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Simple Butter Chicken Meatballs Over Basmati Rice is pure comfort.

You know I love to roll my favorite flavors into Meatballs of Love!

The warm Indian spices found in Butter Chicken were the perfect pairing for meatballs. And the sauce is pure heaven!

Butter Chicken Meatballs
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The Curry Spice Blend

Curry in its most basic form is a type of sauce used in Indian cooking. These sauces or gravies are seasoned with a blend of spices, typically including cumin, turmeric, coriander and others like garam masala (which is a blend on its own) and chili powder.

I’ve found preparing the curry spice blend first when making a recipe like this to be a great time saver. Measure once, use twice.

We’re going to incorporate the same seasoning blend in the meatballs and the curry sauce.

  • Ground cumin
  • Garam masala
  • Ground coriander
  • Turmeric
  • Red chili powder
  • Salt

The Chicken Meatball Ingredients

Ground chicken is a wonderful protein that loves big bold flavors. The meatball ingredients come together quickly!

  • Ground chicken
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Curry Spice Blend
  • Egg
  • Panko breadcrumbs

Meatball Preparation

  • Mix all the meatball ingredients (except chicken)
  • Then add the ground chicken and mix until just combined
  • Roll into 1 1/2″ meatballs
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  • Bake the meatballs at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes

The Butter Curry Sauce Ingredients

Like Chicken Tikka Masala, the curry sauce is savory with hints of ginger and garlic. However Butter Chicken also brings a smooth buttery consistency.

  • Ghee
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Curry Spice Blend
  • Tomato paste & sauce
  • Chicken broth
  • Cream or coconut milk
  • Butter
  • Salt & sugar to taste

Butter Curry Sauce Preparation

  • The sauce begins by sautéing grated onion with melted ghee or butter for 4-5 minutes
  • Then the garlic & ginger are added and sautéed for an additional minute
  • Add the curry spices and cooked off for a minute
  • Add the tomato paste and tomato sauce along with a little chicken broth to bring the ingredients together
Butter Chicken Sauce
  • The sauce is then blended until smooth and returned to the pan
  • The cream and butter are whisked in
  • A final seasoning of salt and a touch of sugar to taste bring the sauce together
  • Serve meatballs over basmati rice, covered in curry butter sauce, garnished with fresh cilantro
Butter Chicken Meatballs

This sauce is fragrant and full of spice flavor without heat. It’s luscious served over a bed of basmati rice topped with the tender butter chicken meatballs.

Simple Butter Chicken Meatballs over Basmati Rice is on our comfort food rotation!

Butter Chicken Meatballs

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All my best,
xo Libby

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Butter Chicken Meatballs

Simple Butter Chicken Meatballs Over Basmati Rice

Libby with Lemony Thyme
The warm Indian spices found in Butter Chicken were the perfect pairing for meatballs. And the sauce is pure heaven!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


For the Curry Spice Blend

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup grated onion squeezed dry in kitchen or paper towel
  • 3 cloves fine minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons Curry Spice Blend see above
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten free for GF Version)

For the Butter Curry Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 3 cloves fine minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons Curry Spice Blend see above
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste

For the Basmati Rice

  • 1 cups basmati rice triple rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


For the Curry Spice Blend

  • Combine the curry spices in a jar.

For the Chicken Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients, except the chicken in a large bowl. Add in the ground chicken and mix until just combined. Roll meatballs into 1 1/2" diameter and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

For the Basmati Rice

  • Meanwhile, melt ghee in a skillet with a tight fitting lid. Saute rinsed and drained basmati rice for 2-3 minutes until all grains are nicely coated with ghee. Add water and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork before serving.

For the Butter Curry Sauce

  • While meatballs bake and rice cooks, prepare the sauce. Melt ghee in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add in grated onion and saute for 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute. Add remaining curry spice blend and stir for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Then add tomato sauce and chicken broth and whisk until incorporated well. Bring sauce to a gentle boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer sauce to a blender and process until smooth. **Careful with hot liquids when removing blender lid** Add sauce back to saucepan and whisk in cream and butter, heat through. Season with sugar and salt to taste.
    Serve meatballs covered in butter curry sauce with a side of basmati rice. Garnish with cilantro leaves.