Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken is tender, creamy and full of flavor! It will make your kitchen smell so appetizing for hours on end as it slow cooks!

Cold weather just makes me just stay in, get cozy, and laze around all day! At times like this, my crockpot does all the cooking for me. Here are just some recipes that help me get through days like this: Ham Split Pea Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and Crockpot Stuffing. Try them for yourself!

image of slow cooker butter chicken

Crockpot Butter Chicken Recipe

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken has tender white meat drenched in a creamy and flavorful sauce. This crockpot version will take hours to finish and that is exactly what makes this dish so flavorful.

The long cooking time makes all the flavors meld well. This is in addition to the rich combination of spices included in this dish.

I admit that I was not a curry-lover before but when I tried this dish, I never looked back. Rice or naan perfectly balances the richness and I like the kick that the various spices add.

With the help of the sauce, the white meat stays juicy and tender, making this a great dish that you may want to double and keep as a freezer meal. And for the times that you are too busy, simply reheat for a warm meal. It is that convenient!

image of creamy Indian butter chicken

Why is it called Indian Butter Chicken?

This dish was invented in India, that is why. Leftover chicken was mixed with the sauce resulting in a delicious dish that the whole world will love. And the sauce? It was a tomato-based gravy with butter and cream!

It has a slightly buttery taste and a bit spicy. Although closely related to the Tikka Masala, this dish is milder and is perfect for those who are not into spicy food. Feel free to adjust the proportion of the spices to achieve your preferred taste.

How to Make Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

  • Marinate: first, start by marinating the chicken in the yogurt sauce.
  • Sauté: In a skillet, heat some oil and cook the chicken and until brown. You may skip this step if you want but it will give depth to the food. Next, saute the onion, garlic, ginger, and the aromatics.
  • Combine: Put everything in the crockpot.
  • Cook: Set it on low for 4 to 6 hours, or on high for a shorter period.
  • Add the dairy: When nearing the end of the cooking time, open the lid and stir in the heavy cream.
  • Serve: Garnish with cilantro and then, serve with rice.

image of butter chicken and rice

Can you add other spices?

Sure! There was no exact recipe when this first introduced. Hence, you may add other spices that you deem fit for the taste. Cardamom? Cinnamon? You name it and experiment. Even the gram masala does not even have a fixed recipe!

Can you make it in advance?

Yes! This makes for a great freezer meal that you can cook ahead. Simply put the meat and the sauce leftovers in the fridge to be consumed later. Be guided with the storage guidelines below.

How to Store Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

  • Refrigerate: This keeps well in the fridge for several days up to 2 weeks.
  • Freeze: Keep it in the freezer for about 6 months. Simply cool the dish completely, seal in freezer bags, then, put in the freezer. To reheat, thaw overnight first and heat in a skillet.

image of crockpot butter chicken

Recipe Tips:

  • You may want to double the recipe for the sauce and store some as leftovers. Enjoy the leftover sauce in a variety of ways including spreading it on bread, topping on pasta, adding in tacos or shawarma, and putting in pizza. Even the chicken can be used as a pizza topping.
  • Try different parts of the chicken to use such as the thighs and wings which are juicier than breasts.
  • Replace the cream with coconut milk or Greek yogurt.
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4.89 from 9 reviews
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes Cook time: 7 hours Total time: 7 hrs 45 mins


Chicken Marinade:

  • 2 lbs  chicken breasts  (or thighs cut into 2-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup  plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1 tablespoon  fresh 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 
  • 1 teaspoon  red chili powder 
  • 1 tablespoon  sugar 
  • 14 oz  tomato sauce 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons  salt  (or to taste)
  • 1 cup  evaporated milk 
  • 1/2 cup  heavy cream 


Chicken Marinade:

  1. In a bowl or large ziplock bag, combine chicken pieces with all of the MARINADE ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.

Saute the Chicken:

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. When hot, add chicken pieces in batches, making sure not to overcrowd 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.
  3. Add the butter, and melt it. Add onion, garlic and ginger, stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the aromatics: cumin, garam masala, red chili powder, sugar and paprika, cook for 1 minute.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Add the chicken.
  6. Add the tomato sauce and evaporated milk. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.


  1. Cook low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
  2. Thirty minutes nearly the end of the cooking time, open the lid and stir in the heavy cream.
  3. Serve with rice, garnished with cilantro.
Calories: 368 Carbohydrates: 16 Protein: 41 Fat: 15 Saturated Fat: 3 Cholesterol: 108 Sodium: 1523 Potassium: 933 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 12 Vitamin A: 1058 Vitamin C: 8 Calcium: 98 Iron: 2
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I wish I had everything on hand to make this recipe right now. This looks so yummy, and savory. Can't wait to make this recipe.


Amber Myers

Heck yes, I can almost bet my family will love this! It looks scrumptious. I love when I can use my slow cooker!



That sounds like a really flavorful combination of ingredients. Thanks for sharing your recipe, this sounds good for when we have guests over.


Gervin Khan

This dish looks so delicious and I love it because you can make this ahead of time, keep it store in the freezer and prepare it to your family whenever they want it.


Mama Maggie's Kitchen

Yummm! This Slow Cooker Butter Chicken is making me super hungry that I can hear my tummy growl! I can't wait to have this.


Lisa Martin

This looks so good! I'll have to see if I can pick up all of the ingredients to make it!


Sarah Bailey

Oh, this sounds absolutely delicious, I have to admit I am amazed at all the different things you can do with a slow cooker and I do love a good chicken dish.



That looks so good and creamy. My son would eat chicken every single day. And that's why I always look for new chicken recipes to try. Thanks for this.



It looks delicious! When my son was in college he learned to make butter chicken from a friend, and then made it for us. It is now a family favorite. I'll have to try making this version!


Bohemian Babushka

"Tender" and white meat don't go together in BB's world, however with this recipe perhaps the dryness won't happen. Gonna give it a try; Gracias.



Butter chicken looks delicious I like that you made it slow cooker, not only easy but also great meal if you have some rice or bread.



I'm fond of Indian Chicken spicy recipes and your slow cooker butter chicken looks incredibly delicious! I bet it tastes super yum!


Kelley @ Chef Savvy

Butter chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes! Can't wait to give this one a try!



I love spices you used here. Looks so delicious and so creamy. My family will love this. Saving the recipe.


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