Chicken Meatball Tikka Masala
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These Chicken Meatball Tikka Masala are a fun twist on an Indian classic. Homemade chicken meatballs simmered in a flavorful tikka masala sauce.
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 3 serrano or red Thai peppers (depending on how hot you want it)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1¼ cups half and half
  • ¾ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • cooked basmati rice, for serving
  • naan, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, egg, bread crumbs, tomato paste, salt, pepper, garam masala, and cilantro until well incorporated. Shape into meatballs about the size of a golfball. Set a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat with the ghee. Once hot, sear the meatballs in batches, for about 8 minutes, turning over halfway. Transfer to a plate and continue browning the rest of the meatballs. You don't need them to be fully cooked, just brown in color. They'll continue to cook later on.
  2. Add the remaining tablespoon ghee or oil to the same skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the onion, garlic, and serrano peppers and cook until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, spices, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste has darkened. Stir in the canned tomatoes. Cover and cook until just beginning to simmer. Stir in the cilantro and half and half.
  3. Place the meatballs into the sauce, lower the flame and simmer until the sauce has reduced slightly and thickened and the meatballs have fully cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve the masala with cooked basmati rice and naan. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
Recipe by The Candid Appetite at