Flavorful Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles Recipe

Are you ready for a flavor-packed meal that is perfect for any night of the week? Look no further than this Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles recipe! As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I am thrilled to share this easy-to-make yet delicious recipe with you.

This recipe is inspired by Bun Cha, a popular pork dish specialty from Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. Instead of using pork patties, I opted for lean ground turkey to create juicy and flavorful turkey meatballs that are perfect for pairing with rice noodles or stir-fried vegetables. The addition of fresh herbs like cilantro and green onions, as well as the classic fish sauce, sugar and garlic cloves make these meatballs burst with authentic Vietnamese flavors.

Whether you crave an easy Vietnamese-style meal or are looking for a low-carb option that doesn’t compromise on taste, I can guarantee this recipe will become a household favorite. So let’s get cooking and indulge in the tastes of Vietnam!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles
Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles

Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles Recipe is a culinary delight that will transport your taste buds straight to the bustling streets of Hanoi. This recipe offers a delightful twist on traditional turkey meatballs, infusing them with an explosion of Vietnamese flavors like cilantro, fish sauce and rice vinegar, and packing them with lean ground turkey.

This dish is a perfect amalgamation of flavors and textures that will surely create a lasting impression on your taste buds. The nutty aroma, combined with the warmth of black pepper, pairs perfectly with the carefully balanced sweet and sour notes of brown sugar and rice vinegar. The fish sauce helps to bring out the savory umami flavor in the turkey meatball, while the addition of fresh and vibrant herbs like green onions and cilantro elevates this dish to a new level.

This recipe is not only packed with flavor but it is also very nutritious. Lean ground turkey makes this recipe a healthier option compared to traditional meatball recipes made with beef or pork. You can enjoy this guilt-free meal by pairing it with green leaf lettuce, which provides extra crunch as well as essential vitamins and minerals.

Whether you are looking for an easy weeknight meal or planning to host an intimate gathering, these Vietnamese-style turkey meatballs are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. With its easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe can be easily prepared at home in under an hour. So why not step out of your comfort zone and try something new? This Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles Recipe is sure to be a hit!

Ingredient List

 This meal is a real crowd-pleaser!
This meal is a real crowd-pleaser!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles recipe:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

For the Meatballs:
– 1/4 cup of white bread, torn into small pieces
– 2 tablespoons of water
– 1 lb. ground turkey
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 green onion, thinly sliced
– 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
– 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
– 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
– 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

For the Sauce:
– 2 tablespoons fish sauce
– 2 tablespoons brown sugar
– Juice from one lime
– Water

For the Noodle Bowl:
– Rice noodles or vermicelli noodles
– Green leaf lettuce
– Cilantro
– Green onions

Note: If you want an easy Vietnamese turkey meatball gluten-free option, substitute the bread with gluten-free breadcrumbs.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to be transported to the streets of Vietnam with these delicious meatballs.
Get ready to be transported to the streets of Vietnam with these delicious meatballs.

Now, it’s time to get cooking! Follow these steps and you’ll have delicious and easy Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles in no time.

Step 1: Make the Meatballs

The star of this dish is undoubtedly the turkey meatballs. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 lb of lean ground turkey, 1/4 cup minced cilantro, 3 finely chopped green onions, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, 1 tablespoons of sugar and mix thoroughly. Once mixed, use your hands to shape the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs. On a baking sheet greased with oil, bake for about 20 minutes at 350°F until golden brown.

Step 2: Prepare the Sauce

While the meatballs are baking, you can prepare the Vietnamese-style dipping sauce. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, 3 tablespoons of water, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar until sugar is dissolved.

Step 3: Cook Rice Noodles

Prepare a pot of boiling water and cook your rice noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked, rinse with water in a colander and drain off any excess water.

Step 4: Assembly Time

Now let’s bring all these components together. Take some individual servings of rice noodles in bowls topped with some green leaf lettuce, fresh herbs, cucumber slices, and minced chillies if you like it spicy. Place several turkey meatballs on top and drizzle with some dipping sauce. Garnish with more cilantro sprigs and chopped green onions.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles

This easy Vietnamese recipe is perfect as a meal that is both filling and healthy at once. These meatballs are gluten-free, so it is a good option for people with gluten allergies or those trying to cut back on carbs. You can serve the meatballs hot right off the baking sheet, in Bun Cha, which is a Vietnamese pork dish specialty, or combine it with a tasty broth to create a hearty noodle soup for a cold evening. This dish is also perfect for meal prep as the meatballs and noodles can be refrigerated separately and reheated when ready to assemble.

