These easy Tikka Masala Meatballs are juicy oven-baked turkey meatballs simmered in a deliciously aromatic creamy tomato sauce served over a bed of basmati rice! with naan bread!
Enjoy a complete celebration of Indian flavors with not only these super simple Indian meatballs but also add Dal, Indian Spiced Lentils, and Instant Pot Chicken Curry to your menu. Skip the take-out and enjoy a quick and easy crowd-pleasing dinner any night of the week!
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Meatballs in Tikka Masala Sauce
Authentic Indian recipes are one of my favorite cuisines. Whether it’s a curry, butter chicken, palak paneer, or tikka masala, I enjoy it all! So, anytime I can replicate the mouthwatering flavors in my own kitchen, I’m all for it. Enjoying restaurant quality Indian food right at home with these delicious oven-baked Indian meatballs has never been easier, healthier, or more budget-friendly.
Tikka Masala is a tomato-based cream sauce that has so much flavor. Loaded with complementary spices, this quick and easy meal is so full of flavor, no one would guess how incredibly simple it is to make. Moist meatballs, made with ground turkey and oats, are then simmered in your favorite jar of tikka masala sauce and served over a bed of rice. It’s a family-friendly, easy dinner that the whole family loves. The aromatics in this Indian-inspired dish are enough to send everyone’s senses into overdrive!
Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy which means it’s totally doable on any busy weeknight.
- Flavorful is an understatement. The spices in this tomato cream sauce are amazing.
- Rivals any takeout which means saving time and money.
- Customizable to your liking. They can even be Keto friendly with a quick swap of oats to almond flour.
- Not too spicy so your kids will enjoy it if they’re not a fan of the heat.
- Baked, not fried makes these a healthy, flavorful dinner idea.
- Freezer-friendly meatballs can be kept for later to save even more time down the road.
- Ground turkey – This is lean meat but not to worry these meatballs still come out juicy!
- Old fashioned oats – Can also use quick oats or bread crumbs if you’d like.
- Onion – Use white or red onion finely chopped. Gives flavor to the meatball itself.
- Egg – Used along with the oats as a way to bind everything together. Also adds to the moisture.
- Ground ginger & Minced garlic cloves – Along with the onions, these two ingredients will add flavor to an otherwise mild-tasting ground turkey.
- Tikka Masala sauce – Any brand will do.
- Cilantro – Freshly chopped cilantro is an optional garnish but adds a nice fresh finish to this dish and is widely used in Indian cuisine.
How to Make this Recipe
With 10 minutes of prep time, 25 minutes in the oven, and a few minutes simmering in the sauce, this recipe comes together well under 1 hour!
Step 1: Pre heat oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Step 2: Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl (minus the sauce and cilantro) thoroughly. Making sure to incorporate everything so that each meatball has equal amounts of flavor.
Step 3: Roll the mixture into 1- or 2-inch balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Give each meatball enough room in between to bake evenly.
Step 4: Once they are done baking, remove the cooked meatballs from the oven and transfer them to a large skillet in a single layer with the tikka masala sauce to simmer.
Serve with basmati rice and a garnish of fresh cilantro.
1: Switch up your choice of ground meat. Lean ground chicken works as does ground beef. Pork is not widely used in Indian cuisine, but it does make a juicy meatball.
2: For butter chicken meatballs, follow this recipe but use a jar of butter chicken sauce instead. It’s less tomato-based and creamier in texture, but just as delicious.
- Don’t over bake your meatballs. Turkey is lean meat and doesn’t create much moisture using its own fat. Over baking them will dry them out.
- Cook onions either in the microwave for 1 minute or saute them in a small pan for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix your meatball mixture thoroughly, but don’t overmix.
- Don’t skimp on the seasoning.
- Make sure your meatballs are similar in size to allow for even baking.
- Use fresh ginger if you prefer.
Any leftovers will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. If you have made more meatballs than you need and you want to freeze some for later, you can! I love making a double batch! You can freeze them before baking or after (as long as the meat wasn’t previously frozen). Lay them out on a baking sheet and flash freeze before transferring them to a freezer resealable plastic bag.
Uncooked meatballs can be baked from frozen in the oven. Baked meatballs can be thawed in the fridge overnight and then you can skip the baking and reheat while simmering in the sauce.
Basmati or Jasmine rice is always a delicious option and a very popular choice. You can also opt for brown rice or quinoa. For a low carb option try cauliflower rice or a side salad. Of course you could also skip the side and just eat a bowl of meatballs on its own!
Tikka Masala Meatballs
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ⅓ cup onion finely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 12 oz tikka masala sauce
- Fresh Cilantro optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degree F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
- In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, oats, onion, egg, ginger and garlic and mix together thoroughly
- Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. (about 18-20 meatballs)
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes
- Remove meatballs from the oven.
- Place them in a large skillet with tikka masala sauce.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve with basmati rice and a garnish of fresh cilantro.