The Easiest Recipe for Rich, Creamy Indian Goodness

Butter chicken is one of the most popular Indian dishes, a rich and creamy tomato-based gravy punctuated with warm spices like coriander, cumin, and turmeric. This slow cooker butter chicken is an easy shortcut version that’s just as delicious as the traditional recipe, with succulent chicken simmering in an incredible creamy sauce.

Ingredients Needed for Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

To make this simple slow cooker butter chicken, you’ll need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • Onion, garlic, ginger, tomato sauce/puree
  • Spices like garam masala, turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili powder
  • Butter, cream or coconut milk, lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Why Use a Slow Cooker for Butter Chicken?

slow cooker butter chicken recipe has several advantages:

  • It cooks low and slow, allowing the chicken to become very tender
  • The sauce takes on rich depth of flavor as it simmers for hours
  • No need to constantly monitor the stove or oven
  • Perfect for meal prepping – make a big batch for easy weeknight dinners

Step-by-Step Instructions for Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Follow these simple steps for foolproof slow cooker butter chicken:

Prep the Ingredients

  1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces if using breasts, or leave whole if using thighs.
  2. Roughly chop the onion, garlic, and ginger.
  3. Open the tomato sauce/puree and measure out the amount needed.
  4. Measure out all the spices.

Brown the Chicken

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken pieces in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned.
  3. Transfer browned chicken to the slow cooker.

Sauté the Aromatics

  1. In the same pan, sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Stir in tomato sauce/puree and spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Simmer in the Slow Cooker

  1. Transfer aromatic mixture to the slow cooker.
  2. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
  4. Once done, stir in butter and cream.

Your easy slow cooker chicken is ready to enjoy with hot naan or over basmati rice! The sauce is rich, creamy, and packed with flavor.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

This easy slow cooker butter chicken recipe delivers tender chicken in an incredible rich, creamy Indian curry sauce.

  • Slow cooker
  • Large skillet
  • 2 lbs boneless (skinless chicken (breasts or thighs), cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 cup tomato sauce/puree
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  1. Lightly brown chicken pieces in a skillet over medium-high heat, approx. 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. In the same skillet, sauté onion for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute more.
  3. Stir in tomato sauce/puree and all spices. Transfer mixture to slow cooker. Add chicken pieces and mix well.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 4-6 hours.
  5. Once done, stir in heavy cream and butter.
  6. Garnish generously with chopped cilantro before serving.
  • For best flavor, don’t skip the step of browning the chicken. But if you’re short on time, you can place the chicken directly into the slow cooker.
  • Letting the dish rest for 10-15 minutes once cooking finishes allows the sauce to thicken up.
Main Course

Frequently Asked Questions About Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

What kind of chicken works best?

Boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts work equally well. Thighs tend to stay juicier. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Can I skip browning the chicken?

Browning adds deeper flavor, but you can skip it if you’re short on time.

What if my slow cooker butter chicken looks watery?

If the sauce looks thin after cooking, turn the heat to HIGH and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes to reduce and thicken it.

How long is this recipe good for in the fridge?

Properly stored slow cooker chicken will keep for 3-4 days refrigerated. The flavors improve with time.

Can I freeze the leftovers?

Yes! Let it cool completely, then transfer to freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge before reheating.

What sides go well with slow cooker butter chicken?

Buttery naan, basmati rice, cucumber raita, or a fresh salad. Root vegetables like potatoes also pair nicely.

Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

  • Use boneless chicken thighs for the most tender, juicy result.
  • Brown the chicken for added flavor before slow cooking.
  • Sauté the aromatics like onion, garlic, and ginger before adding.
  • Let it cook low and slow for 4-6 hours on LOW heat.
  • Finish with butter and cream or coconut milk for rich creaminess.
  • Add dried fenugreek leaves for authentic Indian flavor.
  • Serve with hot naan bread and basmati rice or cauliflower rice.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro for freshness.

This easy slow cooker butter chicken is perfect for busy weeknights or easy entertaining. The incredible aromatic sauce with melt-in-your-mouth chicken is sure to be a favorite!


This simple slow cooker butter chicken recipe delivers an incredible rich, creamy Indian dish with very little effort. The chicken slowly simmers to tenderness in a tomato-butter sauce punctuated with warm aromatic spices like coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Serve it over basmati rice with hot naan bread for a satisfying meal. The versatility of using a slow cooker means you can start it in the morning and have dinner ready right when you walk in the door. Leftovers also freeze wonderfully for instant meals down the road. For an effortless dinner that’s packed with big flavor, try this easy slow cooker butter chicken recipe.

Myra Henry created the Keto Taco Salad blog to share my favorite delicious low-carb recipes without sacrificing flavor. when i started the keto diet 2 years ago, I discovered a love for making healthy Mexican dishes like keto taco salads. My blog features easy keto taco salad recipes and tips for keto success.

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