I’m bringing back a one pan meal everyone is absolutely obsessed with. It’s seasonal, perfect for summer, and PACKED WITH FLAVOR.
I’d like you to meet my cilantro chicken meatballs simmered in a easy, sweet mango coconut sauce. I’m in love and you will be too.
This recipe all started when I was digging around in my blog archives looking at some of my most popular dinner recipes. Most of them happened to be one pan meals: Mama’s Puerto Rican chicken and rice, Thai yellow curry chicken and rice and of course my tandoori chicken and rice.
Clearly I’m a one pan meal lover and so are YOU!
Ingredients in these cilantro chicken meatballs
These healthy cilantro chicken meatballs are packed with SO much flavor, herbs and spices that it’s guaranteed to be your new favorite recipe. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- For the meatballs: you’ll need lean ground chicken (or turkey), an egg, panko breadcrumbs, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cayenne.
- For the mango coconut sauce: this creamy sauce is made with a can of light coconut milk, diced mango and a couple tablespoons of gluten free soy sauce.
- Mix-ins: simmer the meatballs up with red bell pepper and peas for a boost of veggies.
- To garnish: I love topping my plate with chopped honey roasted peanuts, green onion, fresh cilantro and some hot sauce.
Easy ingredient swaps
Customize your cilatnro chicken meatballs with any of our recommended ingredient swaps:
- Use chicken or turkey. Whether you use ground chicken or ground turkey I recommend using no leaner than 93% so that the meatballs aren’t too dry.
- Make them gluten free. Simply use gluten free breadcrumbs or 2-3 tablespoons coconut flour to help bind them together.
- Use frozen mango. Just be sure to thaw it first before adding it to the recipe.
- Choose your veggies. Feel free to use any veggies you have on hand! I think this recipe would be delicious with broccoli, edamame, snap peas or even spinach.
How to cook meatballs in sauce
We can’t deny the real star of this recipe: SWEET MANGO COCONUT SAUCE. After I spotted a juicy, ripe mango on my counter, I knew what was about to go down: a sweet and savory mango coconut sauce for the meatballs to simmer in. Here’s how to cook these cilantro chicken meatballs in the sauce:
- Brown your meatballs. Start by browning the meatballs in a pan with oil. No need to cook them all the way through.
- Add the sauce. You’ll then add the mango coconut sauce on top and cover the pan with a lid.
- Simmer & serve. Lastly, you’ll simmer the meatballs for about 20 minutes in the sauce, add your veggies and simmer for a few minutes more. That’s it!
Make the meatballs ahead of time
These flavorful cilantro chicken meatballs can easily be prepped ahead of time!
- Mix and form the meatballs as directed in the recipe.
- Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then tightly cover the meatballs with plastic wrap.
- Put the meatballs in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. You can prep these meatballs up to one, or even two days ahead of time.
- Once ready to cook, simply follow the recipe as written.
Our favorite ways to serve these cilantro chicken meatballs
While the meatballs & veggies are delicious on their own, they’re even more amazing with a grain or noodle to soak up that delicious sauce. Here’s what we recommend:
- My go-to coconut rice or green rice
- Brown rice
- Forbidden rice (aka black rice)
- Sweet potato noodles or zucchini noodles
- My coconut cauliflower rice
Two amazing ways to freeze meatballs
- Cook first, then freeze: simply place your meatballs and mango coconut sauce in a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag and freeze it all for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let your container of meatballs + sauce thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, and then empty the contents into a pan on the stovetop. Heat them in your pan until they’re nice and warm, and then serve!
- Freeze before cooking: you can also freeze these meatballs before cooking them! Form your meatballs as instructed, place them on a baking sheet, and put them in the freezer for 1-2 hours. This is called a flash freeze. Then, transfer your frozen meatballs to an airtight, freezer-friendly bag or container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw them, simply place them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight and then cook them in the mango coconut sauce as directed in the recipe.
More healthy one pan meals to try
- One Pan Sazon Skillet Chicken
- One Pan Ginger Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce
- One Pan Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple-Coconut Rice
- One Pan Thai Coconut Yellow Curry Chicken & Rice
- Sheet Pan Zucchini Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce
Get all of our delicious one pan meals here!
