Damn Delicious

Butter Chicken Meatballs

Butter Chicken Meatballs - Everyone's favorite butter chicken made into the most tender, most amazing meatballs! So saucy, so good. Serve with rice + naan!

Everyone’s favorite butter chicken made into the most tender, most amazing meatballs! So saucy, so good. Serve with rice + naan!

Butter Chicken Meatballs - Everyone's favorite butter chicken made into the most tender, most amazing meatballs! So saucy, so good. Serve with rice + naan!

Is it weird that I prefer this than the more traditional butter chicken?

I mean, it’s meatballs. It’s basically not even a competition. Meatballs trump all. Meatballs made with ground chicken, Panko, egg, cilantro and curry powder baked until tender and melt-in-your-mouth amazing, then smothered, dunked, and swimming in the sauciest butter chicken goodness.

Serve with warm, toasted naan and basmati rice to get all the saucy bits. And if you have any leftovers (which would be impossible because it’s just that good), you can make an Indian pizza. That’s what we did, and it was the best pizza of my life.

I may make this again just to repurpose the leftovers for that pizza again!

Butter Chicken Meatballs - Everyone's favorite butter chicken made into the most tender, most amazing meatballs! So saucy, so good. Serve with rice + naan!

Butter Chicken Meatballs

Everyone’s favorite butter chicken made into the most tender, most amazing meatballs! So saucy, so good. Serve with rice + naan!

20 minutes35 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced, optional
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

For the meatballs

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To make the meatballs, combine chicken, Panko, egg, cilantro, curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 3/4-to-1-inch meatballs, forming about 36-40 meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until lightly browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Stir in garlic, ginger, garam masala and turmeric until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste and chicken stock; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in heavy cream and meatballs until heated through, about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately.


Inspired by Half Baked Harvest

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    I was looking for a recipe to use ground turkey with. Don’t tell my husband I used ground turkey or ground chicken for these, but he really likes them. I gave some to my daughter for she and her husband and she immediately asked for the recipe. I really like this recipe and it’s really pretty easy. Thank you!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    This sauce is unreal!!  I could just eat it with a spoon.  I’ve made this recipe in the past exactly as written and the meatballs are fantastic.  My husband and I have been trying to eat a more plant-based diet over the last few months, so I made this last night with cubes of baked tofu and some baby spinach wilted into the sauce at the end.  Served over rice with garlic naan.  HOLY SMOKES, it was so good!  Your recipes are always my go-to, so thank you thank you thank you!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Made this today paired with Indian flat bread and it was sooo delicious! My husband liked it so much that it would be part of our menu rotation from now on!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    I make this almost once a week. My whole family loves it! My 1 year old and 5 year old love it over rigatoni! 

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    My partner and I both had phones in hand ready to order take out when I decided to make this instead. And we were both so glad I did! Takes exactly like take out. I added a touch more cream because we like ours creamier and used an immersion blender to smooth out the pieces of onion and jalapeño. Won’t blend it when I make it again- unnecessary step. The meatballs were a good use of the ground chicken in the freezer, would prefer chicken breast or skinless thigh or shrimp. Perfect balance of flavors, not spicy and I was shocked at how easy it was to make. 10/10 -will make again! 

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made these and they were beyond damn delicious!! I could easily eat these 3 times or more a week. The flavor is so incredible!!

  7. I am intrigued about the Indian Pizza for the leftovers How do you make that? Naan, sauce, meatballs…. and….???? Please I really would like to know. Thank you!

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Making this again tonight. Will be the third time in a month. I can’t get enough and thankfully it’s a fave of my 3 picky eaters. Going to get naan from a local restaurant and serve with riced cauliflower for myself, rice for the rest of the family and some roasted broccoli.

    Do you happen to have the nutritional information for this? Is it posted and I didn’t see it?

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Best butter chicken recipe yet. Even with replacing the heavy cream with 2% milk, it was absolutely delicious.

