Thai Red Curry Chickpea Meatballs
Thai Red Curry Chickpea ‘Meatballs’- fresh ginger, carrots and garlic are blended with chickpeas and served with a creamy red curry sauce for a satisfying and flavorful plant-based meal. (gluten-free)
Friends! How was your weekend? Did you celebrate Easter?
We didn’t do much for the holiday other than drive home from Charleston, where we celebrated our third anniversary. Each year we’ve managed to commemorate with a little getaway and it’s been a nice way to create new experiences together while honoring the memory of our wedding day. We both prefer that over giving/receiving gifts.
I didn’t go crazy taking pictures during this trip but I’d love to share what we did so hopefully I can come up with a post soon. In the meantime, let’s talk about these ridiculously tasty chickpea balls!
My Vegan Zucchini ‘Meatballs’ were such a big hit with you guys that I thought I’d revisit the recipe with a new spin on it. This version is infused with Thai flavors from carrot, garlic, fresh ginger and basil topped with a creamy red curry sauce. Hot damn, they are so good!
Similar to the zucchini meatballs, everything gets tossed in a food processor and finely chopped. From there you roll the mixture into balls and bake them in the oven while you make the sauce on the stovetop.
I prefer to bake them because it helps them firm up and negates the need for any oil but you could probably get away with cooking them on the stovetop if you wanted.
My favorite way to serve them is with cooked rice however I know that not everyone likes to eat as many carbs as I do. If you’re looking to reduce the carbs, cauliflower rice makes a great alternative. I have a feeling sweet potato rice would also be delicious!
Red Curry Chickpea 'Meatballs'
Yield: 16 balls
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 20
Total Time: 30
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots (about 2 carrots)
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1/2-inch fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil (about 10 leaves)
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari (or liquid aminos)
- brown rice*, chopped green onions and fresh basil for serving
Red Curry Sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons red curry paste
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoons coconut sugar
- juice of 1 lime
Preheat the oven to 375°F then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, add all of the ingredients for the balls starting with the chickpeas and ending with the tamari. Blend for about 10 seconds, until everything is finely chopped and it starts to form a dough. You should be able to press the mixture between your fingers and have it stick together.
Using a scooper, scoop out about 1.5 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and arrange on the baking sheet a few inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until light golden brown and firm.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the red curry paste (I like to use 3 tablespoons for medium heat. Use less if you are sensitive to spicy foods), tomato paste, coconut milk, water and coconut sugar. Whisk ingredients together and bring to a low boil for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low then squeeze in lime juice and stir.
Once balls are done cooking, serve warm over brown rice and top with sauce. Garnish with green onions and fresh basil, and enjoy!
*For a low carb option, serve them over cauliflower rice
Click Here for Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts are for 4 ‘meatballs’ or 1/4th of recipe
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
The flavors sound amazing and I love the creative idea with chickpeas! Been trying more meatless meals lately, so I sure love this one!
Thanks Carrie! I hope you get a chance to try them!
I’m so making this it looks awesome. what a neat recipe thank you Sarah ☺
Yay! I’m so happy you like the recipe, Sherry. Thank you! :)
I really need a food processor! I can’t believe how easily these come together. Riley never seems to like dishes with curry, but maybe I can get him to expand his horizons a little!
Aw man, he doesn’t know what he’s missing! I think most people think of Indian curry when they hear that word but Thai curry is so much different. I love it! :)
ahh what a cool idea and such an easy way to get some more protein in. also i LOVE thai flavored everythaaaang. Gonna make these soon
Yes, give me all the Thai things! :)
These remind me of vegetable kofta (so delicious!). I’m loving that rich Thai red curry sauce- you have me drooling :)
They are somewhat similar to kofta. Thanks Medha! :)
These look INCREDIBLE!! That red curry paste is my absolutely favorite. Definitely need to try these!
Happy anniversary to you and Brandon! My husband and I prefer to go somewhere over than giving gifts as well — the experience makes for lifelong memories. These chickpea balls sound incredible with that thai red curry sauce too — I would love to try these and see if my boys notice that they’re not meat! :)
These look and sound AMAZING!!! I love curry and don’t make it enough. This is a great reminder! My boyfriend doesn’t love chickpeas…I’m wondering how cannellini beans would serve as a sub? Totally worth a shot!
Hey Lindsay! I think white beans would work just fine. Let me know if you give them a try! :)
These “meatballs” look so tasty! I’ll definitely have to give them a try.
And I am so with you on anniversaries! I love to go on a trip or do something local that’s special to celebrate. That’s my favorite way to celebrate an anniversary – by creating memories & spending time together :)
This is INSANE! Never seen a recipe like this! Looks so healthy. tasty and surprisingly colorful! Some great photos too For sure going to try this for my family soon!
Thank you! I hope you enjoy them! :)
Travel is such a valuable way of celebrating your relationship, and I can’t wait to see your photos of Charleston! Garrett and I aren’t big gift givers either…we’d much rather do as you and Brandon did and get away for a few days…love’s all about creating memories!
These meatballs! They look sooooo tasty bathed in that red curry sauce! I could seriously swan dive into that skillet right now!
This dish looks really appetizing!
Thank you for this recipe! I made it last night and it was so delicious. I even had it for breakfast this morning (added an egg and avocado on top). I loved that the meatballs were not dry at all. I used my Vitamix, so it was probably a little too blended and wet, but they still held together and turned out just fine. They reminded me a lot of falafel, so I think I may make them without the sauce and add to a pita next time :)
I’m so happy to hear you enjoy the recipe, Anne-Marie! Thank you for your review. :)
Loved this – had it with Roti and it ticked all the boxes!!
So happy to hear that! Thanks Kristie!
This is my ultimate meatless meatball recipe! I love chickpeas and falafel so I knew I’ll love this, but they turned out even tastier that I’ve expected. The meatballs are simply great and the sauce compliments them perfectly. I’ve added an egg to make the mixture stick together better (since I do not have to go completely vegan) and served them with basmati rice. Thank you for this great recipe :)
I am so happy you enjoy it! Thank you for the feedback! :)
I made these for dinner this week and they were fantastic! I added a shallot and a 1/4 cup of golden flax meal to the meatball mixture and next time I would omit the 1/2 tsp. of salt. The liquid aminos added plenty of salty goodness. I will be making more today to keep around for a tasty afternoon snack. They’ll be great with a little Thai peanut sauce for dipping.
Your additions sound delicious, Pam! I love the idea of dipping them in peanut sauce too. Thanks for the feedback!
This was an amazing vegan dinner. Thank you for sharing!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Becky! Thanks for the feedback!
I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious!! I can’t wait to have the leftovers at work tomorrow!! Thank you for your yummy recipes!
Yay! I’m so happy it was a hit. Thanks for the feedback, Kristina!
Hello! I am transitioning to a vegan diet. I cannot wait to make these! Can you recommend a good red curry paste brand and any other must have items on hand to make vegan meals?
Thank you from Arizona!
Hi Summer! Congrats on transitioning to a vegan diet! :)
Thai Kitchen is my favorite brand of curry paste. They carry it at most grocery stores. It’s also on Amazon, it’s just much pricier there: http://amzn.to/2tHy5rq
Other ingredients I would recommend are nutritional yeast which you can find in the bulk section of most health food stores. Or you can also buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2tHtlSG. It’s great for adding cheesy flavor and B vitamins to your meals. I love using it to make cashew parmesan or creamy cashew cheese sauces in the blender. FYI, you’ll need a high speed blender like a Vitamix or a NutriBullet to break down the nuts and get the texture super creamy but it’s so worth it.
I put together a post with all of my pantry staples including a printable list: https://www.makingthymeforhealth.com/stock-healthy-pantry/ I was still vegetarian when I made it so you’ll find honey on the list but you can replace it with agave.
Also, I’m not sure if you’ve ever shopped with Vitacost.com but they carry many of these ingredients and shipping is usually free if you spend over $50.
I hope that helps! Congratulations on making such a great decision! Please let me know if you have any questions along the way. :)
This is my new go to dinner when I don`t know what to make and want something healty, delicious and quick. I throw the meatballs and sauce on top of some cauliflower rice and it is soooo good. Even my boyfriend (meat lover to the max) loves this meal.
That makes me so happy to hear! Thanks Simone!
This is perfect for my meatlover hubby!
Thanks Paige! I hope he enjoys them!
Loved the sauce and the flavor in the meatballs… but the meatballs seemed to be pretty mushy. Any advice to improve the texture? Thanks!
You can bake the them for longer! Everyone’s oven varies in temp so it’s possible they needed to be cooked a little longer.
If that isn’t the issue then I would add a few tablespoons of flour to the mix. I hope that helps!
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This recipe was really delicious! thank you for sharing, my boyfriend and i are enjoying it very much. The sauce is just perfect. We added sour cream as a nice addition :)
Thank you for the feedback, Bianca! :)
Have made this twice and both times didnt have tomato paste and substituted ketchup and left out sweetener. Still came out great.
Great idea, Susan! Thanks for sharing the tip!
so easy to make! food processor helps! i used garlic powder and garlic salt and garam masala – i also used lite soy instead of yamato and raw sugar instead of coconut sugar- the sauce is simple and delicious- i forgot to put basil in so we just garnished with extra- didn’t come out of the oven yet but it was delicious raw!
Made this recipe today. It is amazing. I don’t like chick peas nor oats but love Thai curry and also wanted to try something different. The taste is great with this perfect combination of ingredients. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve made this a bunch of times and absolutely love it! I’d like to try freezing the meatballs after baking and maybe the sauce too (separately). Do you think it would turn out okay?
Yes I think that would work!
I made this as a special dinner for our wedding anniversary tonight. Coconut milk, even the lite variety, has too much fat in it, so I used flax milk and coconut extract. It worked like a charm. Also, used Ocean’s Halo soy sauce substitute, which is gluten free, instead of tamari. I left out the basil and scallions because there were none in the house. In spite of these substitutions, this turned out wonderful. A very delicious recipe. Thank you, Sarah, for another great one.
I want to make this tonight. Do you have any substitute for oats, by chance? We are not eating them, nor bread. Do you think almond or coconut flour would work? Thanks, Jennifer
It’s hard to say without testing them…coconut flour tends to absorb a lot of moisture (probably a bit more than oats) and almond flour adds moisture. So maybe a mixture of both would work? You would have to be willing to experiment and see how they turn out.
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This recipe was so easy to throw together and so delicious! I made everything ahead of time for dinners for the week, keeping the sauce & chickpea balls separate, and they were still great reheated. Definitely recommend with the extra fresh basil on top!
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