Saucy vegan Thai coconut curry meatballs is a plant-based take on a home-style dish. As always, when a recipe requires a curry backdrop, I rely on readymade Indian simmer sauces. These miracles in a jar do the job much better than the average Western cook can to create amazingly complex flavors.
This luscious dish is on the table fast. As in the original recipe, a generous amount of rich coconut curry envelopes hearty meatballs — plant-based in our case.
About Indian simmer sauces: These amazing sauces are available in the Asian foods aisle of well-stocked supermarkets. Choose a dairy-free variety like Jalfrezi or Rogan Josh. Madras Curry is also usually dairy-free, and that’s your ideal choice if you want a spicier effect.
Here are more authentic-tasting recipes using Indian simmer sauce.
Plant-based meatballs options
Feel free to make this recipes super quick and easy by using any of the amazing plant-based meatball brands available. Some brands available to choose from: 365, Aldi’s, Beyond, Gardein, Green Cuisine, Lightlife, Morningstar, and Yves. There are likely other store brand as well.
If you’re more of a DIY person, we’ve got you covered there, too. Try Easy Vegan Meatballs, Tempeh Meatless Meatballs, or any of the delicious choices in this roundup of Amazing Vegan Meatballs Recipes.
What to serve with vegan coconut curry meatballs: Have plenty of rice, quinoa, or couscous ready to absorb the plentiful delectable sauce. A simply steamed green vegetable (broccoli or green beans are great with this) and/or a simple salad are all you need to round out the meal.
Recipe adapted from Plant-Powered Protein: 125 Recipes for Using Today’s Amazing Meat Alternatives © 2020 by Nava Atlas. Reprinted by permission. Photographs by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
Vegan Thai Coconut Curry Meatballs
This vegan take on a homestyle Thai dish makes good use of Indian simmer sauce and plant-based meatballs.
Coconut Curry Sauce
- 1 cup Indian simmer sauce (see Note)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh or squeeze-tube ginger 1 teaspoon sriracha or Thai red curry paste, or more to taste
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
- 12- to 16-ounce packaged plant-based meatballs, or 1 recipe or homemade (see links in Notes)
- 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into long, narrow pieces
- A few sprigs of cilantro leaves, plus more for serving, if desired
- 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts, optional
- Hot cooked rice, quinoa, or couscous
- Lime wedges
- Sriracha or other hot seasoning, optional
- Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Heat the half of the oil in a wide skillet. Add the meatballs and sauté over medium heat, turning occasionally, until most sides are crisp and golden-brown. Remove to a plate or bowl.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté until both are golden.
- Pour the sauce into the skillet and let it come to a simmer. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook for a few minutes longer over low heat, until the sauce thickens around them.
- Scatter the cilantro and optional bean sprouts over the meatballs and sauce. Serve at once over hot cooked grains, garnished with lime wedges. Pass around extra hot sauce as well if you’d like, for those who’d like more heat.
Indian simmer sauces are available in the Asian foods aisle of well-stocked supermarkets. Choose a dairy-free variety like Jalfrezi or Rogan Josh. Madras Curry is also usually dairy free, and that’s your ideal choice if you want a spicier effect.
If you prefer to make your own plant-based meatballs, try Easy Vegan Meatballs or Tempeh Meatless Meatballs.
If you like this plant-based meatball dish, you might also enjoy …
Pasta Puttanesca with Vegan Meatballs
See more hearty main dishes and ways to veganize meaty classics.
Hi Nava! This sauce was great! I followed it exactly and made it with the Easy Vegan Meatballs recipe and we put it over rice vermicelli. The family especially loved the sauce taste. Is it suppose to get thick though? I noticed as it was simmering it began to thicken so I added some water to thin it out, but it continued to thicken. Did I cook it too long? Do you have any suggestions on how to make it thinner and keep it thinner? Maybe I did something wrong? Maybe it was the coconut milk I used? I used canned. Thanks for your help! Definitely will make again!
Hi Jamie — I’m glad you and yours enjoyed this! The sauce is supposed to be a bit thick rather than soupy, but I’m not sure how thick is too thick — it was good thinking on your part to add a bit of water. The only thing I can think of is if full fat rather than light coconut milk was used, but as long as it tastes good to you, you can always adjust the consistency to your liking. Thanks for weighing in!
Ahhh… okay. Yeah what I didn’t add to tell you was I wasn’t sure what coconut milk I had used. The reason being is because I had a cup frozen in the freezer from another recipe and never labeled the container if I used light or not. I’m wondering if it was full fat canned coconut milk and that is why it thickened the way it did. It was like the consistency of thick tomato sauce or a thick brown gravy. Thank you for your reply! I’ll be sure to play around with it next time and will definitely be sure I use the light coconut milk! 🙂 I always have a can on hand to make the Jamaican Rice and Beans, too! 😉 It’s another fave! haha!
No worries, Jamie! That makes sense now. It’s funny, I was thinking about the Jamaican Rice and Beans, I haven’t made it for a while …
Haha! Oh my word, it’s so yummy! My 12 yr old daughter requests it often!