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Really enjoyed these – did 1 lbs turkey, 1/2 lbs pork since that was what we had in the house. Blended in the food processor for a smoother texture. These were delicious and my kids loved them. Also used full fat coconut milk since we’re dairy free. Really enjoyed these!

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    That was damn delicious too! (I cooked the peanut butter noodle recipe as well)

  12. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this for my wife and I and it was delicious! I substituted coconut milk for the heavy cream (my wife is currently dairy free) and added freshly sliced mushrooms to the sauce (simply because I had extras that I wanted to use). Additions aside, it turned out great!

  13. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was so good. Like some of the other reviewers, I was at a grocery store that didn’t carry ground chicken, so I used a combination of ground turkey and ground beef. Turned out great. We served ours with naan, rice, and green beans. Many in my family stirred the green beans into the sauce. Delicious recipe. Thank you!

  14. Rated 5 out of 5

    Made this last night. Great Recipe!

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Oh my gosh, these are absolutely delicious. We will definitely be making these again.

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    I just made these, exactly as written. Already ate 2 meatballs from the pan! Delicious. Tonite with rice and naan, I know it will be over the moon.
    Will definetly be made over and over.
    Thanks for all of your great recipes…

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    OMG SOO GOOD! I cut the leftover meatballs in half and stores them in the sauce and they were even better the second and third day!

    Also subbed parsley for cilantro because I hate cilantro haha worked perfectly! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    Made this last night and my husband and I both LOVED it. The only issue was keeping my husband away until it was done. The aromas of the spices filled the house in such a delightful way he could barely stand it!  Great recipe. 

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    This recipe was amazing! Next time I make this I will add more jalapeños or maybe a Serrano pepper. Just wondering if there is a way to see the nutritional information on your recipes? Calories, carbohydrates, etc.? Thanks!

  20. Rated 5 out of 5

    Another winner! Flavors are really good. I served with naan bread, rice and peas. We just used the naan to sop up all the delicious sauce that wasn’t soaked up by the rice. For a variation on this, I may toss diced chicken in curry powder, salt and pepper and cook it before adding it to the sauce – and of course sprinkle some cilantro on top. Yum, yum! Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch!

  21. Rated 4 out of 5

    I made this tonight and it was really good! My only suggestion is to put the actual measurements of salt and pepper in the ingredients list for the meatballs. I was following the ingredients list and it only says “to taste”, so I just sprinkled some in. Later in the directions, it gives 1tsp and 1/2 tsp as the amounts. I wish I had seen that sooner, I definitely should have added more salt, so they were a bit bland.

    Other than that technicality, it was great! I’ll definitely make it again with the right amount of salt. 

  22. Rated 4 out of 5

    Very tasty!

  23. I accidentally bought ground turkey‍♀️ Can it be used as a substitute for ground chicken? Thanks! 

    • I couldn’t find ground chicken anywhere, so I decided to try ground turkey & it was a hit. My teenage son even loved it! 

  24. Rated 5 out of 5

    There in the oven. Looks great. I used regular bread crumbs. I always have panko. I’ll let you know how they turn out. I didn’t get the amount of meatballs that you got. Mine were tiny. Lol I got 27. I’m sure that it will be fine. Smells delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Can I use regular breadcrumbs. I ran out of panko

  26. Rated 5 out of 5

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was so good! The meatballs were very tender and delicious. 

  27. Rated 4 out of 5

    Looks oh so good.  A must to make.  How do you make Indian Pizza with the leftovers of this recipe.  I tried search on your website & nothing appeared.

  28. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wonderful  recipe!   
    Question:   How can we get YOU on the FoodTV network?   Your recipes are always tasty and look so beautiful!   Many of us are tired of the same ole people on FoodTV with the same old styles – You would be a breath of fresh Air!   
    Thank you Chungah!

  29. Rated 5 out of 5

    Made this earlier in the wee. Absolutely delicious