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(Extra Creamy!) Butter Chicken 🍛 gluten free, keto & paleo

This keto butter chicken is ridiculously tasty, aromatic, and a breeze to whip up! Plus, it just so happens to be a naturally low carb dish (and we’ve since added a dairy free and paleo option too!).

Oh, and be sure not to forget the keto naan

Paleo & Keto Butter Chicken With Naan
Paleo, Low Carb & Keto Butter Chicken

Paleo & Keto Butter Chicken

Suuuper Creamy (& Easy!)

Butter chicken might just be the most famous curry export from India, wow-ing palates wherever it goes. Plus, it also happens to be incredibly easy to get just right!

And while there are a myriad of versions out there, it’s in essence a yogurt-with-spices-and-lime marinated chicken, cooked up in a mildly spiced and incredible curry sauce. And for a paleo version, coconut yoghurt and cream work wonderful with the flavors!

Said curry sauce is also a breeze to make. Think sautéed onions cooked up with the incredibly aromatic ginger, garam masala, cumin, turmeric and just a hint of cinnamon. All naturally keto ingredients, whoop whop!

Oh! And be sure not to forget to whip up a batch of our keto naan (with yeast!)

Fresh Keto naan with garlic butter and coriander
Gluten Free & Keto Naan (i.e. Flatbread!)

The Method 🔍

For exceptional butter chicken, browning each ingredient before adding on the next is paramount. You see this over and over again in cuisines worldwide: from Mexican mole, to American chili, Italian ragù, or French bourguignon.

The one thing all these stellar dishes have in common? Browning each ingredient fully before you add in the next one. The complexity of flavors that you get by doing this, simply cannot be replicated any other way.

So repeat after me: browning is truly essential.

The good news? This keto butter chicken ain’t mole or chili! i.e. you won’t need to leave it cooking all day. Think an hour tops, but more like 45 mins or so.

Serving Suggestions

If keto or low carb, I cannot recommend enough to serve it up with cauliflower rice. It’s wonderful this way, trust me. Just keep in mind that I prefer to rice our cauliflower slightly bigger here, so you get more of a ‘mouthful’ and it doesn’t completely blend into the butter chicken.

And once again, don’t forget the naan!

Dipping keto naan into a butter chicken bowl
Gluten Free & Keto Naan (i.e. Flatbread!)
Paleo, Low Carb & Keto Butter Chicken

Paleo, Low Carb & Keto Butter Chicken

Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, keto, low carb, paleo
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 367 kcal

This keto butter chicken is ridiculously tasty, aromatic, and a breeze to whip up! Plus, it just so happens to be a naturally low carb dish (and we've since added a dairy free and paleo option too!). 

Print

Ingredients

For the chicken marinade:

  • 1 cup plain full-fat Greek-style yogurt or plain coconut yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 900 g boneless chicken skinless chicken, diced into bite-sized pieces*

For the butter sauce:

  • 60 g butter or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil such as avocado
  • 1 medium onion peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic ran through a press
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 14-ounce can diced tomatoes or 2 medium-sized tomatoes diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2-1 cup heavy cream or coconut cream/full-fat milk, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour

To serve:

Instructions

  1. Mix in a bowl yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and season with salt to taste.  Stir in chicken pieces. If possible, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours (or up to a day). 

  2. Melt butter with oil in a large pan over medium heat until bubbly. Add in onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent. Add in garlic, ginger, cumin seeds and cinnamon. Continue to cook until onions are browned, stirring frequently. 

  3. Add in tomatoes, chili and season with salt. Cook until the tomatoes are fully cooked and the chili soft, about 10 minutes. 

  4. Add in the chicken with the yogurt marinade into the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in stock and bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.*

  5. Stir in cream and almond flour and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes until chicken is fully cooked. Season to taste. 

  6. Serve right away over a bed of cauliflower rice and garnished with cilantro leaves. 

Recipe Notes

*Feel free to use bone-in (skinless!) chicken, you'll just have to cook it a little longer in the sauce (think around 30-45 minutes). 

Please note that nutrition values for this dish may vary widely depending on the brands and amount of fresh produce you use (think onions and tomatoes). 

