Slow Cooker Butter Chicken is made with tender chicken slow-cooked in a creamy sauce infused with aromatic spices that will have your taste buds dancing in anticipation!
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Best Crockpot Butter Chicken
Simply put, this butter chicken is heaven on a plate and one of the most popular dishes to ever come out of Indian cuisine! It’s made with aromatic and juicy chicken cooked in a creamy tomato sauce infused with warm spices.
This Indian dish is traditionally served over basmati or Jasmine rice or with a piece of warm naan bread to scoop up all the flavorful sauce.
It’s crazy how something with so much flavor can be so easy to make, but it is! With just 10 minutes of prep time, the crock pot does the rest until it’s time to add the cream. The ingredients are simple; if you need to run out and pick up a few things, nothing on the list is hard to find.
Every bite is better than the one before and I promise, whether you’ve had a traditional butter chicken recipe before and have high expectations, or this is your first time, this slow cooker version will be on your list of forever favorite recipes!
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this easy crockpot recipe. Scroll down to the full recipe card with amounts.
- Fire roasted tomatoes: Canned fire-roasted tomatoes give the sauce a smoky, savory, slightly acidic flavor that balances the creaminess of the yogurt.
- Aromatics: Onion, garlic, and ginger infuse so much added flavor. Use either a white or yellow onion and fresh garlic and ginger for the best flavors.
- Plain yogurt: This is a signature ingredient in a butter chicken sauce. We’re not using it to marinate in the traditional sense, but the acid in the yogurt will still help to tenderize the chicken as it cooks in the slow cooker.
- Spices: You’ll need garam masala, salt, chili powder, ground cumin, ground turmeric, black pepper, and ground coriander.
- Chicken: I use chicken breasts cut into 1” cubes.
- Unsalted butter: When melted into everything it gives the sauce a richer, buttery consistency.
- Heavy whipping cream: or Half and Half. Add this at the end to complete the dish, making a creamy, decadent sauce that smothers the tender pieces of chicken.
1. Use regular diced tomatoes, pureed tomatoes, or tomato paste, if desired.
2. Replace chicken breasts with boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
3. Swap the cream for whole milk or a lower-fat milk and thicken it with tablespoon of cornstarch or use full-fat coconut milk instead.
4. Greek yogurt is thicker but can be used in place of regular plain yogurt.
5. Serve over cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash for a low carb option.
6. Swap the garam masala for curry powder if you’d for a slightly milder flavor.
How to Make this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe
Skip the takeout (and the marinade!) and make this recipe at home with these few simple steps.
Step 1: Blend the tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, yogurt, and spices until smooth. This is what would constitute the marinade if you were to marinate your chicken ahead of time.
Step 2: Pour the mixture from the blender into the bottom of the slow cooker. Then, add the raw chicken pieces and stir everything to make sure it is al submerged in the sauce.
Step 3: Add butter pieces over top of the chicken in an even layer then cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours until the chicken is done.
Step 4: About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the heavy cream (or full fat coconut milk), and get your rice going.
Serve this slow cooker chicken over cooked basmati rice or jasmine rice, garnished with fresh cilantro. Don’t forget the naan bread or other bread to sopping up the extra sauce!
- If you have an immersion blender, save yourself having to clean a blender, add the ingredients into the crockpot, and blend right in the basin.
- For a thicker sauce, whisk 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch into the cream before adding it to the slow cooker.
- For extra bulk, feel free to add in some veggies. Cauliflower, broccoli, or even chickpeas are great.
- If you would like to marinade your chicken ahead of time, blend ingredients then pour them into a Ziploc bag. Add the chicken, then store the bag in the fridge overnight. Continue with the recipe as directed when you’re ready.
Refrigerator: Keep leftover butter chicken in the refrigerator an airtight container. Enjoy lunch and dinner again for the next few days! It’ll keep for up to 4 days.
Reheating: You can reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minutes until heated through. If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of chicken broth.
Be careful not to overheat or the chicken will become rubbery. (Place a paper towel or a microwave lid overtop to prevent a mess).
If it’s a larger portion, you can also reheat it on the stove over medium-low heat or back in the slow cooker.
No! It’s heavily spiced in terms of flavor, as it involves a combination of robust, earthy, savory spices, but it’s not spicy hot.
If you want it to be, you can certainly throw in some diced jalapeño or cayenne pepper.
Technically you can. It’s no fun waiting hours for your delicious chicken only to find out you’ve gone too far. The longer chicken cooks the more tender it gets, but once it goes too far it’ll get rubbery and weird.
Only cook for a maximum of 7 hours if using low heat or 4 hours if using high heat.
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
- 14 ounces fire roasted tomatoes drained (1 can)
- ½ cup onion diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into 1” cubes)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter diced
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- In a blender or food processor, add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, yogurt, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper and puree them for a few seconds until smooth. Then pour the sauce into the slow cooker.14 ounces fire roasted tomatoes, ½ cup onion, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 tablespoon ginger, ¼ cup plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- If you have an immersion blender, place those same ingredients directly in the slow cooker and puree them with the immersion blender until smooth.
- Then add the chicken and stir to coat it in the sauce.1 pound boneless
- Place the diced butter over the chicken evenly.4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender.
- About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the heavy cream.¼ cup heavy cream
- (Optional) If you want to thicken the sauce, whisk 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the heavy cream before adding it to the crock pot.
- Serve over cooked basmati rice or jasmine rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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