Tap here to get 5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners

Butter Chicken Recipe

4.86 from 14 votes

posted: 12/12/18

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Butter Chicken Recipe is so easy and so delicious. It’s the perfect weeknight meal. Better than take out, you’ll love making this Indian Butter Chicken at home!

bowl of indian butter chicken recipe with rice and cilantro

I am so proud to be an ambassador for Gold’n Plump® this year.

You guys, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is a real thing, like a super real thing, and I keep thinking about all these great holiday recipes I want to make for you. But for real, we need some regular go-to dinner recipes still. We can’t just have sugar cookies for dinner every night … right?


“This recipe has become a go to for my family! My husband loves requesting it. It’s super easy to make and delicious so thank you!”

overhead view of pan of butter chicken recipe with rice and cilantro

We are such huge fans of Indian cooking around here, the flavors and spices are always so perfect. Nathan and I love getting chicken dishes, especially the ones that come with a lot of sauce that we can eat with rice and warm pieces of naan. The saucier the recipe, the better.

The biggest problem is that our favorite Indian restaurant is super far away and a hassle to get take out from. So, an easy butter chicken recipe I can make at home is pretty much essential.

a package of gold'n plump chicken for a butter chicken recipe

Like every other chicken recipe I make at home, I used Gold’n Plump Chicken. Their chicken is always my go-to. I find it stays moist and tender and doesn’t dry out. I also love that their chickens are raised on family farms in the Midwest and they never use antibiotics – ever. As expected, their boneless skinless chicken breast fillets worked perfectly in this butter chicken.

How to Make Butter Chicken

  1. One of the keys to this recipe is to really let the onions cook down first before you add anything else. Allowing them to cook by themselves keeps the chicken from over cooking and keeps the ginger and garlic from burning.
  2. After you cook the onions, add your butter, ginger, garlic and Gold’n Plump chicken breasts.
  3. From there, you add in the garam masala, chili powder, salt and black pepper.
  4. After that, you stir in tomato puree, tomato paste, lemon juice, yogurt and half and half. You let the sauce cook down, but it will still be nice and saucy at the end, giving you lots of great sauce to eat with your chicken, rice and naan.

Butter Chicken Without Cream

A lot of Butter Chicken recipes call for cream, but I opted out in this version. Instead I used yogurt and half and half, which give you the nice creaminess you are looking for without the heavy cream.

What is Half and Half?

Half and half is a product sold in the United States that is literally just half heavy cream and half whole milk. If you are making this outside of the U.S. you can substitute the 1 cup half and half with 1/2 a cup heavy cream and 1/2 a cup whole milk.

overhead view of a bowl of easy butter chicken with rice and cilantro

What is Garam Masala?

Garam masala is a spice blend that is used in a lot of traditional Indian cooking. It gives the recipe a little bit of a kick and a delicious signature flavor that really can’t be found using anything else.

What Can I Use Instead of Garam Masala?

I would really encourage you to go out and buy some Garam Masala for this recipe. Without it, the dish won’t have the same flavor. If you can’t find it at your grocery store, you can certainly look for a recipe that will help you make just a small amount.

But to really enjoy this creamy butter chicken recipe, throw in some garam masala!

Is Butter Chicken Spicy?

I didn’t think this dish was spicy, but my kids thought it had a little bit of a kick to it. It is the black pepper in this recipe that gives it the slight kick. If you are making this for picky eaters, I would suggest only adding a pinch of pepper instead of the whole amount.

chicken butter masala recipe in a bowl with rice and naan

Othere Weeknight Chicken Recipes

Because I know you guys are like me and you are constantly on the hunt for other great chicken recipes, I can’t just leave you with this Butter Chicken Recipe and sugar cookies to live on until Christmas. (We agreed sugar cookies for dinner isn’t a thing … right?)

If you make any of these great chicken recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

pan of creamy butter chicken with rice, cilantro and naan
chicken butter masala recipe in a bowl with rice and naan
4.86 from 14 votes

Butter Chicken Recipe

Serves: 4 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
This Butter Chicken Recipe is so easy and so delicious. It's the perfect weeknight meal. Better than take out, you'll love making this Indian Butter Chicken at home!


