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!

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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. Aimee says:

    I can’t believe it took me this long to try it. Hubby devoured his in about 2 minutes (even though he told me before dinner that he doesn’t like butter chicken) I tried to savour it but found myself shoveling it in haha and my 2 year old loves it too! Definite winner in our household with HEAPS leftover for work lunches ?

  2. Liz Hales says:

    Hi there we absolutely love your bolognese sauce and I’m sure we will love the butter chIcken too. Sorry for my ignorance but are chicken thigh fillets on or off the bone ??

  3. Faye says:

    Not sure if I have posted previously. Tried 4 butter chickens… including skinnymixers, this is the best!!!!

  4. Michelle says:

    So happy with your butter chicken recipe Jo. Whole family loved it. Would love the nutritional content and calories but cannot find it anywhere.

  5. Amanda says:

    I made the butter chicken tonight and it was amazing! My son, who normally doesn’t like curries, had seconds. The whole family loved it! We will definitely make this a regular in our house. Thank you!

  6. Sandra says:

    Wow, so easy to make and yet soooo delicious. Your son is not wrong, it is definitely the best butter chicken, as decided my 13 and 11 yr old boys who absolutely loved it. Can’t believe it can taste so good without any overnight marinating which is the norm for my usual curry recipes. We followed it up with a paleo strawberry cheese cake made by my 11 yr old, also in the termo……..not that we really had much room after such a delicious main course #foodcoma#soworthit 🙂

  7. Julie says:

    Just wondering if this dish has a chilli kick to it? Just wondering whether to leave the chilli out of the recipe? Seems as though other families will small kids haven’t mentioned, not that I can see. Will it still taste as good without the chili? Thanks

    • Anjee says:

      It tastes great without chilli. My family doesn’t like too much hotness, so I mixed it all up without the chilli (I used chilli powder to control the hotness), then tasted it and added as much chilli powder as I wanted which probably ended up being about 1/8 tsp, maybe even less. Experimenting is the best way I’ve found. Good luck 🙂

  8. Sarah says:

    Hi, is it possible to halve this recipe? If so do I cook it for as long? Cant wait to try this.

  9. Gabi says:

    I don’t have ground cardamom. Have whole pods though. Can I substitute? If so, how many pods should I use? Thanks

  10. Jess says:

    So good! I make it with veggies to make it vegan and it’s so good, has even changed my boyfriends outlook on Indian food ( always had it in his head it’s super spicy) . I use the stove top method and use zucchini, broccoli, snow peas and small amount of potato. So good- thanks for sharing!

  11. Vikki says:

    Massive massive HIT with the family tonight! I’ve never tried cooking butter chicken cos I thought it wasn’t possible to get the same flavour as my favourite Indian takeaway, but YES it is! Thank you so much for this recipe Jo!

  12. Rhiannon says:

    I tried this at a clean eating thermomix workshop and it was delicious! I am going to make this for christmas without the chicken, extra veg. I read a few comments which say it tastes better the next day, could this be a dish I could make the day before? Thanks in advance

  13. Cara says:

    Hi Jo I was wanting g to make a vegan version of the butter chicken..I’m thinking I would use two tins of chickpeas. So how do you think that would go? How long do you think I’d need to cooked it for once I add the chick peas. I’m not worried about cooking the cauliflower rice on top I’ll just cook some rice separately.
    Thanks 😊

  14. Ellie Jagels says:

    The only butter chicken recipe I will ever use. Delicious and easy.

  15. liz says:

    I made this tonight it was so delish

  16. Heids says:

    Well, I almost walked away and left the chicken out! Thankfully I saw it on the way out of the kitchen!!
    Smells divine and my daughter and I loved it. Thanks! Such an easy version to make.

  17. Jade says:

    first time making butter chicken from scratch ~ simply delicious! Amazing!!!!!

  18. J says:

    Any alternatives to coconut oil or ghee as I don’t have either handy at the moment?

  19. Caitlyn says:

    Thanks for all the allergy friendly recipes!
    I know where to look when I’m stuck for ideas!!

  20. Tania says:

    How would this recipe go without the ginger and coriander? This is my only problem with a lot of curries…!

  21. Sarah says:

    beautiful! The whole family loved it. It is nice to please everyone for a change!

  22. Taryn says:

    Can you sub the chicken for Tofu? How long would it cook for?

    Ps. I adore this recipe as it is, just looking to eat less meat

  23. Linda says:

    This is not dairy free as you state. Ghee is a type of clarified butter, and therefore dairy.

  24. Sandy Brandon says:

    I’ve made this Butter Chicken half a dozen times now and it IS the BESTButter Chicken. Thankyou for all your amazing recipes.

  25. Laura says:

    Seriously the best butter chicken! Probably the most tasty meal I have ever made!

