Make your own version of this favorite Indian dish with this easy recipe for slow cooker butter chicken. It’s a creamy, slightly spicy supper that the whole family will love, and it cooks up to tender perfection in your slow cooker!
So, if you’ve been reading my ramblings for any length of time, you know that I am basically a wimp when it comes to anything spicy, so it’s a wonder that I even tried my hand at making this slow cooker butter chicken. But I did. And I love it.
I love that it has a million different flavors that all mingle together to turn regular chicken into something deliciously jazzy. I love that the chicken is tender and shredded into bite-sized pieces that hold the sauce in its nooks and crannies.
I love that it basically involves dumping a whole bunch of ingredients into my slow cooker and coming back 8 hours later to have dinner all ready and waiting for me. And I love that this particular blend of spices is spicy without being too spicy to scare off spiciness wimps like me.
So What Is Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Anyway?
When I first heard about it I visualized chicken cooked in a whole mess of butter (which actually sounds like it could work) but nope, butter chicken is a popular Indian dish that involves marinating chicken in a sauce made of yogurt and tomato and spices, including a multi-spice blend called garam masala (and garam masala is now super easy to find – check the recipe below for some tips).
The traditional way to make butter chicken is to marinate the chicken overnight in yogurt and spices and then to simmer it up with more spices, along with onion and cream and tomato sauce and butter until it is cooked, and here’s a great version if you want to make it that way.
Make your own version of this favorite Indian dish with this easy recipe for slow cooker butter chicken. It's a creamy, slightly spicy supper that the whole family will love! However! I love my slow cooker with a purple passion, and I figured that cooking the chicken low and slow right in that marinade would also produce a creamy, dreamy, tender, slightly spicy result, and as usual, my slow cooker did not let me down.
I just put everything except the chicken into the slow cooker (including some coconut milk which is not usually part of the recipe, but I wanted some extra liquid since I was slow cooking), then added the chicken and swirled it around, and let the slow cooker do its thing for 8 hours.
Then I scooped out the chicken, shredded it with my handy shredder and popped it back into the sauce. Shredding the chicken (as opposed to cutting it) gives the chicken lots of little rough edges to catch the sauce. I’m all about catching the sauce.
I swirled in a little lime juice as well and then it was slow cooker butter chicken dinner time. Butter chicken is usually served with basmati rice or naan (a delicious Indian flatbread) but since I was going so far off the beaten path, I served mine with cauliflower rice.
A little chopped parsley and the Southern husband and I were in slightly spicy heaven. An Irish girl’s version of an Indian classic!
Want to round out your meal? This recipe pairs well with...
Make your own version of this favorite Indian dish with this easy recipe for slow cooker butter chicken. It’s a creamy, slightly spicy supper that the whole family will love!
- One 14 ounce can coconut milk
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (you can also use sour cream if you prefer)
- One 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon garam masala (see note)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
- Juice from one lime
- Flat leaf parsley for garnish
- Mix the coconut milk, yogurt (or sour cream), tomato paste, onion, garlic, the butter and all those spices together. You can do this right in your slow cooker.
- Add the chicken and stir it around to coat it with the sauce.
- Cook for 8 hours on low.
- Scoop out the chicken, shred it into bite sized chunks, and put it back into the sauce and stir it around. Add the lime juice and give it another stir.
- Serve with rice (we have this with cauliflower rice!) and garnished with parsley.
Garam masala is a mixture of different spices, and it is what gives this recipe its zing. You can usually find it in the supermarket in the spice aisle or the ethnic foods aisle, but if not you can either order it by clicking here, or you can make your own by clicking here! And if you like your meals on the spicier side, add another half tablespoon or so to the recipe.
Hi there! I’m Kate, and I’m a recipe writer, food photographer and devoted bacon lover. I started Framed Cooks in 2009, and my mission is to create and share family-friendly recipes that make cooking both easy and fun…yes, I said FUN! My kitchen is my happy place, and I want yours to be that place too. And if you make this recipe, I would love you to tag @FramedCooks on Instagram so I can see the deliciousness!