I’m back with another one pan meal everyone is bound to obsess over. It’s seasonal, perfect for summer, and ABSOLUTELY 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!
These healthy chicken meatballs are packed with SO much flavor, herbs and spices that it’s guaranteed to be your new favorite recipe.
To make these cilantro chicken meatballs you’ll need: ground chicken (or turkey!), egg, panko breadcrumbs, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cayenne.
To make the meatballs gluten free: simply use gluten free breadcrumbs or 2-3 tablespoons coconut flour to help bind them together. I recently discovered these gluten free panko breadcrumbs and have heard amazing things.
We can’t deny the real star of this recipe though: 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.
This mango sauce only requires only 3 ingredients: mango, light coconut milk and soy sauce (or coconut aminos!). First, you’ll brown the meatballs in a pan with oil, then you’ll add the mango coconut sauce on top, cover with a lid, then simmer for 20 minutes.
After that you’ll add your veggies, simmer for a few more minutes and serve with whatever you’d like!
Tips for making 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.
- Serve them with any of the following to soak up all the extra sauce: brown rice, forbidden rice (aka black rice), quinoa, sweet potato noodles or zucchini noodles. My coconut cauliflower rice would be delicious too!
- You can use either ground chicken or ground turkey for this recipe. Do not use extra lean or the meatballs will be dry. I recommend using right around 93% lean for best results.
- Feel free to switch up the veggies based on what you have in your fridge.
More healthy one pan meals to try:
If you make these 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
- 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