30 Minute Butter Chicken Meatballs. A delicious mix of cozy and healthy. This dish incorporates a variety of Indian spices, all with an abundance of health benefits. These meatballs are extra saucy, quick, easy, and delicious. Serve over steamed rice with a side of naan (preferably homemade because it’s the best). A great recipe any night of the week!
And just like that it’s already Wednesday, September is well under way, and like clockwork I am slowly beginning to share some more cozy recipes that are perfect for the cooler temperatures the approaching fall season is sure to bring.
So here’s the story behind this meatball recipe.
Those of you who have been reading HBH since the beginning (almost 6 years now!), may remember that during my first year of writing the blog I shared this naan recipe. Honestly? This is the naan that changed my life, my mom’s life, and really anyone that’s ever made or eaten it.
I know, I am so overly dramatic, but it’s all true. I never knew I could love a recipe as much as I love this naan. It’s soft, buttery, and delicious. Whether eaten with a bowl of soup, paired with a creamy curry, or especially when eaten on its own!
So, why am I gushing about an old recipe? Well, because it’s a recipe that’s inspired a lot of other recipes here on HBH. And yes, you guessed it, including these butter chicken meatballs. Really, I just needed a good excuse to make naan on a Monday, and butter chicken is the perfect dish to pair my favorite homemade naan with, so butter chicken meatballs it was.
And I am excited about them.
Meatballs have never been one of my favorites to make or to eat. Mostly because I really hate the word meatball. I find it so very unappealing. I mean, meatballs? Doesn’t seem like the greatest word to me, but I guess it is what it is.
This past year I’ve slowly started to put the unappealing name out of my head and begin to embrace the meatball. Thus far I’ve made simple baked Italian meatballs, Greek lamb meatballs, and ricotta turkey meatballs. And today I am embracing meatballs once again, only going the Indian route.
It’s kind of different, but so good.
Let’s talk details.
Start off by making the chicken meatballs. This is easy. Mix together ground chicken (you could also use ground turkey), an egg, and some bread crumbs. Form the mix into balls and then bake in the oven. I love baking my meatballs as opposed to pan frying them. One, it’s easier, two it’s healthier, and three, I find the meatballs cook evenly all the way through. Plus, cooking the meatballs in the oven gives you all the time (and hands) to make the sauce.
Which brings me to the sauce. The sauce is EVERYTHING. it’s what butter chicken is all about it. It’s where all the flavor is. It’s creamy, spicy, coconutty, and eat-by-the-spoonfuls good.
Traditionally butter chicken takes a while to make because the chicken needs to be slowly simmered in the sauce. Since we are using meatballs instead of whole chicken pieces, we can speed up the process and turn an hour plus recipe into a 30 minute, one pan and done, kind of recipe.
Cool. Cool. Love it.
The key to my butter chicken sauce is a good amount of spices, coconut milk, and tomato paste. The spices add all the flavor, the coconut milk adds creaminess, and the tomato paste adds richness.
Finish the sauce with a couple of tablespoons of butter and…PERFECTION.
You’ll want to get started on the sauce while the meatballs are baking so that when the meatballs are finished cooking, the sauce is all ready. Then all you’ll have to do is combine the two together, serve and enjoy. With a generous side of steamed rice and naan.
I really can’t begin to describe just how good these meatballs are. The sauce is super creamy, incredibly flavorful, and perfectly seasoned. The meatballs soak it all in, making them tender and delicious…anything but boring.
If you wanted to bump up the vegetable count, toss some spinach, cauliflower, or broccoli right into the sauce. Any of these would be great, and would add a nice pop of color too.
As mentioned, this is a great recipe for transitioning from summer to fall…it’s cozy, yet still healthy.
Oh, and it will leave your house smelling like a fall candle. The BEST! Make this soon you guys, it’s one of those recipes that’s just really really good!
If you make these 30 minutes butter chicken meatballs, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every one of you. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram so I can see! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
30 Minute Butter Chicken Meatballs
Calories Per Serving: 212 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- kosher salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 can (14 ounces) full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- steamed rice and naan, for serving
- 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.2. Add the turkey, egg, bread crumbs, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a bowl. Coat your hands with a bit of olive oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon size balls (will make 15-20 meatballs), placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp and cooked through.3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add the garlic and ginger, cooking another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.3. Stir in the garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.4. Add the tomato paste, coconut milk, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, bring the sauce to a boil, cook 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the yogurt and butter. Add the meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.5. Serve the meatballs and sauce over bowls of rice with fresh naan. Enjoy!