If you make these cilantro chicken meatballs, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe below! You can also snap and picture and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen. xo!
Cilantro Chicken Meatballs in Mango Coconut Sauce
Delicious cilantro chicken meatballs cooked in a flavorful mango coconut sauce. This incredible one pan meal is sweet, savory, and packed with protein and veggies for the perfect weeknight dinner!
- For the meatballs:
- 1 pound 93% lean ground chicken (or lean ground turkey)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (or if GF sub 2-3 tablespoons coconut flour)
- 1/3 cup finely diced cilantro
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (can also use avocado oil or coconut oil)
- For the coconut mango sauce:
- 1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
- 1 ½ cup diced mango (can use frozen, just make sure you thaw it first)
- 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 3/4 cup frozen peas (or edamame)
- To garnish:
- Chopped honey roasted peanuts
- Diced green onion
- Fresh cilantro
- Hot sauce, if desired
First, make your mango coconut sauce. Add coconut milk, diced mango, and soy sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Next, form your meatballs. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper. Use clean hands to mix and form into 16 golf ball sized meatballs.
Place a large deep skillet over medium-high heat and add in sesame oil. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes total. You may need to do this in batches, depending on how many meatballs you can fit in your skillet without overcrowding them.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add your mango coconut sauce to the pan with the meatballs. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove lid and gently stir in the peas and red bell pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes uncovered.
Serve with brown rice, quinoa or with spiralized zucchini or sweet potato. There will be lots of sauce, which makes it delicious! Garnish with chopped honey-roasted peanuts, scallions, cilantro, and top with hot sauce if desired. Serves 4
Feel free to use ground turkey instead of ground chicken in this recipe.
You can use ripe mango or frozen thawed mango for the sauce -- either will work!
It's important to use light coconut milk. Full fat coconut milk is too thick and won't create as nice of a sauce.
Recipe by: Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This sounds so good! I am one of those cilantro haters though-if I leave it out will they be a bit bland? Would you recommend a replacement? Thanks!
My husband is also not a cilantro fan–actually tastes like soap to him!–so we sub flat leaf parsley any time a recipe calls for cilantro. It’s not exactly the same, but does give a nice freshness
You can simply leave out the cilantro and they’ll still be delicious! 🙂
This looks fabulous! I can’t wait to give them a try.
They’re delicious! Hope you love them!
I can’t wait to try the recipe, but am writing to give you thanks from the bottom of my heart for listing the nutritional values. Please write a cookbook! I am standing in line! For diabetics, there is a huge void of recipes listing the carb count. I love to cook, but am so frustrated that my favourite cookbook authors never do this. It makes cooking wonderful and healthy foods very difficult. I am so very glad I discovered you. ❤️ Thank you, thank you!
Thanks so much for your note, Lorette! I’m hoping that a cookbook is in the future. I’ll be sure to continue listing the nutrition info for everyone, too! Glad you’re finding recipes you love.
Made this tonight. Didn’t have bell pepper. Added green beans and edamame. Delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
Perfect! Glad you enjoyed!
I made this last night, and it was fantastic! Full of flavor and easy to put together. I was looking to change up my weeknight meal rotation and this was a winner.
So happy to hear that, Joy! Perfect weeknight dinner.
This sounds AMAZING!!! Except for a coconut allergy😔. How do you think it would be with almond milk??? I hate changing peoes recipes, but I love me some meatballs!!!
I’m not sure how it would be with almond milk. You could try cashew milk!
This looks so yummy! I’m not a big fan of mango though… do you have suggestions for a fruit substitute?
Hmmm you could try pineapple! 🙂
My husband and I had this last night and we both loved it! Very interesting blend of flavors that just works so well. Thank you for sharing!
So happy to hear that, Kayla! This was a fun one to create with all of those flavors, so I’m glad you both loved it.