Substitutions and Variations

 Who said turkey can't be exciting? These meatballs will prove them wrong.
Who said turkey can’t be exciting? These meatballs will prove them wrong.

Are you in the mood to switch things up a bit? Don’t fret! There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can implement to make this Vietnamese turkey meatballs and noodles recipe fit your personal taste preferences.

To start, let’s say you’re not a fan of ground turkey. No problem, you can substitute it with ground chicken or even pork. However, be mindful that your choice of meat will affect the overall flavor of the dish.

If you are looking for a gluten-free option, opt-out the white bread found in the recipe ingredients and use gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond flour instead. Similarly, for those who are watching their carb intake, switch out the rice noodles for vermicelli noodles or turn this recipe into a stir fry and serve it over low carb vegetables.

Spice lovers raise your hand! You can add some heat to this dish by incorporating minced chili peppers or even sriracha sauce to the meatballs mixture or the sauce.

For those who aren’t a fan of certain ingredients listed in the recipe such as fish sauce, cilantro or green onions. Substitute fish sauce with soy sauce if you prefer, omit cilantro entirely or replace it with parsley, and swap out green onions with chives.

Feeling adventurous? Try making Lemongrass Turkey Meatballs instead! Add two finely chopped stalks of lemongrass to the meat mixture, alongside fresh herbs such as basil or mint.

Don’t forget that this dish pairs beautifully with Bun Cha – a popular Vietnamese pork dish specialty served over vermicelli noodles.

The possibilities are endless. Modify this easy Vietnamese turkey meatball recipe to fit your liking and enjoy every bite of it.

Serving and Pairing

 These flavorful meatballs are perfect for meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner.
These flavorful meatballs are perfect for meal prep or a quick weeknight dinner.

Vietnamese turkey meatballs and noodles is a complete meal in itself, but it’s always great to pair it with something that can complement the flavors in the dish. I suggest serving this mouth-watering Vietnamese-style turkey meatballs recipe with fresh, crunchy green leaf lettuce or cilantro to add an extra texture to your meal.

Another way to enhance this delicious noodle bowl recipe is by adding sliced green onions. These onions give the dish more flavor and a visually appealing layer of green color. To create that perfect mix of sweet and sour tastes that come from Vietnamese cuisine, drizzle some sauce on top of the turkey meatballs and noodles.

If you’re looking for something low carb, stir-fried vegetables are a great option to serve alongside the dish, especially bell peppers or bok choy. The vegetables provide many essential nutrients that are important for a healthy diet.

As for drinks, the light and refreshing Vietnamese drink called Sơ-riêu (a sugar cane drink with lemon) is an excellent pairing that complements this Vietnamese-style turkey meatballs recipe well. And what better way to enjoy your flavorful Vietnamese turkey meatball salad than with good company? Share it with your friends and family, and have everyone join in on the deliciousness!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't skip on the toppings; they take this dish to the next level.
Don’t skip on the toppings; they take this dish to the next level.

One of my favorite aspects of this Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles recipe is that you can easily make it ahead of time, store it, and reheat it later for a quick and satisfying meal. To make the most of this recipe, I like to make a larger batch of the turkey meatballs and noodles so that I have leftovers for several days.

To make-ahead, simply prepare the meatballs and store them uncooked in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also cook the meatballs ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer. If storing in the freezer, allow them to cool completely before placing them in a freezer-safe container. Cooked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

When it comes time to reheat, there are multiple options depending on your preferences. If reheating from frozen, allow the meatballs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. To reheat cooked meatballs, you can use a microwave or simply place them on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven at 350°F until heated through. For some added moisture, you can add a few tablespoons of water or chicken broth before reheating.

If you are reheating the noodles as well, simply bring a pot of water to a boil and add the noodles until they are heated through. You can also quickly heat up leftover cooked noodles by running them under hot water until warm.

In summary, this recipe is perfect for meal planning and prepping ahead of time. The turkey meatballs and noodles will keep well in both the fridge and freezer, making it easy to enjoy this delicious Vietnamese-style dish whenever you crave it. Just be sure to follow proper storage guidelines to ensure maximum freshness and safety!

Tips for Perfect Results

 These noodles make the perfect base for these tasty meatballs.
These noodles make the perfect base for these tasty meatballs.

Making the perfect Vietnamese turkey meatballs and noodles is all about striking a balance between flavor, texture, and technique. Here are some tips to help you master this recipe and achieve the best possible results.

First off, make sure you use lean ground turkey. This will ensure that your meatballs stay moist and juicy without being greasy. If you can’t find lean ground turkey, you can also use ground chicken or even pork as a substitute.

