Thai Pork & Veggie Meatballs

Ugh. I’m doing a CrossFit competition soon. Gross. I honestly hate competitions nowadays. I competed for 3 years, loved every second of it, then one day that love was gone. I just didn’t want to lift that heavy anymore. But when you go to competitions, everyone competing is either half naked or dressed in highlighter colored shirts with sayings like, “I’ve got a great snatch.” Well, if you’re talking about your olympic lift, your shirt is a lie. If you’re talking about your private parts, you’re disgusting. So yeah, I get a bit annoyed at competitions. But I told my CrossFit Broadway friends that I would do the competition and smile. So that’s what I will do…while I ignore the highlighter shirts that are burning my retinas.

When I made the meatballs yesterday, the curry powder got under my fingernails and turned them orange for the day. Real cute look.

So I hate to admit it, because I’m not a teenage girl, but I’m extremely excited for the new season of Catfish. Have you watched that show? Here is the summary if you’ve never seen it: young people meet other young people on FB, they talk for years, for in love, make plans, get engaged, all while never meeting each other and sometimes never seeing each other in person. Well, the show confronts one of the people in the relationship, and most of the time, it’s not actually the same person. It’s usually a girl pretending to be a guy, because they hate the other girl. Real mature stuff. It’s so addicting. I’m glad I’ve never fallen in love with someone through social media. This show also makes me wonder if someone has taken my pictures and is pretending to be me because that happens ALL.THE.TIME. on the show. It’s real strange. I’ve never thought of being anyone else on the internet other than my weird self. That would just be exhausting. Anywho, I can’t wait for the new season. Judge me. Do it.

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend! I’m guessing you already knew that since every other commercial on TV is out to remind us and entice us into buying flowers, and chocolates, and jewelry, and perfume. Well, I know what I’m doing for my mom. Doing what I like to do best and know she will love. I’m making a recipe called Chocolate Swirl Cheese Danish Cake from the cookbook The Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook. Paleo danish? Yes please. I just think brunch is the best, so that’s what I will be doing. And that’s what I shared with reader’s on my Mother’s Day Newsletter today! Check out my newsletter I sent out today and subscribe in the left hand to get more newsletters like this one, with favorite recipes from the archives of PaleOMG! That way I’ll be able to keep you updated with giveaways, book tours, and exciting upcoming recipes! Woot woot!

PS- I’m incredibly excited for my rest day from the gym today. I’m going to style my hair and everything. Today is a great day.


Thai Pork & Veggie Meatballs

  • Yield: 4-5 1x



For the meatballs

  • 2 small zucchinis, shredded
  • 2 small carrots, shredded
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce

  • 1 (14 ounce) can of coconut milk
  • ¼ cup smooth almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (or sriracha)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt

To garnish

  • chopped green onions
  • chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place zucchinis and carrots in a food processor using the shredding attachment. Remove shredded zucchini and carrots from the food processor and squeeze out excess water with some paper towels.
  3. Place zucchini, carrots, pork, turkey, and the rest of the the meatball ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to combine.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out meatballs then shape in hands. Set aside on a plate. This should be 12-15 large meatballs.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients until completely combine.
  6. Place a large oven safe saucepan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add a teaspoon of sesame oil or other cooking oil (coconut oil). Once saucepan is hot, add meatballs to the pan and brown on all sides. Once browned, remove from heat, pour all of the sauce on top of meatballs.
  7. Place saucepan in and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. This time will range depending on the size of the meatballs.
  8. Garnish meatballs with chopped cilantro and green onions.

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PaleOMG Thai Pork Veggie Meatballs


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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


111 thoughts on “Thai Pork & Veggie Meatballs”

  1. Hi Juli! I love your blog! I saw this recipe and cannot wait to make it – totally one of my favorite flavor profiles. I was wondering if you had a set “staple list” of the ingredients that you keep in your pantry? I live in the middle of nowhere and it is difficult to find some of the ingredients so I tend to order from Amazon or have to purchase things when I travel to a city. I recently stocked up on the various flours that you typically use in your baked goods, but this recipe has coconut aminos, which I don’t have. I thought if you had a list of pantry staples, that would be awesome so I can be prepared to cook your delicious recipes! Thank you so much!

    1. you know, i just buy spices as i go and then they build up over time. as for other stuff, i keep baking stuff like tapioca flour, almond flour, and coconut flour along with chocolate chips and eggs all the time because i love to bake. i don’t have an actual list on here but in both of my cookbooks ‘omg. that’s paleo?’ and ‘the paleo kitchen’ i have really elaborated lists!

      1. Hi. I wanted to read some comments regarding your recipe before I actually made it for a crowd. I found it difficult to find many useful tips or hints since this is more of a blog about CrossFit and other personal opinions than a helpful recipe site. I did end up following your recipe to a “T”. Here are my questions and comments. How did you achieve the lovely red colour in your photos? The curry powder made the sauce yellow. There is not, to my knowledge, a red curry powder on the market. There is not enough chilli garlic sauce in the recipe to achieve a prominent red colour. The flavour was nice overall, but lacked any substantial heat that I associate with great Thai food. The meatballs are lovely but the sauce, not so much. So, in as much as the comments section relates mostly to folks who want to try the recipe but who haven’t yet, I would suggest they try it and then post some helpful comments and suggestions.

  2. The CF competition rant, so FUNNY. You need to share more of those thoughts, because I thought I was the only one in the world that felt the same way!!!!!!! Maybe you can take secret photos at the CF competition (and black out their faces) and do Perez Hilton style critiques (fashion don’ts!)!!! I would find that to be so very amusing!! 🙂 Thanks for making me laugh every morning!

    P.S. Where are pictures of Jackson? I’ve grown accustomed to seeing photos of his cute face!

  3. Haha your description of those t-shirts made me laugh out loud. Good thing I’m working along today because explaining it could have been a little awkward (to non-Crossfitters and British people who don’t use the term).
    Moving on swiftly, this dish looks so delicious. I love the idea of putting the veggies into the meatballs and the sauce sounds divine.
    Good luck in the competition!

  4. Hi Juli,

    I signed up for your newsletter and right after that I was taken to a site that wasn’t yours. It was or something like that. Just wanted you to know. Maybe it was just a fluke but you may want to test it.

    I did get the confirmation email for the newsletter

      1. I had the same thing happen, and I didn’t get the Mother’s Day email today. I used the pop up on your page to register.

      2. This happened to me also. I think it is just a typo in the link, it goes to paloemg (and no website loaded). I used the sign-up that it is in the bottom-right corner of your website.

        I love all things Thai and can’t wait to try these meatballs!

  5. I LOVE Crossfit, but sometimes I think Glassman invented it to test our basic math skills (let’s see, that’s 2 45 lb plates, plus 2 25s, 35 lb bar…. what’s the Rx?) AND to create an excuse for grown men to say “rack” and “snatch” everyday.

  6. Sarah Gardner

    I signed up in the corner box that says, “Don’t Miss a Bite”, and mine is working fine! Just putting that out there! Maybe it’s when using another link?

    PS, totally love what you said about the highlighters and wearing stupid shirts. My girlfriends and I at crossfit were JUST talking about that…we hate that the only shirts out there for crossfitters say things about “I lift heavy stuff” or “I love jerks”. And nobody should wear a shirt that says anything about a snatch! Soooo glad we aren’t the only ones tired of all that! LOL

  7. If you like Catfish then watch the documentary Talhotblonde on Netflix. It’s also a lifetime movie. You won’t be disappointed!

    1. omg that movie was so CREEPY. the main guy as just odd and made me uncomfortable the entire time.

  8. New to the site just the week and already can’t wait to spend Sunday before my daughters come over to prep a bunch of new recipes for the week. This is my first paleo week and too many people are eating pizza all around me!!! Think this recipe will be perfect for Monday’s dinner.

  9. Brand new to Paleo this week and am very happy I found your site! I look forward to lots of great recipes and can’t wait for Sunday to prepare a bunch of new things for my daughters to try next week! Thank you for all the excellent food Ideas and posts that I hope will make me stop craving pizza and more white bread then any human should eat!!!

  10. Hi Juli!

    Is there a way to modify the sauce to eliminate the coconut milk? I can’t use almond milk either. ;( A good friend of mine is sensitive to both coconut & allmonds. I’m trying to figure out how to modify this so that she can still create it.

    Thanks!! =)

    P.S. I agree with a previous comment that you should take lots of pictures at the CF competition, blur out the faces and then do Perez Hilton type of comments! GREAT idea for a very enjoyable and might I say, indulgent blog post! =)

  11. Ha! I was at a competition just last weekend and spotted a group of girls wearing highlighter shirts, high socks, and tiaras. Since when did Crossfit competitions turn into raves? It kind of reminded me of something out of that movie mean girls…except I think they were in their 30s…

  12. I’m telling that Danish is the BEST!!! My mom loves it and always takes the leftovers home with her so I know your mom will too!

  13. Hey, I love those kind of shirts! I might be a 30 ish mom but apparently I’m a dirty old sailor on the inside who can’t help but snicker at the snatch and thruster jokes!

  14. Hi Juli. You have probably answered this a million times (newby alert) but it seems like you use coconut oil as opposed to olive oil. Is there a reason? Health? Taste? Chemistry?

  15. Good luck in your competition and I’m glad you loathe blinding shirts with stupid/dirty logos too!! lol. I looked at the photos of your food and actually wanted to lick the computer screen…which would’ve been a let down and I’d have to clean the screen. You should invent “cybersample”(my personally coined phrase-thank you) where you can smell the food you’ve made!! Do it!! 🙂

  16. Wow, this recipe looks fantastic! It’s definitely going on the to-do list…probably for next week since I JUST made my mealplan and grocery list.

    I can see why you’re so annoyed with the highlighter shirts. Seriously? Snatch? I grew up very, very naive, so I actually just had to look up the word on urban dictionary. Who the fudge would want to wear that around town or at their grandmothers? So who the hey would want to wear that at a public competition. Seriously.

  17. I made this for dinner tonight and it was sooo good. My husband said KEEP THIS RECIPE! Instead of the red pepper flakes I used Penzeys Allepo pepper. Thanks for this recipe.

  18. Amazing! The boyfriend loved them and said they were “dinner party” worthy. I whipped these up last night and we gobbled them down before our 80’s prom night. Thanks!

  19. I’m doing Whole Life Challenge, so I can’t have the honey. Do you have any suggestions for a replacement? If I don’t hear from you, I’ll either try a grape or a date. ? PS I never wear highlighter shirts.

  20. Love Thai food and these meatballs were great. I did add a few drops of fish sauce and squeeze of lime to the leftovers.

  21. This recipe was quick to make and so tasty! The creamy sauce and light spice were wonderful. The veggies in the meatballs gave them a nice texture too. Thanks!

  22. I made these for Mother’s Day breakfast with some pumpkin pancakes (Paleo & gluten-free of course!) – HUGE HIT!! Awesome recipe!!

  23. Making the change and looking for delicious recipes. Whipped these up this weekend and they were so moist and flavorful! A huge hit with riced cauliflower. Made a double batch and froze the second half. Thanks Juli!

  24. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I made it last night and it was delicious!

  25. Juli-
    These look amazing and Im pumped to try it this week! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your wonderful recipes.
    And I hear you on the competition front. I consider myself to have a pretty good sense of humor, but when I hear a team named “clam jam” or “snatch is paleo” I die a little… I’m sure you’ll do great ; in a tasteful tank to boot. You’re awesome!

  26. Made these last night with just ground turkey and slightly less curry powder than called for (not a huge curry fan) and omg they were incredible!!! So excited to have leftovers for lunch. LOVE all your meatball recipes! Keep ’em coming!

  27. Made these last night – AWESOME! They were even better warmed up for lunch the next day!

  28. Hey Juli,

    These were absolutely incredible; the flavours are so delicious and a very very nice meal. I ended up only having “Indian” Curry in the house but was still incredible. I will make this recipe over and over; i’m in love!!!!

    I swear I have never had a recipe not be amazing from you; so thanks for always delivering and then on top of that we get your humour too; you are really great 🙂

    Can’t wait to get your cookbook! xo

  29. These meatballs are amazeballs (sorry, I couldn’t help it). Seriously, though, they are delicious. My husband called them gourmet. Everything that I have tried from your site has been excellent. This week alone I made the meatballs and your breakfast biscuits egg sandwiches. So good! Thank you for all the awesome work you do. I love reading your posts and trying your creative recipes 🙂

  30. Toni Pastorino

    We have been using your cookbook as our “Go To” for the last year (almost). It’s kind of the best. Now I have turned into a stalker of your blog and I am delighted I’ve done so. While we just used ground turkey and no pork, these were absolutely delicious. The hubs even asked that we put this into our regular rotation. Thanks for being awesome and sharing such wonderful recipes!

  31. Juli!! You have outdone yourself with these! I made these with a few modifications (and siriacha) and all I can say is WOW. Thanks for the great recipe, it’s a new favorite of my husbands too. Keep up the great work!

