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I've been on a quest to create crock pot recipes that I can prep & freeze ahead of time, then just dump them in the crock pot when I'm ready to eat them. And this easy crockpot butter chicken is one of my absolute favorites.
Of course, if you'd rather not prep it ahead of time, you don't have to. Just dump all the ingredients in the crockpot and in a few hours you'll be glad you did.
Why i love this Indian Butter CHicken Recipe
Here's why I love this meal so much:
- It's delicious. Seriously, the flavors are amazing. I love when I can make take-out substitutes healthier for less money.
- It's easy. So easy. A dump-and-go crockpot recipe. Doesn't get any easier than that.
- It's healthy. Made with simple ingredients, you won't find refined oils, sugars, or any preservatives in here.
What do I need to make Crockpot Indian Butter CHicken?
- Cutting board (like this eco-friendly wooden set)
- Sharp knife - If your knives are dull, the best and safest thing you can do is buy an inexpensive knife sharpener like this one that we have. Dull knives are dangerous AND they make chopping about fifty times harder than it needs to be.
- Crockpot with timer / slow cooker or Instant pot with slow cook option. We use our Instant Pot (two tools in one - BONUS). I love that ours has a timer so that if it'll shut off when it's done.
- Freezer bag - Use these if you want to just prep the ingredients and freeze it for later (I love this method). These are the compostable freezer bags I've been using.
- Zester - To zest the fresh ginger to boost the flavor of the ginger.
How to make this recipe
Option 1: As a make ahead freezer meal
If you want to prep this recipe and freeze it for another day, no problem at at all. Here's how you do it:
- Chop the veggies
- Add the meat, veggies, and all other ingredients to the freezer bag.
- Label the bag with "Indian Butter Chicken" and the date, then lay flat in the freezer.
- Once it's frozen you can stand the frozen bag up like a book to save space.
Option 2: as a crockpot meal
If you're ready to make this for dinner today, I don't blame you. Dump all the ingredients into your crockpot, turn it on low, and cook it for about 6 hours.
I'm here to help...
Using your slow cooker is an awesome option for hands-free cooking. I especially like the slow cooker when there's a bunch of spices (like in Indian food). The slow cooking helps the spices blend together and the end result is just delicious.
The recipe below will tell you step by step how to make Indian butter chicken from scratch (no special ingredients needed).
In this recipe, you'll find carrots, onion, and I love to serve it over cauliflower rice. Feel free to experiment here and use what you have, or like. In this crockpot recipe, other root vegetables would be a great addition (parsnips, turnips, beets, etc.)
Chicken cooks pretty fast in a crockpot (relatively speaking). Especially if you're cooking chicken thighs or breasts. Cook this recipe (boneless chicken thighs) for 6 hours on low. If you chop the chicken into smaller pieces it'll cook faster (4-5 hours) and if there's a bone in the chicken, it'll take a little longer.
Can I make this ahead of time?
My favorite way to make this recipe (and every recipe these days) is to prep the ingredients ahead of time, and freeze it in the freezer to cook later.
If you've already cooked the Indian butter chicken, you can store the leftovers in the fridge or freeze them for later. It will keep well for 3-5 days in the fridge.
- 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs
- ½ onion - chopped to ½" dice
- 4-5 carrots - chopped to ½" dice
- ½ can
- 1 can tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, zested
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
Serve with (optional)
- Chop the onion and carrots and put in the crock pot bowl.
- Add the boneless chicken thighs.
- Mix the coconut milk, tomato paste, butter/ghee, zested fresh ginger, and spices (cardamom, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne (if you're using)) in a separate bowl until well mixed. Then pour it into the crock pot bowl.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Serve with lime wedges, fresh cilantro, naan or Paleo flatbread, and/or cauliflower rice (or normal rice).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 635Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 300mgSodium: 936mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 61g