Just made but this found it excellent. The flavours were quite different but in a good way. I would not recommend substitutes but I thought I had all the ingredients so didnt have cloves of garlic or ginger so used the bottled stuff. i have been cooking for a very long time & am quite good at so if I need to substitute it usually works. In this case I would stick to the ingredients exactly as shown in the recipe, mine was great but think it would have been even better with garlic cloves & fresh ginger & also the fresh cilantro.
I do recommend using fresh ingredients whenever possible, but glad you enjoyed regardless! Perfect for dinner.
Do you know if this recipe freezes well?
I assume it does, but haven’t tried it!
this looks amazing! I’m allergic to coconut and tree nuts, so I was wondering, what would you recommend as a substitute for the coconut milk? 😋
I don’t really have a substitute in this case, sorry!
SOOO good and the groceries for this recipe cost me less than $20! I doubled the recipe for leftovers. I wish I had left the seeds in the jalapeno for some more spice but it was still packed with flavor. The bell pepper was a great addition. I’m not a fan of peas and went a little light on them. I also added a handful of fresh spinach followed by rice then the sauce and meatballs. Definitely going to make again!
Perfect weeknight dinner! Love the addition of spinach (and I’m all about extra spice in this one). Glad you loved it, Erika!
I’m not much of a fan of sweet foods, but i think I will try to make the meatballs in a soup. Do you think that would work? Thank you.
I haven’t tried that, but if you do — I think you should brown or completely cook the meatballs first, then add them to the soup.
Hi there! I made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! Thank you for the recipe! Just a tip for something I did, I only had 99% fat free ground turkey (I’m doing weight watchers, so that is what I keep in my freezer), so to avoid some of the dryness you warned about, I added a small shredded zucchini to the mix. It turned out great and didn’t take away from your flavors at all.
Thanks again for the inspiration!
Hi Rachael! Amazing – so happy you loved it and great tip with adding some zucchini!
This was a fantastic meal that was adult and kiddo approved in my house! And relatively easy to put together. My three kids (ages 1, 3, 5) all gobbled it up and asked for seconds. So many wonderful flavors together. I would rate this 5 stars for sure, but my iPhone won’t let me pick more than 3 stars on your scale.
Amazing! I’m so glad everyone loved it. We’re working on a fix for the stars – thank you for the heads-up!
This is one of my favorite recipes! So good!
Amazing! So happy to hear that.
There is only one word for this recipe: gorgeous! Well balanced flavours, easy to prepare, healthy. Love it.
Absolutely! So happy you loved this one.
This was so good! My husband and kids approved too. And leftovers (not many) were great reheated. Definitely adding it to our regular rotation. Thanks 😀
So happy to hear that! These make some of my favorite leftovers (better than takeout!)
For all those who actually read comments to decide if they want to try a recipe…try it! This recipe was so easy and delicious. I used turkey as my meat; I did not add the egg or bread crumbs to mine, but they turned out great and flavorful. I’m gluten free and didn’t have coconut flour on hand. I also used full fat coconut milk and it wasn’t too thick imo. My daughter only had one negative and that was bc my mango was ripe and super sweet. So if you want something not as sweet, don’t use a ripe mango. I personally loved it and had no complaints.
Glad those little swaps worked out! Such a great weeknight dinner. Noted on the ripe mango, too – good tip for people who might be more sensitive to sweet fruits.
I have made this recipe a handful
Of times now and seriously, it is SO YUMMY!! It’s now my default when I don’t know what to make Such an easy healthy weeknight dinner! So good with cauliflower rice mixed in also. Can’t wait to try other recipes
So happy to hear that, Amber! Sounds delicious with cauliflower rice. Hope you find some more recipes here that you love 🙂
Delicious. The flavors blend together so well. Everyone in my family loved it and my mom even went back for seconds (she never does that). I used frozen mango, coconut flour and cauliflower rice and it was perfect.
Amazing! So happy to hear that.
This turned out DELICIOUS. I initially tasted the mango/coconut sauce before adding it to the pot with the meatballs and wasn’t sure if i liked the taste much (i had used Coconut Aminos and not Soy sauce) – but after all of the flavors came together in the pot/simmering, they were absolutely delicious. I served with white rice which is less healthy, but went very well together! Highly recommend and love all of Ambitious Kitchen’s recipes!
