My Best Butter Chicken Ever!
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Best Ever Butter Chicken Recipe by Quirky Cooking, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free

I’m so excited about this recipe, as you’ve probably heard! I was cheeky enough to call it the ‘best butter chicken ever’ because my 16 year old son insisted it was the best he’d ever tasted, and said that I HAD to call it ‘the best ever’, and I HAD to teach him how to make it so he could make it any time he liked!! (Don’t you love it when your teenage kids rave about a recipe you’ve made up?? It means so much more than a few likes on Facebook, as nice as that is!)

I know what you’re thinking. “It can’t be the best, it’s too simple. It just can’t taste amazing and authentic when it has so few steps and such basic ingredients.” All I can say is, TRY IT! Ok, it’s not cooked the traditional way, with chicken marinating for hours and then simmered slowly in a big pot for ages… but believe me, it tastes amazing. 

I developed this recipe for my Quirky Cooking for Gut Health online program (which will be released soon – you can register here if you want to know more) and the criteria was as follows: 

  • not too spicy so it’s suitable for kids, but FULL of flavour so that when you eat it with cauliflower ‘rice’ the flavour doesn’t get lost
  • super simple so even kids can make it
  • dairy free, gluten free, grain and starch free (suitable for GAPS and Paleo diets)
  • basic ingredients anyone will have on hand or can easily buy at the supermarket
  • quick to make, perfect for those last minute dinner decisions
  • and so delicious that you’ll want to invite some friends over to share it with you!

It worked out to be soooooo delicious I couldn’t wait for my program to be finished to share it – I had to share straight away! So I popped the recipe into my newsletter (as I often do with recipes I can’t wait to share) and it went a bit viral, so I thought I’d better just get it up on the blog! So here it is. 

Best Ever Butter Chicken Recipe by Quirky Cooking, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free


P.S. If you want to see some feedback before you try it, here’s a few comments:

“Very fussy about butter chicken BUT this was sensational. Thank you”

“Amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing Jo! Recipe was super easy to follow, quick and totally delicious. Thank you, you’re a total ‘good food’ superstar. Oh and yes agreed – best recipe ever!”

“Made it tonight and it was such a delicious comfort food. It’s now in the rotating menu, big complement from our 5 and 3 year olds. You should have seen my son checking with everyone if it was now their favorite. Thanks for generously sharing Jo!”

“Jo, I think your butter chicken recipe has probably been made or will be made by nearly every Quirky fan! It looks as if it’s one of your most all time favourite recipes! The only other recipe I can think of that equals this is the macadamia lime cheesecake!”

Let me know what you think – I hope you love it too!

My Best Butter Chicken Recipe Ever (with Cauliflower Rice)
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Cauliflower ‘Rice’
  1. 800g cauliflower, (cut into small florets)
Butter Chicken
  1. 4 garlic cloves
  2. 3cm fresh ginger, peeled
  3. 1 long red chilli, deseeded and halved
  4. 1 brown onion, halved
  5. 100g ghee or coconut oil
  6. ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 2 tsp ground paprika
  8. 3 tsp garam masala
  9. 1 tsp ground cardamom
  10. 2 tsp ground coriander
  11. 2 tsp ground cumin
  12. 2 tsp ground turmeric
  13. 500g coconut cream
  14. 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  15. 200g tomato paste
  16. 3 tsp sea salt
  17. 1 kg chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3-5cm pieces (or up to 1.3kg for TM5 or stovetop)
Thermomix Method
  1. Place cauliflower florets into TM bowl, and chop 10 sec/speed 5, or until ‘rice’ sized pieces. Place into Varoma dish, poking a hole in the centre to let the steam through. Set aside. Wash and dry TM bowl.
  2. Place garlic, ginger, and chilli into TM bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 7.
  3. Add onion and chop 2 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides with spatula.
  4. Add ghee or coconut oil, cinnamon, paprika, garam masala, cardamom, coriander, cumin, and turmeric, and cook 5 min/100/speed soft. Loosen mixture from sides and base of bowl with spatula.
  5. Add coconut cream, lemon juice, tomato paste, salt and chicken to TM bowl. Place Varoma dish into position, and cook 25 min/Varoma/reverse/speed soft. Cauliflower rice will steam above, as butter chicken cooks below. Check cauliflower is cooked - if not, add another 5 mins/Varoma/reverse/speed soft.
  6. Place cauliflower rice into a serving dish, and butter chicken into a separate dish.
  7. Serve butter chicken and cauliflower rice with steamed vegetables or a salad.
Stovetop Method
  1. Process cauliflower in a food processor until chopped into rice sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Chop onion, garlic, ginger and chilli by hand, then saute in a heavy based saucepan with ghee or coconut oil, until soft.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently, covered, for 20 mins or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is beginning to thicken. Stir now and then.
  4. While chicken cooks, fry cauliflower rice in a frying pan with some ghee or coconut oil, for 15 mins or until soft.
  1. Vegetarian Version: Replace chicken with vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, cauliflower and peas and cook for 20 mins in sauce, or until done. Can add chick peas also if you like.
  2. Freezes well. Store for up to 4 months in the freezer.
Quirky Cooking


