Paleo Butter Chicken


This recipe for Paleo Butter Chicken tastes just like the real thing. You’d never know that this recipe is dairy-free! It’s perfectly spiced, creamy and tastes like authentic murgh makhani! In fact, I’d go as far to say that the flavor rivals what you’d get at an Indian restaurant. It’s that good.

Paleo Butter Chicken by Ashley of

As a kid, murgh makhani (butter chicken) was the only Indian food that my parents could easily get me to eat. It has been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember and so, I’m very excited to share this paleo butter chicken recipe with all of you. It’s the perfect blend of tomato flavor, creaminess and masala.

Often, when you make something “paleo” it doesn’t quite taste like the “real” thing. For example, I absolutely love my 3-ingredient paleo naan (and it goes PERFECTLY with this dish), but for those of us who remember what naan actually tastes like… well, let’s just say my paleo naan is “good enough.” This paleo butter chicken on the other hand… well, I’d put it up against any restaurant quality butter chicken. It’s truly THAT good.

Paleo Butter Chicken by Ashley of

This paleo butter chicken is delicious and authentic. I have eaten at hundreds of different Indian restaurants during my lifetime and chances are that nearly every time we’ve ordered butter chicken. This paleo butter chicken isn’t lacking in any way. The masala is right on and the full-fat coconut milk adds rich creamy flavor without any hint of coconut taste.

The sauce… oh the sauce… it’s absolutely perfect. It’s great with basmati rice (if you can eat rice) but it’s sooo much better with my paleo naan. The naan sops up the creamy sauce; use it to scoop the tasty chicken and sauce right into your mouth.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken by Ashley of

This dish is simple to make. You just need canned full-fat coconut milk (again, you won’t taste the coconut), organic tomato sauce and the right spices. You’ll likely need to go to an Indian store to find some of these spices or you can always order them on amazon. If you love Indian food or butter chicken, then you’ll definitely use them again.

There’s one spice that you may not have used before: dried fenugreek leaves. We call these leaves “kasoori methi.” Most Indian restaurants will include these leaves in their butter chicken or tikka masala recipe. It’s what gives butter chicken it’s distinct taste; it helps enhance flavor. You only need a pinch, but it makes a difference so try to get this if you can.

Butter chicken is typically marinated in yogurt which helps to tenderize the chicken. In order to achieve this, I put a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight and the next morning, I skimmed the cream from the top (it came out to about ½ cup). I used this coconut cream in the chicken marinade along with some spices and let it sit out while I stir-fried my onions. Make sure you really brown those onions – it’s what creates the base flavor for nearly every Indian recipe.

Paleo Indian Food eBook by

Butter chicken is usually cooked in a special tandoor oven. Since most of us don’t have a giant tandoor in our kitchens, I decided to briefly pan-fry my chicken and then let it finish cooking by simmering it in the masala tomato sauce. It turned out wonderfully. Sometimes chicken can get a little dry in a tandoor – this chicken was tender, moist and perfectly biteable.

Once you make this dish, you’ll see how easy it is to put together. It’s perfect for a weeknight or for a dinner party. Serve it with some warm naan. You’ll need that naan to wipe every bit of the butter chicken sauce from your bowl. You are going to love this.

And if you do love this recipe (which you will) then be sure to check out my Paleo Indian eCookbook: South Asian Persuasion!

It has 100+ Paleo Indian Recipes – all grain-free and gluten-free: Gulab Jamun, Jalebi, Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka, Coconut Milk Dahi, Coconut Flour Naan, Kulfi, Lamb Vindaloo, Rogan Josh, and so much more! Check out the link to see more pictures of what’s in the eBook 🙂

Paleo Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken by Ashley of

Paleo Butter Chicken

4.96 from 63 reviews
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Servings 4 -5



  • 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut cream (refrigerate can of coconut milk overnight and use the cream on top of the can or use ½ cup of this coconut cream)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper



  • Place chicken in a bowl and marinate with coconut cream and spices, set aside.
  • Add ghee to a pan on medium heat. Once ghee melts, add onions and cook until completely dark golden-brown but be careful not to burn them (this will take at least 15-20 minutes. Don’t worry if it’s dark, that’s how Indian people cook their onions ;))
  • Add ginger and garlic and saute for a few more minutes.
  • Add spices and let them bloom for a minute. Then add your chicken mixture and briefly stir-fry to coat chicken with the masala you’ve made.
  • Add green pepper and tomato sauce and cover your pan. Let everything simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  • Add 1 can of coconut milk and a pinch of kasoori methi - let it simmer for another few minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with paleo naan.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Want to see a few old pictures of my paleo butter chicken? These are from 2013:

Paleo Butter Chicken and Paleo Naan... OH YEAH.
crusty naan with saucy chicken
go on, take a bite!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Bernie says

    I’m going to get the ingredients to make this! Just wondering, how many ounces are there in your 1 can of coconut milk? (In my country, coconut milk comes in 2 sizes , either 200ml or 270ml. I’ll convert ounces to ml.).

  2. Betsy says

    5 stars
    I made this again after my first failed “tomatoey” attempt.. i think I got the instapot recipie mixed up with the stove top! Absolutely my error! Ashley is still the queen of the kitchen!!! This butter chicken is perfect! Not tomatoey at all!! Just perfection! If you follow the correct recipie for stove top – you will be a happy camper!! Yum!!!!

    • Barry says

      So this has become my go to butter chicken for when the family asks for it or whenever there’s a potluck. No changes beyond increasing some of the spices we like most.

      2 christmases ago, did a huge batch for a party at a club I do stand up at, and it was like watching a swarm of locusts hit it. Not sure I liked being referred to as the butter chicken guy for weeks after but it was definitely a hit.

      Thanks for sharing, and sorry it took a few years to get around to saying it 🙂

  3. Sandra Molinari says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. Soooo tasty. I was wondering what the serving size and calories are for the butter chicken as well as the naan. It tastes so good I can just keep eating and eating!

  4. Ashley says

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delish. I am getting ready to make a second time (7 yo daughter’s request) and am so excited to have ordered the fenugreek leaves to try with it this time around. Went perfectly with the paleo naan and a side of tumeric roasted cauliflower.

  5. AC says

    5 stars
    I’ve made your instant pot butter chicken at least 8 times now and love it! I notice in this stovetop version the spice measurements are cut down by 3/4 almost. Why is that? Also, is it possible that I just make the thurka in the pan and add the spices, then the chicken and quickly fry it before adding the tomato sauce to simmer? Pretty much the same way it’s made in the instant pot? Instead of marinating the chicken first?

  6. jigna says

    5 stars
    I made this yesterday and it was amazing. It did turn out soupy but I think it’s because I used more chicken. I also added green chilli because we like it spicy.

    I’m so glad I found your site, I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  7. Supriya Kutty says

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing the recipe in the article. when I have cooked this recipe at my home. All of my family member like it and all are happy with the recipe and looking forward to more such recipes.

  8. Tom says

    5 stars
    This is so delicious! I am food intolerant to ginger, so I left it out. And I also didn’t have the fenugreek leaves. It was still incredibly tasty, Mine also came out somewhat soupy, tasted great, but the sauce was very thin, is it supposed to be like that?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Tom, I’m so glad you liked it!! Hmm, the sauce shouldn’t be too thin – did you add extra chicken by any chance? Meat releases water so I wonder if it might be that? Otherwise I’m not sure but you can always hit sauté at the end to reduce/thicken it up a bit!

  9. Abi says

    Hi! This looks so good and I can’t wait to try it! Quick question: do you think this would be a good recipe to batch cook and then freeze? I know there are some recipes that don’t reheat well and I’m curious if you have any thoughts on how this would freeze and reheat?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Abi, I haven’t tried batch cooking/freezing this but I am sure it would turn out well! Hopefully another reader who has tried this can chime in. If you do this, let us know your thoughts!

  10. Nia says

    Oh my gosh! This was so good I didn’t want to walk away from the pot and stop eating…. unfortunately I had to so that I could make it to work on time. These flavors are amazing. The only change I made (sorry) was that some people mentioned thickening with ground cashews, so I added a heaping spoon of cashew butter (single ingredient) at the end. Thank you so much.

  11. Heather says

    5 stars
    I love this one, it is on a constant rotation at my house. It is not too hard and it tastes great. I am trying to eat healthy and I love Indian food, but I didn’t know where to start. Your recipes are the best. They make sense and are easy to follow.

    I add a half bag of frozen peas at the end.

  12. Betsy joll says

    This came out too tomatoey for me. I felt that it lacked the creaminess. I am of indian descent, and it just lacked that creaminess🙁

  13. MVP says

    5 stars
    This turned out great. I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken, and just made the ‘sauce’ (i.e. latter half of the recipe). It still turned out great! My son can’t have dairy (although butter, ghee are fine), and daughter can’t have treenuts, so restaurant butter chicken is invariably out as an option. This tasted as good as butter chicken in India. I did add a pinch of brown sugar at the end, which departs from paleo, but does make it even more ‘restaurant-style’!.
    Thanks for posting this.

      • MVP says

        5 stars
        And now we’ve made this a few more times from scratch, and it’s even better. COVID has prompted even more home cooking, as you can imagine. And when I say it tastes similar to India, this is a BIG compliment, in that I have not found butter chicken in US Indian restaurants that comes anywhere close!

  14. Bonnie says

    I’ve made this probably a dozen times and nearly have the process memorized. I haven’t made it in quite a while and I see the appearance changed. I could have sworn the lemon is supposed to go in with the chicken marinade. I did a quick word search and lemon only came up in the ingredient list. Maybe ‘spices’ includes lemon somehow…but for me, I would miss the lemon if I went by what is written. I do love this recipe, but I would like to see that modification as it was before.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Bonnie! I recently changed the look of my recipe cards and see that it changed the formatting a bit for this recipe – but lemon juice is still listed under “marinade” and should be added then. I’ve fixed up the formatting so it should look as it did before – thank you for alerting me and sorry for the confusion! And happy to hear that you’ve made this so many times 🙂

  15. Gemma says

    This recipe looks amazing! I will be making it this weekend for a dinner party – can I follow the steps as above, but then place it in my slow cooker to continue cooking? I will post a review once made – thank you!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Gemma! If you make this in a dutch oven (pot), you can keep it in the oven to stay warm or you can put it in a slow cooker once done and keep it on the warm setting. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  16. Wendeth says

    My second time doing whole30 i made my chicken tikka recipe with coconut milk as an experiment. I have never gone back. Nice to see this out there. Thank goodness for more people doing things alternately. My friends who can’t take dairy always avoided these wonderful dishes.

  17. Lisa says

    Ashley, I just made your Paleo Buttered Chicken last night and it was beyond amazing!!! The flavors are a perfect combination. Honestly, one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. It will be a regular in this house. Thank you!

  18. Emma Dacquisto says

    Hi! I am beyond excited to try this recipe! I absolutely love butter chicken and have never tried making it before, and I am just starting out following a dairy-free, grain-free diet. A few questions – do you think tomato paste would be an okay substitute for the tomato sauce? If so, how much tomato paste do you think would be an appropriate amount? I saw a different recipe that called for tomato paste so I bought it, but then I came across your recipe and I really want to do this one instead. Also, how many servings does this make? Like approximately how many cups? I plan to have it with cauli rice so don’t need a massive portion. Want to make sure I am recording it properly in my calorie counter also.

