If you’re in need an easy weeknight meal and can be on your dinner table in just 30 minutes, then this Easy Coconut Butter Chicken recipe is going to be one of your  go-to for sure.

Serve it with hot fluffy rice and lots of fresh coriander. There’s just enough spice to make it flavorful, and with the addition of coconut cream will add that super silkiness that is going to be a family pleaser for sure.

This recipe is one that we’ve cooked for years because it’s so easy, quick and everyone just loves it.


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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Fast n Easy – you can’t go wrong with chicken, chopped yellow onion, coconut cream (always have a tin on hand at home) and a handful of spices.

Kid approved – we made this on repeat for years and never got a complaint from any of the kiddo’s. It’s not hot or over spicy and a twist on the usual curry recipes.

Simple Ingredients – this may be a simple butter chicken recipe but it definitely won’t disappoint.

Comfort food – this homemade butter chicken just hits the spot every time.

One pot- recipe –  less clean up… yeah!


Recipe Ingredients


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Chicken – boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs work both in this recipe

Onion – finely diced. Brown or yellow onion works fine.

Garlic – 2-3 medium sized cloves garlic

Tomato Paste – quick and easy from the jar

Butter – to fry those onions and garlic in so they sauté beautifully

Garam Masala – just a teaspoon but added towards the end of the recipe. (more info on garam masala)

Coconut Cream – creates a dairy free option and makes for a runnier sauce.

Spices – teaspoon of ground ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and salt

Chili powder – just a pinch but if you love it spicy add as much as you like. (or even a cayenne pepper if you are game)

Sugar – just a pinch of brown sugar

Coriander – or fresh cilantro (for our US friends) to serve on top


What Does Butter Chicken Taste Like?

Butter chicken has a rich creamy sauce with a hint of Indian cuisine. Not like your usual Thai style curries, this is rather a more rounded flavour as the spices used in this recipe aren’t hot at all. It’s a great dish for kids or anyone who doesn’t fancy too much spiciness.


How to Make Easy Coconut Butter Chicken Step by Step

(Full recipe is in the card below) ⏬


STEP 1. Firstly on medium heat sauté the butter, onions and garlic for 3-4 of minutes.


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STEP 2. In a large bowl coat the chicken pieces in the spices (excluding the garam masala).


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STEP 3.  Sauté the chicken in the onion, garlic and butter mix for a couple of minutes stirring all the time.

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STEP 4. Add the tomato paste, coconut cream and garam masala and cook for around 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the cubed chicken pieces.

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Serve on a bed of fluffy rice topped with fresh coriander.

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Substitutions and Additions For Coconut Butter Chicken

Fresh Tomato’s – Add some fresh tomato’s into the pan when you add the coconut cream.  They give this dish a lighter taste.

Heavy Cream – Traditionally a Butter Chicken recipe uses fresh thick cream and can be swapped out for the coconut cream in this recipe.

You like it Spicy?- Add more chili powder to give this recipe a real kick.

Lime Juice – a squeeze of fresh lime will add that extra zing and freshness.


What Do I Cook Butter Chicken In?

When Greg first made this dish we uses both a large pot and high sided frypan.  I prefer the large frying pan frypan as it’s wider and can cook the ingredients without stewing them.

When the chicken has been coated in the spices and are browned in the pan, it isn’t necessary to cook all the way through.  This will happen when the coconut milk, tomato paste is added and you cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Over cooking will tend to dry the chicken out.

The size of your chicken cubes will determine the cooking time too.  The smaller the cubes the quicker the cook time which makes for a quick easy midweek dinner recipe.


Serving Suggestions for Easy Coconut Butter Chicken.

Naan or roti bread goes down a treat with this butter chicken recipe.

Rice of course. We used what was in the cupboard at the time but basmati rice is great.

Low Carb option try Cauliflower Rice.

Coriander/Cilantro  and we do love it. Brightens up a curry beautifully.

Poppadum’s add a nice little crunch and texture.  If you don’t have any on hand you could try our 6 minute Crunchy Air Fryer Tortilla Chips recipe and make your own.

Steamed fresh vegetables like broccoli, carrot and cauliflower.

Storage and Reheating

Keep your delicious butter chicken leftovers safe and sound in an airtight container in the fridge.

When you’re ready to enjoy it again, gently warm it up on the stove or zap it in the microwave for a quick and tasty meal! Honestly word of caution…..if you leave it too long, someone will have snaveld it all up just when you think you’ll like a serve the next day.

Recipe Card

5 from 1 vote
Easy Coconut Butter Chicken
Easy Coconut Butter Chicken
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins

There’s right enough spice in this butter chicken recipe to make it super flavorful and with the addition of coconut cream will add that super silkiness that is going to be a family pleaser for sure.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butter chicken with coconut cream, easy butter chicken recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 1153 kcal
  • 500 gm chicken breast or thighs cubed
  • 30 gm butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground chili
  • 1 tab tomato paste
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp sugar
  1. Melt the butter and sauté the diced onion, crushed garlic for 2 minutes.

  2. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and coat with the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, chili and salt spice mix.

  3. Sauté the chicken in the onion mix stirring continuously till browned for 5 minutes.

  4. Add the tomato paste, coconut cream and garam masala and simmer for another 5 minutes. Cook no longer than 10 minutes to prevent the chicken from becoming dry.

  5. Serve on a bed of fluffy rice topped with fresh corriander.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: To make this a lighter sauce you can use coconut milk if you prefer.  It may make it just a bit thinner in consistency.

Serve with naan bread, poppadum's or freshly chopped tomatoes. 

Nutrition Facts
Easy Coconut Butter Chicken
Amount Per Serving (4 g)
Calories 1153 Calories from Fat 1125
% Daily Value*
Fat 125g192%
Saturated Fat 37g231%
Polyunsaturated Fat 26g
Monounsaturated Fat 56g
Cholesterol 107mg36%
Sodium 625mg27%
Potassium 121mg3%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 113IU2%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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About Sonya

Easy Coconut Butter Chicken 3Helloooo, I'm Sonya and I'm one of those late starter's in the exercise department. (but you know you're never too late to start). A retired beauty therapist who likes geeking out in the online world, loves 4-legged fury friends, baking and gardening.