Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (Dairy Free)

Learn how to make a tasty, restaurant-style Paleo Slow Cooker Chicken at home and ditch the premade sauce for good. Juicy chunks of chicken in a flavorful creamy savory and dairy-free Indian gravy! Eating well can be so easy!  #slowcookerrecipes #paleorecipes #butterchicken #cleaneating #dairyfree

Learn how to make a tasty, restaurant-style Paleo Slow Cooker Butter Chicken at home and ditch the premade sauce for good. Juicy chunks of chicken in a flavorful, creamy, savory and dairy-free Indian gravy! Eating well can be so easy! 

overhead shot of Indian paleo slow cooker Butter Chicken served with white rice

Learn how to make the best Restaurant-Style Paleo Butter Chicken in your Slow Cooker.

I’ve been craving Indian food like crazy lately. It all started with this Cauliflower Rice Chicken Biryani. There’s just something about the depth of flavor found in authentic Indian cuisine that I find utterly irresistible. The more I eat it, the more I crave it. A vicious circle I thoroughly enjoy being caught in.

It was only a question of time before I would try my hand at a healthy spin on another restaurant favorite – Butter Chicken.  The reason you love it so much? Butter and cream.  In copious amounts.

The good news? We can recreate an easy paleo and dairy-free slow cooker version that has an equally authentic Indian flavor. And guess what?  You can find all of the ingredients at an average grocery store, and you’ll need no more than 15 minutes to prep it.

Creamy
Easy
Flavorful
Little hands-on time = total weeknight dinner win!

a serving of healthy dairy-free paleo slow cooker butter chicken served with rice and fresh cilantro

Which spices do I need for making Butter Chicken at home?

When cooking Asian or Indian dishes at home, you’ll often find that the spices you need are pretty expensive and you end up using them only once and then they just get pushed further and further back in your kitchen cabinet.

No spice hunt necessary for this Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken. It uses fairly common spices that you will most likely already have in your pantry anyway. However, the flavors rival your favorite Indian restaurant.

While you can buy pre-made butter chicken spice mixes at most stores, I prefer making my own blend. As I said, the ingredients are pretty basic – curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder! To the ground spice mix, we add some freshly grated ginger and some garlic.

butter chicken spice blend in a small white bowl

Oh, and let’s not forget tomato paste –  one of the most impactful, inexpensive ways to add mega flavor to all your favorite stews and curries instantly. It’s also responsible for that signature pale red color.

Which cut of meat shall I use?

I used chicken breast, chopped into large chunks but you can also go with boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into large chunks.

overhead shot of two white bowls filled with paleo butter chicken and rice

How to make Restaurant-Style Slow Cooker Butter Chicken:

picture collage showing how to make spice blend for butter chicken and how to fry chicken for making butter chicken

Step 1 – Mix curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Step 2 – Heat coconut oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook onion until soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste to the skillet. Combine (this will make a thick paste) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring.

Step 3 – Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker. Pour in the coconut milk and crushed tomatoes.

paleo Indian Butter Chicken being prepared in a slow cooker

Step 4 & 5 – Stir until well combined. Add chicken chunks, stir again until all chicken is coated with sauce, and submerge cinnamon stick.

Step 6 – Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is tender. Give it a good stir and serve over cauliflower rice or normal rice, with lots of fresh cilantro.

 

overhead shot of a serving of dairy-free paleo butter chicken made in a slow cooker

Can this dish be made in advance? 

Yes, totally! This dish keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days so it’s a great dish to make ahead.

What to serve with Butter Chicken?

I like to serve this paleo curry over cauliflower rice or, if I’m craving carbs, on normal rice. Always with lots of fresh cilantro but you can also go with parsley.

When I have a bit more time and really want to push the boat out, I whip up an easy paleo and dairy-free raita using my Cashew Cream as a base and just stirring in half a grated onion, half a grated cucumber and some chopped mint and cilantro. Tip: I salt the cucumber right after grating and let that stand for 10 minutes. Then I place the grated cucumber in a double layer of paper kitchen towels and squeeze out most of the cucumber juice.

If you’re looking for an amazing Naan bread to go with it, check out this Homemade Paleo Naan and while you’re at it, why not make some chutney.

Tips for making Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

  • Do not use light coconut milk, it will water down the sauce.
  • You can use powdered ginger but fresh tastes way better
  • You could stir in some coconut cream to make this extra rich.
  • For a complete gluten-free paleo slow cooker butter chicken, you’ll need to read your spice seasoning labels to check if there is any gluten added.
overhead shot of a serving Slow Cooker Paleo Butter Chicken
5 from 5 votes
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Slow Cooker Paleo Butter Chicken

Learn how to make a tasty, restaurant-style Paleo Slow Cooker Chicken at home and ditch the premade sauce for good. Juicy chunks of chicken in a flavorful creamy savory and dairy-free Indian gravy! Eating well can be so easy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword healthy butter chicken recipe, paleo slow cooker dish, slow cooker butter chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Slow cooking 6 hours
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 602 kcal
Author Marie

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 onion minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger minced (or 1 tsp ground, but fresh is better)
  • 6 oz tomato paste / 170 g
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 15- oz can full fat coconut milk do not use light coconut milk, it will water down the sauce
  • 1 15- oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 lbs chicken breast / 1 kg -chopped into large chunks, OR 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves to serve

Instructions

  1. Mix curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook onion until soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste to the skillet. Combine (this will make a thick paste) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring.
  3. Transfer to the slow cooker. Pour coconut milk and crushed tomatoes. Stir until well combined. Add chicken chunks, stir again until all chicken is coated with sauce, and submerge cinnamon stick.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is tender. Give it a good stir and serve over cauliflower rice or normal rice, with lots of fresh cilantro.

Recipe Notes

  • Do not use light coconut milk, it will water down the sauce.
  • You can use powdered ginger but fresh tastes way better
  • You could stir in some coconut cream to make this extra rich.
  • For a complete gluten-free paleo slow cooker butter chicken, you’ll need to read your spice seasoning labels to check if there is any gluten added.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Paleo Butter Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 /4)
Calories 602 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 51%
Saturated Fat 24g 120%
Cholesterol 145mg 48%
Sodium 1365mg 57%
Potassium 1981mg 57%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 11g
Protein 55g 110%
Vitamin A 28.4%
Vitamin C 32.9%
Calcium 11.9%
Iron 47.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you tried this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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posted in
Chicken Clean Eating Dairy Free Fall Recipes Gluten free Main Dishes Meal Prep Meat Paleo Paleo/Primal Recipes Slow Cooker Winter Recipes
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