That Spicy Chick

Brown Butter Miso Pasta

This Brown Butter Miso Pasta is made with simple everyday ingredients and is incredibly easy to make! Juicy flavorful baked spicy chicken meatballs get tossed with pasta, baby kale, red onion, and garlic in a heavenly and delightfully light, brown butter miso sauce!

Two diagonally placed white bowls with capellini pasta and chicken meatballs. Two silver forks are on the side of the bowls.

PEOPLE OF THE INTERNET! 📣

You need to stop what you are doing and go make this mind-blowing, easy to make, and super delicious pasta for dinner tonight!

You guys, I am seriously addicted to and heavily infatuated with this Brown Butter Miso Pasta with Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs, and for several very, very good reasons.

First and foremost, the chicken meatballs are the same delicious Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs I shared last week. Except, they aren’t tossed in that delectable Sweet Chili Peanut Sauce. Instead, they’re tossed with pasta, veggies, and a brown butter miso sauce! 😍

Deep large sauté pan with Brown Butter Miso Pasta and Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs garnished with fresh parsley leaves.

Here’s what we have going on:

  • Veggies, cheese, and noodle-type pasta. Possibly three of my favorite things in life! ❤️ (FYI you guys, capellini is AWESOME!)
  • BAKED meatballs made with CHICKEN! They’re easy to make, and also super healthy since there isn’t any extra cholesterol or fat like there is with pork, beef, or veal meatballs. Win! 🙌
  • A magical, miraculous, and simple invisible sauce that’s made with brown butter, miso paste, white wine, reserved pasta water, and a couple of seasonings and spices! 😋
  • This is kind of like the butter noodles you used to eat as a kid. Except that this is the adult version since it’s got a more elevated and complex flavor, and it’ll hit all the right spots in your adult tummy. 🤤

Right. I need to stop what I am doing, first tend to my salivating mouth, and then go make this again for dinner tonight.

And you know what? I truly believe that if you do too, you’re going to love this pasta with chicken meatballs dinner as much as I do! 🤗

Deep large sauté pan with Brown Butter Miso Pasta and Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs garnished with fresh parsley leaves.

BROWN BUTTER MISO PASTA WITH BAKED SPICY CHICKEN MEATBALLS INGREDIENTS

To make this mouthwatering and delicious, yet incredibly simple pasta recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs:

  • Ground chicken
  • Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese style bread crumbs)
  • A large egg
  • Fresh ingredients: Chopped red onion, garlic, red chilies, fresh parsley and coriander.
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Olive oil.
  • Seasonings & Spices: To flavor the chicken mixture. I used good old salt and pepper, as well as ground cayenne for a bit of heat!

By the way, if you prefer to make the chicken meatballs mild, you can deseed the red chilies or omit them entirely. In addition, you can leave out the ground cayenne too.

Two diagonally placed white bowls with with Brown Butter Miso Pasta with baked chicken meatballs.

For the Brown Butter Miso Pasta:

  • Unsalted Butter: Eight whopping tablespoons of it! We’ll be browning the butter to infuse it with a richer and elevated flavor, and it’s going to be the main ingredient for our invisible pasta sauce! 😉
  • Aromatics: Just some minced garlic. Actually, six cloves of it so that we get a nice garlicky flavor going on in the pasta!
  • Veggies: I kept it simple and used only red onion slices and baby kale. But you could also use baby spinach in place of the kale. Also, don’t be shy to add other veggies, especially if you are making it veg and not making the chicken meatballs. (See below for more information on how to make this dish vegetarian/vegan.)
  • Pasta: I love, love, LOVE using capellini pasta for this recipe because it’s so thin and reminds me of Asian style thin yellow noodles. And you all know how much I love my Asian noodles by now! 😉 But honestly, use any noodle-type of pasta you like such as linguini or spaghetti. Also, feel free to use gluten-free or whole wheat pasta if you prefer.
  • Dry White Wine: I’m a fan of using sauvignon blanc for recipes that call for dry white wine. But you could also use a pinot grigio or unoaked chardonnay instead.
  • White Miso Paste: Ok, this might not be an everyday ingredient. But it is something I use often, and it’s widely available. Miso paste is a Japanese paste that is made by fermenting soybeans with rice, as well as some other ingredients. It comes in small cartons, and can be found in your local Asian grocery store. Many well-stocked large supermarkets also have cartons of miso paste available. It’s a delicious addition to a variety of dishes such as Asian soups (I’m sure you’ve seen Miso Soup at Japanese restaurants), noodles, and braised dishes (check out my Japanese Pork Rice Bowl (Butadon) recipe!). And it’s loaded with flavor and umami. For this recipe, we’ll be using white, not red miso paste.
  • Herbs: Just a bit of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. But you’re welcome to use fresh mint or coriander if you like, or add them along with the parsley.
  • Seasonings & Spices: Just some freshly cracked black pepper, crushed red chili pepper flakes and ground cayenne. Again, omit the chili flakes and cayenne if you would like to make this mild. You’ll see that I did not add any salt to the pasta. The reason being is that the reserved pasta water (we’ll come back to that in a second) is already salted, and I personally didn’t need to add additional salt. But taste and see if the salt level is enough for you after adding the cheese and reserved pasta water, and then decide if you need to add additional salt to suit your taste. 👌
  • Parmigiano Reggiano (or Parmesan) Cheese: Freshly grated please! It’ll melt much better than the pre-shredded cheese in the packs from the store.
  • Reserved Pasta Water: Be sure to reserve a cup of water before you drain the pasta. There will be starch from the pasta and salt in it, and it’ll help thicken and form the “sauce”.
Hand holding up a carton of white miso paste.

HOW TO MAKE BROWN BUTTER MISO PASTA WITH BAKED SPICY CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Forks inside two diagonally placed white bowls with capellini pasta, chicken meatballs, baby kale, sliced red onion, and fresh parsley leaves.

First, make the Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs:

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F, and line a baking tray with aluminum foil (or nonstick cooking paper). Lightly brush the foil with olive oil. Combine all the ingredients for the chicken meatballs in a large mixing bowl. Then mix and roll into 28-30 balls, lining them up on the foil in rows as you go.

Uncooked chicken meatballs in rows on a foil lined lightly greased baking tray.

Pro-tip: Since the chicken mixture can get a little sticky to deal with, I recommend rubbing your palms and fingers with a little olive oil before you start rolling the balls. In addition, have a small bowl filled with olive oil next to you so that you can dip into it and rub more oil on your palms and fingers as needed while rolling the balls.

Bake the chicken meatballs for 28-30 minutes, then transfer the baking tray to a cooling rack.

Baked chicken meatballs in rows on a foil lined baking tray.

Next, make the Brown Butter Miso Pasta:

  1. Boil the pasta: Cook the pasta al-dente according to package instructions in a pot of boiling salted water. Reserve a cup of pasta water, then drain and set aside. (I like to run cold water and toss the pasta gently with my fingers to prevent them from cooking further and sticking.)
  2. Make brown butter: In a large deep sauté pan, melt the unsalted butter over medium-high heat until brown specks start to form.
  3. Add aromatics: Stir the butter, then turn the heat to low and add the red onion slices. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until it softens, then add the garlic and sauté to combine.
  4. Make white wine miso sauce: Pour in the white wine and add the white miso paste. Stir continuously to break down the paste, and then let the wine simmer and reduce to half.
  5. Toss in pasta and spices & seasonings: Add the pasta and the freshly cracked black pepper, crushed red chili pepper flakes, and ground cayenne. Toss for a minute to combine.
  6. Add veggies & herbs: Add the baby kale and parsley and toss until slightly wilted – about a minute. (Feel free to add any other veggies that you like at this point. Mushrooms, snap peas, sugar peas, broccoli florets, etc. would all taste great in this pasta dish.)
  7. Combine everything else and toss: Add the baked spicy chicken meatballs, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and pour the reserved pasta water on top. Toss continuously to combine until the sauce thickens and clings to the pasta – about 2-4 minutes. Then switch off the heat.
  8. To Serve/Garnish: Divide the Brown Butter Miso Pasta with Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs evenly into bowls or plates, and top with extra chopped fresh parsley and sprinkle more grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese if desired. Serve immediately!
Two diagonally placed white bowls with with Brown Butter Miso Pasta with baked chicken meatballs. Forks are in the bowls.

