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Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken

This slow-cooker butter chicken recipe is similar to the Middle Eastern version I had in Malaysia. I spent several years there eating a variety of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian food. Butter chicken was one of my favorite dishes while I was there! —Shannon Copley, Upper Arlington, Ohio
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Cook: 3 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons red curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Optional: fresh cilantro leaves and naan bread


  • Heat large saucepan over medium-high heat; add butter and onion. Cook and stir until onions are tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add garam marsala, curry powder, chili powder and ginger; cook and stir 1 minute more. Add flour. Drizzle in olive oil until a paste is formed. Whisk in coconut milk and tomato paste; cook and stir until combined and slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Using an immersion blender, carefully puree spice mixture. Transfer mixture into a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add chicken; gently stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on low until chicken is no longer pink, 3-4 hours. Serve with rice. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with naan bread.

Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken Tips

What does butter chicken taste like?

Butter chicken and Chicken Tikki Masala are two of the most popular Indian dishes in the United States. Butter chicken is a creamier, lighter dish with less spice in comparison to Tikki Masala. If you like creamy curries, this one is for you.

What do you serve with butter chicken?

Serve butter chicken over a bed of hot rice and topped with fresh cilantro. Pair the dish with warm garlic naan bread on the side.

How long does butter chicken last in the fridge?

Butter chicken lasts about 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. To learn more about how long leftovers last, check out these leftovers tips.

Can you freeze butter chicken?

If you would like to enjoy some of the butter chicken at a later time, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. To make sure the butter chicken comes out fresh, follow these freezer storage tips.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 242 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 407mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 35g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1 fat.

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Average Rating:
  • Tammy
    Jan 20, 2021

    It was good. But not exactly the taste I was looking for. I think maybe the coconut milk should be combined with some half and half. I added two tbsp of butter to the final dish as well. I looked up other recipes and that seemed to be common.

  • ColGee
    Jan 15, 2021

    No comment left

  • Seminoles
    Jan 12, 2021

    This was absolutely delicious and it made plenty for dinner and for leftovers for the next couple of days. Yum!

  • Rob
    Dec 24, 2020

    This was so easy to make and absolutely incredible. Only 2 TBSP of butter and yet it tasted so rich with the coconut milk. Only change I had to make was using 2 tsp of red curry paste because I had no red curry powder. I always modify recipes, but no need to on this one. It is perfect. Made turmeric rice to go with it. Perfect with the garlic Naan.

  • cyndi9781x
    Dec 24, 2020

    I have made it with a whole chicken in the oven. Can you make this with a whole chicken

  • Robert
    Mar 28, 2020

    Could I use curry paste in place of curry powder?