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Butter Chicken Meatballs

Ronnie Woo
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Every single person I have ever made this for has absolutely loves this dish. I usually make this in large batches because it freezes really well (just make sure to freeze them separately) and makes for a super quick, cozy and delicious meal any day of the week.

Technique tip: The meatballs are baked before simmered in the sauce.

Swap options: You can swap out the heavy cream for full-fat coconut milk. Additionally, if you are short on time, you can swap out the chicken meatballs with store-bought beef meatballs or chunks of dark meat chicken.


Chicken Meatballs
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
To serve
  • fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, for garnish
  • 3 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • naan, warmed


For the chicken meatballs:


Preheat the oven to 375 F.


Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, ground black pepper and egg until combined. Add the ground chicken and mix with a large spoon until just combined.


Shape the mixture into 1½-inch balls (about 2 tablespoons each will make about 18 to 20 meatballs) and arrange on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. If you're using your hands to shape the balls, moisten your hands with a little bit of water to help prevent the mix from sticking to your fingers. Bake the meatballs on the center rack until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. While the meatballs are in the oven, make the sauce.

For the sauce:


In a medium pot over medium heat, add the butter and onions, and season with some salt and ground black pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent and slightly charred on the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add the garam masala, turmeric, ginger and garlic, and stir until fragrant, about 45 to 60 seconds. Add the tomato paste and stir for 60 seconds.


Add the chicken stock and heavy cream and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot to lift up any caramelized flavor bits.

To serve:

When the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce and gently roll them around so they get evenly coated. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 6 to 8 more minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice and naan.