Guest Post: Butter Chicken Meatballs

We have a special guest in our kitchen today! Carole from The Yum Yum Factor is here and has a delicious treat for us! It’s a take on two amazing dishes, mixed together into one great meal idea!

I didn’t think it was possible to love anything more than butter chicken until I made butter chicken meatballs. These tandoori meatballs are highly seasoned and can stand on their own without the sauce but the sauce is pretty addictive.

As a huge fan of the blend and extend philosophy, I always add ground mushrooms to any dish that uses ground meat but when using ground poultry, it’s even more important, as those meats can easily come out kind of dry. Adding ground mushrooms to lean, ground chicken not only helps to keep the meatballs moist and tender, but adds a nutritional boost and extra flavour.



Tandoori Meatballs

  • 550g (1 1/4 lbs) ground chicken
  • 125 g (1/4 lb) white button mushrooms
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbls greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • 3 tbls tandoori masala
  • 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated (or about a tbls of ginger puree)
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp or minced

Butter Chicken Sauce

  • 2 tbls ghee or butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp or minced
  • 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated or minced (1 tbls ginger puree)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili flake
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 3/4 cup tomato puree (jarred passata or pureed canned tomatoes with immersion blender – no sauce)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, evaporated milk or coconut milk – your choice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • tsp garam masala
  • a big handful of chopped cilantro



  1. Pulse the mushrooms in a food processor or chop until it resembles coarse crumbs. Mix all of the meatball ingredients together in a bowl until well combined and let the mixture rest in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
  2. When it’s time to cook the curry, form the tandoori chicken mixture into meatballs – I like them slightly larger than a golf ball and set on a parchment lined tray.
  3. Heat a tbls of ghee or veg oil in a hot, non stick pan and brown the meatballs and remove them to a plate.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a deep sauté pan over med high heat. Heat the second tbls ghee or butter and sauté the grated onion for a couple of minutes, stirring almost constantly so that the onion doesn’t burn. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute before adding in the dry spices and cook for a final 30 seconds or so, until it becomes really fragrant. Pour in just a splash of water or chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Now, pour in the tomato puree, the cream/evaporated milk/coconut milk and the chicken broth, bring to a light boil and let cook for about 5 minutes before you nestle the browned meatballs in the sauce and maintains a low simmer.
  6. Cook for about 15 minutes, removing one meatball and cutting it open to make sure it’s cooked.
  7. Finally, add in the butter and stir gently until it melts into the sauce. Stir in the garam masala and lastly, fold in the chopped cilantro.

Serve over basmati rice and top with a bit more chopped cilantro.

Be sure to follow along with Carole at The Yum Yum Factor and on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest!


This project was funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of the Partnership in Ontario.

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