Slow Cooker Butter Chicken


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Slow cooker butter chicken is a flavorful chicken dish, made right in your Crockpot!

Tender chicken thighs in a creamy tomato curry sauce is the perfect way to let your slow cooker do all of the work! Add in a side of rice and some naan or flatbread for an easy meal.

2 servings of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken with slow cooker behind

Why We Love this Recipe

Because we love a good butter chicken recipe and this one is so easy! Just toss all ingredients into the crockpot, set it and forget it!

The chicken comes out incredibly tender and the sauce is loaded with warm, savory flavor!

What is Butter Chicken?

Tender pieces of boneless, skinless chicken is slowly braised in a combination of warm spices, crushed tomatoes, and cream. This dish is perfect served over rice with naan or flatbread for dipping.

If you love cilantro, it’s the perfect topper.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken in a slow cooker

Ingredients/Variations

CHICKEN Boneless, skinless chicken thighs come out tender and are less likely to get overcooked. Chicken breast can will work great too, just be sure not to overcook it!

TOMATOES Canned crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste is both used to give the sauce a sweet and savory flavor. You can use tomato sauce if it’s what you have on hand.

SPICES Warm, exotic spices really bring this dish together. Garam Masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and more are all added to this sauce to give it a (mild) kick! Add extra jalapeno or some cayenne if you’d like some heat.

CREAM The rich, creamy consistency of the sauce is made with a good quality cream. Coconut milk is another great option that will taste delicious (but not an ingredient in an authentic butter chicken recipe)!

How to Make Butter Chicken

  1. Cook onion in butter. Add to Crockpot with remaining sauce ingredients (per recipe below) except cream and cilantro.
  2. Add chicken to Crockpot. Cook until chicken is tender.
  3. Add cream to slow cooker. Top with cilantro & serve over basmati rice.

serving of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken with slow cooker behind it

Tips For Making Perfect Butter Chicken

  • Full fat, full flavor! Use butter (instead of margarine) and full-fat heavy cream for the best results!
  • Cook in batches and freeze in meal-sized portions for a quick and easy dinner option!

What to Serve with Butter Chicken

  • Basmati or white rice is always a good option for butter chicken!
  • A light, crisp salad always goes well with a rich entrée, and a tangy vinaigrette pairs well with the rich flavor of the butter.
  • Steamed veggies like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots make colorful and healthy side dishes.
  • Don’t forget the naan bread, or some nice crusty dinner rolls to sop up all that sauce!

Can You Freeze Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken is fine to freeze, although the sauce may separate during freezing. Try whisking it after defrosting to recombine.

After the chicken is fully cooled, place in freezer bags or containers and label with the date. Do the same with the sauce and sides.

To reheat, defrost in the refrigerator and microwave or reheat on the stovetop!

Other Great Crockpot recipes

Did you try this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

serving of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken with cilantro
5 from 9 votes
Review Recipe

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course, Slow Cooker
Cuisine American, Indian
Chicken simmered in a slow cooker with curry spices and a mild, savory sauce!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced & fresh or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste

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Instructions

  • Heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Place onions in a slow cooker with garlic, ginger, spices, crushed tomatoes, and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
  • Add chicken, stir and cook on low 4-5 hours.
  • Combine remaining cream with cornstarch. Stir half of the cream into the sauce and let sit for a few minutes to thicken. Add remaining cream mixture if needed. Cover and cook 15 minutes more.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over basmati rice.

Recipe Notes

Coconut milk can be substituted for heavy cream.
Do not cut chicken before cooking, it will become too tender and fall apart in the sauce. It can be lightly broken up with a serving spoon and stirred before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 580, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 312mg, Sodium: 606mg, Potassium: 897mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1486IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 97mg, Iron: 3mg
Keyword best butter chicken, crockpot butter chicken, slow cooker butter chicken
Slow cooker butter chicken with writing
Slow cooker butter chicken served on rice with writing
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken served over rice with text
top image - a serving of slow cooker butter chicken on rice. Bottom image - slow cooker butter chicken with writing

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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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