flavor.
Mushrooms and spinach: Adds some more bulk to the broth and sneaks a serving of vegetables into this Thai Inspired Chicken Meatball Soup. Fresh baby spinach works great, as well as thawed frozen spinach. For the mushrooms, make sure to wash them and remove the stems before slicing.
Soy sauce: We prefer normal, but low-sodium can be substituted. If you’re avoiding soy, replace the soy sauce with an equal amount of coconut aminos.
Coconut milk: This is going to make the broth super rich and creamy. Make sure you buy full fat, unsweetened coconut milk, not the kind from the carton.
Red curry paste: This is a key ingredient in many Thai dishes as well as this Thai inspired chicken meatball soup. It’s a flavorful blend of concentrated spices and aromatics which makes the broth incredibly fragrant and delicious. Red curry paste is available to buy in most well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets. Make sure to taste your curry paste before using as some are more powerful than others.
Chicken broth: Since the soy sauce, and sometimes curry paste, are already very salty, we recommend using low-sodium chicken broth. Storebought and homemade both work.
Lime juice: Easy to forget, but super important to make all those flavors pop!
How to Make Thai Inspired Chicken Meatball Soup
This Thai inspired chicken meatball soup is simple and easy to make. Start by turning on the oven and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. Instead of pan-frying the meatballs, which is messy and difficult with low fat proteins, the meatballs are partially baked in the oven and then finished in the sauce.
- Combine the ground chicken with all the aromatics and mix until just combined. Over working the mixture will cause the meatballs to be dense. Use a cookie scoop or measuring spoon to form 1 ½ inch balls. If the mixture is too difficult to work with, oil your hands or get them wet with water to prevent sticking. Place those meatballs on the sheet pan and bake until they’re just cooked through. The Thai inspired chicken meatballs will finish cooking in the sauce so don’t worry if they’re still a little pink in the center. (Just don’t taste them quite yet!)
- While the meatballs are baking, get started on the broth. Sauté a couple of shallots and shiitake mushrooms until they’re soft and beginning to caramelize. Add the curry paste and let that toast for only a minute or so before pouring in the coconut milk and broth. Once the meatballs are ready, add those to the broth and bring everything up to a simmer. Don’t let it boil. Cook everything until the meatballs are cooked through, this should take about 10 minutes.
- Finally, stir in the lime juice and spinach. Serve this Thai inspired chicken meatball soup in shallow bowls with rice noodles or jasmine rice. Enjoy!
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Thai Inspired Chicken Meatball Soup
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 2 medium scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided – gluten-free if needed
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 15 ounce can full fat, unsweetened coconut milk
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- Juice from 1 lime
- Cooked rice noodles or jasmine rice for serving, (see tip below)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, scallions, cilantro, garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.1 lb ground chicken, 2 medium scallions, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 3 cloves garlic, 1 inch piece of ginger
- With oiled hands, form the mixture into 1 ½ inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until just cooked through. They will finish cooking in the broth so it’s ok if they are still a little pink in the middle.
- To make the soup, heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil. When shimmering, add the shallots and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until softened.1 tablespoon cooking oil, 2 large shallots, 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- Stir in the red curry paste. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, and remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Place the baked meatballs in the pot and bring them to a bare simmer. Reduce the heat and continue simmering for 5-10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, 15 ounce can full fat, unsweetened coconut milk, 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- Stir in the spinach and lime juice. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Serve warm with cooked rice noodles or jasmine rice.Juice from 1 lime, 5 ounces baby spinach