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Indian Butter Chicken Meatballs
with cauliflower / spinach / basmati rice

Active: 50 Total: 50

Indian butter chicken is a takeout favorite, but this fun twist that was first featured in a meal plan in early 2020 uses chicken meatballs instead of regular chicken.
Smarts #1: The sauce really benefits from some heat, so be sure to taste it at the end and add some more red pepper flakes or hot sauce if you'd like it spicier.
Smarts #2: This recipe makes a large batch of butter curry sauce so that you can set aside a portion to use on Thursday’s Indian Naan Pizza.

Tags

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Basmati Rice:
  • Water - 1 3/4 cups
  • Rice, uncooked basmati - 1 cup
Indian Butter Curry Sauce (for 2 nights):
  • Garam masala - 2 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander, ground - 2 tsp
  • Curry powder, mild - 2 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger, fresh - 1 Tbsp, grated
  • Butter - 3 Tbsp (sub ghee)
  • Tomatoes, crushed (14 oz / 397 g) - 2 cans
  • Stock, any type - 1/2 cup
  • Half and half - 1/2 cup
Indian Chicken Meatballs:
  • Chicken, ground - 1 lb (sub ground turkey)
  • Eggs - 1
  • Panko breadcrumbs - 1/3 cup
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
Indian Meatball Curry:
  • Cauliflower - 1 lb, florets
  • Indian Butter Curry Sauce (ingredients listed separately) - ~2 1/2 cups
  • Indian Chicken Meatballs (ingredients listed separately) - ~20
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz
  • Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek (opt) - 1/4 cup

Nutrition Facts

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Prep

  1. Make rice - Fill a saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then add rice. Bring to a simmer, cover, turn heat down to low, and cook until rice has absorbed all the liquid, 15 to 18 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Make Indian spice blend - Combine garam masala (portion for sauce), ground coriander, curry powder, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Cauliflower / Garlic / Ginger - Prep as directed. Store cauliflower in one container. Combine garlic and ginger in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Make meatballs - Combine chicken, eggs, panko, garam masala (portion for meatballs), salt, and black pepper. Gently mix together with a spoon or with your hands. (To keep the meatballs tender, try not to overwork the mixture.) Form into 1” / 2.5 cm balls. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

  5. Pre-cook cauliflower - Place cauliflower florets in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and steam until nearly tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

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Make

  1. Heat a Dutch oven or large saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and then meatballs to heated oil. Cook meatballs on all sides until light golden brown (but not cooked all the way through), 6 to 8 minutes. Set meatballs aside and return pan to heat.

  2. To heated pan add butter. When butter melts, stir in spice blend, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant, ~1 minute.

  3. Pour tomatoes and stock over aromatics, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer sauce for 10 minutes to develop flavor.

  4. Taste sauce and season with some salt if needed. Add some extra red pepper flakes or some hot sauce if you'd like more heat. Remove 1 1/2 cups / 400 mL of sauce and reserve for Thursday’s pizza (for 4 servings; adjust if customizing).

  5. To remaining sauce, stir in half and half. Add meatballs and cover. Simmer meatballs in sauce until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes more.

  6. Gently stir cauliflower and spinach into sauce. Cover and cook until spinach is fully wilted, ~2 minutes more.

  7. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.

  8. Serve meatballs and sauce over rice. Tear cilantro leaves to serve on top. Enjoy with yogurt.

Nutrition Facts

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Reviews

Ratings

Original (47)
Gluten-free (2)
Paleo (4)
Vegetarian (11)

Most Helpful

Could have used more sauce. Otherwise this was delicious! Doubled the spices - except the red pepper (kids can’t do much spice). If my husband hadn’t already put his leftovers for lunch aside, there would have been nothing leftover for him! 😀 Glad I do meal prep on the weekends. With all the prep ahead of time, this was a fast and easy weeknight dinner.

By: Jennifer
Posted: Oct 12, 2021
Diet: Original
1 Helpful

24 reviews

Make the meatballs smaller next time and try adding more stock. We ended up using all the sauce and not saving any for the pizza.

By: Megan
Posted: Oct 18, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Could have used more sauce. Otherwise this was delicious! Doubled the spices - except the red pepper (kids can’t do much spice). If my husband hadn’t already put his leftovers for lunch aside, there would have been nothing leftover for him! 😀 Glad I do meal prep on the weekends. With all the prep ahead of time, this was a fast and easy weeknight dinner.

By: Jennifer
Posted: Oct 12, 2021
Diet: Original
1 Helpful

We had trouble keeping the veggie meatballs together and we should have increased the spices. Overall satisfying for lunches

By: Angela
Posted: Oct 10, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

I stuck the raw meatballs in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up before cooking them.

By: Michelle
Posted: Oct 08, 2021
Diet: Original
1 Helpful

The sauce was very bland even after adding more of the spice mixture.

By: Erik
Posted: Oct 08, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Delicious, easy… can’t wait for the efficiency-related flatbread pizzas too.

By: Kirsten
Posted: Oct 07, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful