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Swedish-Style Meatballs with Indian Butter Sauce

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
35 mins
Prep Time:
45 mins


Butter Sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 64 ounces tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup diced white onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallion
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • cilantro and yogurt, to garnish (optional)

Chef notes

These amazing meatballs kicked off my cooking career! The spiced butter sauce coats each tender meatball with a blanket of bold flavor. They are flavorful, comforting, unexpected and impossible to stop eating.

Technique tip: Be careful not to over-mix the meat.

Swap option: Swap beef for ground chicken or turkey.


For the butter sauce:

Sauté onions, garlic and ginger in a pot with ghee or butter over medium-high heat.

Stir in tomato puree, as well as salt, garam masala, chile powder, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Allow to simmer until bubbly then stir in cream.

For the meatballs:


Combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1 tablespoon of salt, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, parsley, white onion and scallion into a bowl and mix well.


In another bowl, gently mix beef and turkey meat until just combined, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt.


Gently fold half of the ricotta mixture into the meat, being sure not to over-mix. Once it's incorporated, sprinkle another generous tablespoon of salt over the meat and gently fold in the rest of the ricotta mix.


Cover the meat and place in the refrigerator 2 hours or overnight.


Preheat the oven to 425 F.


Use an ice cream scooper to scoop meatballs into even balls. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle the top with the remaining salt and pepper.


Bake for 15 minutes.


Add meatballs to butter chicken sauce and let simmer in a slow cooker or 300 F oven until ready to serve. Garnish with cilantro and yogurt, if using.