One Pan Cilantro Chicken Meatballs in Mango Coconut Sauce



One pan cilantro chicken meatballs simmered in a creamy sweet mango coconut sauce! This one pan meal takes only 30 minutes, is packed with protein and veggies and will knock your socks off with flavor. Serve with rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice or over noodles! YUM.

I’m back with another one pan meal everyone is bound to obsess over. It’s seasonal, perfect for summer, and ABSOLUTELY PACKED WITH FLAVOR.

I’d like you to meet my cilantro chicken meatballs simmered in a easy, sweet mango coconut sauce. I’m in love and you will be too.

cilantro chicken meatballs in a cast iron pan with text overlay

This recipe all started when I was digging around in my blog archives looking at some of my most popular dinner recipes. Most of them happened to be one pan meals: Mama’s Puerto Rican chicken and rice, Thai yellow curry chicken and rice and of course my tandoori chicken and rice.

Clearly I’m a one pan meal lover and so are YOU!

ingredients for cilantro chicken meatballs in a bowl

These healthy chicken meatballs are packed with SO much flavor, herbs and spices that it’s guaranteed to be your new favorite recipe.

To make these cilantro chicken meatballs you’ll need: ground chicken (or turkey!), egg, panko breadcrumbs, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cayenne.

To make the meatballs gluten free: simply use gluten free breadcrumbs or 2-3 tablespoons coconut flour to help bind them together. I recently discovered these gluten free panko breadcrumbs and have heard amazing things.

mango coconut sauce in a blender

We can’t deny the real star of this recipe though: SWEET MANGO COCONUT SAUCE.After I spotted a juicy, ripe mango on my counter, I knew what was about to go down: a sweet and savory mango coconut sauce for the meatballs to simmer in.

This mango sauce only requires only 3 ingredients: mango, light coconut milk and soy sauce (or coconut aminos!). First, you’ll brown the meatballs in a pan with oil, then you’ll add the mango coconut sauce on top, cover with a lid, then simmer for 20 minutes.

After that you’ll add your veggies, simmer for a few more minutes and serve with whatever you’d like!

cilantro chicken meatballs in mango coconut sauce on both a skillet and plate with rice

Tips for making this recipe:

  • You can use ripe mango or frozen thawed mango for the sauce — either will work!
  • It’s important to use light coconut milk. Full fat coconut milk is too thick and won’t create as nice of a sauce.
  • Serve them with any of the following to soak up all the extra sauce: brown rice, forbidden rice (aka black rice), quinoa, sweet potato noodles or zucchini noodles. My coconut cauliflower rice would be delicious too!
  • You can use either ground chicken or ground turkey for this recipe. Do not use extra lean or the meatballs will be dry. I recommend using right around 93% lean for best results.
  • Feel free to switch up the veggies based on what you have in your fridge.

cilantro chicken meatballs with mango coconut sauce with rice on a plate

More healthy one pan meals to try:

One Pan Ginger Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

One Pan Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple-Coconut Rice

One Pan Thai Coconut Yellow Curry Chicken & Rice

Sheet Pan Zucchini Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

cilantro chicken meatballs with mango coconut sauce on a plate with a fork

See how to make the cilantro chicken meatballs:

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If you make these chicken meatballs, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe below! You can also snap and picture and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen. xo!

Cilantro Chicken Meatballs in Mango Coconut Sauce



Nutrition Information

  • Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 392
  • Fat: 21.1g
  • Saturated fat: 9.0g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.6g
  • Sugar: 11.2g
  • Fiber: 3.7g
  • Protein: 24.9g

Recipe type: Dinner, Chicken, One Pan, Dairy Free, Paleo Friendly

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground chicken (or lean ground turkey)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (or if GF sub 2-3 tablespoons coconut flour)
  • 1/3 cup finely diced cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (can also use avocado oil or coconut oil)
  • For the coconut mango sauce:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cup diced mango (can use frozen, just make sure you thaw it first)
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • Add-ins:
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas (or edamame)
  • To garnish:
  • Chopped honey roasted peanuts
  • Diced green onion
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Hot sauce, if desired
  1. First, make your mango coconut sauce. Add coconut milk, diced mango, and soy sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Next, form your meatballs. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper. Use clean hands to mix and form into 16 golf ball sized meatballs.
  3. Place a large deep skillet over medium-high heat and add in sesame oil. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes total. You may need to do this in batches, depending on how many meatballs you can fit in your skillet without overcrowding them.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add your mango coconut sauce to the pan with the meatballs. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes, remove lid and gently stir in the peas and red bell pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes uncovered.
  6. Serve with brown rice, quinoa or with spiralized zucchini or sweet potato. There will be lots of sauce, which makes it delicious! Garnish with chopped honey-roasted peanuts, scallions, cilantro, and top with hot sauce if desired. Serves 4.
Feel free to use ground turkey instead of ground chicken in this recipe.

You can use ripe mango or frozen thawed mango for the sauce — either will work!

It’s important to use light coconut milk. Full fat coconut milk is too thick and won’t create as nice of a sauce.


Recipe by: Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eat

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