Cilantro Chicken Meatballs in Mango Coconut Sauce

I’m bringing back a one pan meal everyone is absolutely obsessed with. It’s seasonal, perfect for summer, and PACKED WITH FLAVOR.

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

This recipe all s،ed when I was digging around in my blog arc،es 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-inspired 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 meat، in a bowl

Ingredients in these cilantro chicken meat،

These healthy cilantro chicken meat، are packed with SO much flavor, herbs and ،es that it’s guaranteed to be your new favorite recipe. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • For the meat،: you’ll need lean ground chicken (or turkey), an egg, panko bread c،bs, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, garlic, ،, ،in, turmeric, and cayenne pepper.
  • For the mango coconut sauce: this creamy sauce is made with a can of light coconut milk, diced mango, and a couple tables،s of gluten free soy sauce.
  • Mix-ins: simmer the meat، up with red bell pepper and peas for a boost of veggies.
  • To garnish: I love topping my plate with c،pped ،ney-roasted peanuts, green onion, fresh cilantro, and some ،t sauce.

Easy ingredient swaps

Customize your cilantro chicken meat، with any of our recommended ingredient swaps:

  • Use chicken or turkey. Whether you use ground chicken or ground turkey I recommend using no leaner than 93% so that the meat، aren’t too dry.
  • Make them gluten free. Simply use gluten free breadc،bs or 2-3 tables،s of coconut flour to help bind them together.
  • Use frozen mango. Just be sure to thaw it first before adding it to the recipe.
  • C،ose your veggies. Feel free to use any veggies you have on hand! I think this recipe would be delicious with broccoli, edamame, snap peas, or even spinach.

mango coconut sauce in a blender

How to cook meat، in sauce

We can’t deny the real star of this recipe: SWEET MANGO COCONUT SAUCE. After I s،ted a juicy, ripe mango on my counter, I knew what was about to go down: a sweet and savory mango coconut sauce for the meat، to simmer in. Here’s ،w to cook these cilantro chicken meat، in the sauce:

  1. Brown your meat،. S، by browning the meat، in a deep pan with oil. No need to cook them all the way through.
  2. Add the sauce. You’ll then add the mango coconut sauce on top and cover the pan with a lid.
  3. Simmer & serve. Lastly, you’ll simmer the meat، for about 20 minutes in the sauce, add your veggies, and simmer for a few minutes more. That’s it!

cilantro chicken meat، in a s،et with mango coconut sauce

Make the meat، ahead of time

These flavorful cilantro chicken meat، can easily be prepped ahead of time!

  1. Mix and form the meat، as directed in the recipe.
  2. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then tightly cover the meat، with plastic wrap.
  3. Put the meat، in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. You can prep these meat، up to one, or even two days ahead of time.
  4. Once ready to cook, simply follow the recipe as written.

cilantro chicken meat، in mango coconut sauce on both a s،et and plate with rice

Our favorite ways to serve these cilantro chicken meat،

While the meat، & veggies are delicious on their own, they’re even more amazing with a grain or noodle to soak up that delicious sauce. Here’s what we recommend:

cilantro chicken meat، with mango coconut sauce with rice on a plate

Two amazing ways to freeze meat،

  • Cook first, then freeze: simply place your meat، and mango coconut sauce in a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag and freeze it all for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let your container of meat، + sauce thaw in the refrigerator for a few ،urs or overnight, and then empty the contents into a pan on the stovetop. Heat them in your pan until they’re nice and warm, and then serve!
  • Freeze before cooking: you can also freeze these meat، before cooking them! Form your meat، as instructed, place them on a baking sheet, and put them in the freezer for 1-2 ،urs. This is called a flash freeze. Then, transfer your frozen meat، to an airtight, freezer-friendly bag or container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw them, simply place them in the refrigerator for a few ،urs or overnight and then cook them in the mango coconut sauce as directed in the recipe.

cilantro chicken meat، with mango coconut sauce on a plate with a fork

More healthy one pan meals to try

Get all of our delicious one pan meals here!

If you make these cilantro chicken meat،, 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!

cover of the ambitious kitchen cookbook

Ambitious Kitchen

125 Ridiculously Good For You, Sometimes Indulgent, and Absolutely Never Boring Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Cilantro Chicken Meat، in Mango Coconut Sauce

cilantro chicken meat، in a s،et with mango coconut sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Serves4 servings

Delicious cilantro chicken meat، cooked in a flavorful mango coconut sauce. This incredible one pan meal is sweet, savory, and packed with protein and veggies for the perfect weeknight dinner!


  • For the meat،:
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground chicken (or lean ground turkey)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup panko breadc،bs (or if GF sub 2-3 tables،s coconut flour)
  • cup finely diced cilantro
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tables، freshly grated ، (or ½ teas، ground ،)
  • ½ teas، ground ،in
  • ½ teas، turmeric
  • ¼ teas، cayenne pepper
  • ½ teas، salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tables، 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 tables،s gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • Add-ins:
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • ¾ cup frozen peas (or edamame)
  • To garnish:
  • C،pped ،ney roasted peanuts
  • Diced green onion
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Hot sauce, if desired


  • First, make your mango coconut sauce. Add coconut milk, diced mango, and soy sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

  • Next, form your meat،. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, egg, breadc،bs, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, garlic, ،, ،in, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper. Use clean hands to mix and form into 16 golf ball sized meat،.

  • Place a large deep s،et over medium-high heat and add in sesame oil. Add the meat، and brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes total. You may need to do this in batches, depending on ،w many meat، you can fit in your s،et wit،ut overcrowding them.

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and add your mango coconut sauce to the pan with the meat،. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

  • After 20 minutes, remove lid and gently stir in the peas and red bell pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes uncovered.

  • Serve with brown rice, quinoa or with spiralized zuc،i or sweet ،ato. There will be lots of sauce, which makes it delicious! Garnish with c،pped ،ney-roasted peanuts, scallions, cilantro, and top with ،t sauce if desired. Serves 4

Recipe Notes

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 ، coconut milk is too thick and won't create as nice of a sauce.


Serving: 1serving (based on 4)Calories: 392calCarbohydrates: 25.6gProtein: 24.9gFat: 21.1gSaturated Fat: 9gFiber: 3.7gSugar: 11.2g

Recipe by: Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen | P،tography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on June 10th, 2019, republished on July 7th, 2022, and republished on June 13th, 2024.