Indian Style Meatball Curry

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When you think of meatballs, the term “clean eating” might not come to mind. Most meatball recipes scare off healthy eaters with fat-laden, cholesterol-loaded nutritional profiles. Here at SkinnyMs., we’re revealing a clean meatball recipe certain to make your mouth water and taste buds sing. This Indian Style Meatball Curry puts an ethnic twist on traditional meatball dishes. The use of savory garnishes like red curry powder and cilantro gives the dish an Indian-inspired kick. The protein-packed balls of deliciousness call for lean turkey or chicken, shaving off a boatload of calories compared to conventional recipes. The curry calls for nothing but clean ingredients. This meatball curry is a flavorful dish your family will love and your body will thank you for.

Indian Style Meatball Curry Recipe

Indian Style Meatball Curry Recipe

Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 3 meatballs with sauce | Calories: 276 | Total Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 577mg | Carbohydrates: 20g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Protein: 22g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8


  • 1 pound ground lean turkey or chicken
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (panko or whole wheat breadcrumbs will work)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, canned or homemade
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons red curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, including the juice (BPA-free can)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or puree (from BPA-free can or carton)


  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs, first stirring and then with hands to fully incorporate.
  2. Form into about 12 - 16 balls.
  3. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add half the meatballs, working in 2 or 3 batches. Cook meatballs for 4 to 5 minutes per side, for a total of 10 minutes, browning and cooking all the way through. Remove cooked meatballs from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add about 2- 3 tablespoons of the tomato juice (from the diced tomatoes) to the pan to deglaze it, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. When the liquid has mostly evaporated, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and onions. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until the onions are softened and translucent. Add the curry powder and about 2 tablespoons water to form a paste, cooking for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 20 seconds, until golden and fragrant. Add the can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes with their juice, tomato sauce or puree, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir well. Return the meatballs to the pan and simmer over medium-low heat for approximately 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley to serve, if desired.
  7. Serve meatballs with sauce over, or on the side, of brown rice or quinoa or tossed with soba noodles.

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5 Comments on "Indian Style Meatball Curry"

  1. Julie  March 27, 2019

    I made this tonight and it was so spicy we almost couldn’t eat it. I used 1/4 tsp cayenne & my rotel tomatoes were fire roasted with chilis. I’ve used Rotel before and didnt think it was this hot. Was it the red curry powder?

    • Chef Sallie  March 30, 2019

      Did you use curry powder or cayenne? Cayenne tends to be pretty spicy and a little goes a long way. You can also cut back on the 3 Tbs of curry powder. Additionally, check the label on the rotel tomatoes with chilis. They range in heat level from mild to hot. Hope this helps!

  2. T. M. Pease  May 27, 2019

    this looks delicious & I’d love to adapt it for whole 30… what would you suggest using as a substitute for the bread crumbs?

    • Gale Compton  June 1, 2019

      Crushed cracker crumbs work great! You can also use oats without grinding them.

    • TXmamacat  June 18, 2019

      This is just a suggestion that I have not tried myself, but plan to….I’ve heard crushed pork rinds can be used in place of breadcrumbs, as a coating. Wonder if it will work in the place of breadcrumbs in this way. If there are any better suggestions, I’m open to them!


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