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Thai Meatball Soup

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Thai Meatball Soup combines tender meatballs, pasta, and spinach – with a delicious Thai-inspired broth. A simple meal that comes together in under an hour and makes great meal-prep too!

Loving all the Thai food lately, including Sweet Potato Curry Soup, Chicken Curry with Vegetables, and Curry Fish Stew. If you haven’t tried any of these, it’s time ya’ll!

Two bowls of Thai meatball soup with noddles and mushrooms.

Thai-Inspired Meatball Soup

This meatball soup is an adaptation of the the NYC Times Chicken Meatball Soup. I’ve admired it from afar for awhile, and decided to put my own spin on it. Instead of using chicken, I used turkey, and also added pasta, spinach, and mushrooms.

We are pretty much in love with Thai red curry paste that is easily found in most grocery stores. Or do what I do – order a 6-pack from Amazon (Thai Red Curry Paste) and keep your pantry stocked at all times.

Why we LOVE this soup

  1. Simple. You can easily make this soup in under an hour. If you do some prep in advance (prep meatballs, have your ingredients out and ready to go, and cook pasta), you can make it even faster.
  2. Delicious. Ya’ll, this is SO good. The Thai paste is obviously one of my go-to’s, and it’s because the flavor is amazing in so many recipes. Using coconut milk is also key as it provides a rich, luxurious texture and flavor.
  3. Impressive. You can really add an impressive presentation with this meatball soup. Practice on your family and then pull out all the stops for company! WoWzA!
A stock pot of the Thai meatball soup.

Ingredient Notes

  • Ground Turkey and Beef – I used 3/4 each of ground turkey and ground beef for the meatballs. You could substitute any other ground meat for these, if preferred.
  • Garlic and Ginger – Plenty of fresh garlic and ginger adds amazing flavor to these meatballs.
  • Thai Red Curry Paste – A KEY ingredient. You could also make your own, although the store-bought version is amazing AND easy.
  • Coconut Milk – You can use a full-fat or lower fat (like I did) coconut milk. Both will add excellent flavor to the soup.
  • Fish Sauce – Another KEY ingredient to Thai cuisine. It’s easily found in most stores.
  • Pasta – Use a short pasta so it’s easier to slurp up in the soup!

TO SERVE: I recommend adding fresh lime juice, some fresh cilantro or basil, and extra black pepper. We also like to add sautéed sliced mushrooms to ours.

How to make Thai Meatball Soup

Step 1
Make the meatballs. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients – the ground turkey, ground beef, minced garlic and ginger, and seasonings (onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper). Mix with your hands to combine. Then form mixture into about 28 small one-inch meatballs.

Step 2
Cook pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente. Leave just a little bit of bite to them. Use plenty of salt to the water to add flavor. Strain and set aside.

Step 3
Brown meatballs. In a medium stockpot, add olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs (in two batches) and brown on all sides. Remove to a separate plate. (These do not need to be fully cooked as they will be added to the soup to simmer.)

Step 5
Start the soup. After removing meatballs, add pot back to stove and add more olive oil. Spoon in the Thai red curry paste and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly. Then add the chicken broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime zest, brown sugar, and seasonings (red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.

Step 6
Add meatballs. Add the meatballs to the pot and cook for a few minutes, or until cooked through.

Step 7
Add pasta and spinach. Then add the cooked pasta and simmer for another few minutes, or until everything is hot. Remove from heat and add the baby spinach.

Step 8
Serve. Serve the soup with fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro or basil, and freshly ground black pepper.

Optional – We enjoy adding sautéed mushrooms to our soup as well.

Two bowls of Thai meatball soup with rigatoni noodles.

Expert Tips

  1. Use fresh garlic and fresh ginger. I don’t recommend substitution powdered versions. FRESH is best!
  2. Brown the meatballs. Don’t skip this step. Browning the meatballs in advance adds flavor plus it helps to hold them together in the soup.
  3. Use a short pasta. The first time I made this soup, I used spaghetti noodles which makes eating this difficult! I recommend using a shorter pasta for less mess.
Closeup on a bowl of the meatball soup.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

A bowl of Thai Meatball Soup, with mushrooms and pasta.

Thai Meatball Soup

Thai Meatball Soup combines tender meatballs, pasta, and spinach – with a delicious Thai-inspired broth. A simple meal that comes together in under an hour and makes great meal-prep too!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 590kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 3/4 pound ground turkey
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 4-5 cloves garlic – finely minced
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh ginger – minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste

For the soup:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 oz. Thai red curry paste
  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 30 oz. low-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar – or honey
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 12 oz. pasta – cooked
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • fresh lime juice, fresh basil or cilantro, and extra black pepper – to serve
  • sautéed sliced mushrooms – optional
  • more broth as needed for leftovers

Instructions

For the meatballs:

  • Combine the meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl – the ground turkey, minced garlic and ginger, and the seasonings (onion powder, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper). Combine with your hands (without over-mixing).
  • Roll into small one-inch balls. You should get about 27-28 meatballs.

For the soup:

  • Cook pasta according to packaged directions, using plenty of salt for flavor. Strain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium stock pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and then the meatballs. Brown on all sides and then remove from the pot.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the Thai red curry paste. Stir for a minute or so, and then add the chicken broth, coconut milk, fresh lime zest, brown sugar, fish sauce, and seasonings (red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper).
  • Let the soup come to a boil and then reduce heat to a summer. Add meatballs back to the pot and continue to cook until they are cooked through completely.
  • Then add the cooked pasta and kale. Simmer for a few more minutes, until the kale is tender.
  • Serve soup with some fresh lime juice, fresh basil or cilantro, and extra red pepper flakes/black pepper. We also like to add sautéed mushrooms to the top.

Nutrition

Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 810mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5066IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

One Comment

  1. A keeper! I love this soup and it’s a nice change of pace! Well done…

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