Easy Butter Chicken recipe with a curry sauce that is lip licking good! A chicken dinner recipe where I give you a step by step butter chicken recipe with a simple ingredients list. This dish is creamy, rich in flavour and delicious!
Creamy Garlic Chicken Thighs, Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese, Moroccan Lamb Couscous, Turkey Chilli Con Carne, Ground Beef Casserole, are all delicious dinner recipes you can serve or pair with a side dish like our skin on roast potatoes or horseradish mashed potatoes for a complete meal! If soup is your thing try the Taco Soup with Black Beans!
Serve your butter chicken with basmati rice, fresh coriander leaves and poppadoms for an authentic Indian style home cooked meal!
For a classic family favourite try the Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese.
This is a creamy butter chicken recipe packed with flavour yet subtle in heat. I've got you sorted with easy ingredients listed below and step by step instructions you can easily follow.
Why is butter chicken called butter chicken?
Butter Chicken is called as such because we combine butter in the sauce with juicy and tender chicken pieces.
The combination is simple - chicken, tomato, butter and onion flavours.
With an authentic Indian heritage this recipe involves simple steps with mixing cream into our sauce to make the rich tomato sauce sing!
What do you serve butter chicken with?
Basmati rice, fresh coriander and poppadoms are ideal to serve with butter chicken.
You can have it on its own, or with a delicious side dish.
Using dried onion saves time and tears and the texture of real onion can still be tasted as the spice spends time in the liquid.
Roti, paratha, naan breads are all common Indian breads ideal for serving. As are additional vegetables thrown into the mix or served on the table to complete the meal.
Which is better chicken Tikka Masala or butter chicken?
Chicken Tikka Masala is often cooked in a clay oven where as butter chicken can be cook in a pan on the stove.
There is such a close similarity between these 2 dishes that they often get confused. I like to fuse them into one.
To be honest, I would not stress too much about the different flavours and tastes and instead of trying 1 or the other, I would recommend a Butter Chicken or Tikka Masala compared to a Palak Panner. This is a better way of giving you 2 contrasting Indian Dishes compared with 2 very similar ones.
Is butter chicken a curry?
Yes! Butter Chicken can be considered as one of the most popular Indian Curry recipes. Many people enjoy it as it is not overly spicy, but it is packed with flavour!
Butter Chicken Ingredients
The photo below shows you the easy to find and cook with ingredients we need for this recipe:
As you can see we have:
- chicken breast
- tandoori paste
- onion (dried)
- tomato puree
- greek yoghurt
- garam masala
- ginger, minced
- garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
Butter Chicken recipe step by step instructions
To make butter chicken at home, follow the step by step photos below:
- start by mixing the ingredients for the marinade, add salt (photo 1)
- pepper (photo 2)
- garlic (photo 3)
- tandoori paste (photo 4)
- add dried onion (photo 5)
- paprika (photo 6)
- garam masala (photo 7)
- garlic (photo 8)
- add yoghurt to the spices and whisk to combine (photos 9 - 10)
- use a knife to cut the chicken breast into chunky pieces (1-2 cm) (photo 11)
- use a pastry brush to coat the chicken with the marinade (photo 12)
- add a little olive oil to a fry pan (shown in photo 13)
- add butter to the hot pan (shown in photo 14)
- pour tomato puree into oil/butter mix (shown in photo 15)
- transfer the marinated chicken to the pan (shown in photo 16)
- turn the heat off, pour the cream in and stir to combine (shown in photo 17)
Creamy Butter Chicken recipe steps
The 4 key steps to getting flavour into the dish are identified below:
- we use the tandoori paste for rich flavour (photo 4)
- dried onion saves time and tears plus provides great texture as it is expands in the liquid (photo 5)
- use a pastry brush to coat the chicken in marinade, set aside whilst making the sauce (photo 12)
- the cream cuts through any strong flavours and provides a subtle and creamy finish to the dish (photo 17)
To serve, cook some basmati rice, poppadoms and sprinkle some coriander (cilantro) on top. You can also use naan, roti or paratha bread.
This dish has great flavour, texture and a reliable taste that you an enjoy again and again. Texture, fragrance, taste and deliciousness, what more could you want!!
Chicken recipes to get dinner on the table tonight:
- Chili Lime Chicken Wings (oven baked recipe)
- Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken (p.s you can also do this recipe in the slow cooker)
- Honey Garlic Chicken Wings (using ginger beer)
- Honey Soy Chicken Wings (family favourite recipe
- Slow cooker Honey Mustard Chicken Wings
Use a spoon for serving so we can scoop up the flavours, drown the rice with sauce and delight in tender, juicy chicken pieces!
