This Crockpot Butter Chicken recipe is a deliciously spiced Indian dish that’s easy to make with the help of your slow cooker.
Butter Chicken is definitely one of my favorite Indian dishes. I was introduced to Indian food by my dad, or “pop” as I like to call him. We went to and Indian buffet and I was able to pick whatever looked yummy to me.
I was always a bit of an adventurous eater. My brother, on the other hand, I think wound up eating just naan and rice.
Butter Chicken was the first dish that I picked for myself. I think I was intrigued by the name. I mean, who doesn’t love butter! I tried it not knowing what to expect, and it was love at first bite. A creamy dish that’s not too spicy, it’s rich with just a hint of sweetness.
This make-at-home version is lightened up a bit from the traditional butter chicken recipe. It is made without any butter or heavy cream. Instead, it includes the addition of coconut milk to give it its creaminess.
The traditional Indian spices of ginger, garam masala, and curry blend nicely with the tomatoes to create a flavorful sauce that’s absolutely irresistible!
It’s a delicious meal that the whole family will love! Plus, this flavorful dish is even better the next day, so you may want to make a double batch!
Tip: Just use the recipe card below to adjust the portions. There’s no need to increase the cook time.
🛒 Ingredients Needed
- Chicken Breasts – or use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Olive Oil
- Garlic + Yellow Onion
- Coconut Milk – canned, full-fat coconut milk.
- Tomato Paste – adds a depth of flavor to the dish.
- Flour – helps to thicken the sauce.
- Fresh Ginger – or, use the kind from the tube that you can find in the produce department.
- Curry Powder + Garam Masala
- Chili Powder – use more or less, to taste.
- Fresh Cilantro – to garnish. This is optional
- Greek Yogurt – for topping. Can omit for a dairy-free option.
- Salt + Pepper
📋 How to Make It
- Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until softened.
- Add coconut milk, tomato paste, flour, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, and salt & pepper. Cook until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
- Place raw chicken in crock pot and pour sauce over the top.
- Cook on LOW heat for 6 hours, or HIGH heat for 3 hours.
- Serve garnished with cilantro and greek yogurt.
✔️ How to Store
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a large skillet on the stove over medium heat.
Definitely! Simply combine the butter chicken ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on HIGH for three hours or LOW for six hours.
Yes. Simply follow steps 1 and 2 as written, then add the chicken to your skillet. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
As written, this butter chicken recipe is not spicy. However, if you’d like to spice things up a bit, you can add in a little cayenne pepper or top your dish with some minced jalapeno or serrano peppers.
This is a keto-friendly butter chicken recipe. It is also paleo and low-carb. Try serving it over cauliflower rice.
🍴 How to Serve
- With some basmati rice or jasmine rice. Have you tried making rice in the Instant Pot? Or, swap out the white rice for quinoa.
- With a side of warm naan bread and a dollop of raita sauce.
- Alongside some sauteed spinach, roasted delicata squash or butternut squash.
- If you’d like a low-carb, keto butter chicken, try serving this with cauliflower rice instead.
- More → 19+ Sides for Butter Chicken
🍷 Wine Pairings for Indian Butter Chicken
- A Riesling or Gewurztraminer are your best bet for pairing with this spicy dish.
More Slow Cooker Recipes:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooker Glazed Corned Beef & Cabbage
- Slow Cooker Bone Broth
- Slow Cooker Chipotle Lentil Soup
- Slow Cooker Osso Buco Recipe
- Slow Cooker Pork Chops
Did you try this slow cooker butter chicken?
If you loved this crockpot butter chicken recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
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If you loved slow cooker butter chicken, be sure to try out my Instant Pot Butter Chicken and Indian Butter Chickpeas too!
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic (minced )
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger (minced )
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (or more, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless (skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (for garnish)
- Greek yogurt (for topping)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and sauté until onions become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk, tomato paste, flour, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, and salt & pepper until well combined and slightly thickened, about 1-2 minute.
- Place chicken into a slow cooker. Cover with sauce mixture. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours, or high heat for 3 hours.
- Serve garnished with cilantro and greek yogurt.
This post was originally published in 2014. It was updated in 2022 to add new information. The recipe remains the same. Enjoy!
Check out the web story here.
39 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Butter Chicken”
LOVE butter chicken. Never made it in a slow cooker before.. but I can imagine that it tastes even more delicious and flavoursome. Definitely a recipe I need to try!
Where do you use the whole wheat flour? It’s in the list of ingredients but I don’t see it in the recipe.
Just spotted it. Thanks!
Very good! I will make this again. Thanks.
Steve – So glad you enjoyed the dish! It’s one of my favorites for easy weeknight cooking!
my husband and I love Indian food, but I have never tried making butter chicken – it look absolutely amazing
I love how EASY this version is to make Heather! Just set it and forget it 😉
Butter chicken is one of my favorite indian dishes too. I love that this is made in the slow cooker- perfect for summer weather so I don’t have to sweat over the stove top. My husband is going to love this
Great – I hope he LOVES it! I love using the slow cooker in this HOT weather!
I loved how easy this recipe was and how it was done in the crock pot. However, I found the butter chicken flavour very mild. I turned up the heat with cayenne pepper… But the flavour was a little bland. I would make it again in the crock pot, but I’ll be doing some tweaking to perfect this recipe
This is a beautiful butter chicken! This is also one of my favorites. My fiance and I went to India a couple of months ago and we had a LOT of butter chicken and chicken tikka masala. And naan. So good! I keep meaning to make my own Indian food, but I have such a long recipe “bucket list!” This is definitely moving up to the top of my list though. 🙂
Wow Kate! That sounds like an amazing trip/eating adventure. I hope you love this one!
Made this today and it came out AMAZING!! My 13month old loved it too!! Thanks for such a delish recipe!!
Do you happen to know the nutritional content of it?
Fantastic! I used coconut flour in place of the flour to make it gluten free and it rocked!
So glad you liked it Dana – Great substitution!
Mmm. I love Indian food so much! now that i think about it, it’s been so many years since I’ve had any, i can’t believe I’ve let so much time go by without one of my favorites. I’ve never had the pleasure of trying this dish though. I think it might be time to dig deep and get this bank on the table. and this dish looks like a perfect place to start.
when you replaced the butter with coconut milk, did you use the same ratio. I’m sure coconut gave your dish a wonderful creamy texture but i have family members that can’t tolerate it, so i think I’ll stick with the plain butter. Thanks for the inspiration! can’t wait to try it.
Can you substitute regular flour for whole wheat flour? I don’t want to buy a big package of flour I’ll use for 1 recipe.
Hi Katherine – You definitely can!
I love it when there’s a personal family story behind a recipe. How sweet that you can be reminded of going out to eat with Pop every time you make this butter chicken recipe.
I was seriously *just* thinking about making butter chicken in the Instant Pot but love the idea of making it in my slow cooker. Your recipe looks so easy and yummy!
Thanks Marlynn! I love making it in the Instant Pot too! So comforting for this time of year!
How would you cook this without a slow cooker or crock pot?
Thank you, Robin
Hi Robin! To make this butter chicken on the stove, simply follow steps 1 and 2 as written, then add the chicken to your skillet. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Hope that helps!
Going to try this week. But I don’t know if you realize in your article you have “ HIGH for six hours or LOW for three hours.” The recipe part is reversed and I believe correct.
Thanks so much for pointing that out Kurt! I changed it to be correct. 🙂
First time I’ve made Butter Chicken. I’m not a huge fan of coconut milk; however, the flavor was not overwhelming and just very good. The chicken remained moist and simply fell apart; so tasty. I made as is and the taste was missing the heat we enjoy so added cayenne to our liking. Husband had with rice, I enjoyed over cauliflower rice. Thank you for the recipe.
Made this last night on the quick stovetop method. It was fabulous. My hubs who doesn’t like curry had seconds and asked if we could add it to the rotation. (I did cut down on the curry by 2/3 and for our palate it was perfect!) I served it with lemon rice. Thank you so much!
Omg this is so freakin good!! So creamy and flavorful.
I wanted to add veggies this time (frozen peas, frozen green beans, and potatoes) Wondering if they’ll cook right along with the chicken or if I should cook them separately and add once chicken is finished.
Hi! Frozen peas can go in right at the end of the cook time. But with potatoes and frozen green beans, I would probably give them at least an hour in the slow cooker. Hope that helps!
Hi, I was wondering if it’s possible to substitute the coconut milk for regular milk?
Hi Stephanie – Unfortunately, I don’t think regular milk will work since the coconut milk is much thicker and richer.
Is there “butter” in this recipe?
Im making this right now – can’t find butter.
Hi Virginia – There’s not actually any butter in this recipe. Just the coconut milk.
I see cornstarch in the picture of ingredients, but don’t see it in the written recipe. Can you explain before I make this? Thanks!
Oops! Thanks for catching that Melissa. That should have been labeled as flour. 🙂