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These Gluten Free Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs pack all the flavor of Chicken Tikka Masala in a mini meatball form! I love how cute these are and they are perfect for parties.
The flavors are so comforting as the days become colder. The meatballs are loaded with fresh cilantro, and lots of warming spices like garam masala, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and fresh garlic and ginger. The sauce is my take on a traditional tikka masala sauce made with tomato puree, plain yogurt, and lots of warming spices, garlic, and ginger. Heavy whipping cream and cornstarch is added in before serving to thicken and add a touch of decadence.
About Gluten Free Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs
A little over a month ago, one of the partner’s at Neal’s work hosted a potluck/game night. I had been racking my brain thinking of what we would bring. Originally, I planned to bring Butternut Squash Hummus because it’s fun, beautiful, and so delicious. BUT as we got closer to the date, I became indecisive. Neal came home one day and said he signed us up for Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs–a recipe I had only tested once (!!) and it was a very UN-impressive recipe the first time I made it. So I had to step up my game, haha! No pressure at all! I researched more about the spices that go into Chicken Tikka Masala (there are a lot!) and decided to use my trusty slow cooker since a) the party started at 6 on a work day; and b) sometimes the slow cooker is the best way to cook stuff instead of on the stove as I originally cooked this meal.
We brought these Gluten Free Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs to the potluck and they were an absolute hit! They were gone within 5 minutes, and people kept coming up to me during the night telling me how delicious they were! Neal has a few coworkers from India and they told me I had nailed the spices–which was the best news I had heard all day. No one even guessed these meat balls were gluten free. The almond flour gives the meat balls a great texture.
The sauce is really what takes this dish to the next level. It is so fragrant, delicious, and SO easy! The sauce itself takes about 5 minute to put together. All you have to do is add the onion, tomato puree, spices and yogurt to a blender. Once its completely blended, add in some grated ginger and bay leaves and transfer to a slow cooker. This sauce would also be amazing cooked with some chicken breasts for an easy chicken tikka masala!
Tips and Tricks for Gluten Free Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs
- Prepare this dish ahead of time. This dish can easily be prepared the night before by making the meat balls, broiling them, and keeping in the fridge until needed. You can also pre-measure all the spices for the sauce so when you make this, you simply blend all the ingredients, dump your meatballs into the slow cooker, and set to cook for 8 hours.
- Leave out the cayenne pepper if you don’t like spicy. These meatballs pack a flavorful punch due to all the spices–not necessarily hot spicy, but there are a ton of spices. If you don’t like hot spicy, omit all the cayenne pepper from both the sauce and the meatballs.
- Use a slow cooker that automatically switches to warm. This slow cooker from All Clad has honestly been a game changer for us. I love the timer feature and how it automatically will switch to warm after it’s finished cooking. I don’t have to worry about food overcooking when I leave it on while at work, which gives me a huge peace of mind.
Serving Suggestions for Gluten Free Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs
- Make this a meal by serving it with steamed rice or cauliflower rice.
- I love to squeeze some fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with fresh cilantro right before serving.
- If you’re serving this as an appetizer, serve either in the sauce or with the sauce on the side for people to drizzle over their Gluten Free Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs!
- Bulk this meal up by adding chopped potatoes.
Did you try this recipe for Gluten Free Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs?
If so, let me know in the comments! I love hearing how recipes turn out for others! And it helps me improve my writing and recipe development!
Gluten Free Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs
- 1 yellow onion roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
- 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt full fat preferred
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper omit if you don't want it spicy or add more if you want it extra spicy
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1/4 cup cilantro finely minced
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne omit if you don't want it spicy or add more if you want it extra spicy
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
For Serving (optional)
- Chopped cilantro
Add all ingredients except for the bay leaves from the sauce category into a blender and blend until smooth. Place in a slow cooker and add the bay leaves.
Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix thoroughly to incorporate.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Turn the broiler on high.
Roll the meat mixture into roughly 1 inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. You should have about 25 meat balls total.
Broil the meatballs for about 3 minutes until the tops are slightly golden brown and balls are firm to the touch.
Transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and corn starch. Add to the slow cooker, stirring to fully mix together. Cook on high for an additional 30 minutes to thicken (Note: if the sauce is thick enough, do not add cornstarch. Just add the heavy whipping cream before serving).
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and squeeze with lemon before serving.
- If the sauce is thick enough for your personal preference, there is no need to add any cornstarch to the heavy whipping cream. Just add the heavy whipping cream before serving.
- To make this a meal, serve with steamed rice or cauliflower rice.
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