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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken has been around for many delicious years. It’s a traditional Indian curry chicken dish that’s loaded with spices.
This crockpot butter chicken recipe is always a hit when I make it. I love serving it with flatbread and a salad, or even some Indian-style lentils. It always makes for a tasty dinner.
What Is Butter Chicken?
Butter chicken originated in New Delhi, India. It has a rich texture and has a base of chicken, and tomato with plenty of spices, and, of course, butter. Although, in the interest of bringing down the fat content a bit, I’ve substituted some of the butter with yogurt.
What Does Butter Chicken Taste Like?
Butter chicken is a buttery, creamy chicken curry. If you like curry, you’ll enjoy this too.
Will Yogurt Curdle In A Slow Cooker?
Yes. This is why we wait until the dish is finished cooking and has cooled a bit to mix in the yogurt. We will do this with the coconut milk as well.
Is It Okay To Put Raw Chicken In A Slow Cooker?
Absolutely! It’s frozen chicken that is discouraged due to the length of time that the frozen chicken sits at unsafe food temperatures during slow cooking. But raw chicken is perfectly fine. So if you have frozen chicken, simply thaw it first before placing it into your slow cooker.
Should Chicken Be Totally Covered In Liquid In A Slow Cooker?
Yes, it should. This is the best way to ensure proper cooking temperatures and even cooking.
If you want to round out the flavor a bit more, you can add any of the following:
- Chili powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Fresh cilantro – add to the slow cooker, or use as garnish
- Potatoes – chop them small and add as much as you like. This is a good idea if you won’t be serving this over rice. It gives the dish some bulk.
What To Serve With Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
Here are some suggestions:
- Lentil dal
- Naan bread
- Green salad
- Rice – Brown basmati rice would be delicious.
- Cauliflower rice
About The Ingredients
Red onion – You can also use yellow onion or white onion if that’s what you have on hand.
Carrots – Slice thin.
Fresh ginger root – Or use dry ground ginger.
Oil – I used coconut oil, but use whatever you have on hand.
Garlic cloves – Use large cloves. You can press or mince them.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs – You can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Cooked whole and shredded by stirring, or cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Your choice.
Red Thai curry paste – Again, the Thai Kitchen brand is great. The ingredients list is clean.
Canned tomato paste – No sugar added
Canned tomato sauce – No sugar added
Granular sweetener – Coconut sugar works best for flavor, but you can also use Sucanat or Monk Fruit. I used brown erythritol because that’s what works best for my blood sugar.
Butter – This can be regular or dairy-free butter. I used Miyokos vegan butter.
Add after cooling for at least 20 minutes
Canned full-fat coconut milk – No sugar added. I love the Thai Kitchen brand (not paid to promote them.) If you prefer dairy, you can use full-fat milk or even heavy cream.
Plain yogurt – This can be regular, Greek, or dairy-free. I used Kite Hill almond yogurt. (Not paid to promote them. It’s just what I used.)
Salt – To taste after cooking.
How To Make Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
In a skillet, sauté the chopped onions, sliced carrots, and minced ginger in the coconut oil. Cook until the onions are translucent.
In the last minute of cooking the veggies, add in the pressed or minced garlic. Set aside.
Place the chicken into your slow cooker or Instant Pot insert.
Sprinkle the spices over the chicken, then pour the sautéd veggies over that.
Add the Thai curry paste, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and sweetener. Stir well to combine.
Add the butter over the top.
IF YOU ARE USING AN INSTANT POT: add the broth. (Do NOT add this if you use a slow cooker)Slow cooker: Cook on low for 5-7 hours.Instant Pot: Cook on high pressure for 25-30 minutes.Once finished cooking, allow the chicken to cool for 20-30 minutes.
Add the yogurt.
Add the coconut milk.
Stir well to combine, and season with salt to taste before or at serving.
Serve with or without rice.
How To Store Leftovers
Store this in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This can be frozen if you freeze it before adding the coconut milk and butter. It doesn’t hold up well if frozen with the coconut milk and yogurt.
This is best reheated in the microwave, though you can also reheat this in a pot on the stovetop.
More Healthy, Homemade Indian Food Recipes
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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe Card + Video
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe
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- 1 Slow Cooker (or Instant Pot)
- 1 cup chopped red onions
- 1 cup sliced carrots (sliced thin)
- 1 tbsp. fresh, minced ginger (or 1 tsp. ground ginger)
- 2 tsp. coconut oil (or any oil you prefer
- 5 large garlic cloves (pressed or minced)
- 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- 2 tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tbsp. garam masala
- 1 tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 tbsp. red Thai curry paste
- 6 oz. tomato paste (no sugar added)
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce (no sugar added)
- 1½ tbsp. granular sweetener (coconut sugar works best for flavor, but you can also use Sucanat or monk fruit. I used brown erythritol because that's what works best for my blood sugar)
- ½ cup butter (regular or dairy-free)
Add after cooling for at least 20 minutes
- 15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cup plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt, or dairy-free yogurt)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a skillet, sauté the chopped onions, sliced carrots, and minced ginger in the coconut oil. Cook until the onions are translucent.
- In the last minute of cooking the veggies, add in the pressed or minced garlic. Set aside.
- Place the chicken into your slow cooker or Instant Pot insert.
- Sprinkle the spices over the chicken, then pour the sautéd veggies over that.
- Add the Thai curry paste, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and sweetener. Stir well to combine.
- Add the butter over the top.
- IF YOU ARE USING AN INSTANT POT: add the broth. (Do NOT add this if you use a slow cooker) Slow cooker: Cook on low for 5-7 hours.Instant Pot: Cook on high pressure for 25-30 minutes.Once finished cooking, allow the chicken to cool for 20-30 minutes.
- Add the yogurt.
- Add the coconut milk.
- Stir well to combine, and season with salt to taste before or at serving.
- Serve with or without rice.