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

(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

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!). 
4.86 from 61 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 367 kcal


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:


  • 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). 
  • 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. 
  • Add in tomatoes, chili and season with salt. Cook until the tomatoes are fully cooked and the chili soft, about 10 minutes. 
  • 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.*
  • Stir in cream and almond flour and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes until chicken is fully cooked. Season to taste. 
  • Serve right away over a bed of cauliflower rice and garnished with cilantro leaves. 


*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). 


Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 666mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 6.1mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, keto, low carb, paleo
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!


  1. Lisa says:

    Pureed celery with a big pinch of asafoetida makes an amazing low-carb substitute for onions. I keep a couple of big tubs of butter chicken spice and lamb pasanda in my cupboard, and they help me stay sane when I’m dieting.

  2. Jack says:

    5 stars
    I can’t count how many times I have made this recipe. My partner requests it all the time and it goes perfectly with my keto diet (I use a half cup of onion as my only substitution). Thank you for this recipe!!!

  3. Pulkit says:

    This is a great recipe. Though, and I’m not sure if this is because I’m a 30 year old Male, but 6 serving sizes seems way too much and that pushes down the total net carbs a lot. For me, it’s more like 3 serving sizes, so it ends up being double that number of net carbs, and that’s before I add cauliflower rice. It’s a great recipe, but a bit high on the carbs once adjusted for actual meal portions. One caveat is that I intermittent fast, so I eat somewhat heavier meals when I do eat, though even if I didn’t IF, I think it would still be at most 4 meals and not 6. …..Do I just eat a lot? lol.

  4. Morgan says:

    5 stars
    Outstanding recipe! I made this for lunch time meal prep this week and it is amazing. The only substitution I made was xanthan gum instead of almond flour. It thickened the sauce beautifully

  5. Jacki Cameron says:

    Made this dish tonight for the first time and it was delicious. I’ve booked mark the page to definitely go back to make again and again.
    Because of the coconut milk/cream does this mean it can’t be frozen?

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      You know I’ve never tired Jacki, but something tells me that you’re right and it won’t be stellar frozen (though any readers feel free to correct me if I’m wrong?!) xo!

      • Christina says:

        I’ve frozen curries before, and I just don’t add the cream/dairy part before freezing. When it’s time to use it – defrost, heat through, and add the cream to finish it off. Works really well!

    • Colin says:

      This is totally fine to freeze. Have done so a few times and still delicious. Just popped it in oven for 25mins at 180c after I’d defrosted it.

  6. Brittany says:

    4 stars
    I agree more of a curry flavour, not butter chicken to me! But it was really good and I would recommend it.

  7. Lanny says:

    Question: I am cooking this now and it smells divine. I didn’t buy jalapenos because my children don’t like the flavor – I usually use poblano in place of jalapeno. But, I didn’t read the recipe carefully yesterday and now, in reading the steps, the word “chili” is mentioned – is that in reference to the jalapeno pepper? Or should there be some chili powder added? Thanks!

  8. Justyna Lawrence says:

    5 stars
    Lovely, authentic and my “go to” for comfort Keto food! Entertaining! or making in bulk to eat over the week. I have made it enough that I can do it without measuring and my favourite part is I can prepare the two halves ahead and have them in the fridge then mix the two parts together to impress people with the aromas when they walk in the door with no “work”. Thank you Paola!

  9. Diane Wantland says:

    I just tried the butter chicken today. OMG this is great. Thank you for this wonderful, flavorful recipe. I will surely be making this again.

  10. Geneva says:

    Okay so it’s about time I gave back to this page, because I’ve been to it so many times that it’s my number 1 most visited page on my phone right now! 😂
    Call me a creature of habit, but this butter chicken recipe is so delicious, tonight will be my SIXTH time making a large batch in five weeks. Yep, it’s that good.
    To “beef up” the recipe, I double the batch and add two cans of lentils and almost a whole bag of frozen peas. Not quite keto, but still low-carb, and soooo satisfying.
    Also for the record, I have forced all of my coworkers and family to try this, and I’ve now shared the recipe with about ten of them. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH THE WORLD.

  11. Lily says:

    Your website is a life saver. I am trying something new every weekend. Sometimes even 2 dishes at ones since it is written so simply. I am enjoying keto once more while i try to loose those last few kgs. Thank you again. I cant wait to try this recipes next weekend 😊

    • Colin says:

      I’ve found this recipe works really well by cooking the chicken in the oven at a high heat (270celsius) for 10-15mins before adding to the sauce. Give’s it a bit tandoori style 🙂

  12. Ali says:

    5 stars
    Extra creamy is right! Amazingly delicious and decadent. This one is a keeper, keto or not.
    I didn’t add any broth as it was very liquidy, used half a jar is passata that I had in the fridge instead of the tinned tomato so that’s probably why.
    Super yummy! Thank you!

  13. Jen says:

    Delicious. I found the yogurt i used was really “yogurty” which added a bit too tangy of a flavor. I would use a less strongly flavored one. Added 2tbsp kasuri methi. And ground sunflower substitute due to nut allergy. Was truly the best butter chicken i have ever had. Not homemade… just ever even restaurant style…even with the yogurt taste. Don’t think I’ll ever try a different recipe. Thank you.. oh and hope you feel better soon Paola

  14. V says:

    4 stars
    Tastes great but it tastes more like chicken curry to me. The recipe is missing fenugreek leaves as per a friend who has made keto butter chicken in the past.

  15. Teresa says:

    5 stars
    This might be the best thing I ever cooked.
    I made it and cauliflower rice and then portioned in out for my weekly lunches.
    Holy Guacamole it is SO GOOD!
    And I have only been Keto two weeks so I am not wishfully tasting. Keto or NOT this recipe is absolutely divine.
    I cannot wait to try more of your recipes.
    I have a feeling it will make me feel extra super lucky to be Keto as I will be eating better TASTING food than before.
    Thank you so much!!

  16. Rhiannon says:

    For those asking, the default serving size is 6! It’s at the top of the recipe “card” and looks like it can be adjusted.

  17. Kathy Haan says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and thought, man this is flavorless (I couldn’t find my turmeric). Then I realized I just needed to add more salt haha! I also added two packets of stevia…and this was HEAVEN. I served it over cauli rice. You’ve outdone yourself again!

  18. Jimmy says:

    5 stars
    Ours turned out a little more yellow than in the picture. The taste was amazing and we made it with cauliflower rice. In fact we made 20 servings for the freezer and thaw them out to eat, works out great…

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