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Rich and Creamy Butter Chicken

Fabulous butter chicken, created right in your own kitchen! Rich, creamy, and full of flavor, you'll love bringing a taste of Indian to your table. Perfect served with hot basmati rice or naan.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword butter chicken
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 691kcal
Author Lisa from A Day in the Kitchen



  • 1 kg (just over 2 lbs) boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into chunks
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups plain full-fat yogurt
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1-2 tbs ginger minced or grated


  • 1 tbs ghee (butter is fine if you don't have ghee)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 2 tbs ginger minced or grated
  • 2 1/4 cups tomato passata (may also be called tomato puree; NOT tomato paste)
  • 2 1/4 cups cream (can use whole milk or combination of the two)
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/4 cup Butter



  • In a large ziploc bag, place chicken pieces and lemon juice. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine yogurt, spices, garlic, and ginger and mix well.
    Spices and yogurt for Creamy Butter Chicken marinade
  • Add yogurt-spice mixture to chicken in the ziploc bag, making sure that chicken is coated well.
  • Seal ziploc bag and refrigerate chicken for at least 4 hours (overnight is best).
    Butter chicken pieces marinating in seasoned yogurt

Cooking Day

  • Preheat oven 450 deg F (230C).
  • Remove chicken from marinade and place on a foil liked baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, until chicken is browned.
    Marinated Creamy Butter Chicken pieces ready for the oven
  • While chicken is roasting, melt ghee in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add dry spices to the ghee and stir until fragrant (30 seconds).
  • Add ginger and garlic to spices and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add tomato passata, cream, and honey and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil.
  • Add cooked chicken pieces to the pot and heat through.
  • Add 1/4 cup butter and stir into sauce to melt.
  • Garnish butter chicken with some fresh parsley and a drizzle of cream.


Editor's Note - November 4th, 2017 - a correction was made to the quantity of chicken for the recipe. It previously stated that you needed 1.5 kg (3 lbs.) of boneless, skinless chicken thighs because I originally developed this recipe using bone-in chicken thighs. However, I changed the final recipe to boneless chicken thighs to make it easier. The recipe has now been corrected to reflect the right amount of boneless chicken thighs needed. ~Lisa.


Calories: 691kcal