Welcome to your new favorite way to use zucchini and maybe even your new go-to weeknight dinner. I developed this recipe for #AKZucchiniWeek and it quickly became a staple in our house because of how easy and delicious it was.
So let’s get to it. Onto ze ballz. DEZ BALLS.
Too much? Let’s move on.
To be honest with you, chicken (or turkey) meatballs or meatloaf is on my menu once a week in our house. WE LOVE IT. It’s an easy dinner; just serve veggies or a salad on the side for a high protein, nutritious meal.
I wanted to give you another easy one pan meal that would be awesome for meal prep, for when you don’t feel like creating a huge mess in your kitchen or have zero time (so this is basically all of you).
And honestly, I’m just gonna say this: I freakin’ nailed it. Yep, tooting my own horn over here. TOOT TOOT.
What’s in these zucchini chicken meatballs?
These lean chicken (or turkey) meatballs are SO juicy and flavorful thanks to:
- shredded zucchini
- curry powder
- a pinch of cayenne
- an egg
All you’ll do is roll them up into big golf sized balls, place on a baking sheet with the chopped bell peppers and bake away! 20 minutes later you have an absolutely delicious healthy meal to nosh on.
Of course, I can’t forget this coconut curry sauce situation. This may be a little dramatic, but I kind of want to bathe in it (that’s how addicting it is). It’s made with coconut milk, tahini, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, cayenne, ginger and just a touch of maple syrup. If you’re a curry fan, be prepared to fall in love!
How to meal prep the zucchini chicken meatballs:
This recipe makes AMAZING leftovers, is lower in carbs, packs in a ton of protein per serving and is wonderful for meal prep. To do so:
- Make the meatballs ahead of time and bake them
- Allow them to cool and then place three meatballs and peppers in a meal prep container.
- Serve the meatballs with a baked sweet potato, quinoa or rice — you can drizzle the sauce on top of everything!
- Once ready to eat, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until warm.
I have a feeling this is a recipe you’ll be making again and again. Enjoy — xo!
See how to make the zucchini chicken meatballs:
Sheet Pan Zucchini Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce
- For the peppers:
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into medium chunks
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into medium chunks
- 1 orange bell pepper, cut into medium chunks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the meatballs:
- 1 pound 94% lean ground chicken or turkey
- 1 cup shredded zucchini that's been squeezed of excess moisture with towel
- 1/4 cup panko or regular breadcrumbs* (see notes section for GF option)
- 1 egg
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup or honey, to sweeten
- 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- To garnish:
- Cilantro and diced green onion
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don't have a large baking sheet, you can use two smaller pans.
- Add chopped bell peppers to a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle on garlic powder and a little salt and pepper. Use a spoon to toss the peppers in the oil to coat them. Set aside.
- Make the meatballs: Add ground chicken (or turkey), shredded zucchini (make sure you squeezed all the excess moisture out) , breadcrumbs*, egg, minced garlic, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Use clean hands to mix until well combined. Do not over mix.
- Grab a golf size ball of meat and roll it into a ball. Place each on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Evenly distribute chopped bell peppers in the spaces between the meatballs like the pictures show.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked and a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees. Mine were done at 20 minutes.
- While the meatballs are cooking, make the coconut curry sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, tahini, garlic, maple syrup, curry powder, ginger, turmeric, cayenne and salt and pepper, to taste. Be careful to not over salt the sauce -- taste and adjust as you go.
- Drizzle sauce over cooked meatballs. Garnish with green onion and cilantro, if desired. Serves 4, 3 meatballs each + roasted peppers + sauce. To make this a full meal, I recommend serving with rice, a baked sweet potato or quinoa.
To make meatballs GF or paleo: I recommend using gluten free breadcrumbs or you can sub 1 tablespoon coconut flour (for the 1/4 cup breadcrumbs).
If you make these zucchini chicken meatballs, don’t forget to leave a comment and rate the recipe below. And of course, if you have Instagram, we’d love to see your creations — don’t forget to tag #ambitiouskitchen! You can also join our AK Facebook community group.