Another Fabulous One-Pot Wonder, Here To Save Your Weeknight Meal Plan!
Creamy, savory coconut curry makes this veggie-loaded casserole of baked rice and chicken meatballs a true weeknight treat. Heady with Thai flavors and rich coconut milk, it’s a world away from the chicken-and-rice bake recipes of yore. Ground chicken meatballs anchor the dish with herby, meaty goodness, and green curry paste—more on that in a minute—lends its deep and complex flavor to both the meatballs and the green curry rice, which is tender and rich. Leftovers are delicious, and this delicious one-pot dinner is healthy, too! And if you’ve never cooked with green curry paste before, this is a terrific entry-level recipe—it’s almost impossible to mess up.
Ingredients Spotlight: Classic Thai Flavors
Thai green curry inspired this one-pot dinner, and we’re using two staple ingredients of the Thai pantry to make it taste just-right. Green curry paste and Thai fish sauce are must-have ingredients if you plan to make this recipe (or really any Thai or Thai-inspired recipes). Thankfully they’re easy to find and they’ll last a long time in the pantry (or fridge after opening). Here’s a little 101 on these two fabulous Thai ingredients:
Green curry paste (gaeng khiao waan). You can make your own green curry paste if you’re ambitious like that, but we usually opt to simply buy it! Bursting with fresh fragrances and powerful flavor, green curry paste is usually made from some combination of chilies, shrimp paste, garlic, lemongrass, peppercorns, galangal, makrut lime zest, coriander root, and cumin. Much like with red curry paste, though, the exact ingredients in green curry paste will vary a bit from brand to brand, so you may want to experiment with different ones. We are loyal to the Mae Ploy brand, but we also love trying local brands as well.
- Fish sauce (nam pla). Pungent is a word that comes up over and over again when it comes to fish sauce, and it’s just about as perfect a description as any for nam pla, or Thai fish sauce. Made from tiny fish—like anchovies—that are salted heavily and then left to ferment for months (or even years), this heady sauce delivers major umami and a hint of funk. It’s a key ingredient if you want to achieve those classic, restaurant-quality Thai flavors that you crave.
Everything You’ll Need To Make This Easy, One-Pot Dinner
The list looks long, but most of the items will come right out of your pantry—fish sauce, soy sauce, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, rice. Nothing too tricky, or hard to find! If you haven’t used green curry paste before, look for it in the same aisle as Asian noodles and sauces (wherever you’d buy soy sauce or sriracha). Feel free to mix up the vegetables a bit, too, if you’d like to. Green beans or snap peas, or a combo! Use cremini mushrooms or white button mushrooms if that’s what you have on hand. But don’t skimp on the coconut milk—using full fat coconut milk is important here, so that the final dish is rich and creamy and the rice is perfectly cooked and tender. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
Green curry paste
Green beans or snap peas
Long grain white rice, rinsed
Full-fat coconut milk
Low sodium soy sauce
How To Make Our Creamy Curry One-Pan Chicken and Rice
This truly is a one-pot, stovetop wonder of a meal! It’s cozy and comforting and a little more exciting than the average weeknight recipe all at the same time. Plus, it’s really not too challenging. All the magic happens in just one pot—how hard could it be? Grab yourself about 45 minutes, and let’s get cooking. Here’s how to make our meatballs with green curry rice:
Mix the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the chicken, basil, garlic, green onions, fish sauce, curry paste, sugar, cornstarch and salt. The secret to perfect meatballs is mixing them gently with your hands.
Roll the meatballs! Use a little water on your palms to keep the meat from sticking as you roll.
Brown the meatballs! Use the Dutch oven or large skillet (with a lid) that you plan to bake the whole meal in to brown the meatballs. They don’t need to be cooked through—they’ll finish cooking with the rice. For now, you just want to brown the outer layer. You might need to work in batches.
Sauté the veggies. In the same pan, sauté the green beans, carrots, and mushrooms in a bit of oil with a little garlic and salt.
Time to assemble! Stir in the rice and green curry paste, then pour in the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Stir and bring to a good simmer.
Cook! Add the meatballs, cover the pot and let it cook over low heat for about half an hour, until the rice is lovely and tender and the meatballs are totally cooked.
Tools You’ll Need
Dutch oven or pan with a tight-fitting lid.
Tongs are super handy for browning the meatballs.
More One-Pot Chicken Dinner Winners
Green Curry Chicken and Rice Casserole: How Do I Store It? And Can I Freeze It?
You can store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days, and it’ll be just delicious. But sadly, it doesn’t freeze very well. Rice and the freezer are not the best of friends—it seems to take on a brittle, crumbly texture when frozen. So, if you make this recipe, eat it up ASAP. It’s so delicious, that shouldn’t be a problem!