Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. Cook: 3 hours


8 servings

Updated: Sep. 03, 2023
I spent several years in Malaysia eating a variety of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian food. This was one of my favorite dishes! There are many versions of butter chicken, but this is similar to the Middle Eastern version I had. —Shannon Copley, Upper Arlington, Ohio
Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons red curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Optional: Fresh cilantro leaves and naan bread


  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add butter and onion. Cook and stir until onions are tender, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garam marsala, curry powder, chili powder and ginger; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Add flour. Drizzle in olive oil until a paste is formed. Whisk in coconut milk and tomato paste; cook and stir until combined and slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Using an immersion blender, carefully puree spice mixture. Transfer mixture into a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add chicken; gently stir to combine.
  3. Cook, covered, on low until chicken is no longer pink, 3-4 hours. Serve with rice. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with naan bread.

Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken Tips

What does butter chicken taste like?

Butter chicken and Chicken Tikki Masala are two of the most popular Indian dishes in the United States. Butter chicken is a creamier, lighter dish with less spice in comparison to Tikki Masala. If you like creamy curries, this one is for you.

What do you serve with butter chicken?

Serve butter chicken over a bed of hot rice and topped with fresh cilantro. Pair the dish with warm garlic naan bread on the side.

How long does butter chicken last in the fridge?

Butter chicken lasts about 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. To learn more about how long leftovers last, check out these leftovers tips.

Can you freeze butter chicken?

If you would like to enjoy some of the butter chicken at a later time, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. To make sure the butter chicken comes out fresh, follow these freezer storage tips.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 242 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 407mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 35g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1 fat.