This healthy crockpot butter chicken is creamy, rich, and flavorful – but much healthier than any restaurant version you’ve tried! A healthy, wholesome, comforting meal for the whole family!

You can even make a version of Instant Pot butter chicken!

Crockpot Butter Chicken

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Restaurant quality healthy butter chicken with simple ingredients you have on hand right now.

Crockpot butter chicken – ultimate Indian comfort food made light, healthy and in the slow cooker for added convenience. A slow cooker is perfect for making comforting meals for the whole family like chicken noodle soup, and even whole chicken and pasta!

And despite the name, this dish contains not a teaspoon of butter. Not that there is anything wrong with a bit of butter in your diet.

I don’t love all Indian food but I love butter chicken (and this green lentil curry, chicken coconut curry, and Instant Pot dal)! This healthy butter chicken definitely delivered – creamy, rich and a tad sweet.

Healthy Simple Ingredients

I’m a strong believer that anyone can make authentic slow cooker Indian butter chicken at home. The problem with many ethnic recipes on the web are specialty ingredients no average cook has on hand.  This healthy butter chicken recipe calls for chicken, coconut milk, tomato paste, curry powder and garam masala.

Tip: You can replace garam masala with with 1 part cumin + 1/4 part allspice or any combination of coriander, cumin, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg.

Prefer Thai flavors? I also have recipes for Thai chicken and shrimp curries!

How to Make Crockpot Butter Chicken

  1. Saute garlic, onion and ginger root for 30 seconds. Use separate skillet or slow cooker with Saute option. How to Make Crockpot Butter Chicken step by step
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer to a slow cooker, add chicken and stir. Cover and cook on High for 3 hours or on Low for 6 hours. How to Make Crockpot Butter Chicken step by step

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

Is It Spicy?

You can taste a hint of ginger and traditional Indian spices: garam masala and curry powder. Quality fresh spices is everything! Coconut milk prevails over the tomato sauce which makes this slow cooker butter chicken taste truly creamy without heavy cream.

In case you are wondering how spicy this crockpot Indian butter 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.

Healthy crockpot butter chicken served over rice and garnished with cilantro and black sesame seeds on plate

Make Ahead? Freezer Meal?

Butter chicken can be frozen and prepared in advance. You can refrigerate butter chicken leftovers for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. It can also be a freezer meal and make ahead recipe.

To make ahead: Do Step 1 and 2, refrigerate in a container for up to 3 days. When ready to cook, start with Step 3 and cook as per further instructions.

Freezer meal: Follow the recipe up to final cooking step and freeze uncooked. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.

More Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

You can also browse through my entire collection of slow cooker recipes, for more inspiration!

Crockpot butter chicken in white plates garnished with cilantro and sesame seeds.

Crockpot Butter Chicken

Restaurant quality butter chicken made healthy with coconut milk, tomato sauce and simple spices in your slow cooker.
4.96 from 21 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 500
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 4 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat medium skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add garlic, onion and ginger root. Stir frequently for 30 seconds.
  • Add garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, maple syrup, salt, pepper, tomato paste, coconut milk, flour and whisk to combine. Cover and let cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until thickened.
  • Transfer to a slow cooker, add chicken and stir. Cover and cook on High for 3 hours or on Low for 6 hours.
  • Serve hot on a bed of brown rice or quinoa, garnished with cilantro/scallions.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
  • Make Ahead: Do Step 1 and 2, refrigerate in a container for up to 3 days. When ready to cook, start with Step 3 and cook as per further instructions.
  • Freezer Meal: Follow the recipe up to final cooking step and freeze uncooked. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 680mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am very excited to try this recipe! I was wondering if anyone has tried adding veggies like mushrooms, peppers and onions? Would your recommend doubling everything but the chicken and adding the vegetables? Thank you!

    1. Hi Christina. I do not recommend to add veggies because they will add a lot of liquid to the sauce. Veggies you mentioned are quick cooking ones and you can saute them in a skillet with EVOO, salt and pepper to serve alongside. Enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    This was so good! I only had garlic and ginger powder and no time to cook on the stove beforehand, so everything just got dumped into the crockpot. Super quick and eaten by most of my family—not too shabby. I’ll definitely make it again! Thanks Olena!

  3. 4 stars
    This recipe is the most beautiful disappointment of an approximation of some Canadian’s version of Indian food. It made both of my children cry, because they love Indian food, and this was just not even close to being good. My wife and I enjoyed cooking it together this morning, but with the outcome we’ve realized it’s a bland representation of something that should have been so wonderful. Just like our marriage. I think we’re getting a divorce now.

    4/5 stars.

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. The only thing I changed was the ginger. I took it out completely. Other than that it was amazing. There’s a place here that used to have butter chicken but since they moved I needed to find an alternative. This is great. My whole family loves it including the baby. Then add it over some rice and eat with nana bread. I like that there was enough sauce to mix with my rice. It’s a nice ratio. Again, highly recommend and super simple to make.

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