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.

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 22 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:ย 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
    Hi Olena! Love your website and love this recipe! Been a long time lover of butter chicken… HOWEVER, my body has developed an aversion to anything Tomato related and I was wondering how essential that tomato paste is? (Probably 100% essential as Butter chicken ain’t butter chicken without the tomato…)

    1. Hi Anna. Oh my, that is terrible. Yes, of course tomato paste is essential. However, why don’t you try roasted pepper blended to give colour, flavour and that acid?! You can buy them jarred already peeled.

  2. I dont have coconut milk or heavy cream. Could i use whole milk or almond milk? Judt curious if anyone has tried this??

    1. Unfortunately that wouldn’t work, Desiree! Don’t waste your ingredients. Rather wait and get a can of coconut milk. It will be so thin and plain and just bland with any other milk.

  3. Hi! Have you ever tried this recipe doubled? I am particularly wondering if I need double the amount of flour?

    1. You would have to double all ingredients. And possibly increase cooking time. I haven’t tried it doubled.

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve had butter chicken a few times in Indian restaurants and was looking for a crock pot version. I made this yesterday with quinoa, and it was great. I’m really impressed with the recipes on your website – healthy but not too complicated. Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    I also love this ! I cooked it a few times, getting friends for visit this weekend – I will cook it again! Very delicious and btw – every recipie I’ve tried from your webpage was great! Thank you!

  6. I used hot curry powder – a heaping tsp. Tasting the concoction, I think it’s a little too hot but I’ll see what it’s like after it is in the crockpot a few hours. I might add a little chic broth. I did n’t add the flour – seemed thick enough with the tomato paste.

  7. Oops found my answer. Rice is not added in points. Mine is cooking now! I love your recipes, and have rounded up several coworkers that are now on the bandwagon! Still working on my children, my son is at least trying everything before complaining. Since birth he had feeding issues, so this is a slow process for him.

    1. Thank you and yes keep spreading the word about health! I really stepped outside my comfort zone lately and talk to everyone about healthy eating. If we don’t talk about it afraid to hurt someone’s feelings nothing will ever change and food junk corporations will win! I really learnt people just don’t know and many love to learn about healthy food!Keep working on your children. My 4 year old is a better eater today than a month or 6 months ago and it is a fight that is possible to win!

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