Welcome to your new favorite way to use zucchini and maybe even your new go-to weeknight dinner. I developed this recipe for #AKZucchiniWeek FIVE whole years ago and it quickly became a staple in our house because of how easy and delicious it was.
So let’s get to it. Onto THE best zucchini chicken meatballs with colorful veggies and the most delicious coconut curry sauce.
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.
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What’s in these zucchini chicken meatballs?
These wonderful zucchini chicken meatballs are SO juicy and flavorful. 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). Here’s everything you’ll need to make this dish:
- For the peppers: we’re roasting up red, orange, and yellow bell peppers right along with the meatballs. You’ll first coat them with olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper.
- For the meatballs: these meatballs are made with lean ground chicken (or turkey) and made extra juicy thanks to shredded zucchini! You’ll also need bread crumbs, an egg, garlic, and delicious spices like curry powder, ground cumin, ground turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper.
- For the sauce: that addicting curry sauce is made with light 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!
All you’ll do is roll them up into big golf ball-sized balls, place them 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.
Customize your meatballs
These healthy one pan zucchini chicken meatballs are super easy to customize with what you have on hand. Here’s what I can recommend:
- Use chicken or turkey. As I mentioned, feel free to use lean ground chicken or ground turkey. I recommend using no leaner than 94% so that the meatballs aren’t too dry.
- Make them gluten free. I recommend using gluten free breadcrumbs or 1-2 tablespoons coconut flour for the 1/4 cup breadcrumbs.
- Try new veggies. I love roasting these meatballs up with colorful bell peppers, but feel free to use any of your fav veggies! Carrots, cauliflower, sweet potato, zucchini, and red onion would all be delicious.
Don’t forget this meatball-rolling tip
I like to have a bowl of water next to me to dip my hands in while rolling up the meatball mixture! Using wet hands really helps to prevent sticking as you roll. You can also scoop the mixture using a cookie scoop before rolling if you’d like.
How to meal prep these zucchini chicken meatballs
These chicken zucchini meatballs make AMAZING leftovers, are lower in carbs, pack in a ton of protein per serving, and are wonderful for meal prep. To do so:
- Make the meatballs ahead of time and bake them. Alternatively, you can mix and form the meatballs and store them unbaked in the refrigerator for 1-2 days ahead of time before baking them and proceeding to step 2.
- Allow them to cool and then place three meatballs and peppers in a meal prep container.
- Once ready to eat, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until warm.
What to pair with these meatballs
The meatballs, peppers, and sauce are delicious on their own, but we love to serve everything with:
Two amazing ways to freeze meatballs
- Cook first, then freeze: simply place your meatballs, peppers & 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 bake them as directed in the recipe.
More zucchini recipes you’ll love
Get all of my zucchini recipes here!
I hope you love these zucchini chicken meatballs! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked the. Enjoy, xo!
Sheet Pan Zucchini Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce
Sheet pan zucchini chicken meatballs baked with gorgeous roasted bell peppers and drizzled with a flavorful coconut curry sauce. This easy, incredibly delicious recipe is packed with protein and great for meal prep! Serve with coconut rice or naan for a full meal.
- For the peppers:
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 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
- 1/2 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
- 1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- 1 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 grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- For garnish and serving
- Cilantro and sliced green onion (green part only)
- Rice, for serving
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 and rice. Garnish with green onion and cilantro.. Serves 4, 3 meatballs each + roasted peppers + sauce.
See the full post for tips, tricks, and how to freeze this meal!
Serving: 3meatballs with sauce + roasted peppersCalories: 330kcalCarbohydrates: 16.8gProtein: 27.1gFat: 19.8gSaturated Fat: 5gFiber: 3.5gSugar: 6.6g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on August 2nd, 2018, and republished on July 16th, 2023.