This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Time to add a little flavor to your weeknight dinner routine, Slow Cooker Butter Chicken style! The savory, creamy sauce is richly spiced (but not spicy), the chicken is plump and juicy, and the veggies are sneakily hidden.

Two Staub casserole dishes of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

This tasty butter chicken is the crockpot version of my Instant Pot Butter Chicken, and stovetop Indian Butter Chicken, which are some of the most popular, highest-rated recipes on my website. It has an authentic Indian flavor, but you can find all of the ingredients at an average grocery store, and you’ll need no more than 15 minutes to prep it.

If you’ve never had authentic Indian butter chicken (or Indian food in general!), this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken is a recipe to try. After a few bites, you’ll have the same reaction I did during the month I spent traveling through India: L-O-V-E.

The depth of flavor found in authentic Indian cooking is striking. Every bite reveals nuances, and the more of it you eat, the more you start to crave it. Try my Chicken Tikka Masala for another flavorful Indian recipe!

I could barely get this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken transferred to a container, because I kept sneaking bites of it out of the slow cooker. By the time I’d used a piece of naan bread to wipe the corners of my crockpot clean, dish soap was nearly unnecessary.

This easy crock pot recipe yields a good amount, so if you need butter chicken for a crowd, look no further. It’s also stellar leftover, so you can make it tonight, then enjoy the leftovers for healthy lunches and dinners later in the week.

A crock pot full of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

How to Make Legit Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

This shortcut version of an authentic Indian butter chicken recipe uses everyday ingredients, but it tastes like the BEST butter chicken and reminds me of what we ate in India.

Here’s what you need to make it.

Start with:

  • Chicken. I opted for a slow cooker chicken breast recipe, but you can certainly use this same recipe to make butter chicken thighs if that is what you prefer.
  • Cauliflower. WHAAT?? YES! This is my sneaky addition to turn this into a healthy crockpot recipe. The cauli florets mix seamlessly with the pieces of diced chicken. Once they are coated in the creamy butter chicken sauce, you’ll be smitten and thanking yourself for your wholesome meal prowess.
  • Ginger, Garlic, and Onion. The backbones of fresh flavor. Don’t skimp here! I promise the mincing is worth it.

Indian Butter Chicken made in the slow cooker and served with naan

Easy Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Sauce

Next we move on to the items that give the butter chicken sauce boss flavor.

Think that in order to make slow cooker butter chicken easy, you need to use premade sauce? Think again!

This simple homemade sauce cooks right in your slow cooker and beats anything you’ll find in a jar.

  • Garam Masala and Curry Powder. Each of these are blends of multiple spices and can be found at most grocery stores. Indian food is renowned for packing myriad spices into every recipe. Using spice blends like these two means you get max flavor teaspoon-for-teaspoon, with less effort (and fewer ingredients to buy!).

If you prefer to order these spices online, you can find garam masala here and curry powder here.

I know it can be annoying to add a new spice to your collection. BUT once you own them, it will open up an entirely new genre of recipes for you. To get you started, check out these reader favorites: Tofu Tikka Masala, Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala, Instant Pot Lentil Curry, Slow Cooker Chicken Curry, and this slow cooker Red Lentil Curry.

  • Tomato Sauce. Easy-peasy.
  • Tomato Paste. A can of tomato paste is one of the most impactful, inexpensive ways to add mega flavor instantly.

Bonus: This Slow Cooker Butter Chicken recipe uses the WHOLE CAN of tomato paste, so you won’t have an odd orphan amount lurking in your fridge.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken in a Crock Pot

  • Butter and Half-and-Half. But less than you think! If you’ve ever had Indian butter chicken in a restaurant and wondered why it tasted so decadent, these two ingredients are why. After playing around with different amounts, I found that I could significantly reduce the amount of both, without losing the signature creaminess that makes butter chicken delish.
  • Greek Yogurt. My trick addition to make this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken healthy. It packs protein and is ultra creamy.

