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Simple Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe

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This slow cooker butter chicken recipe may be made with simple ingredients and take just 10 minutes to prep, but it’s got ALL the flavor you would expect from a traditional butter chicken. Serve this crockpot butter chicken with your favorite rice, and a side of sautéed peas. Save some leftovers for butter chicken pizzas for a delicious cook once, eat twice meal.

Bowls of slow cooker butter chicken with peas and rice

What Is Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken is a (delicious) dish that originated in Northern India and it’s chicken cooked in a creamy sauce with traditional Indian spices. It’s often compared to tikka masala, but it’s a milder, sweeter version.

Butter Chicken Ingredients

Before you start thinking that this butter chicken crock pot recipe is going to require a crazy-long ingredient list, think again! Here are the ingredients you need to make them:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Butter
  • Yellow onion
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Garam masala
  • Curry powder
  • Ground turmeric
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Tomato paste
  • Honey
Butter chicken in crock pot slow cooker

How to Cook Butter Chicken in Slow Cooker:

Cooking butter chicken in slow cooker simplifies the process and that is always something I’m excited about. 🙂

  • Prep ingredients. Cut chicken into 2-inch pieces, dice onion, and mince garlic and ginger.
  • Saute chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a nonstick skillet and cook chicken until golden brown on all sides. Add to slow cooker.

TIP: The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked through as it will finish cooking in the slow cooker.

  • Bloom spices. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to skillet and cook onions until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Add spices and stir to coat onion mixture. Cook 2 minutes, until fragrant and transfer to slow cooker.

TIP: If the spices start getting dark, turn down heat.

  • Cook butter chicken. Stir tomato paste and honey into chicken and onion mixture and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, or low for 5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and has reached 165 degrees F.
  • Serve. Serve with rice of choice and simple sautéed peas.

How to Store Leftover Healthy Slow Cooker Butter Chicken:

Store any leftovers in glass storage containers for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or a nonstick skillet until heated through.

You can also freeze butter chicken for 2-3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Front view of crock pot butter chicken recipe

How to Serve Butter Chicken to the Whole Family:

I actually think this slow cooker butter chicken recipe IS kid-friendly, as it’s not spicy, and it’s full of delicious flavor. If you haven’t transitioned to one family, now is the time. This 5-day email series will teach you how to approach family dinners with confidence in just 5 minute videos for 5 days!

For younger kids who don’t like their food mixed, serve the chicken separate from the rice and simple sautéed peas. If it’s a new food, serve a tiny portion so that it’s less overwhelming.

Butter Chicken Nutrition + Substitutes:

If you want to swap out any of the ingredients and toppings, here are a few ways you can add even more nutrition into this meal:

  • More veggies – Serve the butter chicken over cauliflower rice instead of regular rice.
  • Serve with simple sautéed peas – These peas are slightly sweet and slightly savory and perfect with the chicken.
  • Gluten-Free – This recipe is already gluten-free, no swaps needed!
Overhead view of slow cooker butter chicken recipe

More Cook Once, Eat Twice Recipes:

If you like this crockpot butter chicken recipe, you might also like some of these other slow cooker cook once, eat twice meals:

Helpful Tools to Make Healthy Slow Cooker Butter Chicken:

  • Crock Pot Slow Cooker – This basic slow cooker is all you need, with a timer and an automatic switch to warm, you don’t need to be home when your food is finished cooking.
  • Nonstick Skillet – Brown the chicken and saute garlic and ginger in a nonstick skillet for easy cleanup.

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Bowl of crock pot butter chicken and peas

Simple Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
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This slow cooker butter chicken recipe takes just 10 min to prep + is made with simple ingredients. Use the leftovers for pizza!


  • 3 lbs. chicken thighs (skinless, boneless)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter , divided
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • rice
  • naan bread


  1. Prepare ingredients: Cut chicken thighs into 2 inch pieces. Dice onion. Mince garlic. Mince ginger.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add chicken and leave undisturbed for 1-3 minutes, until golden brown. Stir and brown on all sides. Add to the slow cooker.
  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter foams, add onions to skillet. Season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger to pan. Cook for another minute, until fragrant. Add garam masala turmeric, and curry powder to the skillet. Stir to coat the onion mixture. Cook for two minutes, until fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker. (If the pan starts getting dark and burnt, turn down heat to medium.)
  5. Stir in tomato paste and honey with chicken and onions and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.
  6. Cook rice and naan according to package instructions. 


Keywords: slow cooker butter chicken, crockpot butter chicken, butter chicken recipe

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  1. Lori

    Made this tonight and the entire family including the 2year old loved it! Easy, minimal prep, and happy bellies! ❤️