Entrees, Vegan Food

Butter Chicken Meatballs (plant-based)


These delicious, entirely vegan, chicken-style meatballs in a butter chicken-inspired sauce are what autumn dinner dreams are made of. I love this recipe so much! The meatballs were based off this older recipe, and the sauce was created by my sister Bridget! Put it all together, serve it over rice and you have yourself a winner!

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Butter Chicken Meatballs (plant-based)

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Liv B


Vegan chicken-style meatballs in a butter-chicken inspired sauce. Delicious and best served over rice!


“Chicken” Meatballs:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ¾ cup cooked red or brown lentils
  • ½ cup almond flour (or other type of nuts, seeds like walnuts or sunflower seeds)
  • ¾ cup gluten flour (also called vital wheat gluten)
  • ¾ cup vegan chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Pinch salt and pepper


Butter Chicken Sauce:

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 (400 mL) can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp salt (taste and adjust as needed)
  • chili flakes to taste



  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cook your lentils and measure out 3/4 cup (or if you are using canned lentils, simply measure out 3/4 cup.
  3. In a frying pan, cook onions and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes until onions start to become translucent.
  4. To a food processor, add cooked onions, garlic, almond flour and lentils. Pulse until it becomes a paste consistency. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, but it should be like a wet paste.
  5. Add to a bowl along with vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Mix with a spoon or your hands until it becomes a crumbly mixture. Add the broth and stir to form a dough.
  6. Use a tablespoon-size scoop and roll the dough into balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip and bake another 15 minutes.

Butter Chicken Sauce

  1. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, cook onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add spices and stir to combine. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, salt and chili flakes.
  3. Simmer on medium-low until meatballs are done and sauce has thickened.
  4. Remove meatballs from oven and add into sauce. Simmer a few more minutes until thickened slightly.
  5. Serve over rice!


  1. My boyfriend and I made this tonight and it was SO GOOD. The meatballs were in fact porous and so flavorful! Added green chilies instead of chili flakes for spice and added a little water to the curry at the very end because we wanted more gravy. Cannot wait to make again!

  2. This meal is absolutely delicious. My fiancé is not vegan and loved it and my 6 year old cleaned his plate! Will definitely be making this again and again.

  3. I really enjoyed this! Super comforting and hearty. I did swap the coconut milk for almond because I’m not fond of coconut but super delish. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. First time ever commenting on a recipe! Just had to say how much I FULLY enjoyed this dish.

    My wife who still eats meat really enjoyed it too. Thank you so much!

    For those who may be reading this and do not have tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, I just used diced canned tomatoes and mixed it with some tomato paste. Results = delish.

    The meatballs gave me total hush puppy vibes which has my mind going into so many different spin off directions.

    Fav vegan youtuber, hands down. love it girl!

  5. I made this with a bag of gardein’s frozen meatballs and it worked out really well. The sauce was soo good 🤌! I made a second batch the next day to mix with some mac and cheese!

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