This post was generously sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market but all opinions are my own.
This Indian meatballs recipe with a creamy sauce makes tender, perfectly spiced meatballs in a rich sauce inspired by butter chicken. Whole30, paleo, gluten, and dairy free, the Indian meatballs include shredded zucchini to keep them moist and tender! They’re a quick Indian dinner and are perfect for meal prep.
How many Indian meatballs with that creamy tomato sauce can I eat off the Indian lunch buffet?
Like way, way too many. You know what I’m talking about, right? Those little chicken tikka masala-inspired meatballs that show up at the lunch buffet and escape before the dinner menu takes over, the meatballs that fill an entire plate for me and disappear just as quickly.
There’s something about that rich, creamy tomato sauce that I just can’t get over, and the tender little meatballs are irresistible!
These Indian meatballs with a creamy sauce were inspired by the Indian flavors we love, along with the perfect little meal prep or dinner method: meatballs! I used my Indian Butter Chicken recipe as a guide, along with my Best Ever Paleo Italian Meatballs to create a beautiful marriage: moist and veggie-heavy little meatballs along with a rich, spiced sauce to simmer it all in.
Why we love these Indian meatballs with creamy sauce:
- These Indian meatballs are super flavorful, loaded with fresh aromatics and herbs.
- The sauce is perfectly spiced with Indian spices, ginger, and cinnamon, and it’s balanced with coconut cream.
- Ghee provides a rich base, like butter but without the lactose or milk solids. It’s also Whole30 compliant and paleo! My absolute favorite is 4th & Heart Original Ghee.
- Sprouts Coconut Cream is my hands-down favorite, and I keep tons of this stuff in my pantry. This coconut cream is super heavy on the actual solid, white coconut cream, and it’s perfect for this recipe.
- This recipe makes a big skillet full of meatballs, so they’re perfect for meal prep!
- I use a disher to scoop out the meatballs mixture then round them in between my palms. This method means making these meatballs is super easy and a quick process.
- Use 2 pounds of ground pork if you prefer, or 2 pounds of ground chicken. Any combination of these will work, and you can use ground turkey, too!
- If you prefer a super creamy sauce, use an 8-oz. can of tomato sauce, rather than a 15-oz. can.
- “Coconut cream” means just the white, solid part of a can of coconut milk or coconut cream. I recommend using Sprouts Coconut Cream, which has about 1 cup of coconut cream per can. I always have at least 5 or 6 cans in our pantry!
- Don’t overcrowd the meatballs; this will actually make the process go faster since you’ll be able to push them around with a spatula once they’re browned on one side.
- Serve over steamed cauliflower rice or regular basmati rice (if you’re not paleo or on a Whole30) and top with plenty of fresh chopped cilantro.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe (Restaurant Style, Whole30 and Paleo Options)
- Whole30 Chicken Curry (Low Carb, Paleo)
- Whole30 Indian Butter Chicken
- Whole30 Indian Saag Chicken
- The Best Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala (Whole30, Paleo)
- Paneer Tikka Masala
Indian Meatballs Recipe with Creamy Sauce (Whole30, Paleo)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground chicken or 1 more pound ground pork
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon salt
- coconut oil or ghee for frying
Indian Butter Sauce
- 1/4 cup Fourth & Heart Original Ghee
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 15- ounce can tomato sauce or for a creamier sauce, use an 8-ounce can
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or coconut sugar if desired and not on Whole30
- 2 cups coconut cream only the solid white part from about 2 cans of Sprouts Coconut Cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using a small disher or tablespoon, scoop out uniformly sized balls of the mixture and place on baking pans. Roll between your palms to smooth and form round balls.
- Heat a thin layer of refined coconut oil or ghee in a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium heat. Working in batches, fry meatballs, taking care not to overcrowd, until browned. Meatballs will finish cooking in a later step, so you do not need to cook them through in this step. Transfer to a plate, and fry remaining meatballs.
- Once meatballs are cooked, clean out skillet. Add 1/4 cup ghee to skillet and melt over medium-low heat. Add garam masala, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper, ginger, and cinnamon stick. Stir fry 1 minute until fragrant and a smooth, incorporated paste.
- Increase heat to medium and add tomato sauce and coconut aminos or sugar (Do not use the coconut sugar if on a Whole30). Simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Add coconut cream, lemon juice, and meatballs and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly and meatballs are cooked through. Add plenty of salt to taste; using enough will cut the heavy spice flavor and round out the entire dish. Serve over cooked cauliflower rice with chopped fresh cilantro.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.