Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (2024)

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Have you always wanted to know how to make Indian butter chicken at home? Well now you can with my super easy Butter Chicken recipe. Ready in 30 minutes, and delicious served on white rice with garlic naan on the side. Plus, prepare the spice mix in advance and it's even quicker!

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (1)

You know that amazing feeling at the end of a long week, when you are sitting at home on the couch with the whole weekend ahead of you and the biggest decision you are faced with is what to order in for dinner? Well, when you live in the middle of nowhere with no possibility of having any sort of takeout delivered, you've gotta get a bit creative. Because we miss the luxury of takeaways on a Friday night,I'm slowly working my way through the list of our favourite takeout meals and recreating them at home. It's not quite the same, but that's what you get for living in the boonies!

This is my version of the Indian takeaway classic, and one of our favourites - butter chicken. You are going to LOVE it!! While it may not be totally authentic, it's a super simplified recipe and is so quick to make! And both Josh & I think it's as good as any we've had from an Indian place and so much better than any sauce that comes from a jar. There is no marinating involved - mostly because I always get mad when I'm frantically looking for inspiration at 5...ok 6pm and come across a recipe that looks perfect except that I needed to start it 4 hours ago.

The other amazing shortcut with this recipe is that you can make the spice mix up in advance (similar to my Burrito Spice Mix) and keep it in a jar in the pantry so that you can whip up this butter chicken recipe at a moments notice. You know, for those times when your husband calls at 2pm to request curry for dinner, even though you asked him at 7am and got nothing. The instructions for making a large batch of the spice mix are in the recipe notes.

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Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (2)

There are quite a few different spices in this easy butter chicken recipe, but nothing fancy and definitely all things you will either have or can buy from the supermarket. The spices are ground coriander, paprika, cumin, cinnamon and the key spice in butter chicken - garam masala. You can also add chili powder but I usually leave it out. I definitely like my butter chicken to be mild. Plus, Sadie is at the stage now where she eats whatever we eat so I don't want to scare her off certain foods with a bit hit of chili!

The spices are what pack the flavour punch in this butter chicken so the sauce is a simple combination of tomato paste and water with cream added at the end to thicken it and create that amazing luscious, silky sauce that we all love. Plus a knob of butter thrown in for good measure...and because it's butter chicken right? 🙂 The good news is, I've also made this with coconut cream and it was just as good, so for anyone out there who is dairy free, you don't have to miss out! You can also just skip the butter at the end.

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (3)

Easy Homemade Butter Chicken has become a staple at our house - it's definitely not the healthiest meal option but it's quick, easy, super flavourful and the perfect option for homemade takeout! And on a Friday, who cares!

More easy dinner ideas:

Chicken Burrito Bowls

Super Simple Spaghetti Bolognese

Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies with Satay Sauce

30 Minute Stovetop Macaroni Cheese

Mexican Rice

Mushroom Pasta with Garlic Herb Butter Sauce

Made this? Tag me on Instagram @thekiwicountrygirl and hashtag it #thekiwicountrygirl.

Recipe adapted from Food Mag NZ

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (4)

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (5)

Easy Butter Chicken Recipe

Have you always wanted to know how to make Indian butter chicken at home? Well now you can with my super easy Butter Chicken recipe! Ready in 30 minutes, and delicious served on white rice with garlic naan on the side!

4.76 from 45 votes

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Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes minutes

Author: Laura


  • 400 grams chicken breast or thighs (boneless & skinless and sliced into 2cm strips)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 - 1 & ½ cups water (start with 1 and add extra if you want it to be super saucy)
  • ½ cup cream (see recipe note 1)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter (see recipe note 1)


  • Place the chicken pieces in a medium sized bowl, add the coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala, salt, cinnamon and chili powder (if using) and toss to coat the chicken evenly.

  • Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes until cooked through.

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.

  • Add the tomato paste and water and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.Stir in the cream and butter and cook for a further 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

  • Serve with rice and garlic naan bread.Cover any leftovers and store in the fridge for 2 days.


1. To make this dairy free you can substitute the cream for coconut cream and leave out the butter - it doesn't alter the flavour too much!

2. To make a large batch of the spice mix in advance, mix together 8 teaspoon ground coriander, 4 teaspoon ground cumin, 4 teaspoon paprika, 4 teaspoon garam masala, 2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional) and store in a jar in the pantry. This will make enough for 4 of the above recipe.When following the recipe, add 2 tablespoon of the made up spice mix to the chicken before cooking.

3. To cook in the slow cooker: Add all ingredients except for cream and butter (and reducing the water to ½ cup) to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours until chicken is cooked through. Stirthrough cream and butter before serving

4. To prepare a slow cooker prep bag: Add all ingredients (only ½ cup water) except cream and butter (including chicken if fresh) to a large snaplock bag and freeze or place in the fridge if using in the next 2 or 3 days. Label the bag with date and contents. Thaw in the fridge overnight and add to the slow cooker and cook according to instructions.


Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 224mg | Sodium: 1161mg | Potassium: 1157mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2175IU | Vitamin C: 11.1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2.6mg

Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @thekiwicountrygirl or tag #thekiwicountrygirl!

If you tried and loved this recipe, please leave a comment and a rating below!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (7)Melissa says

    Hey Laura, how many servings is this? 4? Just wanting to know if I can double it, and stretch it out to 8 servings. Thanks!


    • Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (8)Laura says

      Hi Melissa, yes this is for 4 servings and you can very easily double it!


  2. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (9)Sharon says

    Made this tonight and it was amazing - will totally be doing this one again.


  3. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (10)Shan says

    Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (11)
    Super easy recipe and so yummy! My one year old demolished her serving


  4. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (12)Maria says

    Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (13)
    Made this for dinner for my family. Everyone loved it. I spiced mine up since I prefer a bit more chilli but it was perfect for everyone else. Thanks for a great recipe!! 🙂


  5. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (14)Heidi Wruck says

    Hey Laura! I'm gonna try this recipe this week & I can wait. I'm gonna prep it the day before and put it in the fridge overnight to cook the the S.C the next day. My question is; when prepping in this way, are we bothering to coat the chicken, or are we putting the spices in with everything and give it a good stir? Tu meke!


  6. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (15)Laura Evans says

    Love it! Make it all the time when I have people over for dinner ❤️❤️


  7. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (16)Jasmine says

    Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (17)
    Love this butter chicken, so quick and easy to whip up.


  8. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (18)Kate says

    Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (19)
    Easy and delicious


    • Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (20)Julia says

      Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (21)
      Tasty and easy.

      Next time I'll use a bit less water and try out the chili.

      All the kids were enthusiastic. Thanks!


  9. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (22)Meg says

    Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (23)
    Awesome and love how I can change the servings so it changes the amount of ingredients. Was a hit! Will premake a bit of the spice mix now for ease & future use. Thanks so much for sharing!


  10. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (24)Catherine de Seton says

    Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (25)
    I have been relearning to cook i.e. feed myself better during Lockdown. I made your Butter Chicken last night but within the healthier version. I even created the spice mix. Next time, I will use more of the spice mix but overall...pleased. Lunch today: I had some left over, so I added some more spice and bit more of tomato paste/coconut cream and YESSH

    The reason wasn't exactly to do with the chicken but one of the essential foodboxes (no choice what came!) came with a Kashmir curry pouch and some UHT coconut cream. I wasn't sure about it all, the first night, well I was so "hot" afterwards so I took it back a notch.


    • Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (26)Amy Fraser says

      Hi there! Looking forward to trying this recipe as have done the meal prep and put in freezer. I was just wondering what the final instructions are for the slow cooker method. The final instructions given are 'thaw in the fridge overnight and add to the slow cooker and cook according to instructions.' But I can't find these instructions anywhere. How long should I put it in for and when would I add the final ingredients of cream and butter?
      Thanks for your help.


      • Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (27)Laura says

        Hi Amy, sorry about that, I'll add those instructions in now. Cook for 2-3 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low until the chicken is cooked through, then stir through the butter and cream. Laura

  11. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (28)Michelle says

    I made this in my slow cooker today after previously preparing it and freezing (from your food prep page). It didnt look at all like this and was super watery. Hubby said it was bland. Not sure if it's just because it was cooked in the slow cooker or something, as I followed your recipe and slow cooker instructions!


    • Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (29)Laura says

      Hi Michelle! I am so sorry about this - I need to make a note in the freezer meal instructions to cut the water down to only 1/2 cup as of course cooking in the slow cooker nothing evaporates. I will change those instructions now, thank you for pointing that out! Laura


  12. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (30)Michelle says

    Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (31)
    My husband and I cooked this tonight and all we can say is WOW! It is so amazing. The flavours all go so well together and we won’t be getting a take-out butter chicken ever again!


  13. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (32)Margie says

    Is ground cumin the same as powdered? Thanks, sounds yum! 🙂


    • Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (33)Laura says

      Hi Margie, yes it is the same thing 🙂 Laura


  14. Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (34)Jess64 says

    This sounds great, could you share how you make up the spice mix and how much you use in a recipe if you have the spice mix premade.


    • Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (35)Laura says

      Hi Jess! Sure thing - to make enough spice mix to make the recipe 4 times, mix together 8 tsp ground coriander, 4 tsp ground cumin, 4 tsp paprika, 4 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp chili powder (optional) and store in a jar in the pantry.When following the recipe, add 2 TBSP of the made up spice mix to the chicken before cooking.I've also added these instructions to the recipe notes, so they will be there if you print it off. Hope you enjoy it!


      • Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (36)Jess64 says

        Thank you so much, I will be making that spice mix this weekend.