  19. Ando says

    5 stars
    Hands down the best butter chicken i have made at home. I did change a few things though
    Use tomato paste instead of tomatoes in a can – then added water
    Added tomatoes/peas/carrot/sweet potato for some more vegetables
    Tripled all spices amounts.
    Definitely balancing the salt in the recipe helps, keep adding until all the flavours come out.

    Flavours are unreal! Will be making this again in the future!

  20. Janine says

    5 stars
    Made this last night and it was amazing!!!! I have made a lot of butter chicken recipes from other blogs and by far the best one that I have come across. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

  21. Rebekah says

    5 stars
    I can’t say enough good things about this recipe and the end result. I made a triple batch and took half to a party and kept half at home. Friends at the party asked if they could take some home. It was also a hit at home. My husband, myself, and all six of my children (ages one to nine years of age) enjoyed it!

  22. Laura says

    Hi! I’m looking forward to making this in the coming week. My husband is allergic to bell peppers. Now, I can obviously leave it out, but I was wondering if you had any replacement suggestions? If not I’ll just move forward without. Thank you!

  23. Jody says

    5 stars
    Making this now. Had looked at the instant put recipe first and just realized there are some differences. Do I need to add in the 2nd can of coconut milk at the end? I mean, after marinating in the cocount cream?

  24. Kate says

    Can you freeze this? Have made it before and loved it, never got as far to get it to the freezer, but would like to make a friend expecting a new babe. Thanks!

    • Canadian_sadie says

      5 stars
      I have prepped the chicken and sauce part and then frozen that. Then when I want to eat it, I do the onion and curry spices and tomatoes. It works really well for me this way and cuts the work in half on busy weeknights. I haven’t tried freezing it after its done, but I think it might get a bit watery. Good luck!

  25. Mohammed says

    5 stars
    Tried it just now, it wasn’t as hot as id like even though i put 3 green chilis in.

    Had nan on it’s own last night and it was delicious, tried making it today and it burnt – :/ ironic haha

    looking forward to trying your other stuff 🙂

  26. Sigrun Columbia says

    Wow – Ashley this dish was amazing! My husband and I loved loved loved it! This will be a regular at our house! Thank you ! ❤️

  27. Cynthia says

    I made this for the first time tonight…absolutely amazing! I made a double recipe and there was not a drop left by the end of the evening. My family loved it!!!

  28. stacy :) says

    5 stars
    I just wanted to tell you I’m so happy I found your site! Since discovering it ~4 months ago, I have already prepared at least 6 recipes and each one has been perfect! I bought an Instant Pot a few weeks ago – going to switch to the Instant Pot version of butter chicken next time. Thank you so much for your beautiful recipes and website!

  29. LauraBeth says

    HI Ashley,
    This recipe looks so good and all the review are making me want it right now. lol. I have a question for you. I see the recipe calls for gras fed Ghee. I looked it up and it is a form of butter. I am just learning paleo and they use it as well. I was told years ago that I cannot eat dairy , casein, whey, et. as I have an poor immune response to it. Can you please explain why it is o.k, to eat it in this form? Also, where do you purchase something like this? Thanks.

  30. canadian_sadie says

    5 stars
    I found this recipe when I was looking for new things to eat on my first round of The Whole 30. It is AMAZING. My husband, who adores all things Indian, says it’s the best he’s ever eaten. So thank you, thank you, thank you! I love knowing that I have something compliant to eat that is so absolutely delicious. I’ve made it a half dozen times now, 4 of them for company! It’s THAT good! Tonight…I try the naan recipe. 🙂

  31. QiCultivator says

    First of all, this is my “GO TO” blog these days when I’m trying to decide what to cook. Lovely pictures, lovely flavors and interesting recipes. Everytime I browse the recipes, I get excited and pumped up to cook something new. Thank you for all the effort you put in!

    I loved the flavors of this dish, especially with this particular freshly ground Garam Masala: 1 tablespoon each of cumin and coriander seeds, about 10 cardamom pods worth of seeds or 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom seeds, 10-15 black peppercorns, 8-10 cloves and about a 1″ stick of cinnamon. I love the smell just after grinding. Wow!

    My only disappointment is that the liquid came out soupy and thin. I had to eat it out of a bowl. This would be the ultimate butter chicken for me if I could get the liquid to be thick and creamy. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly as it is written. Any suggestions? I read in an earlier comment that I should try using less coconut milk. I will try that next time. Any other ideas? Thank you!

  32. Reva says

    Looking forward to trying this tonight – how large are the cans of coconut milk? They come in two different sizes at my grocery store, thanks!

  33. Colleen says

    The coconut milk that gets added at the end, is that the leftover milk from the can that we skim the cream from, or an entirely new can altogether? Thanks, looking forward…..

  34. bubbles2500 says

    5 stars
    Words cannot describe how amazing this was! I am Indian but I was vegetarian when I lived in India (so never got to try the real stuff), and my experience with butter chicken outside has been sub par.

    But this. Oh god. Just the gravy itself is to die for. I made it twice so the rest of my (vegetarian) family could taste the goodness. The chicken was so soft and tender, and it was good even the next day. I almost never leave comments on recipes but this one deserves it! Bookmarking your website for the future. I cannot wait to explore more of your recipes!

    • My Heart Beets says

      That’s so great to hear!! Thank you so much for letting me know how you liked the recipe 🙂 I hope you’ll let me know what you think of any other recipes that you try!

  35. Mary says

    5 stars
    I just started Paleo a few weeks ago, and thought I would have to give up on delicious Indian food…until I came across your recipe!!! Tastes just like it came from a restaurant, if not BETTER!! Thank you so much!!!

  36. Heather says

    5 stars
    Hands down, this is my absolute favorite recipe paleo or not. My husband can always guarantee a super happy wife when he makes this.

  37. Alicia says

    5 stars
    Wow! Made the butter chicken and naan tonight. That was the best dinner that we’ve had in ages! I added extra juiced ginger and fresh spinach. Everyone (even my non-Paleo husband) gobbled it up. Been eating Paleo for years and authentic Indian food was something that I really missed. Just ordered your ebook and can’t wait to check out some of your other recipes…

  38. supermom says

    can’t wait to try this. my son is 4 and loves butter chicken. i have 3 pounds of chicken thighs. can i double the spices for the marinade? do i need to double the curry ingredients? thanks!

  39. Leah says

    5 stars
    This was amazing! My four children and nephew devoured this meal! I used chicken breasts instead of thighs because that is what I had ready to go. I did sauté cauliflower, okra and peas and had them out on the table as mix-ins for the sauce and the extra veggies were a big hit.

    I also made the na’an from this website and it was equally wonderful.

    The spices were perfect for all of us- this will be in the regular rotation and I am purchasing the cookbook!

    Thanks for my new ‘fav’ recipe website!!!!

  40. Ashley says

    5 stars
    Finally just made your butter chicken after thinking about it for maybe a year? (I kept forgetting to refrigerate the coconut milk for coconut cream, ha.) Did this ever live up to a year of hype though! I used chicken breasts instead of thighs and randomly threw in a small eggplant that was kicking around the crisper. I cannot WAIT to eat this for the rest of the week — and I will definitely be trying the paleo naan tomorrow night to go with it!

  41. Brittany says

    5 stars
    Sooo looking forward to making this! although I have one problem… I’m from NZ so cannot get that brand of tomato sauce – would tomato paste be an ok alternative and if so how much would work well as a substitute?

      • Brittany says

        thanks for that, I’m doing the whole life challenge so im not able to have sugar so its been extremely tricky to find a tomato sauce that doesn’t contain sugar. I’ll just have to have a good hunt around I think. 🙂

  42. Jennifer says

    Made this today. Fabulous flavors. The whole family loved it. Amazing spice combination with the coconut cream.

  43. PatMan says

    5 stars
    This is like the 4th or 5th recipe I’ve used from this site, and every single one of them has been KILLER! This one tops the charts right now though – creamy beyond belief, the browning of the onions adds a superb deep sweetness to the sauce that complements the sweet taste of the tomato sauce yet absorbs the acid tang at the same time. Love it!

  44. Jose Francisco Medeiros says

    I love Butter Chicken, that, Naan, and Tandori Chicken is my favorite Indian food. Thank you for the recipe.


    Jose F. Medeiros

  45. Sandra Molinari says

    5 stars
    I just made the Butter Chicken and Naan last night. I have to say it was DELICIOUS! I really loved it, as did my husband. I will absolutely make it again. YUMMMMY

  46. Steph says

    I’ve been making the recipe for awhile now and love it! Easy and authentic taste! I substitute almond butter and almond milk instead of coconut cream and milk and it’s delicious (but hearty!)! Thank you so much!!

  47. Christine says

    3 stars
    The paleo naan was excellent, however, the butter chicken wasn’t very much like butter chicken. While it was tasty, the spices just didn’t make it taste enough like butter chicken. I was disappointed. Would love to know what was missing. I did follow the recipe exactly.

  48. Darlene says

    When I think butter chicken I always think “my heart beets” thank you for sharing this amazing recipe- it is truly so delicious and full of flavor- very impressed, also love the naan bread too.
    thank you and keep doing GREAT things!

  49. Michelle says

    5 stars
    I made this the other night – it was absolutely delicious and so easy. Will definitely be my go-to recipe.
    Also made the Naan bread which was also amazing.

  50. Debra Dominguez says

    5 stars
    I made the Butter Chicken with Chicken breasts and it turned out awesome! I made the mistake of allowing Ramon to taste this and let me tell you there were no leftovers. Next time I would like to use prawns. The flavors were so yummy!!!

  51. Jessica says

    5 stars
    Hey I have a question. So I made this recipe and everyone loved it. But me…. Usually when I eat Indian food it has a nice kick and I felt even though had it nice flavors it was bland for some reason to me. What could do I do to make it a little more flavorful with a kick?. My husband likes some spice too.

    Don’t get me wrong the recipe was killer but I just felt like it needed something for me and I couldn’t place my finger on it. Thoughts?

  52. Monica Stevens says

    5 stars
    I wanted to ask you how you brought so much traffic to your site. It’s beautiful, and I am blown away by how many reposts you have on Pinterest and Facebook. Do you offer consulting services? I would love to pick your brain, as I am working my butt off to monetize my blog now 🙂

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Monica! Wow, great timing. I have a background in marketing and am actually working on building a small creative consulting agency ( Stay tuned, I’ve saved your email and will reach out soon once I’m ready to go full-time 🙂

  53. josh says

    great recipe!, my only complaint is my sauce came out bitter. do you know what could be causing this?

  54. Becca says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this four times now. My kids and husband love it! I always hope there will be leftovers but there never are! Sometimes I add a touch of maple syrup to sweeten it up but either way- it’s delish!

  55. Sarah says

    5 stars I have to say, I was skeptical that this would be as good as our favorite Indian place’s dish. I’ve attempted to recreate a few Indian and Thai dishes with clean ingredients and they have never been quite right. But this recipe??? FANTASTIC. My coworker asked for the recipe just from smelling my reheated leftovers at lunch today. It was simple to make and hands down the best dinner I’ve made in a looooooooong time. I’m so excited to have this recipe in my collection, and will be trying lots more of your deliciousness. The naan was great, too! I’m looking forward to making mini pizzas with it soon. THANK YOU so very much for such a wonderful recipe!

  56. schnauz says

    5 stars
    (cooking newbie here) Look so good! Are we supposed to make the marinate and the curry? I am doing the whole30

  57. Allison says

    Winner! Even the non-paleo hubby was eating my naan. Hands off, you eat the Basmati! Lol. Served with a steamed broccoli & carrots. Will be adding this to rotation I will make it a little spicer next time.

  58. Asha says

    5 stars
    I rarely ever leave reviews on anything anywhere (just because I rarely know what to say other than “IT WAS GOOD” or “IT WASN’T SO GOOD”), but considering this recipe (with a bit of tweaks to make it extra spicy – my friends and I are heat seekers) has become a staple in my kitchen, I felt the need to write something. This recipe has ALWAYS turned out excellent and delicious every time I make it – only made better with your paleo naan! – and has helped me survive not one but two Whole 30’s!

    So thanks so much for this awesome recipe, and I’m so excited to try more of your recipes!!!

  59. Jessica says

    5 stars
    Butter chicken is one of my favorite dishes, and I never knew how easy it was to make at home. I could not find the leaves and I forgot about the ginger (oops), but I was so excited to make it. It turned out great and my family loved it. This is most certainly added to the meal rotation, but next time with the fenugreek leaves and ginger. 🙂

  60. Diane says

    5 stars
    I love your blog! the recipes are so inspirational. I made this scrumptious chicken to go with your delicious paleo naan for dinner tonight, along with some cauliflower “rice” with toasted cashews. the fenugreek leaves really do add something special. the whole meal was out of this world! both my paleo housemate *and* my non-paleo housemate loved it! thanks a bunch. I’ll be making many more of your recipes soon. I need to order curry leaves to make the Kerala Fish Curry, in fact!

  61. megan says

    Hello. If I were to make it vegetarian and just do the sauce, would it lose a lot of flavor without the marinade for the chicken? Should I throw those extra spices of the marinade into the sauce, or leave as is?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Megan, are you using tofu or paneer? If so, just marinate that instead of chicken. If you’re just adding veggies to the sauce then you can leave out the marinade. Hope that helps!

  62. Jeanette says

    A million thank yous for the Paleo naan recipe! Finally a bread substitute that is Paleo and not dry! It is delicious!

  63. Jonica says

    My husband took one look at this and asked me to make this for his birthday! But, I do wish you had a print button! I have been copy and paste your recipes! I have used this site and several others as I need to go grain free per my doctors orders for the PCOS and the lupus. He wants to try this and see how it works. So Thank you so much for all the work on the recipes you have done!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Jonica, I’m glad you’re making this for your husband’s birthday – please let me know how it turns out! Also, I hope that going grain-free helps with your health issues.

      As for a print button – there is one that shows up for me. Would you mind telling me what device/browser you are using to view my website? I wonder if it isn’t showing up for others as well.

  64. Campbell says

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! Butter chicken is my favorite. Do you think a coconut cream substitute for the coconut milk would make it even creamier, or would that be overkill? I tried it with chicken breast because I couldn’t find thighs at the last minute and it was really delicious, and I am usually wary of dry chicken breasts. Thank you so much!

  65. Anne says

    I have a can of coconut milk that was refrigerated but the top is watery and the bottom is the coconut milk that has thickened. Should I use the bottom thick coconut milk or the watery top for the coconut cream?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Anne, coconut cream is the thick coconut milk that you scoop off after the can has been in the fridge overnight. So yes, even though for some reason it’s on the bottom – you should still use that. Hope that helps! Let me know how this turns out for you.

  66. Alina says

    5 stars
    Thank you for this paleo version of butter chicken. The family loved it, especially my 20 month old, he had about 4 servings and he’s a picky eater! This recipe is a keeper!

  67. Meera says

    5 stars
    Wow!! This is awesome. You are absolutely right when you say a lot paleo isn’t quite the same as the real thing but this definitely hits the mark. I’ve made it twice and both times, so delicious. I used fenugreek powder along with the leaves for a bit more of a kick (that smoky flavor, yummmm), and I added two tbsp of great lakes gelatin to thicken a bit more.
    Sooo good! And makes incredibly delicious leftovers too.

    On a separate note I just want to thank you for all the really delicious recipes you come up with. There aren’t a lot of paleo recipes that foray into specific cuisine and flavor profiles and I *love* and have missed Indian food. So I’m thrilled to have a taste of my favorites even if I can’t eat them every day (nightshade sensitivity etc).

    Great site, great food!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thank you, Meera! I like your additions, I’ll have to try them sometime. Happy to have you as a reader 🙂 I hope you’ll let me know how any other dishes turn out for you!

  68. Leslie says

    We just ate this – and the naan – and loved it!! It was amazing! My girls are now fighting the pot for seconds!

  69. Jenn S says

    5 stars
    I made this the other night, and it’s fabulous! I didn’t have fenugreek, but I’m going to order it so I can put it in next time. 🙂 I actually made it with a curried cauliflower ‘couscous’ from a Blue Apron recipe I made, and it compliments it perfectly (it has chopped cashews, currants, and curry spice in it!). My coworkers couldn’t stop commenting on how good it smells, and everyone has been asking me for the recipe, so I had to post it to Facebook. Thanks so much for this! I miss Indian food, and now I don’t have to!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Jenn, that’s so great to hear – and that sounds delicious! I’m also glad you’re getting fenugreek leaves – they add a little something special to the dish. Hope you will let me know what other recipes you try/like 🙂

  70. Angela says

    Hi! I can’t wait to make this. My husband and I are doing a whole30 this month and miss Indian food so much. Glad I came across this recipe. Quick question: how long do you marinate the chicken for? I’m used to doing so overnight but the instructions make it seem like you’re only marinating for about 30 min. Do you think this is okay flavor-wise?

    Sorry if you answered this already.


    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Angela! I just do 30 minutes and it turns out great/flavorful. You can always do it overnight if that’s easier for you – just bring the chicken back to room temperature before adding it to the pan. Hope that helps – please let me know what you guys think of the recipe after you make it!

  71. Christina Stone says

    Everyone liked this. I was worried it would be spicy hot, but it wasn’t. My husband had 3 helpings. /

  72. Michelle says

    Hi Ashley. Stumbled onto your site searching for paleo naan. I am new to paleo but have already seen effects as my husband and I tried AI paleo for less than a month (our joint pains have noticeably been lessened.) I tried your paleo butter chicken & naan for dinner tonight, and, sadly for me, there is none left over for lunch tomorrow as I had hoped. For the naan I sub’d the almond flour for 2 tbsp coconut flour and added 1tbsp olive oil as coconut flour tends to be quite dry. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  73. Emily says

    Hi! I am excited to make this! I want to make it for a dinner party but the host is dairy-free. Any ideas for what would be best to sub for the ghee? Olive oil? Lard? Thanks in advance!

  74. Davina says

    I was recommended your recipe for Butter Chicken and, Oh Wow! I’m so glad I came across this!!!

    Murgh Makhani is our favourite Indian meal and I was excited to give it a whirl.

    It was absolutely fantastic!!! The other half said it was better than our local Indian and was perfection on a plate – this is high praise indeed!!

    This recipe has now been added to my regular repertoire and the best thing? It’s paleo!

    Thank you very much for this awesome recipe!

  75. Juliane Mortello says

    I fell in love with butter chicken in Kashmir and could not find a recipe that truly tasted like the one I had there.
    Thank you!! This is perfect!!

  76. Michelle says

    Thank you – thank you – thank you! hands down my favorite paleo recipe/dish. My co-workers stare at my lunch flabbergasted it was homemade. My indian friends are impressed I used all the right spices. Thank you for keeping it real – let me know if you have a Tikka masala version soon.

  77. Alisha says

    I can’t even describe how AMAZING this dish is. It’s so amazing, I have to type it IN ALL CAPS. So delicious. Thank you thank you thank you!

  78. Ian says

    Butter chicken dishes are my favorite of all Indian cuisine, and Indian being my favorite of all cuisines.. I wanted to love this dish. But mine came out very thin and soupy, to the point where I had to consume it in a bowl. Any ideas for what I could’ve done wrong? I left a can of coconut milk (the exact brand you linked) in the fridge for around 24 hours, then I left it sitting on the counter for around 10 minutes before I marinated the chicken. Could this be my mistake? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Ian! hmm, if the dish was too thin for your liking I’d suggest adding less coconut milk next time. If I have extra sauce left over, I usually save it and use it for another dish later in the week. I will play around with this recipe though and see if I can update it to make it a little less thin. Hope you’ll let me know if you try any other recipes on the blog!

  79. Abby says

    My husband and I have been doing a 30 day clean diet challenge. We got tired of the same meals and we both love Indian food. Tried the butter chicken, saag and naan. All were delicious! I added a little almond milk to the spinach bc it was too spicy for me, but everything was fantastic! Thanks for the recipes. We will definitely make more next time!

  80. Ann says

    FABULOUS! I have made your butter chicken a couple of times now together with your paleo nan (we love the nan, always have a supply in the freezer) and the butter chicken is a keeper! Everyone loves it, including my 86year old mother! 🙂 thank you again from the UK!

  81. Mercy says

    Hi Ashley, I will be making this dish this weekend but need your advice; your prepping instruction, step 6 – Add 1 can of coconut milk and a pinch of kasoori methi – what is kasoori methi? It’s not listed on the ingredients, just in case I can’t find it locally, what are the alternative options?
    Also, would you advice combining chicken with paneer? I just made the paneer but don’t think it yield enough to feed 4 people. In which case, does paneer needs to be seared before I add into the sauce?
    Loving and having so much fun with your recipes! Thanks!

  82. Shellie says

    This recipe couldn’t be any better! It is so good! I also made the naan and everything was delicious. I will be making both again and again and again!

  83. Ana Price says

    The BEST BEST Butter chicken ever! With your paleo naan! Amazing! I’m wondering if I can freeze these (butter chicken)? Let me know. I apologize if this question is repeated in the comments above. I made the butter chicken last night and hope to get an answer today. Hugs!

  84. AdrianK says

    My mouth was watering the whole time I read this. I’m going to make this this weekend for my girlfriend!

  85. Eliana says

    Butter chicken is my favorite Indian dish and since I got diagnosed with auto-immune disease and was put in a low sodium diet I could no longer go to my favorite restaurant to eat my favorite dish!
    This all changed Sunday when my husband and I took the challenge to go to an Indian store and try to find the spices and make your recipe.
    Honestly, it was the best butter chicken that I ever ate in my life!! We did not add any salt and it was still very tasty! I tried the naan bread but it was with a gooy texture, I don’t know if I did not cook it properly, but I was disappointed since everybody was enjoying it, I will try to make the bread again.
    Thank you so much for your recipes, cannot wait to try other recipes! Keep posting them and hope you are very successful with all your projects!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Eliana, I’m SO glad to hear that you liked this butter chicken so much! Now that you have all the spices in your pantry, you’ll have to try some other Indian recipes 🙂

      Also, the next time you make the naan – if it ends up being gooey, just put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes or so, hopefully that’ll help. Let me know how any other recipes turn out for you!

  86. Elizabeth Ducote says

    Thank you! The recipe was spot on and my niece, a self-proclaimed picky eater, asked me to give the recipe to her mom. The flavors were fabulous and it is now in the rotation.

  87. Natalie says

    HI there, I am excited to try this tomorrow to serve 8 lucky people. Does the recipe work as well using chicken breast meat? also, when you say in your directions, “add the chicken mixture” do you mean the chicken and all of it’s marinade? or am I to pick out the chicken? Thanks so much for your response!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Natalie, I’m sorry for the late reply! Yes, you can use chicken breast but I prefer thighs because white meat can get a bit dry. When I say chicken mixture, that includes the marinade. If you already made this, how did it turn out for you?

  88. Melissa says

    I made this recipe tonight – it’s amazing! My family is in our first week of paleo, and my husband and kids loved this (and had seconds)! The sauce is absolutely delicious! Thank you, thank you!

  89. Sybil says

    Quick question please! I don’t have Fenugreek leaves, but I do have dried fenugreek from Penzey’s spices. Can I substitute the powder form for the dried leaves? I can’t wait to try making this! I love, love, love Indian food and thought I’d have to give it up when I went “Paleo”. Thank you so much for all the awesome recipes you create and share.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sybil! Sorry for the late reply – are these dried fenugreek seeds or dried leaves? I’m assuming seeds and if so, I’d just leave them out. The seeds can be bitter and since you’d be sprinkling them on top of the curry (vs cooking the spice in oil) it may add a strange taste to the dish. Hope you’ll let me know how this turns out for you 🙂

  90. Monika says

    Best butter chicken I’ve ever had! I’m loving your recipes! I almost cried tears of joy when I found your flour free and nut free roti. I made it right away for my 2 year old daughter who has all sorts of allergies. Such a quick and easy recipe. I’ve also ebeen making the batter into waffles and experimenting with different spices. You’ve opened up so many options for our family and I’m so happy that I found your site. Thank you!

  91. Feed The Clan says

    Hey Ashley, I made this tonight and it was awesome! I was licking the bowl and pan clean 🙂 I usually don’t ,make recipes from other blogs, but you have so many that I want to try. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and I look forward to trying more 🙂

  92. k marie says

    I am so excited to try this but I needed to buy some of the spices I didn’t have first. My spice Sage had them all and more so as soon as they arrive, I will be making this! I made and love the naan, as well as several other of your recipes, and just thank you so much for posting them all.

  93. bryony says

    We just had this for dinner. It was amazing so easy to cook and a massive thumbs up from my husband and even my 16month old son. I’ve only had butter chicken a handful of times but this was soooo yummy! I would def be happy to never order from an Indian takeaway shop again! We didnt get fenugreek but it was still yummy! Looking forward to tasting it with it next time. We also made the naan and OMG my husband and I both said we could eat that everyday! Yum im gonna have to try it out as a crepe for breakfast! Thanks for the recipe. It was my first time to your page and I will definitely be back! 🙂

  94. Shannon says

    I followed the recipe exactly and found it to be very thin and bland. Where could I have gone wrong? Thanks!

  95. stephofsydney says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I always feel like I am missing out when we go out and my partner gets Butter Chicken and I can’t have any. I will be making this regularly. It was so delicious and well balanced. I only added half a can of coconut at the end, I think that was enough for us. Really lovely!

  96. Chris V says

    Okay. Call me crazy but I have never had butter chicken before!!! I have many many food allergies so it has always been out of my reach…..until now! I can’t WAIT to make this recipe to go with my favourite naan bread — yours!!!!

  97. Zoe Arp says

    I made this with cauliflower rice and it tastes just like what you’d get at the best Indian restaurant around here (and there are some great ones here in the DC area) but yours is so much healthier. The trick with the cauliflower rice is to wait to mix rice with the sauce until serving. Once mixed on the plate you really can’t tell the difference! Thank you so much for making my favorite dish easy healthy AND incredibly tasty!

  98. Hannele says

    I looooved your recipe for both the naan and butter chicken, and so did my picky eater husband! Thank you for sharing!

  99. Marya says

    Oh. My. Word. This is DElicious. I made it with your naan, and my taste buds haven’t been this happy in a looooong time. Thank you so much!!!!

  100. Manasi Joshi says

    So happy to have found Indian paleo recipes!!! I try and modify my mom’s recipes too as best I can, but super happy to find your blog (and hopefully be more creative with my recipes!!)
    I have been wanting to make gajar halwa for a while, and want to expand into more Indian recipes as well… so will definitely be looking through your recipes meticulously!!

  101. Lesa says

    This is a wonderful recipe! So fragrant & tasty! I made for the first time tonight. My husband loved it. I halved the recipe since it’s just the two of us. We had left overs using 1lb of chicken thighs & everything else halved too. I’m so appreciative of your recipe. Being on the paleo eating plan has been wonderful, thanks to people like you who posted their recipes & write paleo cookbooks. Thank you! 🙂

  102. Dana says

    Your Butter Chicken tastes even BETTER than anything I have had in restaurants where we live! Thank you so much for sharing this.
    The recipe is just a tad bit more involved than the recipe I have used before but very we’ll worth any effort. I am lucky to have an Indian spice store about a mile from home and followed the recipe as is. The flavor is complex and just perfect. I did add frozen cauliflower and green peas because we love veggies in ours.
    This recipe makes a ton, which for the effort, is a great thing because there was enough left over to freeze for later.
    Can’t stop thinking about how yummy this was and can’t wait to have it again!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Dana, so happy you love my butter chicken recipe!! Thank you for letting me know how well it turned out for you! Hope you’ll let me know if you try any other recipes on my blog 🙂

  103. Chrissie Edwards says

    A google search for butter chicken sent me here! I made this tonight and it was so good! I also cooked curried cauliflower rice to complement 🙂

  104. Kendall says

    Very, very good. My husband does not care for Indian food or coconut and he enjoyed this (I omitted the garam masala from the curry portion for him). THANK YOU! I will be making this regularly.

  105. marisa says

    I find adding cilantro and slivered garlic to the naan and a lot of ghee after taking them off the stove makes them taste a lot more authentic. still delicious either way.

  106. Heidi Fiscus says

    We love Indian food and butter chicken so I HAD to try this recipe. It was a total hit, everyone loved it! Even our two-year-old loved it!

