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
Tap or hover over number to scale ingredients
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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

  • GUNJAN C Dudani says:

    5 stars
    I passed on your blog to my sis in law. She loves this recipe and is shopping the ingredients. We will update you on how it went πŸ™‚

  • Hazel says:

    5 stars
    Wow this was utterly butterly the best butter chicken by far. It made 6 generous servings and was enjoyed by the whole family. The depth of flavour from the spices was amazing loved cooking it in the Thermomix thanks Madcreations for another fabulous recipe. Definitely going to be a family favourite 😊

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      That is so awesome! Love hearing that recipes are enjoyed by the whole family Hazel. Thank you so much for taking the time to make the Butter Chicken and review.

  • Jo says:

    5 stars
    Butter chicken is something I make very often in my kitchen. My family loves it. With naan it’s the best dinner you can have. Love this keto version of my favorite curry.

  • Natalie says:

    5 stars
    That looks delicious. I absolutely love everything in this recipe, the spices and herbs, the chicken… yummy. I must make this soon for me and my family. Can’t wait!

  • Jennifer Banz says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous and authentic butter chicken recipe!

  • Fran says:

    5 stars
    Very tasty – and easy to make. Used my Thermie.
    Didn’t use the Tandoori food colouring. Found three ingredients I didn’t have at my local Asian grocer.
    Will definitely be making again!

  • Khushnuma Fitter says:

    Hi Megan
    I have tried the butter chicken recipe and the only thing I did that was different from the recipe was i blitz the curry sauce before adding the chicken because otherwise it was too chunky for my liking and added a bit more almond meal to thicken the curry but apart from that followed the recipe to the T
    I realised that my colour was different from yours as it was much lighter. It taste good however next time I will try adding slightly more chilli as it was a bit mild for me. The recipe however with a few tweaks to suit my liking is a really good recipe thank you 😊

  • Jacquie Kehoe says:

    5 stars
    Best Butter Chicken recipe l wouldn’t change a thing. What a winner Megan!

  • Karen Harris says:

    5 stars
    Loved this – one of the best butter chickens I have ever made. I used the conventional method. Really yummy! Thank you Megan

  • Lynda H says:

    5 stars
    What a MARVELLOUS dish you have created Megan ❀️
    I used a pressure cooker this afternoon to make it .
    Love how the chicken thighs are cooked in 10mins.
    What’s a head spinner for me πŸ’«.
    Keep creating hun you and your test team are brilliant πŸ₯°

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Thanks so much Lynda. I am so happy you are enjoying the Butter Chicken. Also thanks for taking the time to leave such a nice review.

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