Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker

One of family-favorite recipe from my kitchen to yours!

Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

How about coming home from work, and a restaurant quality Indian Butter Chicken dinner is waiting for you?! Sounds tempting? Isn't it?  This is the charm of slow cooker, my friends. Today, I'm giving you one more reason to dust-off your slow cooker, for this easy Indian homemade Butter Chicken dinner!!

Ready to ditch the delivery?! :-)

If you like Indian Food, this Slow Cooked Butter Chicken will be your new family favorite! I promise!

Just like you, I also get so busy or lazy some days that it just not feel like to stand in kitchen.  Specially these days, when Sun is shining so bright and my apartment kitchen is often 100+ degrees due to sun-facing from 2 directions. Since it is still little pleasant during early morning hours.... I love finishing the dinner prep in morning and then just enter kitchen for sometime in evening.... and dinner is ready! To fit my life-style, I have adapted many of Indian Curries or our other chicken dinner favorites,  to cook in slow cooker.

Slow Cooker gives me option to serve my family homemade dinner... no matter how day goes! and that's one of the BEST thing in my book.

Indian Butter Chicken Curry in Slow Cooker for easy Indian Dinner |

All effort needed to make this Butter Chicken is in blending the marinade and sauteing some onions in butter! Obviously! You can't have authentic Butter Chicken without butter. Right? However, butter chicken is not about butter and butter only... In-fact, it does not need a LOT of butter, at all! 

I'm an instant cook and often, especially with curries, it all depends on available protein and mood! :) It all starts with phrase "Let's eat Butter Chicken Today!" Hence, no time to marinate chicken... So, I skip long marination. Just mixing marinate in chicken and then leaving on kitchen counter, while I slice onion, and saute. At the max, make breakfast tea for Vishal..... about 15-20 minutes and then I add chicken to the pan. And frankly, those 2-3 minutes in pan with butter, garam masala, and onions brings out lot of flavor. Plus slow cooking does the rest job for me. For the record, I never have missed long-marination in flavor.

Restaurant Style Butter Chicken served with Basmati Rice for Easy Indian Dinner |

Butter Chicken as name suggests, is Indian chicken main course, cooked in butter and Indian spices.... because butter and spices make everything taste better! :) These two key components are must to make a delicious Butter Chicken. However,  you don't need a stick of butter to make butter chicken flavorful. Butter does add distinct flavor, but there are also other ingredients that make Butter Chicken so flavorful.

Garam Masala is one main STAR spice (spice blend) used in classic Butter Chicken. This only spice is king of Indian Spices and adds ton of flavor! Just like Italian Herb De Provence or Chinese Five Spice, Indian Garam Masala is blend of potent Indian spices that alone can make or break a dish! 

So, to get restaurant style flavor in Butter Chicken, you have to add one main Indian spice - Garam Masala, to it! 

Few other ingredients that give Butter Chicken, a lush and creamy, restaurant like texture are tomatoes, almonds, yogurt, and finishing touch of little heavy cream. A very complex tasting dish sums up in these simple ingredients..... Each of these equally contribute to that addictive "restaurant-style" creamy and fragrant chicken.

TIP: I avoid using a lot of butter... However, just before serving, you can add a teaspoon of salted butter in hot bowl of Butter Chicken, for that extra punch of flavor.... exactly like it is served in restaurants. :)

Creamy and Rich Indian Butter Chicken |

This butter chicken recipe is very simple.  Also, I have kept method of preparation very simple and standard. You can say, this recipe has evolved over-time from my earlier Butter Chicken recipe. From standard I mean, using this recipe, now you can make butter chicken, at home, with any cooking method of your choice. 

1. Slow Cooker  - Follow the recipe instructions as-is below.
2. Oven - Follow up-to step 4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After step 4, transfer the chicken to an oven-prove dish, cover with aluminium foil or a heat-safe lid, cook in oven for 25 minutes, then uncover lid and cook for 10 minutes. 
3. Stove Top: Follow up-to step 4 using a deep heavy bottom pan (like a dutch oven) instead of a saute pan. Then add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook covered on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

You know, after looking at so tempting pictures, I'm drooling and famished too! Time to grab some lunch! You all have a great day! - Savita

Slow Cooker Restaurant Style Butter Chicken for an Easy Homemade Indian Chicken Dinner |

Homemade Naan or Rice are quintessential side for Indian Butter Chicken Dinner!!! Here as few recipes for you:

Homemade Restaurant-Style Indian Garlic Naan Homemade Indian Butter Naan Basmati Jeera Rice

Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker

4.8 (6 reviews)
Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Indian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 4 Servings - Serves: 4
(Needs 1 hr 25 minutes on high Or 3 hours on slow.)


Butter Chicken Marinade
Butter Chicken
Smart Swap: Add sauted bell pepper into chicken before serving, to make portion more substantial.


