I’m often asked how I come up with recipes, and to be honest it’s a bit of a mystery to me most of the time too. These Thai Zucchini Meatballs with Mango Coconut Sauce are definitely no exception. It was really just a craving for meatballs along with the idea, (and again I have no idea where I came up with this idea – maybe something I saw?) that mango and coconut would make a really great sauce with something savory.
From there I added zucchini for moistness in the meatballs, a few spices that sounded good, and it turned out to be a new favorite in our house. And that’s it, there’s not a whole lot of rhyme or reason to how I cook other than what I’m craving, along with whatever ingredients sound good together!
A few weeks ago I made my Bacon Wrapped Ranch Meatloaf and I used grated zucchini in it as well. It turned out to be such a great combo along with almond flour, that it’s now my go-to when it comes to making meatballs and meatloaf.
How to Make this recipe:
- Mix together everything for the meatballs.
- Next brown them in a skillet which creates so much awesome flavor.
- Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set them aside.
- Sauté the ginger and garlic before adding the spices and coconut milk.
- Add the meatballs back to the pan. Simmer just until they’re done in the middle, and the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Season to taste and add the fresh diced mango.
- Serve right away with your choice of sides! My favorite is steamed jasmine rice and toasted cashews with lime wedges.
- You can use ground turkey, pork, or beef for these meatballs. My favorite is ground pork.
- If you don’t have coconut aminos, you can sub in soy sauce or tamari instead. Be careful to read the labels if you’re strictly gluten free since soy sauce and tamari aren’t always gluten free.
- You can use any type of ripe mango you can find, however Champagne mangos are definitely the best flavor and texture.
Freshly minced ginger and garlic are worth the small amount of effort because the flavor is really that much better. Also this is a simply flavored recipe, so you’ll be rewarded for your efforts on the garlic/ginger front!
I sure hope you’ll enjoy these fun meatballs as much as well have. They’ve been a fun change of pace, and they’re so easy to make as well, which is always a bonus in my book!Print
These meatballs are so easy to make, perfectly moist, and a great change of pace on the dinner table!
1 pound ground pork, turkey, or beef
2 Tablespoons each, coconut aminos and fish sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup almond flour
1 cup grated zucchini, from 1 small
1 Teaspoon lime zest, grated with a microplane grater
2 Tablespoons avocado oil
Coconut Mango Sauce:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Teaspoon minced ginger
2 Teaspoons lime zest
1 Teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 Teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 – 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
2 cups diced mango, 1/2″ cups from 1 pound champagne mangos
Freshly steamed rice or cauliflower rice for Whole30
Freshly chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and toasted cashews
Mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs, except the avocado oil. Form the meat mixture into meatballs about 2″ in diameter, you will have around 24. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add the avocado oil and sauté the meatballs in 2 batches to brown the sides.
Remove the meatballs from the pan and set them aside. Add a touch more oil if necessary along with the garlic and ginger called for in the sauce portion of the recipe. Sauté until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the lime zest, coriander, turmeric, chili flakes, fish sauce, and coconut milk.
Stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Then add the meatballs back to the pan, and simmer until the meatballs are done, and the sauce is thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
When the meatballs are done, season the sauce to taste with sea salt, and add the diced mango to the pan. Stir to combine, being careful not to break up the meatballs. Serve immediately with your choice of sides.
To make sure this is Whole30, be sure and check the labels of each ingredient. Fish sauce in particular often has added sugar to watch out for.
Keywords: Gluten free, Dairy free, Paleo, Whole30, Grain free