Easy Keto Butter Chicken Recipe

Seriously restaurant-quality keto butter chicken! Only 6g net carbs per serve. This favourite Indian takeout dish includes 3 cooking methods you will love. Make it in under 30 minutes on the stovetop. Pressure cook or use your thermal cooker. Easy, quick and delicious!
Before jumping to the recipe please note that the below information contains HOT TIPS for this recipe. We try and answer all your questions to guarantee a perfect keto recipe every time.

Why We Love This Recipe

Murgh Makhani or Butter Chicken, is easily one of the most popular curry recipes around the globe. This recipe is no wallflower. I wanted to create a show-stopping kickass low carb butter chicken and I know this is a great recipe.

Low carb – with just 6g net carbs per serving this butter chicken is not only delicious but also naturally low carb.

Everyday ingredients – Made mostly with everyday ingredients found in most pantries. There are just two specialty pantry ingredients (and also well worth sourcing).

Quick and easy – an easy butter chicken recipe that really is fuss-free.

Keto

Various Cooking methods – you can make this butter chicken in your Instant Pot, slow cooker, stovetop, low oven and thermal cooker e.g. Thermomix.

Thermomix friendly – these cookies can be mixed easily in your ThermomixMagimix or food processor in no time and with easy cleanup.

The Ingredients

Scroll to the bottom of this post for the amount of each ingredient needed to make this low carb butter chicken recipe.

Butter Chicken Ingredients on a white table.

As you can see from the picture most of the ingredients are very basic. Ingredients you would find in most household pantries and fridges. Below is just a little information about the ingredients you may not know of and where to find them.

  • Black or brown cardamom pods. These add great flavour to the butter chicken. You can find these pods in Indian market grocers. The cardamom pods you get at most supermarkets are green and different in flavour.
  • Fenugreek leaves (also known as Methi) – the leaves make all the difference in this recipe. Seeds or fenugreek powder are just not the same.
  • Kashmiri chilli powder is actually a mild chilli powder that adds colour to the keto butter chicken.

How to Make It

Step 1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken and coat with the marinade. Leave to marinate for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Step 2. Melt ghee in a pan over moderate heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and chilli powder. Stir well and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add fenugreek leaves, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and reduce by a third.

Step 3. Add the chicken to the sauce (or grill first then add) and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer chicken for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Add the butter, cream and almond meal.

Step 4. Stir continuously until the butter has melted and the sauce is thick and velvety.

How to Make Butter Chicken in the Instant Pot

1. Combine marinade ingredients in a non-reactive bowl coating chicken well. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours.

2. Add all ingredients to Instant Pot except butter, cream and almond meal. Set Pot to 10 minutes high pressure. Allow to naturally release for 10 minutes then release remaining pressure

3. Add the butter, cream and almond meal. Stir continuously until the butter has melted and the sauce is thick and velvety. (Add more almond meal as needed if the sauce is not thick enough). Season to taste. Serve with Saffron Cauliflower Rice, coriander leaves and extra yoghurt.

Brown bowl with butter chicken and rice in it.

How to Make Butter Chicken in the Thermomix

Cooking butter chicken in the Thermomix is surprisingly one of my preferred ways to do it. I do have a lot of Thermomix chicken recipes. The keto butter chicken is one of my personal favourites.

Thermomix Butter Chicken is highly searched for among the Thermomix Australia community and we all know that Skinnymixers Butter Chicken gets a lot of testing.

Personally, I love my keto butter chicken that is a third of the carbs, easier and quicker and uses more authentic ingredients and flavours.

Here is how to make my keto butter chicken in a Thermomix.

1. Combine marinade ingredients in a non-reactive bowl coating chicken well. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours.

2. Place onion and garlic into the mixer; chop 3 sec/speed 6. Add the ghee, ginger, cardamom, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder to mixer; cook 2 min/100℃/MC off/stir.

3. Add fenugreek leaves, tomatoes and tomato paste; cook 14 min/100℃/MC off/basket on top/stir.

4. Add the butter, cream almond meal and chicken. Stir using a spatula to ensure chicken is completely covered in the sauce. Cook 12 min/100℃/ basket on top/reverse /stir. (Add more almond meal as needed if the sauce is not thick enough). Season to taste. Serve as above.

What to Serve with Butter Chicken

To be honest I can just eat this butter chicken straight from the bowl. Just like our favourite Indian takeaway meals, this is a great way to enjoy Indian cuisine keto takeout with all the trimmings.

In the pictures, you are seeing a new product I am trialling Palmini Rice. It is made with hearts of palm and is super low carb. Palmini Rice has only 2g net carbs or 4g total carbs per serve.

