Meatballs in Spicy Curry

4.46 from 48 votes
1 hour
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Meatballs in Spicy Curry rock with flavor and can be made with any protein.  Try beef, lamb, chicken or turkey meatballs smothered in this amazing spicy Indian-inspired sauce!  Serve with rice and Roasted Curry Cauliflower Wedges with Cilantro Chutney

Photo of Meatballs in Spicy Curry smothered in sauce in skillet garnished with cilantro sprigs.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

I pretty much got three things done this weekend:  I got 2/3 of the house decorated for Christmas, laundry and made these Meatballs in Spicy Curry.

We had a few Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge and frankly, I couldn’t stand to look at them anymore.  My husband very unenthusiastically said…”I’ll eat them.”  Basically, that means he’ll take one for the team so they don’t get thrown out.

Something crazy different like Meatballs in Spicy Curry was definitely in order!

Let’s talk about these little morsels of meaty goodness!

Photo of Meatballs in Spicy Curry over basmati rice on black plate garnished with lime. wedges and cilantro sprigs

How to make Meatballs in Spicy Curry:

  • Make them with any type of ground meat:  Beef, lamb, chicken or turkey.  Pork?  Sure.
  • When making meatballs, get all the ingredients except the ground meat mixed together first, then add the ground meat.  This ensures all the ingredients–especially the seasonings–are evenly distributed.
  • When I mix up any ground meat dish, I wear disposable gloves and mix with my hands to get the job done faster and more thoroughly.
  • The best way I have found to portion and form meatballs is with a 1-inch cookie dough scoop.  Grab a handful of the meat mixture in one hand and the cookie dough scoop in the other.  Use the heel of the hand holding the meat mixture to level off the scoop.  Empty the scoop on a baking sheet.
  • After portioning the meat mixture, roll into neat balls.  Frying meatballs is messy and will require more active time and attention.  Instead, I place on a foil-lined baking sheet and simply bake them.
  • If you have it, drizzle a little bit of broth or stock over the meatballs before baking.  This keeps them from drying out and they stay super tender!
Photo of baked meatballs on parchment paper.
Photo of Meatballs in Spicy Curry over rice on black plate.

Serve the meatballs and sauce over brown basmati rice.  Brown basmati rice is so flavorful and aromatic!  You’ll love the aroma in your home while you’re getting ready for the holidays!

Close-up shot of meatballs over rice.

For more melt-in-your-mouth meatball recipes, be sure to try my:

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Meatballs in Spicy Curry

4.46 from 48 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Meatballs in Spicy Curry rock with flavor and can be made with any protein!  Try beef, lamb, chicken or turkey meatballs smothered in this amazing spicy Indian-inspired sauce!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Beef
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 716 kcal



  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup beef broth - divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef - lamb, chicken or turkey


  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder - preferably Madras
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (15-ounce) petite diced tomatoes - undrained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • Basmati rice - for serving
  • Cilantro springs for garnish
  • Lime wedges for garnish



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan. Add onion and cook 8-10 minutes or until onion is softened. Transfer 1/3 of the onions to a large bowl. Leave remaining onions in the saute pan and set aside.
  • While the onions that you placed in the bowl are still hot, add garlic, ginger, cumin and curry powder and stir. Cool to room temperature.
  • To the cooled onions in the bowl, add cilantro, panko, 1/4 cup beef broth, egg, salt, black pepper and mix well. Add beef (or protein you’re using) and mix well again.
  • Using a large cookie scoop, form mixture into approximately 36 even meatballs. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup beef broth. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center of meatballs registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.


  • While meatballs are baking, heat onions that you left in saute pan back up over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in beef broth, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Add coconut milk, cilantro and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • When meatballs are finished, add to sauce, stir gently to coat. Serve over hot cooked basmati brown rice. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.


INGREDIENT NOTE:  The large onion will be used in both the meatballs and sauce. Cook the entire onion in the coconut oil, then divide.
MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.  Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Freeze in airtight containers in amounts desired.  Thaw in the refrigerator or microwave.  Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 716kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 1665mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.46 from 48 votes (47 ratings without comment)

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  1. I’m curious why the meatballs aren’t just browned in the oven and then finished in the sauce to release the beef/turkey flavoring into the sauce

    1. Hi, Terri, Thanks for your question. I drizzle with a little broth so they don’t dry out. You can certainly leave off the broth so they brown more in the oven then simmer them longer in the sauce. Thanks again!

  2. 5 stars
    I used shop bought beef meatballs from the reduced section. I baked and turned them, then caramelised them in a cast iron casserole adding more chunky onions. Sauce made, added that and baked low. TERRIFIC….Thanks so much.

    1. Thanks so very much and so happy you enjoyed!! I LOVE that you took something that was purchased and on sale and turned it into something fabulous! Thanks again!

  3. I’ve made these three times in less than a month. They are so easy and so delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!