Super Simple Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe

Calling all busy working parents! Do you find yourself struggling to find time to prepare meals at home for your family on busy weeknights? If so, look no further.

Recipe developer Kate Shungu brings us this recipe for slow cooker butter chicken. "I'm a big fan of prepping dinner in advance, because at the end of the day, I often just don't want to cook! So, this slow cooker method works well for me," Shungu says, adding that "you could also make it entirely on the stovetop" by simmering the chicken in its creamy, tomato-based sauce.

If you've got somewhere to be all day, though, using the slow cooker will allow you to be much more hands-off during the actual cooking process, meaning you can check emails, wrangle kids, decompress, or accomplish whatever you need to while dinner cooks.

Gather the ingredients for slow cooker butter chicken

To make butter chicken in the slow cooker, you'll need the same ingredients you'd use for the traditional method. Check butter, onion, ginger, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, sugar, garlic, salt, crushed tomatoes, chicken breasts, heavy cream, and cilantro off your grocery list. 

Cook the aromatics in a skillet

Indian-style butter chicken is a very flavorful dish. In order to develop the right level of depth, you'll begin not in the slow cooker, but by sautéing a variety of aromatics in a skillet.

Place a large skillet over medium heat, throwing in a pat of butter and allowing it to melt before adding in the onion. Sauté the onion until it is tender and translucent, which takes about 5 minutes. Then, add in the ginger, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, sugar, and minced garlic. Stir and continue to cook until everything begins to smell very fragrant. That's your cue to pour this onion mixture into the bottom of your slow cooker.

Add everything to the slow cooker and cook for 3-4 hours

Next, add in the remaining ingredients — salt, canned crushed tomatoes, chicken, and heavy cream — to the slow cooker. Cover with the lid, turn the heat to low, and cook for 3-4 hours. 

Shungu tells us, "I like making this recipe for busy weeknights — the house smells amazing when I arrive home." As is the fortunate case with many slow cooker meals, your cue for when this butter chicken is ready is an incredible aroma when you walk into the kitchen.

Serve with your favorite sides

Sprinkle some fresh cilantro onto your butter chicken, and that's it! Your meal is done. You can certainly enjoy it as is, but as Shungu puts it, "there is plenty of delicious sauce to soak up, so I like serving this recipe with both rice and naan." 

Super Simple Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
This slow cooker butter chicken recipe earns major points for ease, convenience, and comforting curry flavors.
Prep Time
Cook Time
butter chicken over rice
Total time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until soft, about 4–5 minutes.
  2. Add the ginger, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, sugar, and minced garlic. Allow to cook for 1 minute to allow the seasonings to bloom.
  3. Transfer the onion mixture to a slow cooker. Add the salt, crushed tomatoes, chicken pieces, and heavy cream. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook on low for 3–4 hours.
  5. Serve with rice or naan, if desired, and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Calories per Serving 511
Total Fat 32.3 g
Saturated Fat 18.3 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 206.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.8 g
Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
Total Sugars 7.6 g
Sodium 867.7 mg
Protein 42.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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