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turkey meatballs in cast-iron pan

Turkey Meatballs in Homemade Curry Sauce

  • Author: janearielkatz
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 meatballs 1x


Soft turkey meatballs studded with zucchini are served in a rich and creamy coconut curry sauce.



For the curry sauce:

4 tbsp butter, divided

2 tbs garlic, minced, ~4 cloves

1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced, ~1-inch piece

1.5 tbsp curry powder

1 tbsp red Thai curry paste

3 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more if necessary

1 14oz can full-fat, unsweetened, coconut milk

1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes, I like San Marzano variety

1 tsp sugar

1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt

For the meatballs:

1 lb. ground turkey, preferably 94% lean/6% fat ratio

1 small zucchini, grated (about ~3/4 cup)

1 large egg

1 tsp kosher salt

fresh ground black pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, warm butter with garlic and ginger.
  2. Once the garlic begins to brown and get fragrant, add curry powder, tomato paste, and red Thai curry paste.
  3. Mix with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to combine the paste and allow it to cook for a minute or two.
  4. Next, add canned tomatoes and coconut milk.
  5. Add salt, sugar and taste. I would recommend waiting until the simmering process is done before adding more salt as the flavors will concentrate with time.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat down to low. Simmer for one hour.
  7. Use a potato masher or large wooden spoon to mush the whole tomatoes as much as possible. You will need to do this a few times throughout the simmering process as the tomatoes get softer. You want very small chunks, or none at all.
  8. While the sauce cooks, prepare your turkey meatballs.
  9. Combine all of the ingredients listed and mix. Don't over mix, just combine.
  10. Bring a #8 large cast-iron skillet to a high heat, or a nonstick pan with a 10-inch diameter.
  11. The meatball mixture is a bit soft, so you shouldn't be able to roll the balls by hand. Instead, use an ice-cream scoop to scoop the mixture directly into the hot cast iron. Each meatball should be slightly less than 1/4 cup of meat mixture. If you don't have an ice-cream scoop, you can use a 1/4 cup measuring scoop, but don't fill it to the top. (You can also make these any size you want, this is just how I made mine...)
  12. Stand near the pan with your bowl of meat and the scoop. Scoop the meatballs into the hot cast-iron until the pan is full. You should get ~16 patties.
  13. Cook the patties for 5-6 minutes per side on high heat. The goal is simply to sear the meat, not to cook it through.
  14. Once it's done searing, turn off the heat and allow the meat to just hang out until the sauce is done.
  15. When the sauce is done simmering, taste it. You may need to add another pinch of salt or another pinch of curry powder.
  16. Finally, add yogurt and mix.
  17. Turn meatball pan back up to a medium heat and pour sauce over the meatballs.
  18. Let the mixture come to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low
  19. Cook covered for 30 minutes, or up to 60 minutes.
  20. Serve warm, over rice or naan!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Meat & Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: turkey meatballs, meatballs, indian recipes, indian food, easy indian, simple indian, curry sauce, homemade curry sauce, homemade meatballs in curry sauce