Home > Dinner > Butter Chicken Meatballs Butter Chicken Meatballs February 25, 2021 | No Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. I’m channeling a favorite curry recipe — Butter Chicken— into these irresistible Butter Chicken Meatballs. Tender and flavorful chicken meatballs are tossed in a rich and creamy curry sauce. We love these meatballs served over basmati rice with lots of fresh cilantro and naan. If you’ve got a few minutes, the cucumber raita from these Ground Beef Naan Tacos makes a refreshing and delicious topping as well. Butter Chicken Meatballs Butter Chicken is one of my family’s favorite meals and when I found myself with some ground chicken intended for these Chicken Parmesan Meatballs but was missing some staple ingredients, I decided to create Butter Chicken Meatballs instead. These meatballs are bursting with flavor! They’re tender and juicy with crisp exteriors, bathed in the most luxuriously creamy and intensely flavored curry sauce. Butter Chicken Meatballs do require a bit of work, so while I don’t necessarily recommend them as a weeknight meal, these meatballs are a dish dressed to impress! If you have company coming, or when you’ve got some extra time on hand and are feeling ambitious in the kitchen, this is the dish to consider. Truthfully, though, we love them so much I make sure to carve out some extra time some days, anyway. Double-Purpose Spice Blend Many Indian dishes call for one group of seasonings for the chicken and different ones for the curry. I’ve combined the two processes, so you only have to make one spice blend. Half goes in the meatball mixture and the rest goes in the sauce. One of the best things about these Butter Chicken Meatballs is that the ingredients are very easily accessible. No need to go to a specialty store or order anything online; you should be able to find everything at your local grocery store! Butter Chicken Meatball Tips Don’t overwork the meat mixture. Stop mixing as soon as all the ingredients are incorporated into the ground chicken. Keep the ground chicken cold. The colder the ground chicken, the easier these meatballs are to roll and shape. Roll small, even-sized meatballs. In order for Butter Chicken Meatballs to cook through in time and evenly, be sure they’re all roughly the same size. This recipe makes about 32-34 meatballs that are all 1 tablespoon in size. QUICK TIP Invest in a meat thermometer — you’ll be amazed how handy it is! The meatballs need to be cooked to 160 degrees F (carryover heat takes them to 165 degrees F). Since cooking time will vary due to several factors, I always recommend using a digital meat thermometer to remove any guesswork on your end. Undercooked chicken meatballs aren’t safe to consume and overcooked meatballs will be dry and flavorless. Faster Butter Chicken Meatball preparation Meatballs are one of my favorite meals and since I make them so often, I’ve found that preparing the meatballs in stages saves time. Here’s what I mean by that: Start by scooping out even amounts of the meatball mixture. Use a lightly greased 1-tablespoon measuring spoon with nonstick cooking spray; press the measuring spoon into the meatball mixture and against the side of the bowl to get an evenly packed amount. Using your index finger, scoop the mixture out of the measuring spoon on to a prepared plate. Repeat with the remaining meat. Now, roll all the sectioned meat into even-sized, round meatballs. Finally, roll all the meatballs into the flour. QUICK TIPIt may not seem like it saves a lot of time, but it’s loads quicker than individually measuring out, shaping, and rolling one meatball at a time. If the meat mixture gets too sticky, chill it in the fridge or lightly spritz your hands with cooking spray. What to serve with Butter Chicken Meatballs Below are the three accompaniments we like with Butter Chicken Meatballs and I provide details to explain. We love Butter Chicken Meatballs served over basmati rice (or plain cooked white rice). I have a foolproof way to prepare nice and fluffy basmati rice every single time! See below. Serve naan on the side to scoop up the meatballs and sauce. We love toasting the naan; more on this follows. A very common accompaniment to Indian dishes is an easy cucumber and yogurt salad called raita. I’m sharing my raita recipe and it adds such a nice lightness and freshness to the rich curry. Cooking basmati rice Here’s how I cook the basmati rice: Measure the rice and rinse it in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. Place the rinsed rice in a bowl and cover it with water to soak for about 5-10 minutes. While the rice soaks, fill a large pot with water and set to boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, drain the rice and add it to the pot. Cook, without reducing the heat, for 5 minutes (taste and ensure the rice is tender; add another minute if not) and then drain and fluff with a fork. Toasting naan If serving naan alongside these Butter Chicken Meatballs, I recommend charring it before serving. To do this, spray both sides of the naan with olive oil cooking spray and “grill” the bread on the stovetop over the open flame until slightly charred. Alternatively, warm the bread (covered with a damp paper towel) in the microwave. We like Stonefire® naan best, but if you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can also make your own naan! Homemade Raita 1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt (we love Greek Gods®) 1/2 cup finely chopped English (or Persian) cucumber 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 2 teaspoons chopped fresh green onions 1/4 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin, ground coriander, fine sea salt Add all the sauce ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Stir until combined and then refrigerate. Spice Levels Butter Chicken is typically a much milder curry when compared to other Indian curries, so it’s very family friendly. My kids inhale my regular Butter Chicken and these Butter Chicken Meatballs are no different! You can certainly add more spice to this dish, but as written, it is mild with a tiny kick. To eliminate any kick at all, leave out the cayenne pepper. To increase the amount of heat, increase the amount of cayenne pepper to 1/4 teaspoon. More delicious curries Chicken Curry Soup with lots of veggies Coconut Curry Chicken reader favorite recipe! Chicken Tikka Masala with marinated grilled chicken Yellow Chicken Curry with potatoes Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup with chickpeas FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Butter Chicken Meatballs 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe I'm channeling a favorite curry recipe -- Butter Chicken into these irresistible Butter Chicken Meatballs. Tender and flavorful chicken meatballs are tossed in a rich and creamy curry sauce. