Chicken Main Dishes Recipes

Last updated on June 18th, 2021 at 09:03 pm

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Creamy Butter Chicken [Video]

Butter Chicken is creamy, buttery, and tender! It is full of spices and never short on flavor! A great Indian dish that is possibly the most famous! Also, check out the quick recipe video below and see how easy is it to make!

If you are on the lookout for great Asian dishes like this one, then, you have come to the right place! Try our recipes for Sweet and Sour Shrimp, Instant Pot Mongolian Beef, and Chicken Katsu!

Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

Butter Chicken, well, tastes like butter and we all know that anything that has it tastes good! This is one great example of a chicken dish that turns the rather bland white meat into a flavorful dish with all the spices involved.

And definitely, it is the marinade and the sauce that make the difference. Reminiscent of Tikka Masala, this Indian dish is a great curry dish that may have a long list of ingredients, but the end product is worth it!

There is variety in the flavors that are included in this recipe and everything works together so well. There are aromatics in there, spices, and dairy that makes the sauce delightfully creamy! Just thinking about it makes my mouth watery!

What is Butter Chicken?

It is a dish made with chicken marinated in spices and a curry sauce that goes with it. History has it that it was once accidentally discovered in a restaurant when leftover chicken meat was drenched in a buttery and creamy tomato gravy sauce.

From its humble beginnings from a restaurant in Delhi in the 1950s, it rose to global fame and is now loved all over the world. Its flavorful sauce and tender meat served with rice or naan are now a worldwide hit!

What is Butter Chicken sauce made of?

The ingredient list is not the shortest but definitely, it is packed with flavors that are comforting to taste and not as strong as those in Tikka Masala. You will need the following:

  • Fat: olive oil and butter
  • Aromatics: onion, garlic, and ginger
  • Spices: red chili powder, ground cumin, garam masala, paprika
  • Base: tomato sauce and heavy cream
  • Others: salt and sugar

How to Make Butter Chicken

  • Marinade: The first step is to season the white meat with all the marinade ingredients. Then, let the meat stand for at least 30 minutes.
  • Fry: In a skillet, put some oil. When the oil turns hot, start frying the marinated chicken in batches, careful not to overcrowd the pan. Note that you need not thoroughly cook the meat, but you only need to brown them for a few minutes.
  • Cook the sauce: In the same skillet, heat some butter and cook the onions that they caramelize. Add the rest of the aromatics and sauté. Add the spices. When already fragrant, you can add in the rest of the ingredients except for the cream and the sugar. Occasionally stir. Cook until the mixture turns thick and the color turns an earthy shade of red.
  • Puree: Gather the sauce and blend using a heat-resistant blender to turn it into a puree.
  • Serve: Put back the sauce and heat some more until it thickens and simmers. Check the meat for doneness. Then, garnish with cilantro and serve!

Can you add other spices?

Yes! There is no strict recipe as to how garam masala is mixed. Hence, you can add other spices freely.

Can I make it in advance?

Yes! The sauce keeps well in the fridge for up to 48 hours upon putting it. If you freeze it, shelf life can be extended for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw it overnight.

Recipe Tips

  • Serve it with rice or naan, to slop the sauce with.
  • Any part of the chicken will do, so, you can try using the thighs and wings parts.
  • Add crushed cashew nuts for added texture.

Creamy Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is creamy, buttery, and tender! It is full of spices and never short on flavor!

Butter Chicken is creamy, buttery, and tender! It is full of spices and never short on flavor! #butterchicken #chickenrecipes #sweetandsavorymeals #indianrecipes #chickenfoodrecipes
  • Prep Time1H
  • Cook Time
  • Servings 4 servings


Chicken Marinade:

  • 28 oz chicken thighs boneless and skinless or breasts cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 14 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


Chicken Marinade:

  • In a bowl, combine chicken with all of the MARINADE, cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.

Cooking the Chicken:

  • Place a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • When sizzling, add chicken pieces in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook until browned, for about 3-5 minutes per side. Set aside on a plate and cover with foil to keep it warm.


  • Add the butter to the same pan and melt it. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, this will take about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add ground cumin, garam masala, paprika and cook for about 20 seconds until fragrant, stirring occasionally.
  • Next, add tomato sauce, chili powder, and salt. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens and achieves a brown-red color.
  • Remove from heat, and transfer the mixture into a blender, blend until smooth. If needed, add a few tablespoons of water. Make sure your blender is heatproof.
  • Pour the puréed sauce back into the pan over medium heat and stir in the cream and sugar.
  • Add the chicken back into the pan and cook for an additional 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over basmati rice with naan.

Nutrition Facts

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Chris David

Chris David

Hi! Can you substitute butter if dairy free? Do you have a suggestion? Thanks! please visit us:



One of the most delicious recipes I’ve made 👌🏼 Thanks for sharing with us! ♥️

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Happy that you enjoyed it!

Sara Welch

Sara Welch

What a great looking dish! Adding this to my dinner line up for the week, indeed! Looks too good to pass up!



I love how comforting this is! Such an amazing meal for weeknights!

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