Easy Butter Chicken quick info:
About the recipe:
- use chicken breast meat
- we use dried onion to save time and tears
- use a small whisk or spoon each time we are mixing the ingredients
- this is a creamy butter chicken recipe
FAQs about Butter Chicken
- tomato puree is different to tomato paste, passata and crushed tomatoes
- use a french casserole dish or fry pan
- minced garlic and ginger is better than powdered versions for this recipe
- this is a freezer friendly recipe
- This is an EASY recipe
Butter Chicken Pro tips:
These additional tips are so that you can master this recipe from the 1st time you make it:
- use chicken breast for thicker, chunkier chicken pieces
- cook your rice in the microwave to save time, it is SO convenient.
- poppadoms add crunch and texture, so cook them in the microwave also and plate with the rice
- this recipe is all about stirring and combining ingredients
- when you are at the final step of adding the cream, turn the heat off and pour it in, the heat already in the dish will be enough to 'cook' it and allow it to subtly combine with the butter tomato sauce.
Easy Butter Chicken
- Fry Pan or French Casserole Pan
Easy Butter Chicken
- 600 grams chicken breasts Note 1
- 410 grams tomato puree Note 2
- 50 grams butter
- 3 tbsp tandoori paste Note 3
- 1 cup greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp ginger, crushed Note 4
- 1 tbsp garlic, crushed Note 5
- 1 tsp garam masala Note 6
- 1 tsp paprika Note 7
- ¼ cup dried onion Note 9
- ½ cup cream Note 8
- salt and pepper to season
- rice to serve, Note 11
- poppadoms to serve, Note 12
Easy Butter Chicken
- Start by making your marinade for the chicken. Combine salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, tandoori paste, dried onion, yoghurt, ginger, garlic, garam masala and paprika and whisk to combine. Set aside
- Use a knife to cut your chicken breasts into thick chicken pieces (approx 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm)
- Place your chicken pieces into a deep dish, cover with your chicken marinade and use a pastry brush to fully coat all individual pieces thoroughly. Set aside
- Add a little olive oil to a fry pan, followed by the butter and tomato puree, heat (on medium) and stir to combine.
- When the chicken is cooked, turn the heat off and pour the cream into the dish.l Use a wooden spoon to stir slowly until it is mixed together.
- Serve with basmati rice, fresh coriander leaves and poppadoms. Note 11
- Note 1 This is 2 chicken breasts. You can use chicken thighs, but I prefer chicken breast in a curry like this as it results in nice big chunks of tender juicy chicken, whereas chicken thighs have a thinner texture and I refer that for dishes with other textures in the sauce eg additional vegetables)
- Note 2 This is actually called tomato puree (not paste or crushed, diced tomatoes or passata). At the end of the day if you cannot find it (my Aldi doesn't have it for example, use tomato passata instead) again not paste or crushed/diced tomatoes.
- Note 3 This will be in the 'Indian or International' section of the shops. It will be in a jar and is a very thick, rich and aromatic paste.
- Note 4 This is the wet crushed ginger that is in the cooking aisle of the supermarket. It is perfect as has great texture and body.
- Note 5 This is the same as above in the sense that it is in the spices section in a jar, the wet minced or crushed garlic. Again, it has texture and body. (I use garlic powder a lot but don't recommend it in this recipe, we need the crushed stuff).
- Note 6 This is a spice which will be near the garlic and ginger. It is quite commonly used in Indian recipes.
- Note 7 As above, this is a red coloured spice, mild paprika is fine (there is a hot variety also)
- Not 8 The cream gets added right at the very end. We pretty much turn the heat off, stir it through and it is done!
- Note 9 This is one of my favourite ingredients to cook with. You will find it in the spices section of the shop like the above ingredients. I like it as it saves time and tears BUT it re-hydrates very well in liquid so you can absolutely taste the flavour and feel the texture of real onion in the dish.
- Note 10 If you have a lid for your fry pan put it on now, as it will speed up the cook time as it concentrates the heat in the dish.
- Note 11 I use my rice cooker to do the rice in the microwave. It is SO easy and takes 12-14 minutes. Cook the rice according to the rice cooker or packet instructions. I use 2 cups or uncooked rice and 3 cups of water for this recipe.
- Note 12 There are big and small varieties. I like the ones that you cook yourself in the microwave. You can get precooked ones, but I think the ones you make yourself are better. Plus there is no oil necessary. 1 minute in the microwave and they are done!
Reader requested recipe, sing out if you have a request! Published Dec 2019, updated May 2020
You are going to love this buttery, creamy, tomato based chicken dish.
It is easy and delicious, plus the ingredients are simple and at your finger tips.
Enjoy the process, take your time and devour your dinner!
Give me a shout if you have questions and please leave a comment below if you give this a go.
I've got you and you have got this Butter Chicken - sorted!!