When it comes to seasoning the meatballs, be generous with the herbs and spices. Cilantro, green onions, garlic cloves, and lemongrass all add vibrant flavors to the meatballs that are essential for this Vietnamese-style dish. Also remember to add a pinch of black pepper to your mixture to give it some depth.

To achieve perfectly shaped meatballs, use an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop to portion out the turkey mixture and roll them into balls with wet hands. Then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them in the oven until golden brown on the outside but still juicy on the inside.

When cooking the noodles, make sure to bring plenty of salted water to a boil before adding them in. And don’t forget to rinse them with cold water after draining them to prevent them from sticking together.

Finally, always be mindful of your sauce ratio. The Vietnamese-style sauce made with fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, chili sauce and water should have just the right amount of sweetness, saltiness, tanginess, and spiciness. Start by using less rather than more sauce at first and gradually add more until you reach your desired taste.

By following these tips for perfect results, you’ll be able to wow your diners with some authentic Vietamese-style turkey meatballs and noodles!


Now that you’ve read through the recipe and have an idea of what to expect, it’s time for some frequently asked questions. Below are some common queries answered to help you make the most out of this Vietnamese-style Turkey Meatballs and Noodles recipe. Don’t hesitate to check out these important tips to perfect the dish!

Why are Vietnamese meatballs chewy?

When purchasing Bò Viên from Asian stores, it is important to note that some brands may have a chewy texture as a result of the addition of hàn the or borax. It is common in oriental cuisine to use hàn the as a cooking ingredient to impart a firm, rubbery texture or to preserve the food.

Why are my turkey meatballs rubbery?

Making tender turkey meatballs requires a light touch and gentle mixing. Overworking the meat or compacting the mixture too tightly can result in rubbery or hard meatballs.

What is pho meatball made of?

A popular ingredient in Vietnamese beef noodle soup is bò viên, which are made by grinding beef and combining it with spices to form round balls, similar in texture to fish balls.

What is Bun Cha made of?

Bun Cha is a signature dish from Hanoi, Vietnam, which consists of savory pork patties, flavorful caramelized pork belly slices, and fresh herbs served alongside rice noodles in a delicious broth. It’s a quintessential Vietnamese delicacy that’s famous for its unique blend of flavors and textures.

How long do Vietnamese meatballs last in the fridge?

Have some Vietnamese meatballs left over? No worries, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you’re thinking about freezing them, place the cooked meatballs separately on a baking sheet and freeze until they’re firm before transferring them to a plastic freezer bag. This will ensure that they don’t stick together and remain fresh for up to one month.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, these Vietnamese turkey meatballs and noodles are a delicious and unique addition to any meal plan. With their flavorful mixture of ingredients like soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cilantro, they’re sure to taste like nothing else you’ve tried before. Plus, with the option of using gluten-free ingredients and substitution suggestions for those with dietary restrictions, anyone can indulge in this delicious dish.

Not only are these meatballs a great option for a weeknight dinner, but they’re also perfect for entertaining guests. Serve them alongside a colorful noodle salad or as part of a traditional Bun Cha spread for an impressive and delectable meal.

So whether you’re a fan of Vietnamese cuisine or simply looking for something new to spice up your meal routine, make sure to give these Vietnamese turkey meatballs and noodles a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles

Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Noodles Recipe

Lean, flavorful meatballs in a spicy, light broth with noodles & greens. Lots of Vietnamese flavor, but without all the calories!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 467.9 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 5 bulbs green onions, finely minced
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced
  • 8 8 ounces rice noodles or 8 ounces vermicelli, cooked
  • 1/2 head green leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, torn into small pieces


  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 5 tablespoons water and cook over high heat for about 2-3 minutes, or until enough liquid evaporates and a syrup forms. Remove from the heat.
  • Combine the turkey, green onions, 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, syrup, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix very well so all ingredients are incorporated in the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • In a small bowl, make a sauce by combining 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, water, garlic and serrano pepper. Set aside.
  • When done marinating, shape the turkey meat into 12 meatball patties. Turn on the broiler, place on patties a sprayed pan and broil for 5 minutes. Flip the patties over, and broil for a further 5 minutes (You want a bit of charring on both sides).
  • Spoon the reserved sauce into four bowls, then place the pork patties over the sauce. Place the noodles next to the patties, and finally place the lettuce and cilantro in the bowl. Serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 379gCalories: 467.9kcalCarbohydrates: 47.6gProtein: 30.5gFat: 17.7gSaturated Fat: 6.6gCholesterol: 78.2mgSodium: 3007.1mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 10g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Poultry, Spicy, Vietnamese
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