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If You Love Tikka Masala, You’ve Got to Make These Turkey Meatballs

These sauce-covered meatballs will transform how you think about tikka masala.

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If you’ve made any tikka masala recipe before, you likely have a leftover bottle of garam masala spice hanging out in your pantry. And if you’ve been wondering how to use it up, this Turkey Meatball Tikka Masala is the answer!

There are infinite ways to blend garam masala spice, which is (usually) a combination of ground cloves, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorns, cardamon and bay leaf. Here, we call for a store-bought version for convenience, so you can go ahead and grab any variety you have on hand. But if you’re feeling creative – or don’t happen to have any garam masala on hand – feel free to create your own homemade blend. You can go beyond the traditional spices and adjust for your personal taste with additions like mace, fennel or other options you have in your pantry.

Either way, rest assured you’ll enjoy all the digestive benefits and metabolic boost. That’s right: Sprinkling garam masala into the meatball mixture does more than add flavor. This traditional spice blend actually offers some surprising health perks – or, at least, it’s believed to offer benefits like ramping up the metabolism, soothing inflammation and benefitting the digestive system. Combined with the energy-boosting nutrients present in the meatballs, like lean protein from the ground turkey, this is a meal that’ll really deliver in more ways than one.

Turkey Meatball Tikka Masala

Prep Time
40 min
50 min



  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3 tbsp cassava flour
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1⁄2 tsp each ground coriander, garlic powder and sea salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper


  • 2 tbsp ghee (or avocado oil)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt + more to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp each ground cumin and garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1⁄2 tsp each chili powder and ground turmeric
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (blend before measuring)
  • cooked basmati rice, cauliflower rice or whole-grain naan, for serving, optional
  • fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


  1. Make meatballs: Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine turkey, cassava, ghee, garam masala, coriander, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Using your fingers, mix gently but thoroughly. Use a scoop to portion the mixture into 12 even pieces, about 1.5 ounces each. Roll into balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a large saucepan over medium, melt ghee. Add onion, season with 1⁄4 tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cumin, garam masala, paprika, chili powder, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper; cook, stirring, until spices are lightly toasted and fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce and coconut milk. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt, if needed.
  3. Transfer meatballs to the pan with the sauce; gently stir to cover with sauce. Let meatballs simmer in the sauce for 5 minutes. Divide among plates and garnish with cilantro. If using, serve with rice or naan.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size &fraca14; of recipe
  • Calories 450
  • Carbohydrate Content 15 g
  • Cholesterol Content 106 mg
  • Fat Content 32 g
  • Fiber Content 4 g
  • Protein Content 26 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 20 g
  • Sodium Content 951 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 6.5 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g