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5 from 1 vote
A bowl of Easy Butter Chicken served with rice, naan and cilantro.
Easy Butter Chicken
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Marinating Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins

This drool-worthy recipe for easy butter chicken is weeknight ready with a sauce that you'll want to slurp with a spoon!

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butter chicken
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 490 kcal
Dry Rub
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), cut into 1 inch cubes
Butter Chicken
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger (fresh)
  • 1 small chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 15 oz tomato sauce (1 can)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
To Serve
  • fresh cilantro
  • cooked basmati rice
  • naan
  1. Stir together all of the spices for the dry rub. Toss the spice rub with the chicken cubes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

  2. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over high heat and add the chicken. Cook, until the pink is gone, about 5 mins. Remove to a plate.

  3. Add 2 Tbsp butter to the pan and melt. Add the onion and minced chile. Saute until golden brown, about 10 mins.

  4. Add the garlic and grated ginger, season with kosher salt. Saute for 2-3 more mins. Stir in the garam masala and tomato paste. Cook for one more minute.

  5. Stir in the tomato sauce, stock, heavy cream and cinnamon stick. Reduce the heat and bring just to a simmer (NOT a boil). Add the chicken and collected juices to the sauce. Stir and let simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins. Stir in the remaining Tbsp of butter.

  6. Serve over basmati rice with sprinkle of fresh cilantro and naan if desired.

Recipe Notes
  • Thirty mins is all you'll need to let the cubed chicken stand in the spice rub, but longer is even better if you have the time.
  • Don't overcook the chicken when you first cook it. Cook it just until most of the pink is gone, it will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Don't boil the sauce after the cream is added. You want a low simmer so the sauce doesn't break.
  • Butter chicken is delicious served over basmati rice with a sprinkle of cilantro. I love a piece of charred naan to dunk in the sauce too!
Nutrition Facts
Easy Butter Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 490 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Cholesterol 202mg67%
Sodium 1443mg63%
Potassium 1067mg30%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 43g86%
Vitamin A 1283IU26%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.