One-pan Butter Chicken Meatball Bake

The weather is starting to get colder here in Perth so warming curries are coming to the front of my weekend menu choices. However this delicious one-pan bake is also light enough to enjoy during the warmer weather too.

I came up with this recipe because I wanted to combine simple meatballs with a mild curry flavour. Butter Chicken is a classic and it seemed to fit well to use meatballs instead of chicken pieces.

This dish is really filling because of the combination of lentils, chickpeas and rice. Of course you could just serve with rice but using the pulses gives you a good boost of extra nutrition with no extra effort.

I used my cast iron sauté pan which has a lid to make this recipe – it was perfect as it can go on the stove and in the oven.

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 500g/1 lb chicken mince
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 400g/14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 400g/14 oz can brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice, rinsed
  • 350g/12 oz jar Butter Chicken simmer sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas


  • Form your chicken mince into bite-sized meatballs. Place on a plate, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight if you want.
  • Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan forced/350F.
  • Put the vegetable oil into your oven-proof sauté pan and place over a medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add the chicken meatballs and then cook, turning after a couple of minutes, to seal the meatballs all over. (Don’t turn the meatballs too quickly or they might break apart.)
  • Add the sliced onion, chickpeas, lentils and rice to the pan and then use tongs to carefully mix with the meatballs.
  • Pour in the Butter Chicken simmer sauce and add 1 cup of water. Stir using the tongs to distribute the sauce.
  • Put the lid on the sauté pan and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Add the frozen peas to the pan, and a splash more water if required.
  • Cover with the lid and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until the rice is cooked to your liking.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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