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Butter Chicken Meatballs 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe I'm channeling a favorite curry recipe -- Butter Chicken into these irresistible Butter Chicken Meatballs. Tender and flavorful chicken meatballs are tossed in a rich and creamy curry sauce. Course Dinner, Main Course Cuisine Indian Keyword butter chicken meatballs Prep Time 45 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes Servings 4 -6 servings Calories 898kcal Cost $6.72 IngredientsSpices2 tablespoons EACH: ground cumin, garam masala1 and 1/2 tablespoons EACH: ground turmeric and paprika1 and 1/2 tablespoons EACH: finely minced garlic, finely minced ginger (~4 cloves; ~1 inch piece)1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optionalMeatballs1 pound (16 oz.) ground chicken1/2 cup (111g) yellow onion grated on a box grater1/2 cup (44g) panko (See Note 1)1 large egg2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juiceFine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper1/3 cup (46g) white flour1/4 cup (43g) coconut oil (measured when solid)Curry3 tablespoons unsalted butter1 and 1/2 cups (225g) finely diced yellow onion (~1 very large onion)1 tablespoon white sugar2 tablespoons tomato paste1 can (14.5 oz.; 411g) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes1 and 1/4 cups (274g) heavy whipping creamServe with: cooked basmati rice, toasted Naan, and fresh cilantro (optional) (See Note 2) InstructionsSPICE MIX: In a small bowl measure out and then stir together all the spices, garlic, and ginger (You can peel the ginger with a spoon or vegetable peeler and then finely mince it).CHICKEN MEATBALLS: In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, grated yellow onion (peel and then grate on large holes of a box grater then measure to get a lightly packed and leveled 1/2 cup), panko, egg, cilantro, and lemon juice. Add 1/2 of the spice mix from step #1 (just eyeball out half of it) and season meatballs with salt and pepper to taste (I add 1 teaspoon of each). Knead the ingredients together until evenly combined. Do not overmix or overknead; stop as soon as ingredients are combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate this mixture until step 5.SAUCE: While meatball mixture is chilling, make the sauce. Heat the 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet; add in the 1 and 1/2 cups finely diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 7-9 minutes. Reduce the heat if it begins to burn/brown-- we're looking for a golden color. Add in the 1 tablespoon sugar and continue to sauté until onions are lightly caramelized, another 3-5 minutes. We're adding layers of flavor, so don't rush this sautéing. Add in the other half of the spice mix and 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Stir for 2-3 minutes or until very fragrant. Reduce heat if the mixture begins to burn.SAUCE CONT.: Add in the fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and saute for 1 minute. Add in the 1 and 1/4 cup heavy cream and add salt and pepper to taste (I add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Stir, and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce has thickened and is fragrant. ROLL MEATBALLS IN FLOUR: While sauce is simmering, work on the meatballs, starting by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the 1/3 cup flour to a bowl and set aside. Here's my process for meatballs: Line a large plate or sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly spritz a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon with nonstick cooking spray and then use that to portion out meatballs to the parchment paper-lined plate. Portion out all the meat onto the plate without rolling into balls. Once all the meat is portioned out, then roll each portion into a ball. Once all the balls have been rolled, give them all a quick roll in the flour. Tap off the excess flour and return the meatballs to the plate. By doing everything in a batch instead of one at a time, you'll find it goes so much quicker. SEAR MEATBALLS: Heat 1/4 cup of the coconut oil to medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add in half of the meatballs. Sauté for 4 minutes, turning with tongs after 2 minutes, until the meatballs are browned on the outsides, but not cooked through. Discard the parchment paper and return the meatballs to the plate (without the parchment paper)BAKE MEATBALLS: Repeat with the remaining meatballs, adding extra coconut oil if needed. Transfer meatballs to the plate and quickly rinse or wipe out the skillet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Return the rest of the meatballs to the oven-safe skillet. Place the skillet in the oven and bake 7-15 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked through (160 degrees F). I check the meatballs with an oven thermometer at 5 minutes and then check every 3 minutes after that. It usually takes about 12 minutes in my oven.FINISHING SAUCE: Meanwhile, transfer the simmered and thickened sauce to a blender. Blend until completely smooth and return to skillet. if desired, stir in some chopped cilantro here (I add about 1/3 cup). Once meatballs are cooked through, add them into the sauce and stir to coat.SERVE: Serve saucy meatballs over cooked basmati rice (See Note 2) and garnish with additional cilantro leaves (optional). Serve with toasted naan (See Note 3). Enjoy! Recipe NotesNote 1: Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb found near other breadcrumbs or in the Asian food aisle of your store. Note 2: Here’s how I cook the basmati rice: Measure the rice and rinse it in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. Place the rinsed rice in a bowl and cover it with water to soak for about 5-10 minutes. While the rice soaks, fill a large pot with water and set to boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, drain the rice and add it to the pot. Cook, without reducing the heat, for 5 minutes (taste and ensure the rice is tender; add another minute if not) and then drain and fluff with a fork. Note 3: Here's how I toast naan: Spray both sides of the naan with olive oil cooking spray and “grill” the naan on the stovetop over the open flame until slightly charred. Alternatively, warm (covered with a damp paper towel) in the microwave. Nutrition FactsCalories: 898kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Cholesterol: 268mg | Sodium: 401mg | Potassium: 1021mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1578IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 4mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.