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October 17, 2021

One-Pot Chicken Meatball and Green Curry Rice

We take our inspiration from classic Thai green curry to make this thoroughly modern, meatball-dotted riff on old-fashioned, one-pan chicken-and-rice casserole.


Chicken Meatballs and Green Curry Rice in a dutch oven

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 for chicken meatballs and green curry rice in bowls on a counter

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.
ground chicken, basil, garlic, green onions, fish sauce, curry paste, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl
raw home made chicken meatballs on a baking sheet

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:

  • Ground chicken

  • Fresh basil

  • Fresh garlic

  • Scallions

  • Fish sauce

  • Green curry paste 

  • Sugar

  • Cornstarch

  • Vegetable oil

  • Green beans or snap peas

  • Carrots

  • Mushrooms

  • Long grain white rice, rinsed

  • Full-fat coconut milk

  • Low sodium soy sauce

  • Lime

browned homemade chicken meatballs on a baking sheet
green beans, carrots, and mushrooms, oil, garlic and salt in a dutch oven ready to be sautéed

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Roll the meatballs! Use a little water on your palms to keep the meat from sticking as you roll.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

sautéed green beans, carrots, and mushrooms in a dutch oven with uncooked rice
all ingredients for One Pan Chicken Meatball and Green Curry Rice Bake in a dutch oven ready to be cooked

Tools You’ll Need

More One-Pot Chicken Dinner Winners

One Pan Chicken Meatball and Green Curry Rice Bake in a dutch oven with a serving spoon

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!

Chicken Meatballs and Green Curry Rice in a dutch oven
One Pot Chicken Meatball and Green Curry Rice in a dutch oven with a serving spoon

Hit Us Up!

We’d love to know what you think of this one-pot dinner! When you make it, let us know how it goes, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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One-Pot Chicken Meatball and Green Curry Rice

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  30 min
  • Cook Time:  45 min
  • Calories: 688



  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc mam, which is Vietnamese)
  • 1 tsp green curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable oil

Green Curry Rice

  • 1/3 lb green beans or snap peas
  • 2 medium carrots, ½-inch slices
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups long grain white rice, rinsed
  • 1-2 Tbsp green curry paste, depending on desired spice level
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk (preferably not lite)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice


  1. Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the chicken, basil, garlic, green onions, fish sauce, curry paste, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Mix with your hands until fully incorporated. Form golf ball–size meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each) and place them on a plate. You should have about 20 meatballs.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or large/deep skillet with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, working in batches if needed, add the meatballs in a single layer, taking care to not over crowd the pan. Cook, until the meatballs are browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Transfer the meatballs back to the plate. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup water if needed.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 more tablespoon of oil. Add the green beans, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cook, stirring for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant. Deglaze the pan with another ¼ cup water if needed.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add in the rice and green curry paste, cook, stirring, until curry is evenly dispersed about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, 1 ¾ cup water, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar and stir to combine. Bring to a heavy simmer.
  5. Return the browned meatballs and any collected juices to the pot. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed, the rice and veggies are tender, and the meatballs are cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  6. Serve the meatballs with more basil and a squeeze of lime juice to finish.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories688
  • Protein40 g
  • Carbohydrates65 g
  • Total Fat28 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol101 mg
  • sodium1610 mg
  • Total Sugars7 g

One-Pot Chicken Meatball and Green Curry Rice

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • J

    Have you tried this with any other curry paste? We're usually a fan of red and I know I have red in the pantry. Thinking about trying this with turkey tonight.

    Red curry would probably be delicious as well!

  • Jenna

    The grocery store I usually shop is relatively small and tends to not have ground chicken. Do you think these meatballs would work with ground pork, beef, or turkey? Which one might be best? Thanks so much for your great recipes, I have made many in recent months for me/my husband/toddler and all have been hits for everyone!

    So happy to hear you are enjoying our recipes Jenna! Pork or Turkey would probably be best. Enjoy!

  • Jessica

    Would you adjust anything is using brown rice instead?

    Yes! Brown rice takes longer to cook so it would change the recipe a bit. We haven't tested it that way, but you could certainly try it!

  • Patti

    I loved it! Added some hot sauce, but otherwise made it according to instructions and it was fab!!

    Thanks Patti, we are so happy you enjoyed it!

  • Incredible!

    This recipe is INCREDIBLE! I dont normally leave reviews, but this recipe deserves a round of applause. Packed with flavor & super quick to pull together, this will be a new staple in our house. I cant wait to play around with the proteins & veg options!

    Thank you so much! We are so happy you loved it and appreciate you taking the time to leave a review, we love to hear the feedback!

  • Anna

    Modern Proper deserves more 5-star reviews! I have made a lot of these recipes and each one we love even more. Thanks for the time and effort put into this!

    This dish was particularly easy yet packed flavor. I chose to bake the meatballs in the oven while I worked on prepping the rice and then tossed them in when the rice began to cook according to the recipe. All in all a wonderful dish. Can’t wait to make again!

    Thank you so much Anna! We are so happy you liked this recipe and others as well! We love the feedback, keep letting us know how it goes!