Brown Butter Miso Pasta with Baked Spicy Chicken Meatballs

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.

5 from 1 review

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!



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


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!



  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.


Keywords: brown butter pasta, weeknight pasta, chicken meatballs pasta, easy weeknight dinner, pasta dinner, chicken pasta, brown butter miso pasta, miso pasta