This easy butter chicken recipe served over rice.

Easy Butter Chicken

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian


This Easy Butter Chicken recipe (murgh makhani) can be on your dinner table in just 30 minutes. The sauce is deliciously rich and creamy, just like butter chicken from your favorite Indian restaurant.

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The curry:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or cooking oil
  • 2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup whipping cream, plain yogurt, or coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 24 tablespoons coconut sugar (can sub brown sugar)
  • Sea salt, to taste (I like about 2 teaspoons)

The spices:

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Seeds from 4 cardamom pods


  1. Heat the oil in a large-sized frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic and cook for about 8 minutes, until well-browned, reducing the heat if necessary. While the onion cooks, place the spices in a small bowl.
  2. Add the spices to the pan and cook for 1 minute to remove their raw flavor. Pour the can of tomatoes into the pan and scrape the bottom to remove any bits that are stuck to the pan. Transfer to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan.
  3. Add the chicken and water and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and let the chicken cook through, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cream, yogurt, or coconut milk, the almond butter, and the coconut sugar. Season to taste with sea salt.


Pair with steamed basmati rice or cauliflower rice

Perfect basmati rice in a pot.cauliflower rice in a pan with a wooden spoon.

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