Greek yoghurt (or our 2 Ingredient Yoghurt) and coriander leaves are essential, in my opinion. Simple and delicious.

The butter chicken is also perfect with Stuffed Keto Naan from our Keto Breads eBook.

Bowl of curry chicken and rice.

Tips for Success and FAQs

How long will butter chicken keep in the fridge?

Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Otherwise, freeze in individual serves in an airtight container for when you need an easy meal.

Where do I buy Fenugreek Leaves from?

I get mine from Indian grocers nearby. I have also ordered through iHerb before.

Can I barbecue or grill the chicken first?

Grilling the chicken and adding a little char to it adds flavour. I quickly grill over very high heat to give the chicken extra flavour and colour then add to the curry gravy.

What is the difference between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala?

They are very similar but butter chicken is milder and creamier than a tikka masala.

There is too much sauce? My sauce is runny?

The sauce is so good you will eat it with a spoon, trust me. There is never too much sauce in my opinion. Allow the butter chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Or cook it the next day. The sauce will thicken upon resting.

I do love a good keto curry myself. Here are just a few of my best keto dinner recipes.

  1. Saffron Chicken Korma
  2. Massaman Chicken Curry
  3. Thai Penang Chicken Curry
  4. Red Curry Chicken Chiang Mai Style
  5. Malaysian Meat Curry Powder
  6. Chicken Pepper Fry | How to Make Pepper Chicken
  7. Keto Chicken Tikka Masala

You will find a lot of keto chicken recipes here as well as keto Indian recipes. I am a little bit of a fan so you will find more each month.

Keto Meal Plans & Support
A bowl filled with keto butter chicken and palmini rice.

Low Carb Keto Butter Chicken Recipe

I wanted to create the absolute best low carb keto butter chicken recipe and I believe I have! Not only does this butter chicken recipe have loads of flavour but it is also so easy!
4.96 from 46 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Diabetic
Recipe Category: Low Carb
Calories: 533kcal
Author: Megan Ellam
GO TO COLLECTIONS
Servings: 6 serves
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Ingredients

CHICKEN MARINADE

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder See notes
  • 70 g Greek yoghurt plus, extra to serve
  • 900 g chicken breast or thigh fillets (I recommend thigh) cut into 3 -4 cm cubes

CURRY SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons (40g) ghee or melted unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • ½ onion (100g) finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  • 2 brown/black cardamom pods bruised. See Nots
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder See Notes
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves See Notes
  • 400 g tomatoes crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 40 g butter
  • 100 g thickened cream or coconut cream. See Notes
  • 3 tablespoons almond meal or use 1 tablespoon of gelatin to thicken
  • Salt and pepper to taste

TO SERVE

  • Fresh coriander leaves cauliflower rice and extra yoghurt
  • Palmini Rice optional, use link to order online

Instructions

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a non-reactive bowl coating chicken well. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours or leave overnight.
  • Melt ghee in a pan over moderate heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and chilli powder. Stir well and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add fenugreek leaves, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and reduce by a third. Add the chicken to the pan and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer chicken for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Add the butter, cream and almond meal. Stir continuously until the butter has melted and the sauce begins to thicken. Leave to rest, covered, for 10-15 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Season to taste. Serve with cauliflower rice, coriander leaves and extra yoghurt.

THERMAL METHOD

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a non-reactive bowl coating chicken well. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.
  • Place onion and garlic into mixer; chop 3 sec/speed 6. Add the ghee, ginger, cardamom, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and chilli powder to mixer; cook 2 min/100℃/MC off/stir.
  • Add fenugreek leaves, tomatoes and tomato paste; cook 14 min/100℃/MC off/basket on top/stir.
  • Add the butter, cream almond meal and chicken. Stir using a spatula to ensure chicken is completely covered in the sauce. Cook 12 min/100℃/basket on top/reverse /stir. Leave to rest, covered, for 10-15 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Season to taste. Serve as above.

INSTANT POT OR PRESSURE COOKER METHOD

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a non-reactive bowl coating chicken well. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.
  • Add all ingredients to Instant Pot except butter, cream and almond meal. Set Pot to 10 minutes high pressure/naturally release for 10 minutes then release remaining pressure.
  • Add the butter, cream and almond meal. Stir continuously until the butter has melted and the sauce is thickened. Leave to rest, covered, for 10-15 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Season to taste. Serve with cauliflower rice, coriander leaves and extra yoghurt.

Notes

TO SERVE
 
STORING
  • This low carb butter chicken will also store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Otherwise, freeze in individual serves in an airtight container for when you need an easy meal. Then it will just be just like the best keto takeout meal ever.
 
INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTES
  • Kashmiri chilli powder is a very mild Indian chilli powder. It adds flavour and colour to the low carb Butter Chicken without adding heat.
  • Black or brown cardamom pods are available at Indian/Asian grocers and have a different flavour profile than green cardamom pods.
  • Fenugreek leaves are authentic to a butter chicken gravy. They are completely different to the powder or seeds for adding flavour and I strongly recommend sourcing them and using them in this recipe.
  • To make this into a dairy free butter chicken or paleo butter chicken recipe simply replace the butter with coconut oil and the cream with coconut cream.
  • The flavours will develop more when refrigerated overnight as well.
  • Swap breast or chicken on the bone, if preferred.
  • The chicken can be grilled before adding to the gravy.
  • For a vegan butter chicken alternative use tofu or cauliflower.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 198mg | Sodium: 614mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1264IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg | Magnesium: 41mg | Net Carbs: 6g
Tried this recipe?Mention @meganellam or tag #madcreations!

Megan Ellam is an Australian keto recipes blogger living in Thornton, NSW. She is the author of amazing keto cookbooks such as Slow Cook KetoKeto LocoThe Healthy Family Keto Cookbook and Every Day Keto.

Megan has been following a ketogenic diet since being diagnosed with insulin resistance in early 2017. After a long cooking career Megan simply swapped her “foodie focus” to easy keto recipes. Her keto Australian recipes all include both metric and US customary measures so that everyone can enjoy them.

Megan also makes all the recipes suitable for conventional cooks, Thermomix recipes and thermal cookers e.g. Magimix recipes.

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    96 Comments

  • Donna says:

    5 stars
    Yes I agree – this is the best authentic butter chicken recipe – love it – takes me back to my time in England – now just need a recipe for the English traditional dish of Chicken Tikka Masala πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

  • Cristina says:

    Omg this is the best and easiest butter chicken recipe ever!! Already made it 3 times in 2 weeks!! Love love love it!! Thank you Megan!

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      I am so glad you enjoyed it Cristina. Thanks so much for also taking the time to leave a review. It is very appreciated.

  • Kym S says:

    5 stars
    Yum! Yum! Yum! It’s unanimous… this is THE BEST tasting Butter Chicken ever cooked in our house… keto – non keto – thermie – conventional. When the kids stop gaming to come and find out “What smells soooo good!” you know it’s going to be a hit. And SO EASY. Thank you for another fantastic recipe Megan xo

  • Susan Strachan says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Best butter chicken recipe I have tried. It’s so easy and quick to make! My non keto family loved it! My hubby took some left overs from the freezer for his lunch and he thought it was leftovers from our local indian! Winner! Thanks Megan ☺️☺️

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Woohoo Susan! So great to hear the positive feedback and that you all enjoyed the recipe. And a HUGE thanks for taking the time to leave a review and let me know you enjoyed the recipe. xx

  • Mat Steel says:

    5 stars
    I have two words Easy, Delicious.

  • jan K says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! delicious! Delicious! I used the conventional method with no changes to the recipe with the exception of leaving out the tandoori colour. Fabulous flavours and so easy

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      So happy you enjoyed the recipe Jan. Also a big thanks for taking the time to leave a review. It really is appreciated. I hope you find loads more recipes to enjoy on our site.

  • Larissa Fletcher says:

    Wow loved this and best part the whole family (Hubby who doesnt like spice, plus 6, 9 and 12 year old) all loved it.

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Woohoo! That is so awesome Larissa. I really love when the recipes get a family tick of approval x

  • Domino says:

    Absolutely delicious! The leftovers were even more delicious a few days later. This will definitely become a regular dish in our home.

  • Helen says:

    5 stars
    OMG!! I have made and had countless servings of Butter Chicken in my time.. but nothing as tasty as this! I was initially hesitant to cook it in the Thermy as I like to cook all my Indian food on the stove or oven only. From now on, this will only be cooked in the Thermy. The only thing that I left out was the Tandoori colour. This is now my new favourite recipe!! Just try it once and I guarantee you will never go back to your old recipe.

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Hi Helen,
      I am so glad you gave the recipe a try and loved it. It is a great recipe in the thermie (surprisingly) and that is my preferred method too. I hope you find loads more recipes to enjoy on the website. Thanks for making the recipe.

  • Helen Jack says:

    5 stars
    This is THE BEST butter chicken recipe that you will EVER make! I have been cooking butter chicken for well over 30 years, but could never quite get it to taste as I would like (to replicate the one from my fav Indian restaurant).This is perfect! Do not leave out the fenugreek leaves or the black cardamom pods. I chargrill the chicken pieces (under a super hot grill or bbq) before adding to the sauce (another essential step). I also prefer to use almond meal/flour to thicken as it adds that essential nutty creaminess that butter chicken calls for.

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