  26. Alex says:

    This is my favourite thermomix butter chicken! I’ve tired others which are yum but super time consuming! This was quick and DELICIOUS! I did 1/2 cauli rice to 1/2 basmati rice for the benefit of my hubby and kids 😉 Thanks Jo!

  27. Donna says:

    I would love to know if anyone has successfully made this in a slow cooker?

  28. Sharon says:

    I do not have chilli or ginger can I sub for dried? Also is this recipe from one of your cook books? if so which one please 🙂

  29. Fiona says:

    Amazing! Thank you Jo for this allergy friendly recipe, which is not only very easy to make, but also packed with deliciousness! I think this will become a regularly made recipe in our household 🤗

  30. sj says:

    love this recipe – share with everyone, have done chicken and vegetarian version. freezes beautifully. thank you.

  31. Jason says:

    hi Jo, how many servings does the recipe make?

  32. Karly says:

    Made this tonight for tea, was lovely. My 1 year old enjoyed it as well. Thanks

  33. Niaomi says:

    Am out of coconut oil, can I just use butter? No allergies here

  34. Kirsty Clayton says:

    I was wondering if you could suggest an alternative to the tomatoe paste as my daughter has an intolerance to tomatoes
    Thank you

  35. Kylie says:

    Just wondering if anyone has tried with chicken breast?

  36. Skye says:

    Kids absolutely love it! It disappeared like magic! Didn’t make cauliflower rice. Maybe next time.

  37. Merryn says:

    This recipe has become a staple in my household. We make it without the onion and garlic because we all have fructose malabsorption, and we don’t put chilli in it because I am the only person in my family who likes chilli. We’ve also made this recipe with vegetables and chicken when we don’t have enough chicken to make up the kilo needed. To make up the 1 kilo we throw in vegetables such as potatoes and broccoli and it always tastes great. We’ve never had an issue with it and we never have leftovers, its amazing.

  38. Georgia says:

    Hi Jo,
    Am I able to double the quantity of this without the thermomix overflowing?

  39. Georgi says:

    Hi Jo,

    Would I be able to double this recipe without the thermomix overflowing?


  40. Jacqui says:

    Made tonight. My 11 yo wants it for lunch too! Success!

  41. D says:

    I have no allergies or dietary requirements (but hubby is going Paleo) & so I made this tonight and it’s every bit as good as you say! The balance of flavours is perfect – thanks for sharing!

  42. Kathryn says:

    Love this recipe. We make it almost once a week. Thanks for sharing.
    I always put less chicken in and some pumpkin and zucchini to make up the difference. Last night I also added a couple of drops of black pepper essential oil and it was the best yet.

  43. Eve coote says:

    This is delicious! So easy, full of flavour and devoured by everyone!

  44. Julie Richards says:

    I have taken this to work for leftovers and get comments about how delicious it smells. So I’m giving the recipe to some of the other teachers. I don’t put in as much paprika and adjust some of the other spices. It is a real hit with our family.

    • Jo Whitton says:

      Hi Julie, thanks so much for your comment. So happy to hear you and your family enjoy the butter chicken. It’s become a hit in many households! 🙂

  45. Sam says:

    This was awesome! I didn’t have a chilli so I used 1 tsp curry powder, and I was short on tomato paste so I used the 2 tbsp I did have and a tin of diced tomatoes. Also had coconut milk instead of cream – so between that and the tinned tomatoes it did turn out a little bit more liquid than probably ideal (maybe 3/4 cup extra liquid in total) but didn’t lack for flavour whatsoever. I roughly chopped some spinach and put it in the thermoserver – poured the finished butter chicken over it and stirred through. SO yummy, husband loved it too 🙂 Thanks!!

  46. Tricia Valk says:

    The flavours in this are awesome however my chicken was a little shredded. I am positive that the blades were on reverse I’ve been caught this way before. Would love to cook again but without the shredded chicken. Suggestions as to where I went wrong. Am thinking my 3cm pieces were maybe on the small side. Absolutely delicious tho. Hubby loved it too

  47. Jennie Jackson says:

    I made this tonight and everyone loved it. I did change out the coconut oil for grass-fed butter, but my family who are avid Indian food lovers all claim this is the best recipe we have had to date. Thermomix did shred the chicken a bit (not all of it) so will try it in my other cooker next time, but so YUM. Going in my personal recipe book for the future, that’s for sure.

  48. Phil says:

    I don’t have cardamom in the house. Is there anything I can replace It with?

  49. Tabitha says:

    Hello i was wondering if you had the measurements from grams to ounces or cups maybe? Because the dish was off and im sure it was that i converted wrong. Please help I would like to make it again. Also Im not sure what red long chili to get is it dried or does it go by a specific name? Sorry really new to indian food really and want to get it right. Thank you.

  50. Paula Yacoub says:

    Hi Jo I’m new to thermomix but was wondering what soft speed is?

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