Butter Chicken Meatballs

Tender chicken meatballs in a dreamy tomato curry sauce that will have everyone licking their plates clean! Bonus- it can easily be made completely dairy free, but you'd never know it!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword comfort food, curry, dairy free, dinner, gluten free, healthy, meatballs, refined-sugar free
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4



  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 medium carrots sliced
  • ¼ cup red onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 t olive oil divided
  • 1 t salt
  • ¼-½ cup cilantro chopped, depending on preference


  • 3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil for dairy free
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 ½ t cumin
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t ground pepper
  • ¼ t cayenne pepper
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 6- oz can tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk full fat
  • Toppings- cilantro lime wedges, plain greek yogurt/sour cream



  1. Place your ground chicken in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

  2. Add your carrots, red onion, and garlic to a food processor or blender. Pulse until everything is finely diced, but not mushy. Alternatively, you could chop everything into a very fine dice, but I like the consistency that the food processor gives here.

  3. Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan on medium high heat. Add your pulsed veggies, along with the salt, and saute for 5-6 minutes, until softened.

  4. Add the veggies, along with your desired amount of cilantro (I like the full ½ cup amount!) to your ground chicken and mix well.
  5. Shape into 2” balls. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in your saute pan, and add the meatballs. Saute for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat, then turn over and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan. Don't worry that they aren't all the way cooked; they'll finish in the sauce and become nice and tender!


  1. Heat your butter (or coconut oil) in your saute pan over medium high heat.

  2. Saute your onion for 3-4 minutes, then add in your jalapeno and garlic. Season with salt, then saute for about 4 minutes more.
  3. Add in your spices, and saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant and well combined.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice, tomato paste and sauce, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then drop the heat to low to simmer.
  5. Carefully stir in your meatballs and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve over rice, and garnish with toppings of your choice. Also great with roasted cauliflower!

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