May 3rd, 2011

Best Butter Chicken

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I love Indian food, but my husband isn’t a fan of curry.  This Best Butter Chicken is a great compromise for us.  It’s got an Indian flare without a strong curry flavor.

Best Butter Chicken

My kids love this too!  And we all agree, the creamy, tomato based sauce is lick-your-plate good. I have been know to eat it like soup, with a spoon.

To be honest, I’m not sure where the name Butter Chicken comes from, since the sauce is more of a tomato sauce than a butter sauce.

There is still quite a bit of butter in it though…..and when something is this delicious, I’m not going to worry too much about what we call it.

I like to serve this over jasmine or basmati rice, but brown rice or plain white rice work just as well.

And don’t worry when you see all that cayenne pepper in the recipe. It’s really not that spicy.

Best Butter Chicken

This is such an easy recipe too! Just make sure you remember to leave time to marinated your chicken.

Just between you and me, sometimes, I forget to marinade the chicken and this dish still turns out delicious!

I try a lot of new recipes, so I rarely make anything twice in a month.  I’ve made this twice in two weeks. It’s that good!

In fact my boys (who also happen to like curry) often request this butter chicken for dinner.

I’ve already recommended it to several friends, who loved it as much as we did.  I’m pretty sure it’s destined to become an all-time family favorite.

Be sure to save this recipe for the Best Butter Chicken to your favorite Pinterest board for later.


Best Butter Chicken

Best Butter Chicken

Preparation 15 min Cook Time 40 min Total Time 55 mins
Serves 6     adjust servings

Tender pieces of chicken, marinated then cooked in a creamy tomato based sauce with Indian spices.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Combine the garlic, salt, pepper, spices and lime juice.
  2. Pour over chicken in a shallow container or Ziploc bag and marinate for at least two hours.
  3. Saute the onion in the butter until soft. Add marinated chicken and cook about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on.
  5. Add the cream and cilantro and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, until sauce is thickened slightly. Serve over rice.

Recipe Notes

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2 reviews

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If you love this recipe, you might also like:

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros

Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros

Easy Overnight Chicken

Easy Overnight Chicken

Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Candy Girl.



  1. I really want to give this a try, but I am nervous my husband, who doesn’t like curry, wouldn’t like it. However, after reading of your hubby, maybe I should give it a go 😉

  2. @Allison – this tastes nothing like curry!

    @Danelle – this is too funny – I feel like I’ve come full circle. I found your blog via Tasty Kitchen (I think), and now my recipe has appeared here via another blog. I never imagined when I posted this on TK it would get so much attention, but mmmm mmmm it is one of the yummiest things ever.

  3. PS- I highly recommend basmati rice!!

  4. Yum! This looks and sounds really good and I concur with your husband about the curry.

  5. We have the same issues at my house. I love curry but hubby not so much. This would be a great dish for us! 🙂

  6. Husband doesn’t like curry! Thank God you do 😉

  7. Oh YUM! I’ll be making this SOON! Looks fab!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  8. I have been wanting to try this for so long, it looks so flavorful

  9. Love a really good Butter Chicken. Yours look delicious.


    I finally found ground cardamom. But at $18 for 1.75 oz. I decided to play with some of the substitutes. I put in a tiny bit of ginger, a little bit of curry, and a touch of gloves (all together equal to about 1/4 tsp). It was good. All of my kids ate it, which is HUGE at our house. Another thing I loved is that it made a lot. I typically have to 1.5 or 2 times all recipes to feed our motley crew but we had plenty with some left over for me to have today for lunch. This will go into the favorites file!

  11. OH EM GEE! This is just…beyond words – awesome. As soon as you add the chicken to the onions it smells divine. Only thing I did different was to put mine over couscous instead of rice. This will be a regular around here.

  12. This looks awesome. I’m trying to shed some pounds. In your professional opinion, do you think it would really screw up the flavors if I substituted the heavy cream for plain greek yogurt? Maybe I could water it down to give it a similar consistency?

    • I tried this with plain greek yogurt and it worked great! My family didn’t taste the difference. 🙂 This is one of our favorite recipes from here.


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