Recipe Review

Make These Creamy Chipotle Butter Chicken Meatballs ASAP

published Dec 18, 2018
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(Image credit: Little Spice Jarr)

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Meatballs do not get nearly enough recognition as a make-at-home meal. I grew up eating meatballs at practically every big family gathering, but now that I’m an adult with a house and stove of my own, I almost never make meatballs. My Italian grandmother would be horrified.

But here’s the thing: Meatballs are versatile and tasty, and once you get the hang of making them by hand, they’re quite easy to prepare. They don’t even have to be made of beef. Fantastic meatballs can be made with pretty much any ground protein, like chicken, pork, turkey, veal, or whatever else you can find at the grocery store. My grandmother would probably be horrified by that, too, but it’s 2018 and there’s no reason not to experiment with some new ways of preparing meatballs — including these chicken meatballs in a creamy homemade chipotle butter sauce.

For this recipe, the chicken meatballs cook in the oven while the sauce simmers on the stove. The sauce is a lot like Indian butter chicken sauce, but it also has chipotle peppers and smoked paprika, so it has a smoky, creamy flavor that is deeply comforting in the middle of winter.

The sauce itself is actually surprisingly quick to prepare. If you made the meatballs in advance, or if you keep a store of pre-made chicken meatballs in the freezer, this would be a cinch to pull together for a weeknight dinner. It starts with onions sautéed in butter, then gets some garlic, and then tomato purée and all the seasonings. Those all simmer together for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, and then it gets a big dose of heavy cream and butter, to make everything rich and creamy. At that point, all that’s left is to add the meatballs to the sauce and let them simmer for a few minutes, and the whole thing is ready to go.

The author suggests serving these meatballs over rice or cooked quinoa, and says this dish pairs beautifully with garlic naan. You could even try them over pasta, or serve them with toothpicks at a holiday party.

Get the recipe: Creamy Chipotle Butter Chicken Meatballs from Little Spice Jar

(Image credit: Christine Han)

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