01.09.18

Easy Tikka Masala Meatballs

I don’t know what it is about this round of Whole30 but the only thing I have been craving is Indian food. Like, non stop craving could eat it for every meal. Probably because it is packed full of flavor, filling, and comforting. AH, all the feels. 

 

This dish is a fun, quick and easy rendition of my Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala. I really wanted that for dinner the other night and didn’t have the ingredients. I did, however, have ingredients to make meatballs. Combine that with a yummy curry sauce and DINNER IS SERVED! So much flavor and oh-so easy. 

Tikka Masala Meatballs
Serves 2
A whole30, quick and easy rendition of Tikka Masala in Meatball form!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
For the Meatballs
  1. 1/2 lb. ground veal
  2. 1 lb. ground beef (you can sub chicken or turkey, too)
  3. 1 tsp. kosher salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  5. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  6. 1/4 cup almond flour
For the Sauce
  1. 1/4 white or yellow onion, diced
  2. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 tsp tomato paste
  5. 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  6. 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  7. 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  8. 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  9. 1 tbsp. curry powder
  10. 1 (13.5oz) can full fat, unsweetened coconut milk
  11. juice of 1/2 lemon
  12. kosher salt, to taste
  13. black pepper, to taste
  14. Cilantro, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine all of the 'for the meatballs' ingredients. Using your hands, gently combine.
  3. With a melon baller or a teaspoon, drop ~1 - 1 1/4 inch balls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet (or 2). Using your hands, go back through and roll the meatballs into round circles, they don't have to be perfect.
  4. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil and the onion to the skillet and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato paste and the garlic, and saute for 1-2 more minutes.
  7. Now add the cumin, turmeric, ginger, cayenne, and curry powder. Saute for 2 more minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to medium. Pour in the coconut milk and whisk vigorously until the spices are combined evenly in the milk.
  9. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon, and a little salt and pepper, to taste.
  10. Add meatballs back into the sauce and let simmer for about 5 minutes before serving.
  11. Serve over cauliflower rice and top with fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I served mine over cauliflower rice.
The Defined Dish http://www.thedefineddish.com/

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  • Catherine
    January 9, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I don’t have veal handy….. Besides reducing the amount of meat I have, will it vastly effect flavor? Or should I be good with ground beef? Can’t wait to make! Thank you 🙂

    • Alex
      January 9, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      Yes, you will be fine! I just find that veal helps make the meatballs more tender/less dry! With all that yummy sauce though, the meatballs will be fab regardless!! Enjoy!

  • Katie
    January 10, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Could I use my arrowroot starch in sub of almond flour? Been craving Indian!

    • Alex
      January 10, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      No, not in this recipe. Since arrowroot is a thickener, the only subs I would use is Coconut flour in this recipe. If you do decide to try arrowroot, I’d only use 1 tbsp. of it.

  • Andrea
    January 11, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Is this really just 2 servings?

    • Alex
      January 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      It’s really more like 3.. I usually divide it up so each person has at least 1/2 lb. of meat to be safe. Meatballs make great leftovers and I’d rather people have extra than be hungry from my recipes and they way I divide up serving sizes.. if that makes sense. Just playing it safe 😉

  • Hazel
    January 14, 2018 at 12:10 am

    What do you mean when you say curry….yellow, red? I need more help!?

    • Alex
      January 14, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      hi Hazel, I mean just regular curry powder (for indian dishes).

  • Corrie
    January 14, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Your recipe calls for 1 can of unsweetened full fat coconut milk. What size? I assume you mean about 15 oz and not the small 5 oz? More milk means more sauce 🙂 but I don’t want to dilute the seasonings too much and lose the flavah!

    • Alex
      January 15, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks for pointing that out, I will edit the post now! The can I use and recommend (Thai Kitchen) is a 13.5 oz can!

  • Heather
    January 15, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Im allergic to almonds. Is there a good sub?

    • Alex
      January 15, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      Yes. You can do coconut flour here, or even 1 tbsp arrowroot starch.

  • Erin
    January 15, 2018 at 4:19 am

    I just made this and it is FANTASTIC! It made 4 very generous portions (I doubt I’ll be able to finish one serving in one sitting). The only thing I did different is I blended the sauce before adding the lemon juice and I think it intensified the flavors, in a good way! I served it over coconut caulirice with a side of broccoli.

    • Alex
      January 15, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      love the idea of blending it to make it extra silky and creamy!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Shelby
    January 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I love your pan! What brand and size is it? (sorry not related to the meatballs but they do look fabulous!)

    • Alex
      January 15, 2018 at 9:47 pm

      It is a Ballarini (the parma line), and it’s a 10 inch! I have it linked on my shop page under kitchen appliances 🙂

  • Miranda
    January 17, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Alex,

    Can I crockpot these meatballs in the sauce on low for 6-8 hours? Thanks!

    • Alex
      January 18, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Miranda,
      I wouldn’t do these in the crockpot mainly because I find the coconut milk doesn’t hold up well when cooking low and slow. And since that’s the main liquid in this recipe it just won’t work. Be sure to check out my Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala, it’s method works perfect slow cooked. http://www.thedefineddish.com/crockpot-chicken-tikka-masala/

      • Miranda
        January 18, 2018 at 9:27 pm

        Makes sense! Thanks, Alex!

  • Michelle Smith Rapoza
    January 19, 2018 at 1:06 am

    Hi
    Just starting the Whole30 and this looks delicious. Do you stir the coconut milk or take the fat off the top? One ingredient that has stumped us. TIA

    • Alex
      January 19, 2018 at 1:52 pm

      I stir it all in. And, if you are cooking another recipe that calls for only a portion of the can, I like to put all contents into a food processor, blender, or use an immersion blender and blend it until it is combined evenly for best results in cooking with coconut milk 🙂

  • Britton
    January 20, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Made this the other night–delish! Will definitely make again! The only thing I subbed was whole wheat flour for the almond flour.

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  • Annie Kuttler
    January 25, 2018 at 1:04 am

    This was delicious!!! Easy to follow and although I made some slip ups, it came
    out alright! Absolutely love the blog!

  • Whitney
    January 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    What percent fat would you recommend for the ground beef? I am likely to not use the ground veal so would you do a higher percent fat for the beef as a result? Thanks!

    • Alex
      January 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      Any will be fine in this recipe!!

  • Taylor
    January 31, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for my entire January Whole30 journey, and this has been my favorite recipe yet! SO flavorful, just enough heat, and pairs perfectly with the cauliflower rice on the side. It was like Indian comfort food but without the guilt/heaviness. I threw my leftovers (there wasn’t much) into a salad the next day with some Green Goddess dressing and it was fantastic! Just wanted you to know what a winner this one is 🙂

    • Alex
      February 1, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Aw thank you so much, Taylor!!! I am so glad you loved it as much as I do! And great idea to combine it with the cool, fresh green goddess dressing. I bet that combo was fantastic!

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  • Ginna
    February 3, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    What are your thoughts on ground pork instead of veal with the beef? This will be great for the SB party tomorrow! Thanks!

    • Alex
      February 5, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Yes ground pork will be great substitute!!

  • Lena
    February 6, 2018 at 3:45 am

    I made this tonight, everyone loved it, which is high praise in our house. Thanks for sharing.

    • Alex
      February 7, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Wonderful!