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Butter Chicken over rice on a plate

Butter Chicken

  • Author: Deborah Harroun
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Indian


So flavorful and creamy, this Butter Chicken is easy enough to make on a weeknight! No marinating means it’s a great last minute dinner idea.



  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 56 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly chopped cilantro and cooked rice, for serving


  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the chicken in 2 batches, cooking until browned. Remove from the skillet to a plate and keep warm.
  2. In the same skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook an additional 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the garam masala, smoked paprika, curry powder, cumin and salt and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir the tomato past into the mixture, followed by the tomato sauce. Add the cooked chicken back in and stir to coat. Stir in the cream. Let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes, being careful to not boil the sauce.
  4. Serve the chicken and sauce over rice, sprinkled with cilantro, if desired.

Recipe Notes:

CHICKEN: I like chicken thighs the best, but you can use chicken breasts.
CREAM: Using heavy cream will give you the most luxurious results, but you can sub in plain yogurt or creme fraiche. Coconut milk can also be used, but it will alter the flavor somewhat.

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should be used as a general guide. Nutrition information does not include rice or cilantro.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 629
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 1322 mg
  • Fat: 54 g
  • Saturated Fat: 26 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 33 g
  • Cholesterol: 261 mg

Keywords: butter chicken, Indian, curry, weeknight dinner