This simple and quick butter chicken recipe is a regular in our home. There is something about a good butter chicken and a cold day. It’s one of the best comfort foods, and it makes for great leftovers. A simple recipe is key for me because I love to throw things together. This recipe has a few steps, but overall it’s pretty simple, and comes together beautifully!
For more quick and delicious dinner ideas, check out this Simple and Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta or this One Pan Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes. Need a dessert idea? Check out this Olive Oil Citrus Loaf.
What is Butter Chicken?
Butter chicken is an Indian dish that has a cream base with chicken, onions and tomatoes in some form. I like to serve it over rice and of course have some tasty naan bread for dipping!
Can I make this simple and quick butter chicken recipe dairy free?
Yes, this easy butter chicken recipe can be made dairy free. Instead of yogurt, use more coconut milk, and instead of butter, use a vegan butter.
Ingredients needed for this Simple and Quick Butter Chicken Recipe!
Butter chicken requires a variety of spices. Each recipe is unique in the combination of spices, and I have included the combination that I use all the time. Here are the ingredients I use in this simple butter chicken recipe.
- Chicken – You can use thighs or breast meat. 1.5-2lbs is needed.
- Yogurt – Plain full fat yogurt is needed here. You can use coconut yogurt if needed, or more coconut milk.
- Butter – This gives a silky butter flavour to the sauce.
- Onion – One large diced onion is used in this recipe.
- Tomato Paste – Used as the tomato in this butter chicken sauce.
- Garlic – I use 8 medium cloves of garlic for this recipe.
- Coconut milk – You can use coconut milk or half and half cream for this recipe. I love the flavour the coconut milk adds. Make sure your coconut milk is full fat as you want the creamy texture!
- Olive oil – Used to cook the onion in, you can also just use more butter.
- Garam Masala – This is a needed spice for the butter chicken recipe. It has a lovely flavour.
- Ginger – I have used ground ginger for this recipe.
- Cumin – 2 teaspoons of ground cumin is needed.
- Turmeric – 2 teaspoons of turmeric is used in this recipe.
- Cayenne Pepper – This is added for some spice. I use just a pinch because I don’t like a super spicy butter chicken.
- Fresh Cilantro – Added to the sauce at the very end and gives a lovely flavour!
- Basmati Rice – For serving! Cook according to the package directions.
- Naan Bread – Such a delight to dip a piece of naan into butter chicken. You can buy it pre-made or you can also make your own.
How to make this Creamy Butter Chicken Recipe!
Start the recipe by preparing all of you ingredients. This is a good practice because then the recipe itself will move smoothly.
Toss the chicken chunks with the yogurt and half the spices and then let this sit as you start the sauce.
In a large pot or Dutch Oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and then add in the chicken to start cooking. Once the chicken is all cooked, remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
Add in the diced onion and butter. Cook the onion until it starts to get translucent and then add in the remaining spices, salt and garlic. Cook the spices for 1-2 minutes. They should be smelling fragrant now. Add in the tomato paste and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
Add the chicken back to the pot, and then add in the coconut milk and 1/2 a cup of water. Mix the butter chicken sauce well. Cover the sauce and let it simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
If the sauce is too thick you can add in a bit more water.
Once the sauce is done, add the chopped cilantro.
Serve this delicious butter chicken over basmati rice for a delicious dinner!
Simple and Quick Butter Chicken Recipe
- large pot or dutch oven
- 1.5 lbs chicken thighs or breasts cut into 1" chunks
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1.5 cups full fat coconut milk
- 1.5 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1.5 tbsp ground ginger
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Rice for serving
- naan for serving
- In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the yogurt and half the spices. Let this sit while you prepare everything else.
- Make basmati rice according to the directions to serve with the butter chicken.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Drizzle in the olive oil and cook the chicken until it's done. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onion and butter to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, then add in the remaining spices, salt and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes and then add in the tomato paste. Cook for an additional minute.
- Now add the chicken back to the pot with the juices, and add in the coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes.
- Once the sauce is done, add the cilantro and then taste test. Add more salt as needed and more cayenne if you want more spice.
- Serve over rice and with naan bread.