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced small
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound Gold’n Plump Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets diced into bit sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala read about garam masala here
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup half and half read about half and half here


  • In a large skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil.  Add diced onions and stir regularly, cooking until the onions are translucent – about four minutes.
  • Add the butter and allow it to melt completely.  Then stir in the ginger and garlic, cooking for about 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn it.
  • Add the chicken and cook, stirring often until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, about 2 minutes. No need to cook it all the way through as it will continue cooking as you add the rest of the ingredients and simmer the recipe.
  • Now stir in the garam masala, chili powder, salt and black pepper.  Then pour in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, lemon juice, yogurt and half and half.  Stir to combine fully.  Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce.
  • The sauce will reduce but still be quite saucy. Serve with rice and naan.
Calories: 401kcal (20%) Carbohydrates: 17g (6%) Protein: 31g (62%) Fat: 24g (37%) Saturated Fat: 13g (81%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 121mg (40%) Sodium: 435mg (19%) Potassium: 532mg (15%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 8g (9%) Vitamin A: 1050IU (21%) Vitamin C: 39.6mg (48%) Calcium: 120mg (12%) Iron: 2.2mg (12%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian


chicken butter masala recipe in a bowl with rice and naan

did you make this

Butter Chicken Recipe

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Carla says

    5 stars
    This recipe has become a go to for my family! My husband loves requesting it. It’s super easy to make and delicious so thank you!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad to hear that Carla!

  2. Courtney says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now and WOW my husband and I love it!! So easy and yummy. The second time, I did not have half and half so I used a little more yogurt and it was still DELICIOUS! Thank you!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you liked it Courtney!

  3. Supriya Kutty says

    The way in which you have made this recipe seems really cool and easy to make I will definitely try today itself for my family. Butter chicken has always been my huband’s favorite dish. But this method is something new for me but thanks again for sharing this.

    • Lisa Longley says

      If you try it please let me know what you think!

  4. Lisa says

    Made this last night and it was wonderful! I was thankful I had a bit leftover for lunch today.

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad to hear you liked it, Lisa!

  5. Albertina Geller says

    I was thinking to make butter chicken this weekend and I found your recipe. Lets see how this turn’s out and thanks a lot for sharing the recipe

  6. Danaisya says

    5 stars
    Was so sceptical about making this but it’s actually really good!! So I could t find the garam Marsala so I used curry powder instead and it turned out pretty good wish I could have gotten the real tase to this recipe but next time I will have the garam Marsala for sure lol! Will be making again either way!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Definitely try it with the Garam Marsala, I think you will really love it!

  7. Ruth says

    Ingredients say tomato sauce directions say tomato purée and in the comments people say use paste instead of purée. All three have different consistencies so can be confusing to those who don’t know difference.

    • Lisa Longley says

      You are right, it should say sauce in the instructions. That is corrected now. Tomato Sauce and Tomato Puree are almost the same thing in the US with puree being only slightly thicker. Tomato paste is something very different, though also used in this recipe.

  8. Carlie says

    5 stars
    All 5 of my picky boys and my husband LOVED this recipe! (I do too!) It’s become a staple meal in our house! Thank you!

    • Lisa Longley says

      This makes me so happy to hear, thank you Carlie!

  9. Veronika Julien says

    Hi, I’m from the U.K. and would love U.K. try your recipe. However, I’m
    A bit confuse what half and half is?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Half and half is literally half heavy cream and half whole milk. You can substitute with that to make up for the half and half in this recipe. Or you can just use heavy cream for a richer sauce.

  10. Beverly says

    My question – could you substitute white pepper and what amount.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried it with white pepper. I would start with 1/4 teaspoon, taste the sauce at the end and decide if you want to add more.

Broccoli Pasta"Omg! I didn’t think anything so simple could be so good!"
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe"My family absolutely loved this recipe. Even my finicky eaters."
overhead photo of a gray skillet filled with beef and broccoli recipe, garnished with sliced green onions
Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry"I have made this a couple or more times. It’s easy & quick to prepare. I like this for a quick meal. It will be my go to recipe."

5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners