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Curried Turkey and Zucchini Meatballs

Updated: May 24, 2021

This recipe comes from a chef that I just adore watching in the kitchen, Nigella Lawson. There is something so incredibly attractive about the way she cooks. Nigella prepares appetite-driven food and makes me feel braver in the kitchen.

In true Nigella fashion, this recipe is unassuming and incredibly delicious. She uses a jar of green curry paste and a can of coconut milk to give us a gorgeous broth that I generously spoon over rice.


2 zucchini

1 pound ground turkey

3 scallions, chopped (separate white and green parts for different uses)

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons grated ginger

Small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

2 cups chicken broth (I mix Better than Bouillon paste with water)

3 tablespoons fish sauce

Rice (white or brown)

Start with the rice on the stove first.

Make the meatballs

Trim the top and bottom from the zucchini and using a vegetable peeler, remove some of the skin in stripes. Coarsely grate the zucchini using the large holes on a box cheese grater. Twist the zucchini pieces into a paper towel and squeeze as much water out as you can.

In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, grated zucchini, white scallions, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons cilantro, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and zest of the lime.

Using your hands, gently mix the meatball mixture thoroughly but lightly. If you handle it too much, you will end up with dense meatballs.

Once the mixture is gently combined, shape into small meatballs, using a heaping teaspoonful as a guide. Form the meatballs smaller than a golf ball, about the diameter of a quarter.

Create craveable sauce

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven and fry the chopped green part of the scallion briefly, just turning it in the hot pan. Add the green curry paste, and then whisk in the coconut milk, chicken broth, and fish sauce. Allow the broth to come to a boil.

Cook meatballs

Gently drop in the meatballs, letting them fall in circles as you work around the pot from the outer edge inward. Leave them undisturbed, as they will be very tender and break easily.

Wait for the broth to a bubble again, then add the lid and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 20 minutes undisturbed.

Scoop out a meatball and check that it is cooked through. Squeeze over the juice of a lime and check the seasoning.

Take off the heat and scatter with basil if using, or just sprinkle with a little more of the chopped cilantro.

Serve with rice to soak up this craveable green curry sauce.

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