Indian food is one of my favorites, so when my friend made this slow cooker version for my family we were head over heels! I don't think I've had a Butter Chicken that I've liked more. It's wonderful to put into the slow cooker in the morning and come home to the warm Indian spice smell....LOVE IT! Serve with basmati rice and warm naan bread.



Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified


  • Melt the butter and vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the chicken, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, curry paste, tandoori masala, garam masala, and tomato paste until no lumps of tomato paste remain. Pour into a slow cooker, and stir in the cardamom pods, coconut milk, and yogurt. Season to taste with salt.

  • Cook on High 4 to 6 hours, or on Low 6 to 8 hours until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced to your desired consistency. Remove and discard the cardamom pods before serving.

Cook's Note:

Take a needle and thread, and pierce the needle through the top of the cardamom pod. Continue with all the cardamom pods and then tie the ends together in a knot so it looks like a ring (you don't have to do this if you don't want the extra just makes it easy to remove and nobody crunches down on a big bitter cardamom pod).

Partner Tip

Try using a Reynolds® slow cooker liner in your slow cooker for easier cleanup.

Nutrition Facts

480 calories; 33.3 g total fat; 103 mg cholesterol; 442 mg sodium. 17.2 g carbohydrates; 30.6 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (454)

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638 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 418
  • 4 star values: 145
  • 3 star values: 50
  • 2 star values: 22
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 4 stars
I am Indian and made this for my American hubby who loves butter chicken. I made it with chicken breasts which he prefers and on the stovetop (just simmer for 15-20 minutes once you have everything together) and it came out great. I agree with many others -- a little bland when made as is. But add these two things and you will have a more authentic flavor: 1/4 tsp. red chili powder & 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi). Read More
Rating: 5 stars
FINALLY! I love Indian food and I have tried for YEARS to perfect a butter chicken recipe only with something a little off every single time. This one is right on the money! I found all the spices at Whole Foods. I truly believe that the quality of spices is part of what makes the dish. Curry paste can be hard to find but you can find the Red Curry Paste Thai Kitchen Brand in the ethnic food aisle of any super market. I used non fat plain yogurt and low fat coconut milk. It still had a hearty texture to it but with less fat and calories! I mixed the spices separately together in a small cup before I spread it over the chicken this allowed the flavors to blend. I am definitely adding this to my weekly menu! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Exceptional flavor and a wonderfully easy recipe. Made exactly according to directions (had to make my own Tandoori Masala). Will absolutely make this wonderful recipe again. Entire family loved it and believe me our 90 year old mother is real picky about what she likes and she loved this. What a wonderful blend of spices and yet the dish itself is far from overly spiced. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent that evening but even better as leftovers! Very time intensive for a dish going into the crock pot but it turned out well worth it! Doubled recipe (my family LOVES butter chicken). Considering the other reviews I only used half the amount of tomato paste and it was not at all too "tomatoey" but just right. I stupidly made a mistake and did not double the cardamom pods (it would have made it even better). I did add an equal amount of fresh ginger as garlic. Rather than just mincing the garlic I used my food processor (small bowl) and ground the garlic and ginger into a paste as that is usually what is called for in Indian recipes. Added this at the very end of the cooking of the onion and chicken. I used Greek yogurt rather than regular - 0% fat and makes it creamier. Lastly although the recipe suggests adding the yogurt before cooking I have done so in other recipes and yogurt and other dairy is likely to curdle in the crock pot. I added it right before serving. It really pushed the dish over the top. My family hasn't stopped raving. They said it was better than our favorite restaurant's. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I've never had the traditional recipe so I can't compare it but i did like it very much! I love the ease of a crock pot so I didn't Pre-cook the onion since 1) it means I'm defeating the purpose of the crock pot giving me another item to wash and 2) the onion will cook in the hot liquid in the pot anyways. I cannot imagine it made much of a difference in the flavor if any at all. I mixed all the ingredients except the chicken together in the crock pot then added the chicken and stirred to coat the chicken. To me crock pots are meant to be a 1 step cooking method:) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
My slow cooker and I have a love/hate relationship - I love the convenience but hate the fact that when I stray from the basics (roast) I am inevitably disappointed. I am happy to say this is NOT the case with this recipe. I LOVED this one. I mixed my own tandoori masala (minus the mace which I did not have) following another reviewer's recipe. I added a chopped tomato instead of canned tomato paste as I am avoiding any canned tomato product. I also only used 10 cardamom pods - it was still pretty heavy on the cardamom. I cooked it for 3 hours on high and 1 1/2 hours on low. It turned out great! I will definitely make this one again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This was pretty good though was lacking some key ingredient that I can't quite identify - possibly fennugreek? I modified this by adding about a teaspoon of sugar maybe a little more and the juice from half a lemon. Several other butter chicken recipes I found include lemon and I thought this recipe was a little flat until I added this. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was a good overall recipe although I did find the 15 green cardamom pods a little over-powering. I used hot curry spices and pastes. I did have problems finding the tandoori masala so I made my own. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I LOVED this recipe! I always get this dish when I go out for Indian food. It was so easy to make too! I followed the recipe as is. I decided to omit the curry paste and I only used half of curry powder. Only because I am not to big on spicy food. I will be making this on a regular basis! Oh and one more tip. I went to an indian store to get the ingredients and the owner of the store told me that there is an indian yogurt I should use when making Butter Chicken. The brand I used was Taaza Indian Style Yogurt. Read More