  1. Fleur says:

    I don’t have coconut cream can I use normal cream instead? Thanks.

  2. Kristy says:

    Yum yum yum!! Thanks so much Jo

  3. SLC says:

    This was absolutely amazing! Thank you for the recipe! My really fussy 8year old ate the lot and rated it Googolplex out of 10!

  4. Rachel says:

    What kind of paprika is best? Sweet or smoked?

  5. Angela says:

    I love butter chicken but can no longer eat tomato. Do you think I could leave it out? I understand it won’t taste exactly the same but will there be enough liquid? Should I replace with something else?

  6. Ashleigh says:

    The first time I made this, I absolutely nailed it! But the 2 times, it’s really watery and bland. What am I doing wrong!?
    I followed the recipe to a tee, my sauce isn’t thick, even after sitting in the thermos serve for 20mins…I’m so confused.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hmmm, I have no idea!! Are you using coconut cream or milk? You’ll get a better result with cream! And I’ve never had it turn out bland, I put SO many spices in it, ha ha!!

  7. frillypants says:

    This was the best BEST BEST Butter Chicken we’ve had. Just enough spice to be ‘spicy’ without the kids saying ‘too much spice!’. SO tasty. Thanks, Jo.

  8. Erin says:

    Is coconut milk ok. I don’t have coconut cream

  9. Emma says:

    Delicious!! Thank you very much. I add hidden spinach and loads of veggies in there too for my one year old and she loves it! X

  10. Rebecca Hunt says:

    I forgot to buy a chilli, can I use powdered?

  11. Jenny says:

    Hi I don’t have ghee or coconut oil. Is it ok to substitute 100g olive oil?

  12. Rebecca says:

    How many does the recipe serve? Can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  13. Lewis says:

    Is the chicken raw when added or slightly browned?

  14. Penny Horsburgh says:

    Absolutely super recipe. Really enjoyed making the cauliflower rice, added a small handful of green coriander to it before serving. Inspiring butter chicken, added two green chillis as we like a bit of heat, Brilliant. Thank you, I will be trying many more of your delicious recipes.

  15. Orla says:

    This is gold. Just made it. Tested first spoonful straight out of the bowl. Delish!

  16. Bobby-Jo says:

    The flavour was lovely and rich…….. though I think I’d only add 1 good teaspoon of salt next time, rather than the recommended 3. I also add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, to take the acid edge off the tomato paste. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Carla says:

    Hi Jo
    I’m keen to make your butter chicken for the first time tonight. I have everything but fresh ginger and chilli. Can I used ground ginger and chilli? If so, approx how much would I use?
    Thanks so much.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Carla! Sorry to not reply in time. Did you end up making the butter chicken? I would use about 1 tsp dry ginger and chilli powder to taste (if you are not keen on it being too spicy, maybe only about 1/4-1/2 tsp). xx

  18. Robyn says:

    Made this tonight and I must say it was delicious 😋 definitely one of my favourites. Thanks Jo👏🏻👏🏻😀

  19. Kathryn says:

    We love this recipe but I substitute “creamy” almond milk for the coconut cream because of my daughter’s allergies. It’s still delicious.

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