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Easy Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs (Gluten-Free)

This easy chicken tikka masala recipe turns the Indian classic dish into meatballs! It's gluten-free, healthy, and uses yogurt instead of heavy cream.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4


For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground dark meat chicken or turkey
  • 1 extra large egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (you can use ketchup in a pinch!)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mint or cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup gluten-free oats or breadcrumbs

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 1 serrano chili pepper seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups tomato sauce preferably homemade
  • ¼ cup plain full fat Greek yogurt plus more for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, tomato paste, olive oil, mint, garlic, shallot, ginger, cumin and salt.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the oats until coarsely ground. Add to the bowl. With clean hands, mix the chicken with the other ingredients until loosely combined. You don’t want to overly break up the meat. Form the chicken into 2-inch balls (an ice cream scoop works well for portioning) and roll in your hands until round and smooth. Arrange the balls (you should have 16) on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until cooked through and beginning to brown on the bottom, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: heat the coconut or olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Sauté the shallot, pepper, garlic and ginger over medium heat until soft, 3 minutes. Stir in the garam masala and cumin. Cook two minutes more until very fragrant and paste-like. Carefully pour in the tomato sauce. Simmer until thickened and the flavors have melded, 5 minutes. Off the heat, fold in the Greek yogurt. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or a pinch of cayenne if you like it spicier.
  5. Toss the chicken meatballs with the tikka masala sauce and serve immediately over brown rice or quinoa. Garnish with extra yogurt and chopped mint.

Recipe Notes

If you don't want to mince everything by hand, after pulsing the oats, you can mince the garlic, shallot, and ginger in the food process to make your life easier!