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Easy Butter Chicken Recipe (2024)


What is the sauce in butter chicken made of? ›

It's all about that sauce when it comes to authentic butter chicken. You'll be surprised to find that you only need an onion, a can of crushed tomatoes, garlic and ginger, and some added spices to continue those beautiful flavours in the sauce.

What is the best combination for butter chicken? ›

Butter Chicken is best served with Jeera rice , Turmeric Rice, plain fluffy Basmati Rice, Tandoori Roti, Naan or Paratha.

What thickens butter chicken? ›

Yoghurt or heavy cream:

To achieve a creamy, tangy curry sauce, incorporate yoghurt or heavy cream. Stir them in gently, as high heat may cause curdling. These ingredients are ideal for creating a luxurious texture in dishes like butter chicken or tikka masala.

What is a substitute for tomato paste in butter chicken? ›

You don't have to dash out to the store if you're out of tomato paste; tomato sauce and tomato puree are both an excellent substitute. For every 1 tablespoon of tomato paste needed, use 3 tablespoons of tomato puree or sauce.

How do you make butter at home? ›

Pour heavy cream into a food processor or blender. Process on high until butter separates, about 10 minutes. Strain off liquid, then press butter into a small bowl with the back of a spoon to further remove liquid. Season with salt.

Is garam masala the same as curry powder? ›

While both are Indian spice mixes, their unique flavor profiles distinguish them. Curry Powder tends to be milder, with a symphony of spices creating a harmonious, less intense flavor compared to the robust complexity of Garam Masala.

Which is better for butter chicken thigh or breast? ›

Chicken – The best chicken to use for this one-pan baked version is bone-in chicken thighs. This is because they remain juicy for the 45 minute bake time required for the sauce to thicken and develop flavour. We remove the skin (it's easy, just peel it off) to prevent the sauce from getting too greasy.

What is special about butter chicken? ›

The marination process infuses the chicken with flavors, ensuring each bite is delicious and satisfying. The creamy sauce, made with butter, cream, and a blend of Indian spices, adds depth and richness to the dish.

Why does butter chicken taste so good? ›

With its sweetly spiced tomato and cream-based gravy, butter chicken is a comforting, warming dish that feels decadent thanks to its silky-smooth richness. It's a dish that can be cooked with either breast meat or chicken thighs, with bones or without.

How do you reduce the bitterness in butter chicken? ›

The chances are you can rescue your bitter curry by: Add equal parts sugar and salt, a teaspoon at a time, mixing well between each pair of additions and tasting until the curry is no longer bitter. Sugar and salt help to reduce bitterness. You can use any sweetener or salt you like.

Why add cashews to butter chicken? ›

In many recipes for butter chicken, copious amounts of butter and heavy cream supply richness, but we do as we were taught in India and use cashews pureed with a small amount of water until smooth. The nut puree adds creaminess without making the dish heavy.

What can I substitute for cashews in butter chicken? ›

Nut-Free Option: If you have a nut allergy or prefer to avoid cashews, you can substitute them with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a creamy texture and added richness. Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add a variety of vegetables to the dish to enhance its nutritional value and flavors.

How do you thicken butter chicken without flour? ›

Simmer the sauce: Let the sauce simmer on low heat for an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the liquid to evaporate and the sauce to thicken. Add yogurt or cream: Adding a spoonful of plain yogurt or cream to the sauce can help thicken it while also adding richness and flavor.

Can I use canned tomatoes instead of paste? ›

Like tomato sauce, canned tomatoes aren't as concentrated as the paste, so you'll need to double the amount to get the flavor right. How much to use: Use 2 tablespoons of strained canned tomatoes for every tablespoon of tomato paste.

What happens if you use tomato sauce instead of paste? ›

If you're using tomato sauce as a substitute, keep in mind that it will be more watery and may affect the texture of the dish you're preparing. To compensate for the difference in consistency, you may need to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe or simmer the sauce for longer to thicken it.

Is butter chicken sauce the same as curry? ›

Butter chicken tends to be creamier and sweeter than chicken curry, with heavier spices. On the other hand, Tikka masala tends to focus more on heat and spice. The two dishes often use similar ingredients: tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and different types of chilies—but they're not quite interchangeable.

Is butter chicken sauce the same as tikka masala? ›

Butter Chicken has a milder and creamier taste, while Tikka Masala has a spicier, earthy, and tangier taste. Butter Chicken is a buttery and creamy tomato-based sauce. At the same time, Tikka Masala has a slightly sour and tangy tomato-based sauce.

What is garam masala made of? ›

Garam masala consists of ground spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, bay leaf, mace and black pepper. Some versions even consist of fennel seeds, red chilies and black cardamoms.

What can I use instead of garam masala? ›

Cumin mixed with allspice: This two-part blend makes sense if you think about it. Allspice's flavor is reminiscent of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper—mixed with cumin, that's a pretty darn good garam masala substitute. Just mix 1 part cumin with ¼ part allspice.

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