  • Step for Recipe - Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker 1. Marinade: In a food processor jar, add all the chicken marinade ingredients, leaving 1/2 tsp of garam masala and all of yogurt, then process to make a fine puree. (if mixture is hard to blend, add 1 tbsp water)
    Step for Recipe - Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker 2. Transfer marinade to a wide bowl, and mix in yogurt. Then add cubed chicken meat and coat into the marinade. Set aside for 15-20 minutes Additional Notes: If cooking in slow cooker, just leave aside for 15-20 minutes. If cooking in oven, it is best to marinade for 1 hour, overnight is even better.
  • Step for Recipe - Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker 3. Infuse Flavors: In meantime, heat 2 tbsp butter in a wide pan. Saute onion in butter on medium heat until soft and fragrant (2-3 minutes). Now, add remaining 1/2 tsp garam masala and continue saute for 1 more minute.
    Step for Recipe - Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker 4. Transfer the marinated chicken with all marinade and remaining 1 tbsp butter and honey into the saute pan. Cook chicken in pan for 5 minutes on medium-high heat or until curry looks darker color. Additional Notes: This step is very important. It cooks off raw texture of tomatoes, and reduce watery-ness of yogurt. This step also awakens the butter and spice flavor.
  • Step for Recipe - Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker 5. Slow Cooker: Transfer everything in slow cooker with 1/4 cup water (or chicken stock for more flavor). Cook on high for 1.25 hours Or on slow for 3-4 hours. Additional Notes: Cooking time varies based on size of chicken pieces. I cut it into 2-3 inch cubes which generally takes 3-4 hours on slow. If cutting big pieces, always make sure chicken is well cooked, before serving.
    Step for Recipe - Restaurant Style Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker 6. Before serving, after the cooker timer is up, add heavy cream and mix well. Taste and adjust salt. Leave on warm until ready to serve. Additional Notes: Please note, cream makes butter chicken creamier. Butter chicken may look little not creamy when just finished cooking. Finishing with cream will get that restaurant quality creaminess.
Savita's Notes:

Don't have Slow Cooker? You can also cook Butter Chicken in oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After step 4 above, transfer the chicken to an oven-prove dish, cover with aluminium foil or a heat-safe lid, cook in oven for 25 minutes, then uncover lid and cook for 10 minutes.

Cooking time varies based on size of chicken pieces and also on marination time. Remember, small chicken pieces and long marinated chicken will cook way faster.

Imp If you can't find ripe red tomatoes, please use canned. Pale and dull tomatoes will make sauce watery and also dull the taste as well.

Low Carb Pairings:
Pear and Asparagus Salad
Tandoori Chicken Salad with Mango Dressing (skip chicken)
Roasted Veggies Salad with Coconut Curry Dressing


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104 Responses

  1. I have made this recipe and it was going well but my sauce split in the slow cooker before I added the cream . Is there any way I can fix this? By the way it tastes great!
  2. Hi Savita, can I turn this recipe into a freezer meal?
    I've never used this recipe for freezer meal.
  3. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but will certainly be trying it tomorrow
  4. Tandoori coloring is not shown in the recipe but from the photos is clearly included. I use 18t in the marinade and it was enough.
    There is no color used in this recipe.
  5. Dairy free tricks: 1. While it is "BUTTER" chicken, it is possible to replace the butter with coconut cream (chill a can, invert, open and pour off the watery liquid. Use the fat that remains). 2. increase fresh ginger to 12c and add 14c of lemon juice as a replacement for the yogurt
  6. What could I substitute the Almonds with?
    Almond butter, or cashew butter will work as well. I hope this helps.
  7. Can't wait to try this recipe! This might be a silly question but what does 2 ginger mean? I am also planning to use ground ginger instead of root. Thanks! :)
    Hi Carli, no question is silly. Thanks for asking. To clarify, I meant 2 inch ginger fresh root. I have updated in the ingredients list as well. Dry ginger is very potent. Please use accordingly. Happy cooking.
  8. Thank you, by far the most authentic and fragrant butter chicken recipe I have found online!
  9. Love, love, love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it.
    Thanks for letting me know. I'm glad you enjoying Butter Chicken.
  10. What can I use to replace the heavy cream? My son has lactose intolerance. Thanks for the recipe. I can't wait to try it.
    Hi Sue, I recommend using whole coconut milk (not low-fat). Please add coconut milk in Step-5 instead of Step-6. Flavor may not be exactly same but it will yield dairy-free creamy texture. I hope it helps.
  11. question can you substitute the heavy cream for coconut cream?
    Coconut cream or milk can be used. It will give some coconut flavor to curry but will give body to sauce like heavy cream. Please add to taste and heat sauce on high until gravy thickens. I hope it helps.
  12. Easy and delicious. My family absolutely DEVOURED this!
    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed. Thanks for letting me know.
  13. Looks good
  14. Hello,thanx for the recipe ,the taste was great,but the color turned to dark yellow mustard color,I maybe because I added 3/4 tsp of turmeric powder ?
    Hello Ibrahim, I'm certain its turmeric. This recipe does not need/call for Turmeric Powder. The color of curry comes from chili powder and tomato. I'm not sure why you chose to add turmeric?
  15. Thanks for your response. The floating pop up is the following ribbon: 1. Family Dinner Recioes 2. Easy chicken recipes 3. Chipotle Mexican grill I'm on an iPad
    I see what you talking about. I'll contact that Ad agency to get it down asap. Thank you so much, John.
  16. Please get rid of the floating pop up. It is annoying.
    Hi John, our regrets for the inconvenience. We will try to find out what is causing floating popup. Did it block your view? Were you using mobile or desktop? Thanks for providing feedback.
  17. I am trying this recipe soon, but since my family is in a low carb diet most will have salad as a side instead of nan or rice. Which salad would be perfect for this? I would love to try one from your recipes.
    Hi Dianka, there are 100+ salads on blog and you had me thinking which one should I recommend to you. I have updated three, almost no-carb salads, in Recipe Notes which will go great on side of Butter Chicken. If your family likes quinoa or chickpeas in salads, there are plenty of options to explore. Check out the "Salads" section from Recipe Menu. I hope your family enjoy Butter Chicken. Happy Cooking!
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