Nutrition Facts
Paleo, Low Carb & Keto Butter Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 367 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 146mg49%
Sodium 266mg11%
Potassium 666mg19%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 610IU12%
Vitamin C 6.1mg7%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

165 comments

  1. Jonathan Cutner says:

    Not sure what I did wrong, but mine came out more yellow, like a Curry Chicken – and it has more of a curry chicken taste.

    No orange Butter Chicken colour, or taste. Hmm. Could have sworn I followed it by the book! Still tastes good however.

    • Paola says:

      The most straightforward explanation could simply be a difference in spices used? They can vary a lot from brand to brand xo!

  2. E-money says:

    Soooooo yummy!! I never write reviews but this one was needed. I’d eat this even if I wasn’t keto-ing. Delish!

  3. Laura Sauls says:

    Yum! Thank you so much for this great recipe! I used to get this wonderful butter chicken at a restaurant near us that since closed, and have tried many other recipes that just weren’t right. I’m on a keto diet and loved this, but even better, my non-keto eating family all liked it, too! Finding keto recipes that I can serve to my husband and kids without making two versions is so nice!

  4. AR says:

    I was really skeptical when I began making this since I’ve never made butter chicken before, but WOW this was delicious. I kept letting the smells of all the spices fool me into thinking I would be disappointed but I wasn’t. It also made way more food than I was expecting!

  5. Carolyn says:

    If I use Trader Joe’s Seasoned Buffalo Ghee (made from Buffalo Milk) what spices would I omit or adjust amounts? I never make or eat Indian food, so I have no idea how this should taste. Thanks!!

    • Crystal says:

      Just made it with that ghee…added more turmeric and delish…if anything add a bit more seasoning all around…used pepper flakes instead of jalepeno

    • Paola says:

      Hi Kourtney! Number of servings is always on top of the recipe card and nutrition facts are calculated per one serving xo

  6. Shehneela says:

    Hi Paola, I just wanted to confirm how much of the can of tomatoes is required. When I look at the metric measurements it’s 1/2 a 14 ounce can. When I switch to US cups it says 14 ounce can. Could you let me know which is correct please? Btw I have tried a few of your recipes and all have been amazing. Can’t wait to try more. Especially the cinnamon toast crunch!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Shehneela! It should be 1/2 can, so thanks for letting me know about the slip up! P.s. always trust more the metric measurements if in doubt 😉

      And I’m so happy you’re enjoying the recipes so much! Always awesome to hear 🙂 xo and have a lovely weekend!

  7. Devyn davidson says:

    I was also going to ask, would you consider making a panang curry or thai curry recipe? I LOVE Thai food! Thanks!!

    • Paola says:

      There’s a quick (i.e. lazy!) Thai coconut curry already (and pad Thai!). I love Thai food too, so will definitely keep on adding to that 😉

  8. Devyn davidson says:

    I’m working my way through every recipe on your website. This was fantastic!!

    I’ve never tried real butter chicken but I definitely don’t feel like I’m missing out cuz this recipe was the bomb!

    I’m going to make a bunch of this ahead of time for an easy freezer meal. Any tips on freezing? Thanks!!!

  9. Kaity D says:

    I made this and wanted to love it, but my chicken came out super dry! 🙁 The sauce was good, so maybe I’ll try chicken thighs instead of breasts next time.

    • Paola says:

      Hi Kaity! Oh no! Maybe they were cooked too long while searing them? Any chicken piece will work the charm here, just be sure to add extra time if using bone-in pieces xo!

  10. breezy says:

    What is the serving size per portion? It’s not listed on the nutritional facts. Also, does that include if you’re serving it over any kind of rice?
    Thank you!

    • Paola says:

      Hi there Breezy! Number of servings is always listed on top of the recipe card and nutrition facts are always calculated per serving. No rice is included so you guys portion according to macros xo!

      • breezy says:

        Thanks for responding but that still doesn’t answer my question. I know it makes 6 servings but how big are those servings? 1 cup? 1.5 cups?
        I’m trying to start measuring servings out for myself and it’s hard to make a big batch and eye-ball one-sixth of a pot. Plus, it’s so delicious I could easily end up eating twice as much as I should… Thanks for any help.

        • Paola says:

          I fully understood your question, but the thing here is that in a recipe like this it’s ironically much more precise to eye ball it (unless you weigh the whole batch yourself and then divide it by 6). Reason being that servings by volume and weight will depend A LOT on how much you boil down your butter chicken, how much stock/water you add etc.

          While I might get say 8 cups, other people might get 7-9 cups with the same ingredients. Does that make sense?

      • Brooke says:

        Paola,
        I so appreciate this recipe. Regarding serving size. I’m afraid I am still a little confused. I understand there are 6 servings in your recipe. However, I’m unclear on the grand total of grams of the dish that are then being divided into 6.

        I’ve double the recipe and am using left overs through the week. I’m eating 200 grams of the dish at one sitting. Can you help me understand how to calculate that out?

        Thanks for all of these lovely dishes. We are new to the Keto Diet but are great lovers of food and your site is a welcome resource.
        -Brooke

        • Paola says:

          Hi Brooke! If I give you guys grams or cups for this recipe they’ll be useless as all your batches will have a different yield depending on how you cook it (how much it reduces etc). I hope this makes sense! Its actually more accurate to eyeball it and divide it in 6. Unless you do your own weighing etc of each individual ingredient 😉

    • Paola says:

      Hi Sabi! Number of servings is always at the top of the recipe card and nutrition values are calculated per serving xo!

  11. BagelBreath says:

    60 g butter?! I hope that’s a mistake! Just finished preparing the marinade, excited to try this tmrw, sounds delicious.

  12. Antonio says:

    It was a great low-carb dinner but found myself wanting the flavor of the spices to be a more pronounced. Still, it was a great meal that I’d be happy to serve to guest!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Antonio! So happy you enjoyed! Just keep in mind that spice strength does vary a lot from brand to brand (and how long they’ve been in your cupboard!) xo

  13. TEENA GOSBEE says:

    I keep track of my macros and your nutritional info says how much they are but don’t say what the serving size is…maybe I missed it somewhere in the recipe…ps it looks amazing I miss butter chk

  14. Boadu says:

    This was just fabulous! Found you on Pinterest, but you’re getting bookmarked right onto my web browser now. I also tried your brownie recipe and oh man! This is going to be my go to website for recipes.

  15. Georgia says:

    Huge win y’all!! I made this for my family tonight, my first EVER Indian dish, (eating or cooking), and it was so good!!! Granted, it certainly took me longer than an hour, but it was well worth it! I also made the “naan” and oh my goodness, a game changer. My husband has stars in his eyes for all the things we’re going to use those tortillas for. Impressed!! Thank you for sharing this!!!

  16. Jennifer F says:

    This was actually outstanding! Served it up with your ‘tortillas’ and the boyfriend may have even loved me a little more afterwards! 😉

  17. emma rose says:

    This is by far one of the absolute best butter chicken recipes I’ve tried THANK YOU! Leftovers were out of this world!

    • Paola says:

      So happy you enjoyed it Emma! I always think it’s worth making double of this one just for the leftovers (they freeze great too!) xo

      • Devyn davidson says:

        Do you just freeze everything together minus the cauli rice?

        Also I was thinking of putting the ingredients together (except the heavy cream) for a “dump” bag. So I could just throw it in a slow cooker, and then add the cream at the end of the day. Thoughts?

        • Paola says:

          Yup, freeze minus the cauliflower rice. Slow cooking isn’t my specialty, but keep in mind that what builds the flavors a lot here is the method of cooking layer by layer. So while I’m sure you’ll still get a good butter chicken in the slow cooker you won’t get the depth from doing it on the stove top. hope this helps!

  18. Gina says:

    This looks delish, Paola! Just one tinsy thing. We, the Keto crowd need Nourishment Facts and I couldn’t find them for this recipe. Help!

  19. Stace K. Morgan says:

    I use your tortilla recipe for everything bread related, so definitely naan lol! I love the idea of brushing it with ghee and garlic though tnx! Looks delicious as always love the gif 🙂

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