How to make delicious and healthy Butter Chicken

Oh hi! Thank you for stopping by! Do you like butter chicken? I guess you do hence you are here and reading my Healthy Butter Chicken recipe. You are probably…

Deliciously looking butter chicken in a white flat Dutch aoven served with cherry tomatoes and fresh coriander leaves

Oh hi! Thank you for stopping by! Do you like butter chicken? I guess you do hence you are here and reading my Healthy Butter Chicken recipe. You are probably wondering what is it with the healthy bit. Well, like you, I like butter chicken a lot. I could drink the sauce from a tap, literally. However, every time I savour my favourite takeaway, I can’t help but think about all the butter and the cream that was used to cook this delicious meal. And if you’ve been following me for a while you will know that I pay a lot of attention to what my family and I eat. So I needed something that tastes as delicious as the real deal but comes with fewer calories, read fat.

Updated on the 12.11 2021, first published in November 2020
cooked butter chicken in a white Dutch oven with tomatoes and coriander as garnish

What did I do differently? I used WAY less butter than the traditional recipes, in fact only 50 grams. I also swapped heavy cream for coconut milk and added some Greek yoghurt for creaminess. Trust me, this butter chicken is better than any takeaway you have ever had!! It is not too sweet, not too spicy, and not too heavy. It is silky and creamy and tastes just right! A REALLY good family dinner.

What will you need to make this healthy butter chicken recipe:

Butter Chicken Marinade:

  • 6 chicken thighs, no bone, skin on. You can remove the skin if you prefer, but I found that it adds some more flabour to the dish. And no, chicken breast won’t work, sorry! removed, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 1 cup of organic Greek yoghurt, preferably organic.
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • 2 cm fresh ginger root, grated or finely chopped

Butter Chicken Sauce:

  • 50g butter, I always use organic. By the way, 50g is approximately 3 tbsp.
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cm ginger root, grated
  • 1 tbsp of organic raw sugar
  • 140 g organic tomato paste
  • 400ml of coconut milk, I used Australia’s Own organic unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2-3 tbsp of fresh cream or substitute with greek youghurt
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • Some more cherry tomatoes, yoghurt, and coriander to garnish

How to make healthy butter chicken:

To prepare the marinade, simply mix yoghurt, garam masala, crushed garlic, and grated/chopped ginger in a big bowl. Add chicken pieces and mix to coat the chicken. Refrigerate overnight or at least for 3 hours.

ginger, garlic, and spices for the butter chicken marinade presented on a wooden chopping board

To make the sauce, heat the butter in the large heavy-bottom saucepan or large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and fry gently until fragrant and butter has a golden colour. Make sure not to burn your butter.

melted butter cooking in a black frying pan

Add sugar and tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes so that the tomato paste loses its bitterness.

Add coconut milk and bring it gently to a simmer.

Next add cream/yoghurt and bring to a simmer again. Let simmer on a VERY low heat while you are frying the chicken.

butter chicken tomato sauce in a black frying pan

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Add marinated chicken to the frying pan. Do not put all the excessive marinade into the pan. (A little bit is fine.)

Fry the chicken on medium heat for a couple of minutes, until the chicken is golden. 

Take the chicken out.

Update: Last time I made it this butter chicken recipe I used my Scanpan Griddle. We absolutely loved it because it added a little bit of a smokey flavour to the dish, making it taste even more authentic.

butter chicken marinated raw chicken cooking on scanpan griddle

Once the chicken is cooked, add it to the sauce, along with the cherry tomatoes and cook on very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Watch out that the sauce doesn’t boil and doesn’t get too thick. Add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk if the sauce does get too thick.

Butter chicken in the frying pan

Serve with basmati rice, papadams, youghurt, and fresh coriander leaves. Enjoy!!

Can I prepare this butter chicken in advance?

Absolutely! This delicious butter chicken is a perfect meal-plan recipe. Once cooked, cool it down and refrigerate (up to 3 days) or freeze it in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Simply defrost it and heat it up in the saucepan or in the microwave until heated through. You can also marinate the chicken and freeze it ready to go for a quick and easy family dinner.

Print
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Deliciously looking butter chicken in a white flat Dutch aoven served with cherry tomatoes and fresh coriander leaves

Healthy Butter Chicken


  • Author: Elena Elliott
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This butter chicken is better than any takeaway you have ever had!! It is not too sweet, not too spicy and not too heavy. It is silky and creamy and tastes just right! A really good family dinner. Gluten-free of course!


Ingredients

Scale

Butter Chicken Marinade:

6 chicken thighs, skin removed, cut into bite-sized chunks

1 cup of organic Greek yoghurt

1 tbsp garam masala

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 cm fresh ginger root, grated or finely chopped

Butter Chicken Sauce:

50g butter, I always use organic 

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 cm ginger root, grated

1 tbsp of organic raw sugar

140 g tomato paste

1 cup of coconut milk, I used Australia’s Own organic unsweetened coconut milk

23 tbsp of Greek yoghurt or fresh cream

810 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Some more cherry tomatoes, yoghurt and coriander to garnish.


Instructions

  • To prepare the marinade, simply mix yoghurt, garam masala, crushed garlic and grated/chopped ginger in a big bowl. Add chicken chunks and mix to coat the chicken. Refrigerate overnight or at least for 3 hours.
  • ginger, garlic, and spices for the butter chicken marinade presented on a wooden chopping board

 

 

 

 

  • To make the sauce, heat the butter in the large heavy-bottom saucepan or large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and fry gently until fragrant and butter has a golden colour. Make sure not to burn your butter.
  • melted butter cooking in a black frying pan

 

 

 

 

  • Add sugar and tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes so that the tomato paste loses its bitterness.
  • Add coconut milk and bring it gently to a simmer.
  • Add fresh cream/youghurt and bring to a simmer again. Let simmer on a VERY low heat while you are frying the chicken.
  • butter chicken tomato sauce in a black frying pan

 

 

 

 

  • Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Add marinated chicken to the frying pan. Do not put all the excessive marinade into the pan. (A little bit is fine.)
  • Fry the chicken on medium heat for a couple of minutes, until the chicken is golden. 
  • Take the chicken out and let any excess oil drip off.
  • butter chicken marinated raw chicken cooking on scanpan griddle

 

 

 

 

  • Add cherry tomatoes and chicken to the sauce and cook on very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Watch out that the sauce doesn’t boil and doesn’t get too thick. Add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk if the sauce does get too thick.

 

 

 

 

  • Serve with basmati rice, papadams, youghurt and fresh coriander leaves. Enjoy!!

Notes

  • If you have time you can BBQ the chicken or use the Scanpan griddle
  • If you are looking for organic dairy products, Aldi has a great range. I always get butter, yoghurt, and milk from my local Aldi store.
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: healthy butter chicken recipe, healthy family dinner, chicken dinner

This recipe was adapted from the Chin Chin recipe on the Good Food website

Looking for more delicious and easy-to-make healthy family dinners? Check out these:

DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS MEXICAN-INSPIRED SOUP WITH CHICKEN

EASY ONE-POT STICKY CHICKEN RECIPE

EASY AND DELICIOUS POKE BOWL RECIPE


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Please do not use my photos without prior written permission.

Thank you!


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