Perfect! I’m glad you loved this one. The flavor combo is truly one of a kind!
We loved this dish! I recommend NOT tasting the sauce on its own as you are cooking. I did and thought the whole dish would be inedible. I plowed ahead and it was all wonderful all together! I used regular canned coconut milk (no additives), even though the recipe forbids it, and served it over quinoa. The leftovers were maybe even better the next day!
So glad you loved this one! The sauce does seem a bit odd, but the flavor combo is incredible when it all comes together 🙂
For the amount of ingredients this was pretty lack luster… won’t make again.
Sorry to hear that you didn’t like this one! There are tons of flavors and spices in the recipe so I’m not sure what could’ve been off.
Love this dinner! It has quickly been a favorite and part of our regular rotation. I add zucchini instead of red peppers and serve with brown rice.
Delicious! So happy to hear that 🙂
So delicious! Just became a new household favorite!
So happy to hear that!
Hi, I don’t have soy sauce (or coconut aminos) on hand. What can I use instead? Thanks
You could try using a pinch of extra salt and a splash of water instead.
Love the meatballs! They’re super flavorful! Sometimes I add fresh chicken sausage (out of casing) for a bit of extra pop. Although I love both the mango and peanut sauces, I’m wondering if you have a suggestion to make them a bit thinner…maybe adding water? Would love to know what you think! Thx so much for your recipes! We really love them!
Love it! So happy to hear that. And sure you can do that! 1/4 cup should be plenty. The sauces will thicken with heat so feel free to add more water if necessary.
This recipe is amazing!! Used broccoli (chopped up pretty small) instead of peas and only had a can of full fat coconut milk so I used about 1/2 the can and then added some water. The flavor was still creamy and awesome. The turkey meatballs were crispy on the outside and so tender on the inside. Yum
Perfect! Sounds delicious!
Great recipe! I made it exactly as written except I accidentally put a 1/2 tablespoon instead of a 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. Oops! I love ginger though. It was really good. I made for dinner for one, and will use the leftovers for weekday lunches. Thank you for the recipe!
Whoops! Glad it still turned out well! Perfect leftovers 🙂
Would this be considered Keto if I left out the rice? What would the carbs be for the meal then? Thanks!
Hi Audrey! I’m not sure as I don’t follow the keto diet. You might have to check all of the ingredients with the “rules” of keto (like the amount of mango, etc.) Feel free to look up the amount of carbs of the rice given and subtract it from the nutrition provided!
I was looking for a stuffing for zucchini that wasn’t Mexican or Italian and this caught my eye. I made everything into a stuffing, filled 1 1/2 large hollowed out zucchini and baked it at 350, covered with foil, for 45 min. The mango poured over the top was fantastic! I’ll be sharing this idea with friends and making it again for sure!
Wow love that idea!! Glad you enjoyed!
What would you suggest for a substitute for coconut milk? Unfortunately can’t use it.
I haven’t tried with any other milk so I’m not sure I can recommend a sub on this one.
My husband and I often went to a restaurant that served a similar dish but they took it off the menu and left us so bummed. BUT, when I saw this recipe, I thought maybe it would be similar and it did not disappoint. THANK YOU!
This meal was amazing! I’m so glad that I doubled the sauce because that was my favorite part. I had to make a few adjustments for my husband who has food sensitivities, but it was super easy and the sauce was so flavorful and delicious. SO good! Great job! We will make this again and again!
Amazing! So happy you found this one 🙂
This is just to die for. I followed the recipe exactly. I made the coconut cauliflower rice with it. This is very healthy and just absolutely delicious and healthy.
So happy you loved it!
Another winner from Ambitious Kitchen! Who am I kidding? Every one of your recipes is. So good. Unique. And so easy!
So happy to hear that, Jenna! I’m glad you’re loving the recipes here 🙂
I just made this dish for lunch and the Turkey meatballs were so juicy and flavoursome!
I added some chilli flakes to the sauce to spice it up but it was delish! My partner said next time he would add a splash of fish sauce to the mango coconut sauce to give a little more depth of flavour.
