Melt in your mouth, healthier, easy crockpot butter chicken is a creamy Indian inspired dish, using anti-inflammatory rich spices, coconut milk, tomato paste, and yogurt.
A make ahead slow cooker or stovetop meal comes together quickly for a wholesome weeknight meal, or is perfect for a chilly winter weekend.
I’ll admit I had never tried Butter Chicken; and shame on me, a butter lover that I am!! Shocking I know, but the thought of spicy hot has always prevented me from trying this dish; oh and maybe the time I had horrible food poisoning after eating authentic Indian food. Yet, I’ve matured, it’s only taken me 30+ years to start giving Indian foods and curries a try again!
HOW SPICY IS SLOW COOKER BUTTER CHICKEN?
What lured me into making this dish was the amazing list of wholesome and clean ingredients and the fact that I could control the “heat” factor! BONUS! You toss it all together quickly in your crockpot friends, fix it and forget it!
So if you are a heat wimp like mujhe (Hindi for ‘me’), then please give this recipe a try! I’ve dialed down the spices for our family, but provide full strength measurements as well!
How to Make Butter Chicken in the Crockpot or Stovetop
In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut milk, greek yogurt and cream, whisking well. Whisk in tomato paste, Thai red curry paste, garlic, ginger and all of your powdered spices, mix until smooth and spices are evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
Set aside. Just look at those beautiful, rich, anti-inflammatory spices!
If you have a traditional ceramic or porcelain crock then spray or rub with a little oil.
Do I have to saute the onions ahead of time?
While this step isn’t necessary, I personally like taking the 10 extra minutes it takes to do this as the flavors really stand out and become much deeper and flavorful.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon or so of oil and a small pat of butter. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent and they begin to brown slightly, then toss in your garlic and stir around for a minute until aromatic. Set aside.
Add diced chicken to the crock pot, then sauteed onion and garlic mixture and finally pour the coconut milk mixture over the chicken until covered, give it a quick stir.
Butter in Butter Chicken?
Well, yes, but this just has a little bit, making it a bit healthier than others.
Place pats of butter on top of the mixture and placing the lid on top, the original instructions said to cook on high for 4 hours or low 6 hours, however; I find chicken can get really tough if cooked too long. I cooked high for 1 hour, low for 3 hours and the chicken was tender.
Now head to work, walk away, take a nap, play a game with your kids, build a snowman, go for a walk; or simply sit and read a good book, in front of a crackling fire, with a cup of something that warms you….oh like my Chai Tea or maybe something a bit more adult-like like my Maple Whiskey Sour.
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TIP | If you need to cook this for 4 or more hours, I suggest using whole (even frozen) chicken breasts instead of cut up, the key to cooking chicken in a slow cooker is less, not more time. Better yet, if you have a warm setting on your crockpot, then set for 4 hours on low (with thawed cut up chicken) and make sure that it is set to go to warm.
Before serving, gently stir to mix flavors together and serve over rice, garnish with a little fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.
That’s it, I hope you enjoy this delicious Crock Pot Butter Chicken.
An exceptionally nice touch is to make homemade naan to serve with this dish! Oh my, it’s over the top!
Don’t forget to PIN to your favorite Slow Cooker Board.
Enjoy these other spicy, but not hot dishes!
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- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks (about an inch)
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoons olive oil for sauteing onions/garlic
- 3 tablespoon butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, freshly grated
- 1-2 teaspoons curry powder (I used 1)
- 1-2 teaspoons Thai Red Curry Paste (I used 1)
- 2 tablespoons garam masala (I used 2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon turmeric (I used 1)
- sprinkle up to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, I used a couple sprinkles
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-6 oz can tomato paste
- 1-14 oz can coconut milk (I prefer full fat)
- 1-7 oz container greek yogurt (I used Fage 5% whole milk)
- 1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
- Fresh flat leaf parsley or cilantro, chopped for serving (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your coconut milk, greek yogurt and cream, whisking well. Whisk in your tomato paste, thai red curry paste, garlic, ginger and all of your powdered spices, mix until smooth and spices are evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
- If you have a traditional ceramic or porcelain crock then spray with a little oil or rub with some oil.
- Heat skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil and 1/2-1 tablespoon butter. Add diced onions and saute until translucent and they begin to brown slightly, then toss in your garlic and stir around for a minute until aromatic.
- Add your diced chicken to the crockpot, your onion and garlic mixture then pour the coconut milk mixture over the chicken until covered, give it a quick stir.
- Place your two 1 tablespoon pats of butter on top of the mixture and placing the lid on top.
- If you are around, set crockpot to high for 1 hour, then switch to low for 3 hours. If you need to fix it and forget it all day, set to low for 4 hours and then make sure the warm function is on. See tips.
- Before serving, gently stir to mix flavors together and serve over rice or quinoa, garnish with a little fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.
- An exceptionally nice touch is to make some homemade naan to serve with this dish! Oh my, it's over the top, you won't be disappointed.
Follow steps 1-3, then brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes on all sides. Pour sauce over, cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes until chicken is tender. Melt and stir in a few tablespoons of butter at the very end.
TIP | If you need to cook this for 4 or more hours, I suggest using whole (even frozen) chicken breasts instead of cut up, the key to cooking chicken in a slow cooker is less, not more time. Better yet, if you have a warm setting on your crockpot, then set for 4 hours on low (with thawed cut up chicken) and make sure that it is set to automatically warm.
This dish is delicious served over rice (I like Basmati white or brown) or you could also try quinoa for a gluten free option. Amazing with this simple homemade naan!
This recipe was lightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest.
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All-Clad SD700450 Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker with Black Ceramic Insert and Glass Lid, 6.5-Quart, Silver
OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Better Balloon Whisk
Anchor Hocking 2 Quart Glass Batter Bowl With Lid (81106L11)
Large Wooden Spoon - Cooking Spoon - 19 Inches
Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder.
Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker with with Digital Timer, Stainless Steel
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 23g
The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc.