This easy slow cooker butter chicken is a set and forget it recipe with options for making in your Instant Pot or stove-top version too! The perfect combination of Indian spices and tangy flavors with a hint of butter to perfection.

Fun fact: this was one of the first recipes I ever posted! When I started this blog way back In 2013 I was obsessed with my slow cooker. I was also working full-time and the blog was my hobby. I was working on the blog before work, after work and on the weekends. The slow cooker became my best friend. I could commute into the office (I was living in Toronto at the time) and set my slow cooker to low to cook all day. Then when I got home from work I’d have dinner ready for me.

In the case of this slow cooker butter chicken recipe I remember trudging home in the snow and hoping the sun would stay up for just a few minutes longer so I could get some good pictures of the recipe with natural light. I’d been working on mastering this recipe for weeks and it was finally ready to be shot. Needless to say the pictures were NOT great.

So as I was browsing through the archives the other day to put together the week’s meal plan I realized it was time to reshoot the recipe. A good ole THM classic but with much butter pictures this time. Enjoy!

Healthy Butter Chicken 

Traditional butter chicken is loaded with oil, cream and obviously butter. I’m not one for sacrificing flavour in order to “healthify” a dish but I am all for swapping in healthier ingredients even if it doesn’t taste entirely authentic. Cream is cream after all! But I must say, even if you won’t find my version in any Indian restaurant, my recipe for Butter Chicken is incredibly tasty. Better yet, it is super easy to make. You basically throw all the ingredients into a slow-cooker and let the juices flow! Come back a few hours later and you have dinner all set and ready to go.

What You Need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Vegetables – onion and garlic
  • Light coconut milk
  • Tomato paste
  • Greek yogurt
  • Butter 
  • Seasonings and spices – curry, cayenne pepper, garam masala, ginger, cardamom, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. 

How to Make Butter Chicken in the Slow Cooker

I recommend making this butter chicken in a slow cooker because not only can you set it and forget it but the flavors are truly mouth watering. The slow cooker allows the flavors to combine together – highly recommended!

STEP 1: Add coconut milk, tomato paste, spices and coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar) to your slow cooker and whisk together until a thick paste is formed. Add in cubed chicken, onion, garlic and ginger and stir to coat with coconut milk mixture. Top with 2 tbsp of butter.

STEP 2: Cover with top and let cook in slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low (depends on your slow cooker).

STEP 3: Make rice according to package instructions. When time is up, remove top and let butter chicken cool for 10-15 minutes before stirring in yogurt. Serve on top of rice.

Butter Chicken In The Instant Pot!

If you don’t have a slow cooker but have an Instant Pot I have good news for you – you can easily make this butter chicken in your Instant Pot! You have two options:

Option 1: Slow Cook in your Instant Pot

Did you know that you can use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker? You’ll follow the instructions exactly as is and set your Instant Pot to “Slow Cook”. For low setting you’ll keep it on “normal” which is the default setting when you hit slow cook. For the high setting you’ll hit slow cook once more to set to “more” which is the equivalent of high.

Option 2: Pressure cook in your Instant Pot

I also love making this butter chicken in the pressure cooker. You’ll follow the instructions exactly as listed except instead of setting your Instant Pot to slow cook you’ll hit the “pressure cook” button and set it to 12 minutes. Be sure to close the valve and then let the Instant Pot do it’s thing. I quick release the valve when the 12 minutes are up.

How to Make Butter Chicken on the Stove Top

If you don’t have a slow cooker or Instant Pot want this meal ready in under an hour, you can cook this on the stove. Start by browning the chicken in a saucepan with a little bit of oil. Add the browned chicken and the rest of the ingredients (except yogurt) to a large pot and bring to a slow boil. Decrease to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-40 minutes. Before serving, stir in the yogurt. 

Print

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

This easy slow cooker butter chicken is a set and forget it recipe with options for making in your Instant Pot or stove-top version too! The perfect combination of Indian spices and tangy flavors with a hint of butter to perfection.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cook
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (roughly 1 inch)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch knob fresh garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups rice of choice (basmati is traditional)
  1. Add coconut milk, tomato paste, spices and coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar) to your slow cooker and whisk together until a thick paste is formed.
  2. Add in cubed chicken, onion, garlic and ginger and stir to coat with coconut milk mixture. Top with 2 tbsp of butter.
  3. Cover with top and let cook in slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low (depends on your slow cooker).
  4. Make rice according to package instructions.
  5. When time is up, remove top and let butter chicken cool for 10-15 minutes before stirring in yogurt.
  6. Serve on top of rice.

Keywords: butter chicken, slow cooker butter chicken, instant pot butter chicken

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