Perfect! And yes this one’s great for customizing with flavors, too. Glad you enjoyed!
The meatballs were tasty but the Mango sauce was pretty bland. i am not a professional cook by any imagination so I am not sure what to add the next time to kick up the flavor? I did not add the extra peanuts on top (did not want to add extra fat) but did add the cilantro and scallion- but it was not a hit.
Also- the mixture turned out pretty wet and the meatballs were hard to roll and keep together so i added extra breadcrumbs to hold them together. The only thing i can think of is maybe this was because i used chopped canned jalapenos instead of a fresh pepper?
That’s so strange considering the mango should be sweet along with the coconut milk. You can try adding in any of the following to suit your taste preferences: soy sauce, lime juice, salt or a few teaspoons of fish sauce
My husband and I love this recipe. It is so flavorful and has great textures! I did use ground turkey and it was super flavorful and moist still!
Perfect! So glad you both love it 🙂
LOVE this recipe. I meal prepped it this week for dinner, and husband and 12-mo-old have both been scarfing it down. I used frozen mango and also finished it off with some lime juice for serving. This last time I realized we didn’t have enough ground turkey so I used half turkey half sausage. The meatballs were so so tender. So good!
Amazing! So happy to hear that 🙂
This was the third recipe I’ve tried of ambitious kitchen’s and none of them have disappointed!! So so good! I loved the flavor of the sauce on this one. I put it over zoodles.
I’m so glad! Great idea to serve with zoodles 🙂
I used ground turkey and frozen mango. Always turns out perfect!
Such a great dinner!
Such an easy and delicious recipe! So unique and flavourful! Will make again and again!
So glad you enjoyed!
So yummy! My whole family including a picky little eater loved it!😋
So happy to hear that!
This dish was a hit! It was a perfect healthy not-boring savory meal that was easy to assemble on a weeknight. The combination of different flavors were wonderful and I will definitely make again with brown rice. I did not substitute anything and followed the recipe exactly as instructed, very affordable list of ingredients by the way,
I have to say that Ambitious Kitchen is my go-to all the time for any dinner or baking recipe because you have never disappointed me, so thank you so much for sharing!
Amazing! So happy to hear that!
This is one of the best meals I have ever made!!! I don’t like spice so I skipped the jalapeño and cayenne, and there was still so much flavor. Absolutely LOVED it.
So happy to hear that!
I’m trying to leave a 5 star but I cannot click that final star (tried in all browsers, in Pinterest, and getting the same issue.)
Anyway… this meal was delicious!! The kids (3 & 5) devoured the entire meal and I added all the add ins and they even dug into the fresh cilantro and green onion.
I’m left with a lot of leftover sauce so I will double the meat next time and have lunch balls for the kids for school.
Sorry about the star issue! Can I ask if you’re on mobile or desktop? And so glad you loved these!
This is my second time making these delicious meatballs!! Great recipe! Love em!
So happy to hear that!
This recipe makes me really feel like a chef! I love this meal, its so filling and delicious. I love anything with mango, and this sauce is soooo delish! Makes such a great meal, and great leftovers as well. Can’t wait to make this one again!!
Absolutely! A little fancy but so easy 🙂
This was absolutely delicious. The flavors are great. Both the sauce and the meatballs could use a good amount more salt. I know saltiness is a preferences, but I usually prefer less salt.
Glad you enjoyed it! And good to know about the salt–I always recommend tasting and adding more if necessary before serving 🙂
So, cilantro is used just as a seasoning but the dish is called “Cilantro Chicken . . . !?”
Yep, I think the flavor is prominent enough for it to be included in the title 🙂
For a single parent of four(4) children; this a remarkable quick fix!
If you want to stretch the hamburger portions; just 2 cups rolled oats, six eggs, season to taste!
This is a real meal stretcher, especially during the “Covid-19” shutdowns!
Mr Esmond Graham
Hi, Esmond! Oh, I’m so glad to hear you guys are loving it. Those are great suggestions for stretching the meatballs–thanks for sharing! 🙂
This was wonderful. I did use full fat coconut milk and we enjoyed the sauce. Great flavor. I also used broccoli/cauliflower rice, green beans, orange pepper and mushrooms.