A crock pot full of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Recipe Variations

  • Slow Cooker Butter Chicken and Potatoes. Another way to make your slow cooker butter chicken and veggies! Swap all or part of the cauliflower for diced baby potatoes. For even more veggies, stir in peas at the end.
  • Vegan Slow Cooker Butter Chicken. Add more cauliflower and a can of chickpeas in place of the chicken. Use coconut milk, vegan butter, and a plain coconut-milk-based yogurt. If you simply prefer the flavor of slow cooker butter chicken with coconut milk, you can always use it for the half-and-half, even if you aren’t vegan.
  • Paleo Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (or Whole30 Slow Cooker Butter Chicken). Follow the vegan points above to make the recipe dairy free. You can also use ghee in place of the butter if you like.
  • Keto Slow Cooker Butter Chicken. This recipe is fairly keto friendly as written, since cauliflower is low carb. Feel free to make any other modifications you like!

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken served with naan

How to Store Leftover Butter Chicken

This recipe is exceptionally leftover friendly!

  • Store extra crock pot butter chicken in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. I like to keep the butter chicken portion separate from any leftover rice.
  • To thaw frozen butter chicken: Place the container in the refrigerator and let thaw overnight.
  • To reheat: Mix your desired portion of rice and butter chicken. Warm gently in the microwave.

Serving Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

The beauty of Slow Cooker Butter Chicken and Cauliflower is that it gives you every food group in one, so you don’t need an extra side!

  • We like to serve our butter chicken over rice or with Homemade Naan bread.
  • If you are looking to make the recipe low carb (or need the butter chicken to be to keto, paleo, etc.), instead of rice, serve it with cauliflower rice. If that feels like cauliflower overload, you can omit the cauliflower from the recipe and use a different vegetable, or swap extra chicken.

Ready to get cooking? I hope you love this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken, and I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments section below.

If you love this slow cooker chicken recipe, be sure to check out my full list of healthy crock pot chicken recipes.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

4.80 from 339 votes
This rich, creamy Slow Cooker Butter Chicken has the taste of authentic Indian butter chicken, made easy and healthy with everyday ingredients and veggies!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Total: 5 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 4 medium breasts
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow onion diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves minced garlic about 4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (6-ounce) can no salt added tomato paste
  • 1 small cauliflower or 1/2 large head, cut into florets (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces (use coconut oil to make dairy free)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half or full-fat coconut milk do not use light coconut milk, as it will water down the sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt to make dairy free

For serving:


  • In a nonstick skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium high. Once hot, add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, curry, garam masala, chili powder, salt, and tomato paste. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Transfer the onions to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Lay the chicken on top, then the cauliflower florets, and top with tomato sauce. Stir to combine the florets and sauce a bit, leaving the chicken pieces undisturbed underneath. The chicken pieces will seem large and a bit in the way. Just use a spoon to prod the sauce and florets around a bit so things are more evenly coated. Scatter the butter pieces over the top.
  • Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or on low for 4 to 6 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. The cooking time may vary based on your slow cooker, so check early to ensure the chicken does not dry out. When the chicken is done, remove it to a cutting board and let cool slightly.
  • At this point, the cauliflower is not likely to be tender. Give the contents of the slow cooker a big stir to coat the florets with the sauce. Recover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH until the florets are completely tender, about 30 minutes to 1 hour more. (If your florets are already tender, you can skip this step.)
  • Once the chicken is cool enough to handle safely, cut it into bite-size pieces. Return to the slow cooker with the tender florets. Stir in the half-and-half (or coconut milk). Let cool a few minutes, then stir in the Greek yogurt. (Don't stir in the yogurt right away; if the butter chicken is too hot, it will curdle.) Enjoy warm over brown rice, quinoa, or naan, sprinkled with fresh cilantro.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat leftovers gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.


