Alluring aromas will overtake your kitchen as you simmer this Thai chicken meatball soup. It’s surprisingly gluten-free and dairy-free. Perfect for a cool night!
Easy Thai chicken meatball soup
What is your favorite thing about Thai food? Most people might say Pad Thai. As much as I adore that nutty and spicy dish, sometimes I’m in the mood for an earthy soup. Whether the cold outside makes me want to snuggle up or I’m just feeling under the weather, this recipe is always the perfect choice!
All of the ingredients in this soup work together to boost your immune system and support your overall health and wellness. Ginger is fantastic for your gut health. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant. Scallions and cilantro are healthy sources of fiber.
Then you also have the protein from the chicken and healthy fats from the avocado oil.
This is such a filling and healthy soup that you can eat it for lunch or dinner without anything else on the side!
What makes it Thai-inspired? I added some of my favorite Thai ingredients to this soup – coconut milk, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, and cilantro. Don’t worry, if you don’t like cilantro, you can easily replace it with fresh parsley or leave it out entirely.
Another thing you’ll love about this soup is that it saves in the refrigerator beautifully. You can make it today and then enjoy it tomorrow or the next day. As it sits in the fridge, all the flavors will infuse together. I think it tastes even better the next day!
The ingredients in this Thai-inspired chicken meatball soup recipe are as close to whole foods as I could find. You probably already have most of these ingredients in your pantry. All you need for this soup is the following:
- Rice Noodles – Follow the directions on the package and cook all 10 ounces of rice noodles.
- Ground Chicken – To make homemade chicken meatballs, you’ll use two pounds of ground chicken.
- Fresh Ginger – Grate enough fresh ginger to give yourself 3 tablespoons.
- Garlic – For a pop of flavor, mince 8 cloves of garlic.
- Cilantro – Chop up 1/2 a large bunch of cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro, either leave it out or replace it with fresh parsley.
- Scallions – Chop up 4 small scallions, they will create an incredible aroma in the soup.
- Soy Sauce – Adding 3 tablespoons of soy sauce adds the umami that is essential for an Asian dish.
- Avocado Oil – This is the healthy fat for sauteeing, you’ll need 4 tablespoons. You can also use olive oil instead.
- Yellow Onion – Dice up 1/2 an onion into very small pieces, this will give it more flavor and aromas too.
- Shiitake Mushrooms – The 8 ounces of mushrooms add deep earthy notes to this tasty soup. You can use baby bella instead, but shiitake has an amazing taste.
- Salt – You only need a pinch of salt to bring out all the other flavors.
- Chicken Broth – This is the base of the soup, so you’ll need 7 cups of broth.
- Coconut Milk – For a dairy-free soup, add 2 15-ounce cans of coconut milk.
- Honey – Adding 2 tablespoons of honey sweetens this soup naturally without refined sugar.
- Lime Juice– Just squeeze the juice from one lime. This makes the soup zestier and brighter.
- Fresh Spinach – I used 6 ounces, but you can add as much as you like.
Kitchen tools required
You don’t need any fancy kitchen gadgets to make this easy chicken meatball soup recipe. Grab the following tools before you begin.
- Large Dutch Oven
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Spatula or Tongs
- Wooden Spoon
- Cutting Board
- Soup Bowls
For measuring, you will need 1 cup and 1 tablespoon.
How to make the best homemade chicken meatball soup
If you’ve ever made homemade soup before, this will be so easy for you!
First, cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the package. Then, drain and rinse them with cold water, and set them aside.
In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, ginger, five cloves of minced garlic, cilantro, scallions, and soy sauce. Roll into 20 meatballs.
Heat a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp oil. Once the oil is hot, brown the meatballs for 4 minutes on each side. Use a spatula or tongs to flip. It’s okay if some scraps stick to the bottom.
Repeat with all 20 meatballs and then transfer to a plate. Scrape any brown bits off the bottom and add to the cooked meatball plate. Wipe down/wash the dutch oven clean of any burnt bits.
Heat pan over medium-high heat and add remaining 2 tbsp oil. Then add onion, mushrooms, a pinch of salt, and garlic. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms have softened.
Add in chicken broth, coconut milk, remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce, and honey. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add noodles and meatballs to the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in the juice of one lime and spinach. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Top with cilantro and scallions if desired!
Here are some questions people often ask about making homemade Thai-inspired chicken meatball soup. If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
What is the safe cooking temperature for homemade chicken meatballs?
Homemade chicken meatballs should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
How many people will this recipe serve?
This easy homemade chicken meatball soup makes enough to serve 12 people. You will probably have some leftovers.
Can I use pre-made chicken meatballs?
It might be tempting to use frozen chicken meatballs to save yourself time. You certainly can, just be careful and read the ingredients, especially if you have health concerns. Make sure they are gluten-free and that you are happy with all of the ingredients in them.
I like to make my own frozen meatballs and store them in my freezer. That saves me lots of time when I’m making this soup.
The best way to store leftover homemade Thai-inspired chicken meatball soup is to pour it into an airtight soup container and refrigerate it. It will last for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Try these soup recipes next!
If you liked this Thai-inspired chicken meatball soup recipe, you’re going to love my other popular soup recipes! Here are some of my favorites.
- Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- Easy Tortellini Spinach Soup
- Easy Cheeseburger Soup Recipe
- Butternut Squash Soup (Vegan, Dairy-free)
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 10oz rice noodles, cooked according to package.
- 2lb ground chicken
- 3 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 8 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
- 1/2 large bunch cilantro, chopped small
- 4 scallions, chopped small
- 3 tbsp soy sauce (divided)
- 4 tbsp avocado or olive oil (divided)
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
- 8oz shiitake mushrooms
- pinch of salt
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 2 15oz cans coconut milk
- 2 tbsp honey
- Juice of one lime
- 6oz fresh spinach
- Cook rice noodles according to package, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, ginger, 5 cloves of minced garlic, cilantro, scallions, and soy sauce. Roll into 20 meatballs.
- Heat a dutch oven or large soup pout over medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp oil. Once hot, brown meatballs 4 minutes on each side. Use a spatula or tongs to flip. It’s okay if some scraps stick to the bottom.
- Repeat with all 20 meatballs and then transfer to a plate. Scrape any brown bits off the bottom and add to the cooked meatball plate. Wipe down/wash dutch oven clean of any burnt bits.
- Heat pan over medium high heat and add remaining 2 tbsp oil. Then add onion, mushrooms, pinch of salt, and garlic. Let cook 2-3 minutes until mushrooms have softened.
- Add in chicken broth, coconut milk, remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce and honey. Bring to simmer. Once simmering, add noodles and meatballs to broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and stir in the juice of one lime and spinach. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Top with cilantro and scallions if desired!
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