Butter Chicken Recipe

butter chicken recipe (1 of 3)

This. Butter Chicken Recipe is my current obsession in recovering from the cheese laden heavy holiday party foods. I didn’t develop a taste for middle eastern food until I was in my 30’s, and I just can’t get enough. The dense, spicy gravy on this classic dish from India is so lovely, but not overstated. It’s muted perfectly by the healthy fats in the lovely coconut milk based sauce, and you can adjust the spice exactly to your liking.

butter chicken recipe (2 of 3)

If you’ve had a bad experience with Indian food, then I encourage you to try this, and apply your nose to the spice blends to find one that suits your fancy. It’s all in the spices. Some blends are just off, and they smell something like a Christmas cookie with body odor. Which is why I avoided Indian food for SO long.

But there are some really lovely, well balanced Garam Masala blends out there that will redeem Indian food for you. Try McCormick’s brand at your local grocery store, or Vedica Organics Garam Masala (Amazon affiliate link) blend if you enjoy a little spice.

butter chicken recipe (3 of 3)

This Indian Butter Chicken recipe is also very, VERY easy and fast to throw together. You can make it as a quick stovetop skillet meal, in the crock pot. You can swap out the butter for coconut oil for a dairy free version. You can serve it over brown rice as a Trim Healthy Mama crossover, or serve over cauli rice as a nice S dinner.

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a super easy low carb butter chicken recipe that you can quickly make on the stovetop or in a slow cooker!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Low Carb Butter Chicken Recipe
Prep time
Total time
A lovely, savory dish that's the staple of a good Indian restaurant. You can make it at home, and it's SO easy and versatile!
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 14 oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons almond or cashew flour, or ¼ teaspoon glucomannan to thicken
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala spice blend
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (I like smoked paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, optional for spice
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenderloin, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • garnish with fresh green onions, or cilantro
  1. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high.
  2. Add onion when butter is sizzling, and cook 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and ginger, and stir, cooking until fragrant.
  4. Add coconut milk, tomato paste, thickener of choice, and spices, stirring until thickened and hot.
  5. If you're going to use the slow cooker, add sauce, and stir in sliced chicken. Cook on low heat for 5 hours.
  6. Or you can finish in the skillet, stirring in chicken chunks, and simmering until they're cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  8. Serve over cauli rice for a low carb dish, garnishing with green onion or cilantro. Enjoy!
Dairy Free: sub coconut oil for butter
Trim Healthy Mama tips: I make brown rice for my kids to make this a crossover meal. If you want to keep this in S territory, then serve over cauli rice.



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    • says

      Garam Masala is a blend of spices…some of them are pretty exotic (coriander, fennel seed, cardamom). Buying those separately can really add up if you can even find them, so it really makes the most sense to buy a pre-made mix- especially if you’re trying it for the first time. I linked on one on Amazon that’s good, or you can try an international store or a specialty type grocery store that sells unusual items. :) Just make sure you get a good sniff of the blend you buy, since some are spicier or more funky than others. This is a “house blend” of spices that every home in India pretty much keeps on hand…so the ingredients and flavors can vary a lot.

      You really, really have to have that garam masala to make this dish…it would be like making taco meat without the taco seasonings. :)
      I currently make my own, because I have several recipes that I use it in, and I have access to a HUGE international farmer’s market that sells all sorts of bulk spices.

  1. Lynnette says

    HI i was checking and finding out information on how do i start with the plan, book, recipes and meals since I am in Malaysia and Barb Kazor Sherry in Facebook adviced me to – Go to gwens.nest.com And look around that site. She mentioned that you are an affiliate that has printed out a quick start guide and that’s how she started before she got the book. Please help me please on ground zero.
    Also they say in crisis there is opportunity and because of my crisis mode I tumbled upon your site and I absolutely love it and I think u are superbly gorgeous and a great role model for me to follow

  2. Emily says

    I have never tried Indian food, but this looks yummy! I’ll have to give it a try! Just a note, I think there is a typo- when you mentioned using coconut oil instead of butter, you said for a “gluten free” option…guessing you meant dairy free? :)

  3. says

    I made this over the weekend & it was delicious! And the leftovers were great when I got home this evening. I look forward to trying out more of your recipes on my THM journey.

  4. Anna says

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I have been doing THM since mid-November (also a BIG THANK YOU for the Thanksgiving posts-I made the pumpkin pie-DELICIOUS!). Anyway, I am the only one who wants to lose weight so I only make the food for myself-except when my 1 year old sees my food, he scarfs everything down! Anyway, my hubby is skinny anyway and he turns his nose up at anything I make because he thinks it isn’t great (he loves diet soda, candy and all things sugary). So, tonight I made this meal for myself thinking I would have 6 mini meals to eat throughout the week with some asparagus. I asked him, would you like to try some? And he did…..and he liked it! His response was, “This doesn’t taste like something THM. It tastes like a meat and potatoes kind of meal.” Ahh hahh! What a blessing your posts are-maybe I can rangle him into some more dinners if I just go ahead and make them and not tell them what is in them 😉 Thank you thank you thank you from a big fan and THM mama of 4!

  5. Luda says


    I’m about to ask a really stupid question. are all your recipes THM approved? everything looks sooo amazing that it’s hard to believe they are.

    • says

      I’ve been blogging longer than THM has existed, so I do have many older recipes that are not THM compatible. Most of my new recipes are all THM compatible, but I will always mention that in the printable and blog post. If in doubt, just ask me! :)

  6. Elizabeth Aronson says

    The recipe calls for a thumb of ginger. I am using the squeezable tube of fresh ginger. How much do you think I should use? 1 tsp?

  7. Heather says

    Wondering what would it take for this to be an e meal? My lite coconut milk has 22 grams of fat for the entire can. I did one tbsp butter, which puts the entire amount at 34 grams. I added 1quart green beans and served on cauli rice and dh asked me why is it an S. Serene says one can of lite coconut milk per recipe keeps it in E so I’m confused. We got twelve plates out of it so I figured about 3 grams fat per serving.

    Thanks so much!! It was delish and easy compared to my normal day of cooking Indian!!

  8. Tricia says

    This is a restaurant quality recipe!! I used skinless, boneless thighs. And added cilantro and Greek yogurt at the end. It was spicy but the Greek yogurt cut some of that spice. I also just through everything in the crockpot and let it cook for about 4 hours.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe! It’s amazing!

  9. Janet says

    I just ran this recipe through My Fitness Pal and swapped full fat coconut milk in the can for your light and the carb count goes down for all of us just counting the carbs….8 servings….8 net carbs. Sounds good to me! Thanks for the recipe.