Simple Thai Chili Meatballs

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While not an authentic Thai recipe, these meatballs are packed with real Thai flavors and, because they’re baked rather than fried, you’ll save a few calories.

Unless you regularly cook Asian cuisine, some of these ingredients won’t be in your kitchen. And you’ll notice many are fresh – a hallmark of Thai cuisine. If there’s no Asian specialty store nearby, you still might be able to find some of them at local grocery stores. (Tip – Save yourself a trip by searching local stores in an app like Instacart.) Some, like lemongrass, also come in frozen form, an almost as good as fresh substitute.

You can use dried whole or ground herbs and spices which, if you can’t find them locally, are likely available online. When buying dried versions, choose whole leaf or stalk versions if offered and use half the amount you would fresh. For ground/powered versions, we’ve added dried herb/spice equivalents next to the fresh amounts.

Are these meatballs worth all the trouble? Yes, they are! And they’re a great introduction to Thai cuisine if it’s one you’ve wanted to try.

Thai Chili Meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
Calories: 262kcal


  • Oven
  • Mixing Bowl


  • 9 ounces ground pork
  • 2 tsp toasted rice powder
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass finely chopped (about ½ tablespoon or use 1 teaspoon dry powder)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves finely shredded
  • 2 clove garlic chopped
  • 2 Thai chilies chopped finely
  • 1 cup of coriander leaves chopped (about 2 tablespoons dry)
  • ½ tbsp fish sauce or Shoyu or Soy sauce
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a rack or parchment paper on a baking sheet/cookie tray.
  • In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well – but don’t overwork the mixture.
  • Place the mixture in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb.
  • Scoop up 1 tablespoon of the meatball mixture and form into a ball. Transfer to baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through, until browned and crispy.



Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 489IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg

Notes & Tips

  • Serve with sweet chili sauce, coriander leaves and chilies if desired.
  • If you want to make these ahead, freeze them raw on a tray then place in an air-tight container. Defrost before baking.
  • The best way to get uniformly sized meatballs is to use a cookie scoop. Pick up the mixture into the scoop then roll them into balls. Besides the satisfaction of creating perfectly sized meatballs, this will allow them to cook evenly.
  • Try our Low FODMAP Meatballs if you are looking for a meatball that is easier on your stomach.
  • Instead of dipping these, throw them in some biscuits to amp up the heat

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