Full ingredient amounts/recipe instructions included in the recipe card below.

CAN I MAKE AHEAD THE CHICKEN MEATBALLS?

Yes, indeed you can! I normally make the chicken meatballs the day before and store them in the refrigerator overnight. This way the pasta dish can be on your dinner table in no time the next day!

However and if you prefer, you can make them 1-5 days in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or cool quickly after baking them, then put them in a freezer friendly bag and freeze for up to three months.

Alternatively, you can freeze the chicken meatballs on a tray right after shaping them. Then just put them in a freezer friendly bag once frozen, and store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw them in the microwave on a plate (in batches) for a brief 10-20 seconds before you bake them. Then just bake for 28-30 minutes on a lightly greased foil lined baking tray, and they’re ready to go!

Fork holding up a bite of capellini pasta and a chicken meatball over a bowl of capellini pasta and chicken meatballs.

HOW LONG WILL THE BROWN BUTTER MISO PASTA WITH BAKED SPICY CHICKEN MEATBALLS KEEP?

The pasta and chicken meatballs taste best when eaten immediately after cooking. However, I’ve also enjoyed the leftovers of this dish three days after cooking it! If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 3 days.

Fork twirled around capellini pasta and stabbed into a chicken meatball in a bowl of pasta and chicken meatballs with baby kale and red onion slices.

CAN I MAKE THIS VEGETARIAN/VEGAN?

Yes! Just don’t make/leave out the chicken meatballs! Miso is usually naturally vegetarian and vegan, but double check that the brand of white miso paste you’re using doesn’t have any skipjack tuna or other fish in it like some miso pastes in Japan do. In addition, be sure to use vegan cheese.

Also, feel free to load up the Brown Butter Miso Pasta with veggies to make it more substantial. Some ideas include mushrooms (any kind you like), snap peas, carrots, zucchini, broccoli florets, etc. But feel free to use any veggies you like!

Fork holding up a bite of capellini pasta and a chicken meatball with a bite taken out of it over a bowl of pasta and chicken meatballs.

CAN I MAKE THIS GLUTEN-FREE?

You certainly can! Use gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs and gluten-free soy sauce for the chicken meatballs. I highly recommend Ian’s Original Panko Breadcrumbs. But several brands make them today, so check out your local supermarket and buy one that you like. Or you can make your own GF breadcrumbs by blitzing up a couple of slices of gluten-free bread in your food processor.

In addition, be sure to use a gluten-free pasta, and check that the brand of white miso paste you’re using is GF certified.

White bowl and large pan with Brown Butter Miso Pasta with Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs.

MORE EASY PASTA RECIPES

Looking for more easy and delicious weeknight pastas? Below are some of the most popular ones on the blog!

Spicy Chicken Penne Pasta
Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Cajun Chicken
Garlic Cream Sauce Seafood Fettuccine
Chili-Lime Cream Sauce Pasta with Peri Peri Chicken
Cream Sauce Seafood Pasta
Or browse the entire Pasta recipe collection.

If you make this recipe, leave a comment and review it below with a star rating! Tag @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick. I wanna see!! 🤗

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Print
Fork twirled around capellini pasta and stabbed into a chicken meatball in a bowl of pasta and chicken meatballs with baby kale and red onion slices.

Brown Butter Miso Pasta with Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs

This Brown Butter Miso Pasta is made with simple everyday ingredients and is incredibly easy to make! Juicy flavorful baked spicy chicken meatballs get tossed with pasta, baby kale, red onion, and garlic in a heavenly and delightfully light, brown butter miso sauce!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 56 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake/Sauté
  • Cuisine: American/Fusion
Scale

Ingredients

For the Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs:

  • 480500 grams / 1.1 lbs Ground Chicken
  • ¾1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ Red Onion – small chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves – finely minced
  • 34 Red Chilies – finely minced
  • 2 TBLS fresh Flat-leaf Parsley – finely chopped
  • 1 TBLS fresh Coriander – finely chopped
  • ½ TSP Kosher Salt
  • 1 TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper
  • ½ TSP ground Cayenne (optional), to taste
  • 1 TBLS Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil

For the Brown Butter Miso Pasta:

  • 8 TBLS Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Red Onion – thinly sliced, then sliced in half
  • 6 Garlic cloves – finely minced
  • 2 cups Baby Kale – washed and dried with paper towels/run through a salad spinner
  • 8 ounces uncooked Capellini Pasta (or any other noodle type pasta you like such as linguini, spaghetti, etc. Feel free to use whole wheat or gluten-free.)
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine (I highly recommend a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 TBLS White Miso Paste
  • 2 TBLS Parsley – finely chopped
  • 1.5 TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 TSP Crushed Red Chili Pepper Flakes, to taste
  • 1/2 TSP ground Cayenne, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (or Parmesan) Cheese, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 1 cup Reserved Pasta Water

Instructions

For the Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil or nonstick cooking paper and lightly brush with olive oil.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs in a large mixing bowl. Mix and roll into 28-30 balls, lining them up on the foil in rows as you go. (Note: The mixture can get a little sticky to deal with. Rub your palms and fingers with a little olive oil before you start rolling into balls and during as needed.)
  3. Bake for 28-30 minutes, then transfer the baking tray to a cooling rack.

For the Brown Butter Miso Pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta al-dente according to package instructions in a pot of boiling salted water. Reserve a cup of pasta water, then drain and set aside. (I like to run cold water and toss the pasta gently with my fingers to prevent them from cooking further and sticking.)
  2. In a large deep sauté pan, melt unsalted butter over medium-high heat until brown specks start to form.
  3. Stir the butter, then turn the heat to low and add the red onion slices. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until it softens, then add the garlic and sauté to combine.
  4. Pour in the white wine and add the white miso paste. Stir continuously to break down the paste, then let the wine simmer and reduce to half.
  5. Add the pasta and the freshly cracked black pepper, crushed red chili pepper flakes, and ground cayenne. Toss for a minute to combine.
  6. Throw in the baby kale and parsley and toss until slightly wilted – about a minute.
  7. Then add the baked spicy chicken meatballs, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and pour the reserved pasta water on top. Toss continuously to combine until the sauce thickens and clings to the pasta – about 2-4 minutes. Then switch off the heat.
  8. To Serve/Garnish: Divide the Brown Butter Miso Pasta with Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs evenly into bowls or plates, and top with extra chopped fresh parsley and sprinkle more grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese if desired. Serve immediately!

Notes

  1. If making the chicken meatballs a few days in advance: You can make the chicken meatballs 1-5 days in advance. Just allow them to cool after baking, then store in airtight container in the refrigerator until you need them.
  2. If making the chicken meatballs a few months in advance: Cool quickly after baking, then load up a freezer friendly bag and freeze for up to three months. Alternatively, you can freeze on a tray right after shaping them. Then put them in a freezer friendly bag once frozen. Store in the freezer for up to three months. They’re ready to go anytime you want, and can be thawed in the microwave for a brief 10-20 seconds before you bake them. Do this in batches on a plate so that they don’t stick to each other while defrosting. Then line them up on a lightly greased foil lined baking tray and bake for 28-30 minutes.
  3. How long will the pasta and chicken meatballs keep: The pasta and chicken meatballs taste best when eaten immediately after cooking. However, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  4. To make this vegetarian/vegan: Don’t make/leave out the chicken meatballs, and double check that the miso paste you are using is vegetarian/vegan. Some brands of miso paste have skipjack tuna or other fish in it in Japan. So it’s best to double-check the ingredients list on the carton. Also, be sure to use vegan cheese. 
  5. To make this gluten-free: Use  gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs such as Ian’s Original Panko Breadcrumbs and gluten-free soy sauce for the chicken meatballs. For the Brown Butter Miso Pasta, use a gluten-free pasta, and check that the brand of white miso paste you’re using is GF certified.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 medium bowl
  • Calories: 747
  • Sugar: 6.1g
  • Sodium: 883mg
  • Fat: 37.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 17.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 16.6g
  • Trans Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 63.7g
  • Fiber: 4.8g
  • Protein: 35.9g
  • Cholesterol: 183mg

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

Two diagonally placed white bowls with Brown Butter Miso Pasta with baked chicken meatballs. Two silver forks are on the side of the bowls.

This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

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