    I used a red bell pepper instead of a green one and I ran out of tomato sauce. It still tasted great!

  107. Jen says

    I made this for dinner tonight. I did not have garam masala so I used allspice. My family LOVED it. My husband said, “It’s a keeper” several times. My naan bread was a little chewy but maybe that is how it is supposed to be. I will be making this again!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Jen, so glad to hear that you and your family loved the recipe! And yup – as long as the naan is chewy and not gooey then you’re good! You can always cook the naan for a longer period of time on lower heat – it’s hard to overcook the bread when it’s on low. Let me know what you think of any other recipes that you try!

  108. Annette says

    Love, this recipe. My kids loved it to. We ate it for lunch and dinner for days. We are already wanting the next batch.

  109. Cassie says

    After stalking your Butter Chicken recipe on one of my Pinterest boards for a few months I finally called my spice rack to attention and got down to it. I enjoyed cooking this as much as I did eating it. I can eat butter chicken guilt free once again. Thank you so very much. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into this recipe. Looking forward to sampling others you have developed.

  110. Becky says

    Made this last night and it was a huge hit! It tasted just like the butter chicken at our favorite Indian restaurant. I could only find the ground fenugreek seed but it still tasted amazing!! Thanks so much, this will be a staple in our household from now on 🙂

  111. Beth says

    Wow!!! That’s how I feel after making and eating this recipe. I used plain Greek yogurt in place of the coconut cream because I didn’t plan ahead enough to chill it over night, and I used breasts instead of thighs. I am half Indian and have eaten butter chicken since I was a kid but this is by far the best I’ve made for myself at home! I can see this being a regular recipe, thanks!!! 🙂

  112. Catherine says

    This is a WONDERFUL recipe. I did not have the Kasoori Methi, so look forward to trying it again as soon as I get some. My family all agreed that it was restaurant quality – extremely good.

  113. Taylor says

    Question, after the spices bloom you say add chicken mixture, is that chicken with marinade or just the chicken?

  114. Natasha A. says

    I’ve made every Butter Chicken recipe I’ve ever come across. Having gone Paleo only a few months ago, this is my first one without dairy, etc. OMG. This is the BEST Butter Chicken I have ever made. My husband took one bite and said to me that I better not lose this recipe!
    Now, if I can only master the Naan, as that was a big fail!! Will try again tomorrow with the leftovers.
    Thank you!!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Natasha – so happy to hear you both loved my butter chicken recipe 🙂 Thanks for letting me know how it turned out! As for the naan, try again! It is super tasty when cooked properly – cook it for a long time on low heat (if medium is too hot). It’s perfect with the butter chicken. Hope you’ll let me know if it works out for ya!

  115. Lisa says

    Hi Ashley,

    Love, love, love this recipe. My teenage and twenty something sons plus their friends devoured it. I served this with your delicious naan (unfortunately I slightly under cooked one of the naan… long is too long?) I will definitely try them again. Your tandoori chicken is next on my list. Thanks for sharing!


    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Lisa! I’m so happy you that you all loved the butter chicken! As for the naan, it depends on the amount of batter you use as well as your stove. If you’re worried that the naan will burn, just lower the heat and cook it until it is no longer gummy inside. I hope this works for you! Please let me know how you like the tandoori chicken – it’s one of my favorites 🙂

  116. Minna says

    I just made your butter chicken and naan recipes the other night and my whole family loved it! My non-paleo husband even said that your naan bread is better than the traditional one! The butter chicken was also better the next day when all the flavors got to meld together. If I could request a paleo tikka masala recipe from you, I would be forever grateful! Thanks for helping me quell my Indian food cravings, Ashley!!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Minna, I’m so happy to hear your non-paleo husband likes this naan better than regular naan! Totally makes my day 🙂 And I agree – leftover Indian food is always so tasty! I’ll keep the Indian food recipes coming 🙂

  117. Diane says

    This is a lot like the Butter Chicken I make except the recipe I have , you have to make your own masala . Yum . Butter Chicken is one of my absolute favorite meals ! I think the secret ingredient is the fenugreek leaves ( I use 2 Tablespoons in the gravy ) and I am very fortunate to have an awesome spice shop downtown that carries them ! I have not made this since going gluten free . I am going to make some this weekend now that you have given me a recipe for naan ! Butter Chicken + Naan = Heaven :0)

  118. Emily says

    I absolutely love Butter Chicken but just recently started eating Paleo. I was excited to try this recipe, but a little hesitant since I used to take the easy route with a simmer sauce from Whole Foods – a nice convenience with 3 kids. I am SO happy I took the time to make this! This is the second delicious recipe of yours that I have made!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Monette! I think roasting the onions and spices adds so much flavor to the dish, but if you decide to go the crock-pot route, you’ll get a nicely spiced creamy curry. Just be sure to add the coconut milk toward the end – maybe the last hour.

  119. fiona says

    OMG, Ashley – I have wanted to make this since I started following your blog a few weeks ago, and finally did tonight along with the naan bread recipe. Soooo delicious, I added some mushrooms and spinach to the curry, and had to make the naan garlic!! 🙂 My hubs loved it too. Thank you so much, this will be a part of our paleo lifestyle for years to come!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Fiona, I’m so glad you like the butter chicken and naan recipes! I love mushrooms/spinach – I’ll have to try that the next time I make it! Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out for you 🙂

  120. kohley says

    I LOVE the fact that you post paleo Indian recipes! Indian cuisine is my favourite and Ive missed it so much since becoming paleo. Thankyou! Please keep posting! 🙂

  121. Justin says

    oh. my. goodness. this is getting fixed *tonight*!! thanks so much for bringing my favorite indian dish to paleo form!!! Now, i have some vegetarian roommates… have you ever heard of someone making this dish with tofu instead (or some chicken substitute)? Thanks Ashley!

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