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Butter Chicken Recipe

4.89 from 17 votes
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posted: 05/19/21

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

This post was sponsored by Gold’n Plump® .

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.

This take on Indian Butter Chicken is an absolute favorite in our house. Every single person in my family loves it and it is on the menu at least twice every month. That’s truly saying something for a mom that is regularly developing new recipes for work.

While this recipe may vary a little from traditional butter chicken, I am certain it will become a favorite in your house as well.

READER REVIEW

“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

How to Make Butter Chicken

  1. Sauté the onions in oil. 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 down first prevents the chicken from over cooking and the garlic from burning.
  2. Melt in the butter. After the butter is melted, add in the garlic and ginger and cook until just fragrant.
  3. Add in the chicken. These bite sized pieces of chicken will only need a minute or two. You want them to just cook on the outside but there is no need to cook them all the way through as they will finish cooking with the sauce.
  4. Season the dish. Now add in the garam masala, chili powder, salt and black pepper.
  5. Make the sauce. Stir in tomato puree, tomato paste, lemon juice, yogurt and half and half. Allow the sauce to simmer, cooking down for 10 minutes. There will still be lots of sauce left perfect for covering rice and dipping naan.
a package of gold'n plump chicken for a butter chicken recipe

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

Other 30 minute Chicken Recipes

  • My Cajun Chicken Alfredo will become another favorite. It is full of delicious yet easy flavors.
  • Our Chicken Salad is a recipe you should double so you have leftovers to take to work the following day.
  • Just like with my butter chicken, these Chicken Lettuce Wraps have the taste of take out in the comfort and ease of your own home.

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
4.89 from 17 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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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

Video

chicken butter masala recipe in a bowl with rice and naan

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Butter Chicken Recipe

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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

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  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.

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