  32. Hello! Most curry powders I come across is more the Indian flavour of curry, but the rest of the ingredients lean to Thai curry. Could you use a red curry paste instead of powder. Can you get Thai curry powder?

  33. What kind of curry powder should I use? I have Madras curry powder which I’m guessing isn’t the right kind. I also have red curry paste and green curry paste…would either of those work? thanks!

  34. Made this last week and it was delicious! Key note: very important to pad out moisture from zucchini & carrots after purée. I missed this step and my meatballs didn’t adhere well. But still tasted great!

    I added cayenne for a little kick.

    It was a little more time consuming for me to make–said and done it was definitely over an hour but maybe I’m just slow….

    Tasted even better as the days went on!

  35. I made these yesterday and they are awesome! I skipped the ginger because I think it tastes like soap. 🙂 And I’m thinking of adding egg to the meatball mixture next time – maybe they’ll hold together better? They started falling apart when I was browning them.

  36. LeRoi_de_LaRue

    There were great, Juli! Next time, I think I’ll add an egg to help them stay together, and I’ll make them a touch smaller so they’re easier to turn in the pan. But boy oh boy, that sauce is scrumptious, and the extra veggies packed into the meatballs are great! Will def make these again!

  37. Made these Monday and had enough for leftovers last night too (for two). Delicious. No modifications except held back a bit on the chili flakes and used soy aminos.

  38. Very good! I used sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter since that was all I had. I also subbed macadamia nut oil for the sesame oil which wasn’t my intention but that’s all I had. Still…it was very yummy just like every single recipe I have tried from this blog 😉

  39. Just made these…used turkey and chicken mince as our daughter doesn’t eat pork. Everyone loved them. This is one of the first paleo recipes I have cooked that everyone liked…Will definitely be a regular from now on. Thanks for a great meal 🙂

  40. This is a great recipe! Great job! I made it tonight and it was a big hit! I had two 12 year olds dining with us so I did not add all of the hot spices, but just enough to make it “warm”. I served it over a little white rice and had the garnishes of green onions and cilantro in a separate pretty little bowl so everyone could do their own thing. Some kids do not care for cilantro but I love it! I also used 1 lb of ground pork and 1 lb of ground chicken because I wanted to make a lot and adjusted the ingredients accordingly. This recipe is definitely going into my “keeper” binder. Thank you so much!

  41. This is UNREAL. These are SO FREAKING GOOD I can hardly stand it. Seriously. These have changed my life.

  42. I made this for my family tonight and they LOVED it! What type of curry are you using when you make it though? I used the curry I had on hand which was a Madras curry which gave this more of an Indian flare. It was still totally delicious, but I’m curious to know what you’re using

  43. I entered the recipe in myfitnesspal and it came up as 848 calories per serving – is that right????

  44. Hi Juli!

    I just made these meatballs for my coworkers and they are RAVING about how awesome they are. Just wanted to take a minute and say thank you for posting such creative and delicious recipes.

    I made some cauliflower rice to go with this, and oh man it is so good!

    Thanks again and have a great day. 🙂

  45. This recipe became an instant, huge hit in our house! My husband who doesn’t even like curry licked the plate clean! I don’t recall ever having anything even close to this flavor at any Thai restaurants I have been to. Thank you so much for this recipe! I kept it very close to the original, except I didn’t have any sriracha on hand.

  46. Made these for my boyfriend and he LOVED them! I’m not usually a very good cook when it comes to meat, I’m more of a baker and veggie roaster, but these turned out so great. Thanks!

  47. AMAZING! I made these tonight & it was a big hit! I love your recipes, keep up the good work!

  48. I made these, per instructions and they are great! I squeezed all the moisture out of the carrots and zucchini and the meatballs held together well. I think there may have been too much sauce, maybe enough for a double batch of the meatballs? I served it with brown rice. YUM!

  49. I have recently come to know your website and love your recipes!

    I made this and the flavor was delicious. I missed the step if drying the veggies after blending and that kept the meatballs from sticking together….didn’t matter tho in terms of flavor.

    I added a little extra cayenne because I like things spicy! Yum!

  50. This was delicious. My husband and I loved them and I reduced the spice in the ones for the kids. Thank you!

  51. The Catfish story and the case of the stolen pictures…happened to my son, only he was the one who had his pics stolen. The guy that fell in love with “him”, only she was really a girl pretending to be my son, found my son and told him all about it. Then expected my son to be with him! Which was kind of a problem because my son is not gay and the “guy” the other kid “knew” wasn’t really my son. So crazy!

  52. These were so flavorful and absolutely delicious! We can’t get enough of your recipes. Thanks so much for sharing them and please keep them coming!!!

  53. I’m looking forward to trying these later this week. Have you tried freezing some of the meatballs to eat later? I’m new to the paleo diet it’s a little more labor intensive than my usual cooking.

  54. I have a question about coconut milk. Every time I open a can most of it is solidified with the liquid below the solid chunks. I inevitably always spray the liquid all over the kitchen when i try to use it. I also try to shake it but it doesn’t seem to do any good. Is my coconut milk bad or do you have a trick for mixing it before using it? I’m relatively new to the paleo scene so if this is a dumb question I apologize in advance.

    1. That’s totally normal! For this recipe, just dump the whole can in there! PS – the solid chunk is what you make coconut whipped cream out of

  55. Omg!!!! Just made these tonight for tomorrows meals…..omg they were good. I also made your cucumber salmon roll ups…omg those were my sushi crave down on a healthy note. I have only been paleo about 2 weeks…but have already lost 11 pounds doing so. Recipes like this make me keep going and makes me realize you can still eat great traditional food…just in a healthy way. Amazing stuff….please keep going…never stop! I need you for life. Your a wonderful inspiration and a breath of fresh air!!!

    1. i definitely won’t ever stop! especially once my cookbook is done, i’ll be posting more and more recipes! thanks so much for the amazing support!

  56. I’m in the middle of an elimination diet to determine food allergies and was wondering if these could be made with tahini instead of the almond butter? I can’t have any nuts 🙁

  57. Hey Juli! I know this is an older recipe, but I wanted to let you know that I LOVE it!!! My husband thinks it’s great too.
    And, here’s the best part – a few leftover meatballs makes a killer omelette. I make mine with cheese, but I bet it would be great with a little pureed sweet potato or winter squash for that ooey-gooey filling I look for in my omelettes.
    So, thanks for sharing a great recipe (one of many!!!) that meets the all-important qualification of making a great breakfast too!

  58. Hi Julie, I just came across this recipe and would love to make it. Do you have any substitutions for the coconut??? I am unfortunately allergic and find cooking Paleo much harder

    1. You could replace the coconut milk with almond milk or cream if you tolerate diary (cream would probably taste better). For the coconut aminos you could use gluten free soy sauce or wheat free tamari if you tolerate those. Not “strict paleo” but good options in moderation when you have an allergy to consider.

  59. This was delicious. My roommate and I both loved it! I may have over cooked it a bit and the sauce turned in to more of a gravy paste but somehow that just made it 10x better!
    A tip for those who have yet to try it but a shot of lime on top at the end adds a wonderful level of freshness to this dish!
    Enjoy! This was a genius dish!

  60. Can this be made in a crockpot? I’m making it today, and it would be nice to have it cooking all day instead of rushing to make it tonight.

  61. Made this last night with pork and veal, no other modifications. Delicious and my favorite so far.

  62. Glad this recipe is still out on the interwebs! I made these back a few years ago and loved them. Craving a new batch and making them again tonight! You are very inspiring! Thank you.

  63. This recipe has been sitting in my ‘healthy eating’ folder for awhile, and I rediscovered it today and decided to go for it. BEST DECISION EVER. This is probably one of the best dishes I’ve ever had! Thanks so much for this

  64. I’m super late to the Paleo Party, but I just have to say a) you are hysterical b) the recipes we’ve tried so far (bought The Paleo Kitchen last week) have been amazing and c) you make it so painless to read blog posts. The only blog I read before shooting straight to the recipe. Thank you for sharing your humor and palo expertise with the world!!

  65. We’ve made this a few times and love it! I’m hoping to make a batch or two to freeze for when baby arrives. Have you ever done that, and at what part of the process would you freeze it??

    1. i haven’t done that myself, but i would cook the meatballs then freeze them, then simply defrost and reheat the same way you cooked them to help get the same texture!

  66. I make these all the time for my grab and go lunch rotation.

    I cook the meatballs without sauce, then freeze them on a cookie sheet. Drop them into a bag. I make the sauce and put it in my fridge in a container. Then I can pull out 2 or 3 meatballs at a time and throw them in my lunch!

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