Ultimate Indian comfort food made healthier and lighter + unbeatable convenience of a crock pot.


Ultimate comfort Indian food made lighter, healthier and in a slow cooker for an added convenience. And despite the name, this dish contains not a teaspoon of butter. Although nothing is wrong with a bit of organic butter in your diet.

Traditionally butter chicken is made with yogurt and spices. Then I’ve seen Americanized versions with cups and cups of whipping cream. Or even better with jarred Tandoori sauce. Trust me, more than anything I would love to smother this chicken in some organic Greek yogurt but it will curdle while cooking. Instead I used a can of light organic coconut milk (BPA free). Winner!


I’m not a huge fan of Indian food but I love butter chicken! And this healthy version of it delivered – creamy, rich and a tad sweet. Just like the original but so much healthier. You can taste a hint of ginger and the traditional Indian spices, garam masala and curry powder, in this creamy sauce. Coconut milk prevails over the tomato sauce which makes the chicken taste truly creamy.


I opted in to use tomato paste instead of tomato sauce because of condensation that builds up in a crock pot, thus diluting the sauce. I have tested a tomato sauce version and didn’t like it. Plus the sauce was too runny due to condensation and the taste of tomatoes rather than cream prevailed.

sauce-crock-pot-butter-chicken-recipe top-crock-pot-butter-chicken-recipe

So, you want to start with a thicker consistency sauce. Originally I added 3 tbsp whole wheat flour to the sauce and then 1 more tbsp at the end of cooking. So, add 1/4 cup flour in the beginning and whisk a bit more at the end if necessary. You can also use organic cornstarch or xanthan gum as a thickener.

In case you are wondering how spicy the chicken is, it’s not. I would say it’s mild. My kids ate it and that was the point. You can definitely spice things up with some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.


As for serving suggestions, I would recommend some basmati brown rice or quinoa. I also suggest some fresh cilantro and/or scallions for garnish. It adds some fresh zest to a rich and creamy sauce.

And as for the appliance I cooked this butter chicken in. It’s a miracle one pot Cuisinart invention and I have one for you. Come back tomorrow!:)


Crock Pot Butter Chicken Recipe

Crock Pot Butter Chicken Recipe


  • 3 - 3.5 lbs chicken breasts, skinless & boneless, cut into 2" pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger root, peeled & minced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 14 oz can coconut milk, light
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cilantro/scallions, chopped (for garnish)
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)


  1. Preheat a multicooker on Brown/Saute option or a medium skillet on medium heat, and spray with cooking spray. Add garlic, onions and ginger root. Stir frequently for 30 seconds. Add garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, tomato paste, coconut milk, flour and whisk to combine. Cover and let cook for 3 - 4 minutes or until thickened.
  2. Add chicken to multicooker or if using the skillet transfer sauce to a large crockpot and then add chicken. Stir to cover chicken in sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on High for 3 hours or on Low for 5 hours. Serve hot on a bed of brown rice or quinoa, garnished with cilantro/scallions.
  3. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving = 1 cup:
Calories: 388.5
Total Fat: 6.4 g
Cholesterol: 128.4 mg
Sodium: 306.3 mg
Total Carbs: 16.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Protein: 63.0 g
WW Points+: 9

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27 Responses to “Healthy Crock Pot Butter Chicken Recipe”

  1. Aggie

    This looks delicious! I’ve never had butter chicken but I love Indian food. I love that this is in the crock pot.

    • Olena

      Thanks, Aggie! I’m not a huge fan of Indian food but I love butter chicken and naan bread. That’s it. Everything else I can’t eat. Well, I can eat various curries but very selectively.

  2. Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    This looks so appetizing, Olena, that I nearly abandoned my plans to make a thai chicken dish tonight and make this instead! Unfortunately tho I don’t have any garam masala and I think that might be important ;-( Oh well, another time! I have always thought butter chicken sounds delicious but probably really unhealthy, so thanks for this lighter version!

    • Olena

      You can replace garam masala with other spices if you have them on hand. Look at garam masala recipe here. Butter chicken is very heavy but not this one.:)

  3. Aleks

    This looks delish.. my mouth is watering! Olena – temper your yogurt with egg whites, it won’t curdle anymore (google it). Then you can use it in casseroles, curries, anything you want. :P

  4. Karen

    This is the recipe I’ve been searching for! My husband and I love butter chicken, but don’t order it out, or make it at home due to our clean diets, BUT, Olena, I’m making this right now in the slow cooker for dinner tonight! You forgot to say how amazing it smells! YUM! By the way, what are the little black garnishes, sesame seeds or chia?

    • Olena

      I should hire you as a content writer LOL. Yes, the smell is terrific and I didn’t capitalize on it. That’s true. But you know it.:) Those are black sesame seeds, mostly for aesthetic purposes that’s why I didn’t mention them.

  5. liz | carpé season

    I might be butter chicken’s number one fan. Love this crockpot version, and this is already added to our menu this week. Great looking recipe – can’t wait to try it!

  6. Tania

    I made this with fried tofu instead of chicken, and diced sweet potato. The sauce was too thick after an hour in crock pot so added a cup of vegetable broth. It turned out delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Olena

      That was a good call. Chicken contains water and it is released during the cooking process, along with condensation => therefore needs more thickening agent like flour. Where tofu is pretty dry. Glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Sarah Monzon

    I’d be making this with tofu as well but is there a way to make it gluten free??

    • Olena

      Yes. Don’t add flour at all. Tofu is pretty dry. If it’s too runny at the end of cooking add a bit of xanthan gum, cornstarch or chia seeds.

  8. Paulette

    This recipe saved me this evening! I had defrosted the chicken with another recipe in mind but didn’t have the right ingredients. Found this on Pinterest and had everything to hand! I didn’t make this in the slow cooker as I needed it in a hurry. It’s absolutely delicious and never would have thought of substituting coconut milk!!!! This will be a regular dish in my home.

    • Olena

      Oh, good old Pinterest… I’m happy my recipe fell into a category of true and tried Pinterest recipes.:) And A+ for stovetop creativity!

  9. Marta

    Hi, I was wondering if the nutritional info is with or without rice/quinoa? And how long the final cooking should take when I use the skillet? Thanks for your amazing recipes ! :)

    • Olena

      Nutritional info is without rice or quinoa. You still need the crockpot to cook the recipe. But someone adapted this recipe to a stovetop version. I haven’t tested this recipe on the stove but I assume an hour or so to simmer in a pot.

  10. Allison WO

    Can I make this ahead, freeze it, and then thaw & crock? I’m trying to streamline my weekend nights



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