Serving: 1of 6Calories: 346kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 39gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 115mgPotassium: 1466mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1115IUVitamin C: 60.8mgCalcium: 102mgIron: 3mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.

Sign Me Up

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
Sign Up for FREE Weekly Meal Plans
Each includes a grocery list, budget, and 5 healthy dinners, helping you save time, save money, and live better!

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


Leave a comment

  1. I left out the Greek yogurt at the end as others have said and I’m glad I did! Otherwise I followed exactly minus some chili powder for guests who don’t like spicy and it turned out great. It would probably be even better with heavy cream but I was happy not to have the additional calories from heavy cream. If I was a vegetarian it would have worked well with only cauliflower and no chicken at all.5 stars

  2. THANK YOU 😊💕💗 for posting this recipe! I’ve spent so much time and money trying to find a formulation that even touches homemade flavor and YOURS helped me achieve it so easily with the slow cooker adding that necessary-convenience. So fabulous I caught my husband snacking on it in the middle of the night because he couldn’t wait for lunch next day lololololololol (new hindi food lover born)5 stars

  3. This recipe is delicious! Very easy to make and the perfect meal prep recipe. I wasn’t so sure about the cauliflower but I am glad I added it. I made it with basmati rice and I have been looking forward to lunches all week :)5 stars

  4. This is the BEST Butter Chicken recipe that I have ever made. I just love Butter Chicken and have attempted to make several versions even from Indian websites but they are very complicated and the final result is lackluster. I love Indian cooking, so I have all the spices, but with the other recipes, the end result didn’t justify how difficult the recipe was. This recipe is SO flavorful and smelled so good while cooking. We did the dairy-free version using Ghee and coconut milk rather than butter and half & half. It was AMAZING. We left out the yogurt. We loved the taste without the yogurt, then tried some of the gravy with the yogurt and preferred it without the yogurt. I have already passed this recipe along to my other friends who are into Indian Food.5 stars

  5. Hi, I would like to make this at the weekend could you please let me know the coconut milk and yoghurt amounts in ounces or spoons rather than cups please, thank you

    1. Hi Troy, unfortunately I only have the amounts as listed. There are several online conversion sites—one good one is from King Arthur! Here’s the link: Hope this helps!

  6. Absolutely amazing butter chicken recipe. Have made it many times! The first time I made it exactly as the recipe stated (minus the chilli as a few people in our house don’t like the heat), but since then I’ve made a few changes to it which personally we think makes it even better than it already is. I use at least twice the amount of butter, & then use cream (300ml) after it’s cooked instead of the half & half and yogurt. Oh and the left overs taste even better after it’s sat in the fridge for 24 hours – all the flavours have soaked in even more!5 stars

  7. I’m looking to make this recipe, but me and my fiance highly dislike cauliflower can I just omit it all together or will it ruin the recipe.

    1. Hi Nicholas! We cover this a little under “Recipe Variations” in the post. Swap all or part of the cauliflower for diced baby potatoes. For even more veggies, stir in peas at the end. ENJOY!

    1. Hi Amy, in the recipe it is written, 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce. It is sauce, found in a can. Hope this helps!

  8. I get that this is not an authentic Indian recipe but it came out super bland. I wouldn’t call it butter chicken – maybe indian-style curry for white midwesterners.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Katie. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  9. This recipe is DELICIOUS! Very much a “trust the process” situation, as before you add the coconut milk/yogurt, it looks …gross. But once the color is correct it tastes amazing and looks amazing! I cooked the cauliflower florets a little bit (until barely tender) before I added them, and cut up the chicken before I added it (all for the sake of time) and it turned out awesome! Make sure to wait 10min before adding the yogurt to avoid curdling, and feel free to sub coconut cream for coconut milk! Makes it extra creamy !5 stars

  10. The taste is very good but the recipe fails to may when you add the tomato sauce. Is it at the same time as the tomato paste?5 stars

Load More Comments