by Olena

Crockpot Butter Chicken

by Olena

4.9 from 7 reviews

Healthy Crockpot Butter Chicken is Indian slow cooker recipe made healthy with coconut milk, tomato sauce and spices. | ifoodreal.com

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

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

Crockpot butter chicken – an ultimate Indian comfort food made light, healthy and in slow cooker for added convenience. 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 healthy butter chicken 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.

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. Healthy Crockpot Butter Chicken is Indian slow cooker recipe made healthy with coconut milk, tomato sauce and spices. | ifoodreal.com
  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.

As for serving suggestions, I would recommend some basmati brown rice (you have to try making brown rice in Instant Pot or quinoa ASAP) 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.

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 Indian Copycat Recipes:

Print

Crockpot Butter Chicken

4.9 from 7 reviews

Restaurant quality butter chicken made healthy with coconut milk, tomato sauce and simple spices in your slow cooker.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 11 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 33.5 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2” pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch ginger root, minced
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 14 oz can coconut milk, full fat
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cilantro/scallions, chopped (for garnish)
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)

Instructions

  1. Preheat medium skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add garlic, onion and ginger root. Stir frequently for 30 seconds.
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer to a slow cooker, add chicken and stir. Cover and cook on High for 3 hours or on Low for 6 hours.
  4. Serve hot on a bed of brown rice or quinoa, garnished with cilantro/scallions.

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.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

66 comments on “Crockpot Butter Chicken

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  1. This is the same as Tikka Marsala minus the diced tomatoes; and we make it with chicken thighs as they “last longer” in the crockpot and don’t fall apart as easily

  2. Does this taste the same as or similar to butter chicken made with fenugreek? I always thought all butter chicken was made with fenugreek. Thanks! 🙂

  3. I made just a couple of slight alterations and the dish came out great! I should have taken a photo but that wouldn’t have captured the fabulous smells wafting through our apartment, nor the taste! Nice and creamy and the flavors really melded together well. Definite hit that I’ll be making again. Thanks.

  4. Hi Olena! I’ve stumbled across your blog while browsing pinterest and am so glad I did! Little bit similar to you in the fact that I just had my 3rd child (he just turned 8 weeks) and my oldest child, my daughter is 3 1/2. With each pregnancy I gained between 45 and 55lbs. I am normally quite fit. The first 2 pregnancies, every bit of the weight came off within 4 months with healthy eating and working out. This time, I feel like it’s taking the scale a bit longer to budge. I gained 45lbs and have 25lbs left to lose. I know we’ve been eating a lot more processed foods, refined sugars and just bad stuff because of time, energy and all the things that come with having 3 kids 3 and under! Luckily, I’m on maternity leave until the end of February and have the time to experiment with and get used to cooking all your great recipes! I made this butter chicken a few days ago and it was delicious! The whole fam loved it :). Going into a rotation for sure!

    1. Hi Krista! I so hear you. Physical changes to my body were one of the main reasons I didn’t want to have a third child. I would like to get a 5 year old but mine lol. So you are my hero! Brave! 3 kids is awesome though!!! I get it about lack of time! I feel I have no time for anything. Anyways so glad to hear you are trying to eat healthy! Slow cooker will save your life when you go back to work, trust me! Glad you enjoyed this recipe.:)

  5. We’ve been clean-eating for two weeks now, just enough time for us to pout about all of the food we are missing/craving. Solid Indian food tops the list, so we googled and found this recipe. It’s the kind of recipe that made my fiance say upon tasting it, “Um, that’s so good that I question if we really made that?” It is so good. Thanks, and please adapt all of our favorite recipes? 🙂 Sidebar- our grocery store didn’t have garam masala and the internet said to sub allspice. Tastes great.

  6. 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 ! 🙂

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

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

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

  9. 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?

    1. 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.

  10. 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. 😛

      1. I’m glad you didn’t use yogurt as I can’t have any dairy and I’m always iffy about how to substitute and keep things tasty! 🙂

  11. 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!

    1. 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.

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