Nice!! That all sounds so delish. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
This was pretty good, good change of pace. Very lacking in salt and spice though, and I didn’t de-seed my jalapeno. Would definitely add double the salt and either a second jalapeno with seeds or double the cayenne.
Hi, Stephanie! Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Totally fine to adjust the seasoning to your liking–the heat level of jalapeños can really vary!
Super tasty! Added zucchini, too, about 10 minutes before the sauce was done cooking. I would say this took about an hour and fifteen minutes as opposed to 45, the prep alone was 45, with 30 minutes cook time. Other than that, if I had the time, I would definitely make it again – yum!
SO happy you loved it, Danielle! And good to know about the prep time 🙂
I made this recipe yesterday and it was delicious. I’m dairy free and I’m always looking for recipes that are good for my dietary restrictions and something my dairy eating husband will also enjoy.
I’m very grateful I found your website. I cannot wait to try more of your recipes.
I’m so happy you found my site, too! So glad that you guys are loving this one 🙂 Lots more dairy free recipes here if you want to browse!
I’ve just made this with vegan meatballs instead of chicken as I’m trying to eat more plant based foods. Loved the sound of the sauce, etc so thought I’d give it a go and it worked well. Even my OH who is very fussy really enjoyed it. Thanks!
Sweet and savory with a kick!
Woohoooo! So happy you enjoyed it!
Just made this tonight and my husband (who was a little hesitant when I said it was a mango-based sauce) and I both loved it!! We served over white rice and it was so good!! Loved that it included edamame as an add in, too!!
Amazing! I’m so glad that you both loved it, Jenny 🙂
Hello, I definitely plan on making this soon!! Sounds SO good. I have made several of your recipes, have loved them all – baked oatmeal, blueberry crumble pie bars, Thai chicken quinoa salad, to name just a few!!!
I wanted to pass on information to you that the GF panko you used in this recipe is no longer available on Amazon. But if you have a US Chef Store in your area, I have been purchasing a rice panko from them. It comes in a large quantity, since it is a restaurant supply place (but anyone can shop there), but maybe you can share with someone. They have been great for fish and anything else I want to bread for gluten free. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!! Eileen
Oh, thanks for noticing that! We’ll update the link 🙂 Excited for you to try this!
such a great recipe, i love all the flavors and how all flavors compliment each other. a major favorite in our house! i especially love the leftovers. the sauce gets better as it sits. personally, i enjoy a very rich sauce, so i use full fat coconut milk, but when im feeling a little lighter, i will use the light coconut milk. regardless, its divine, and you should make them!
Totally agree that it makes amazing leftovers!! Glad you loved this one 🙂
can these meatballs be baked instead of on stovetop?
I think it would be fine to cook the meatballs themselves in the oven, but I’d recommend adding/cooking the sauce and veggies on the stovetop 🙂
Delicious! Meatballs were super flavorful. I added about 1/4 tsp of curry powder to the sauce for some extra flavor. Would definitely make again – thanks for sharing!
Awesome! So happy you loved them, Kiana. Great call on the curry powder!
I’m planning to make this tonight, but I have a question about the sesame oil. I love the dark toasted sesame oil, but I thought toasted sesame oil had too strong a flavor to use a tablespoon of it – also it’s not often used for browning meat. I’m going to use your suggested substitute of avocado oil, but I wonder – should I add a little sesame oil for flavor? Will the dish tasted decidedly different depending on which oil you use to brown the meatballs?
Hi, Sara! Sorry if this response is late. Totally fine to skip the sesame oil! There’s lots of flavor in this dish without it. But I do love the hint of sesame flavor it gives to this dish 🙂
This dish is a wonderful marriage of sweet and savory – and easy and quick enough to be a weeknight regular. I almost skipped the recipe because we didn’t have cilantro on hand the first time I made it, but the meatballs were still flavorful, bright, and satisfying. So far, snap peas and baby bok choy are our favorite veggies to add in at the end.
Made this tonight and it was sooooo good!
I love how this has a little spice and a little kick without going overboard. This was truly delicious and I can see myself having this one over and over. The ginger was the star of this show for me…
Aw yay!! So happy that you loved this recipe so much. Thanks, Griff!
Very savory and flavorful! I baked the meatballs earlier in the day then made the sauce later. I also added extra peppers because I love them. My husband and I both lived them, I will definitely make this dish again!
Nice! So happy that you guys are both loving these 🙂
This was delicious! A huge hit with the whole family including my 15 month old who could not get enough!
So happy you guys all loved it! Yay!
i find this easy to make but the coconut mango sauce needed more seasoning so we added salt over top the sauce and meatballs. I’m giving it a 3 star just because it didn’t wow me like other AK dishes.
Sorry you didn’t think it was amazing! Totally fine to add more seasoning anytime something isn’t quite salty enough 🙂
Great recipe. Quick and easy with great flavours.
So glad you loved it!
Ok. So this one is not my favorite. I think I may have ruined the experience by preparing the night before and storing my lunch portion with the brown rice I chose to serve with it. The rice soaked up all the mango sauce. There’s also something about the flavor of the meatballs that’s not grooving with me. I’m shocked because I love love your recipes! Oh well. I still ate it for sure! Thanks as always, Monique!!
Sorry you didn’t love it! The rice will definitely soak up the sauce, so best to keep them separate if you’re storing them.
This was so easy to make and super tasty. My family says this recipe is a keeper. Thanks!
Awesome! So happy you guys all loved this one!
Monique: This was soooooo good! My husband couldn’t stop telling me how yummy it was. I can’t eat dairy so finding a recipe that works for me and the hubby can be difficult. I’m so happy I stumbled upon your website. You have a great selection of dairy free recipes that work for both of us. I’m a new FAN!!
Amazing! So happy that you guys both loved it, Julie! Can’t wait for you to try more DF recipes from the site 🙂 Appreciate the review!
I made this tonight as directed. I used ground turkey and served it over quinoa. I expected the sauce to have more mango flavor than it did. I used thawed frozen mango pieces. Maybe fresh would have been better? I would make the meatballs again, but not the sauce.
Yes, fresh mango is probably more flavorful than frozen! Sorry to hear it wasn’t as flavorful as expected.
Really nice, easy dinner. The sauce I was able to make ahead which made meatball making even easier. During simmering is a perfect time to clean up the workspace. Dish is full of flavor too. It’s the type of dinner that checks all the boxes. Nice recipe.
So happy you loved this one, Ana! Thanks for leaving a review 🙂
This was amazing! My whole family loved it! I am doing a W30’right now and it was so nice to make something we could all eat together! Will keep this on rotation! (I used cauliflower rice and made rice for the fam) I did end up adding some arrowroot powder to the sauce to thicken it up. For some reason mine was very runny but everything else was perfect!
My family (husband and 2 year old son) and I loved this recipe. I used coconut aminos so I added a little extra since it’s not as salty as soy sauce. We did ours over rice. I did the peas and red pepper. I also I added the honey roasted peanuts on top. We will definitely have this again.
So glad you all loved it, Andrea! Thanks for leaving a review 🙂
Made this for dinner tonight and now there’s been some arguments over the last few meatballs! I served them over jasmine rice and they were WONDERFUL! I admit, I made quite a few modifications, but the spirit was still there:
1. I sauteed the red onion, 1.5 jalapenos, garlic, and ginger in 1tbsp butter before adding to meatball mixture
2. I added about 1/4 cup soy sauce to the meatball mixture for moisture
3. I subbed steel-cut oats instead of panko (old trick from my Grandma for moister mixes!)
,4. I already had a can of full-fat coconut milk (so there was no way I was buying lite) so I added about 1/3 cup of water to thin it
5.I HATE peas lol so I used broccolini instead
Thanks for sharing all of this, Imani! Sounds fabulous 🙂 Happy you loved it!
Happy you enjoyed it!
I found this recipe last night when I wanted to do something special for dinner for my partner… he and I take turns trying to make nice meals for each other. I must say this was amazing and filled the bill perfectly.
