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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Easy to make, Instant Pot Indian butter chicken.

This slow cooker butter chicken is so easy to make. It’s the perfect weeknight meal with very little prep time! Everyone will love it!

Easy Instant Pot butter chicken.

Have you ever made butter chicken at home? I actually hadn’t even eaten Indian butter chicken until about 5 years ago.

My kids weren’t sure about butter chicken at first, because let’s be honest, it really doesn’t look that appealing.  

Slow cooker butter chicken recipe.

But years of having a food blogger in the house has made them pretty adventurous, and they loved it when they tried it.  

This slow cooker butter chicken recipe comes together quickly, with just a few minutes of prep work to make the sauce.  

Easy Instant Pot butter chicken.

The chicken then cooks up in the sauce in the slow cooker for an easy, tasty meal.

It even freezes well if you have leftovers, or want to double the recipe and freeze half for later.

Easy Instant Pot butter chicken.

Is butter chicken meant to be spicy?

Butter chicken should have lots of flavour, but it isn’t supposed to be super spicy.

This easy recipe is not spicy. My kids love it and they do not love spicy food.

Easy to make, Instant Pot Indian butter chicken.

However, my husband likes his butter chicken spicy, so he typically sprinkles some crushed red peppers on his serving.

Go with your preference on this. You can definitely increase the amount of crushed red peppers in the sauce if you prefer your butter chicken with a bit of heat!

Slow Cooker Indian butter chicken recipe

What can I use instead of cream in butter chicken?

I usually make this recipe with heavy cream (35% whipping cream). But I have substituted half and half cream when that’s what I had and it works very well.

I’ve even made it with milk instead of cream and it still tasted fantastic.

A bowl of Instant Pot butter chicken and rice.

With either of those substitutions, the sauce won’t be as rich, and will be a bit thinner, but it will still taste great.

So use whatever you have – it will be amazing.

Instant Pot buter chicken.

How to make Slow Cooker Butter Chicken:

  • I made this recipe in a 5 quart slow cooker, but it would work well in a larger one too.
  • You can freeze any leftover butter chicken in a freezer bag or freezer safe container, and reheat it on low in the microwave or slow cooker for another meal.
  • I also have an Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe if you prefer to cook this in your pressure cooker.

Here are some more great slow cooker meals for you:

A bowl of Indian butter chicken and rice.
Yield: serves 6

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

A bowl of Instant Pot butter chicken and rice.

This slow cooker butter chicken is so easy to make. It's the perfect weeknight meal with very little prep time! Everyone will love it!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (can be replaced with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (156mL, 5.3oz) tomato paste
  • 2 pounds (3-4) chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • fresh cilantro for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is softened.
  3. Stir in the garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, coriander, salt and pepper and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Remove from the heat and scrape everything into a blender.
  5. Add the chicken broth and tomato paste and blend until smooth.
  6. Place the chicken breasts into the crock of a slow cooker and pour the sauce over top.
  7. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or high for 2-3 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  8. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks (or chop it into bite sized pieces if you prefer).
  9. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker along with the cream and butter and stir to combine.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch and water and stir it into the slow cooker.
  11. Cook on high for another 30 minutes.
  12. Serve the chicken and sauce over hot, cooked rice, garnished with chopped cilantro if you like.

Notes

You can also chop the chicken before cooking it, and let it cook already cut up in the sauce in the slow cooker, but I prefer to cut it up (or shred it) after it’s cooked as it tends to stay a bit more moist.

Also, if you don’t like your food spicy at all, use just half a jalapeno pepper as they sometimes can give the dish a bit of heat even without the seeds. I only use half when my kids will be eating it, although the adults here like a bit of heat!

This meal freezes well if you have leftovers, just place it in a ziplock bag or freezer safe container after it cools. You can defrost it in the fridge overnight and then warm it on low in a saucepan or for an hour or so on low in the slow cooker. You can also make just the sauce and freeze it, then proceed with the rest of the recipe when you are ready to use it.

Source: Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 855mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 50g

Nutrition Information is estimated based on ingredients used and may not be exact.

I’ve also shared this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken recipe over on The Weary Chef.

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