I made 2 small modifications as he and I both love spicy food, I left out the jalapeño in the meatballs and instead finely chopped 3 habanero peppers to put into the meatballs and I used a little more turmeric and left out the cumin. I did put sliced meatballs jalapeños in the sauce as the meatballs simmered too.
Would definitely give the recipe 6 stars if I could. It’s gonna become a meal I make for company and semi regularly just for the 2 of us
That’s such a nice tradition! Those are great modifications 🙂 Happy you both loved it!
Two Thumbs Up!!!! This meal comes together so quickly and the taste….PHENOMENAL!!
YAY! So thrilled to hear you loved this one, Suzy 🙂
Easy meal! 2yo even ate a couple bites 🙂 Will make again.
My husband and I loved this recipe! I love how easy it was to make… I think this is my new favourite meatball dinner recipe from Ambitious Kitchen! I used full fat coconut milk instead of light because that’s all I had on hand, but it still turned out great. I also added green beans. Thank you, Monique!!
Great recipe! I simplified this flavor packed dish even further by using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of the meatballs. I threw my jalapeño and some cilantro into my coconut sauce In the blender to get the punch the meatballs would have provided. Highly recommend 😊
That sounds amazing! So glad you loved it 🙂
The Cilantro Chicken Meatballs in Mango Coconut Sauce was super delicious! Even my husband loved this recipe.
So glad you both loved it!
So delicious. I added the red peppers and sugar snap peas. I used cauliflower rice as Ive been trying to eat healthier. I also did the coconut flour option and had a little trouble getting the meatballs to hold together but not an issue! Light and tasty!
So happy to hear they came out great — thanks for commenting!
So I made this with the coconut flour option and they totally fell apart. Will try again with breadcrumbs. Anyone else have this issue?
However I will add that the flavor was delicious!!
Sorry to hear that! It’s worked well for me, so not totally sure what happened. Thanks for letting me know, though 🙂
Yes, I did too! I think it’s just because of the difference in volume from half a cup of breadcrumbs to only 2-3 tbsp of coconut flour, because the coconut flour trick has worked for me multiple times in other recipes. I’m also going to try it again with GF breadcrumbs to see if it works better.
Amazing! I replaced cayenne with curry powder and didn’t have the cilantro. It was a delicious meal!
If I could give this 10 stars, I would! Great depth of flavor and goes together easily. It’s definitely going to be a regular menu item at our house. I have fixed it with lite coconut milk and with full fat coconut milk, and really didn’t notice any difference, so I would say use whichever one you have on hand.
SO happy you love it!! Thanks so much for the review, Mary 🙂
What a great flavor profile! When I tried the sauce on its own I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it is absolutely fabulous with the flavor of the meatballs and veggies. I realized too late that I didn’t have a jalapeno so just made it without and the meatballs were still delicious. The only other change I made was to use coconut flour instead of panko breadcrumbs to keep it gluten free. That has worked for me in your other recipes but this time the meatballs were almost too soft to stay together, I think the sheer difference in volume (half cup breadcrumbs vs. 3 tbsp coconut flour) is the reason it didn’t work great for this recipe, so I’ll try using actual GF breadcrumbs next time. For the base of the bowl, I made coconut forbidden rice based on your Thai-Inspired Peanut Chicken with Sticky Coconut Purple Rice, and it was incredible with the mango sauce!
So happy you loved them! And thanks for the note about the coconut flour. Good idea to try GF breadcrumbs next time! And such a great idea to use that coconut rice 😍
Made this tonight for dinner and unfortunately, the sauce was very bland. It was better after adding some fish sauce, garlic and maple syrup. will not be making this one again.
Sorry to hear that! I’ve always found it to be the perfect sweet & salty combo to pair with the flavorful meatballs. I’m glad the extra add-ins helped out.
This meal was delicious. I love AK recipes for the unique flavors that are consistently great. The sauce was as good as promised, and the meatballs weren’t so flavorful and had a great amount of moisture. I used some diced red onion I had leftover from another recipe that wasn’t finely diced, and the meatballs still held together nicely. I’ll definitely make this again. It’s a new AK fave!
Yay! So glad you’re a fan ❤️