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
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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

  • Paige says:

    5 stars
    This is a super tender chicken recipe and its easy to put together…a great recipe too for a dinner or group gathering.

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      So glad you enjoyed it Paige. Thanks for leaving such a good review. Definitely keep this recipe in your back pocket when you need something great for entertaining that is easy.

  • Kay says:

    5 stars
    What an amazing recipe the richness of the spices combined and the colour is beautiful!! Who needs Indian restaurants when you can make this Keto friendly version at home?!

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Absolutely Kay! How good is it when yo also know every ingredient and hat the carbs have been kept low too. Thanks for trying the recipe and leaving such a great review.

  • Sharon Morris says:

    5 stars
    Wow just had this for dinner and it was delicious. Definitely 6 generous servings and the sauce is so tasty. I’ll definitely be making it again. Thanks Megan for another awesome recipe xx

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Yes Sharon it is quite the generous meal that can easily be made into smaller portions and save a little extra carbs and kCal. I am so glad you enjoyed it and will use the recipe again. Thanks for trying it out and leaving such a great review.

  • Gina says:

    5 stars
    Awesome recipe. Quick and easy with no fussing around and minimal ingredients.

    I cooked this recipe the 3 different ways listed. My review is based on before adding the almond meal for thickening.

    Stovetop was my favourite. The sauce turned out thicker and more concentrated and seemed to have more depth of flavour. The chicken was cooked but still had some resistance.

    Thermal and pressure cooking were almost identical in the texture and consistency of the sauce and the flavours but the pressure cooked chicken was beautifully tender and soft and had the best texture of all 3 ways. Thermal cooked chicken had same texture and firmness as stovetop method.

    Pressure cooking was the easiest method, after marinating, thermal was next and then stovetop required a little more manual handling but nothing over the top!

    All in all a very flavoursome impressive dish that will delight your family or guests. I will definitely make it again as it’s so easy and tasty.

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time Gina not cook the recipe one way but all 3. Wow! That is total dedication and a lot of Butter Chicken 😂. I have made many many times over the past month and have to admit that it is all I have eaten for many straight days lol. Thanks for the feedback on all the methods. I agree that stovetop is always a better way o reduce and thicken sauces due to the surface area or reducing any sauce and thickening in the IP after pressure cooking. Thanks again for also leaving a review so others can pick which way to try with more information to guide them.

  • Jaquie says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing!

    I jumped at the chance to try this new recipe for Butter Chicken as it’s always a dish that goes down well in our household. I went with using the traditional cooking method, and using chicken thigh. I did have a little trouble sourcing some of the ingredients locally, however my daughter found an Indian grocer nearby that stocked the cardamom, Kashmiri chilli, and fenugreek leaves in smaller quantities.

    Raising the question of why Kashmiri chilli powder over normal chilli powder, my daughters Indian friend said that Kashmiri chilli powder gives a nicer flavour, and colour to Butter Chicken which isn’t a spice hot dish without adding extra heat, and added that other chilli powders can ruin the flavour.

    The recipe itself was straight forward and easy to follow, taking very little time to cook once all the preparation was done. I had visitors arrive while cooking this, and all commented about how great it smelled as they were walking up the driveway. I couldn’t agree more. With each combination of ingredients added to the pan, the fragrant notes of the dish grew in depth and hinted at the deliciousness we were to experience.

    In trying the dish, my visitors loved it including my grandson who gave it two thumbs up and a yum of approval (through a mouthful of chicken). Paired with yogurt, fresh coriander, and cauliflower rice, there were four very full and very happy taste testers with a request to add this recipe of butter chicken to the regular meal planning.

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      I am so happy that the dish was a winner for all your family Jaquie. Thanks for taking the time to try the recipe and leave such a great review. Moreso I am just happy that everyone enjoyed the recipe that you prepared for them.

  • Sharon M says:

    5 stars
    I made the butter chicken last night for dinner and it was so delicious. It does make 6 very generous serves so we can have again tonight and have another in the freezer. My husband licked his plate clean. Thanks Megan for another very tasty recipe 10 out of 10! 😋

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Thanks so much for giving it a go Sharon and I am so glad you loved it. A big thanks for leaving a review too x

  • Monique says:

    5 stars
    Hello flavour! I love butter chicken but none of the home recipes I’ve tried, keto and non-keto, satisfied the way my local take away dish did. But this recipe was outstanding! As full of earthy flavour and richness as what you get in restaurants, but with a more authentic taste.
    Hubby was the test cook and despite us always increasing herbs and spices in recipes because they’re usually too bland, he stuck religiously to the recipe and cooktop instructions. And it turned out brilliantly. Juicy, thick, rich, earthy with just the right amount of spice. We wouldn’t change a thing!
    5/5
    Will be replacing our other regular butter chicken recipes with this one and it is sure to be on heavy rotation.
    Apart from the 4hrs marinating the chicken, it was very quick to make. Around 40 mins from the time he put his apron on until it was on the table.

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      I am so happy that you both enjoyed Monique. Like your hubby I am usually a heavy hand with the spices but these all work together so well and spice it just right for a crowd pleaser. Thanks for taking the time to test and also leaving a review so others can see if the recipe is worth the effort.

  • Megan says:

    5 stars
    Awesome! Made exactly as per the recipe, used thigh fillets and also doubled the recipe. Fed 4 adults with enough left over for dinner tomorrow for 2 of us and also lunch! I did the pressure cooker version. I’m lucky to have an Indian grocer not far which had all the ingredients. Super easy, not hot at all and the flavours were amazing. Hubby says better than the takeaway, son and girlfriend have given it the thumbs up too. Will be replacing my other recipe as the family favourite, thank you Megan 🙂

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Yay! What a great review Megan. I am so happy that everyone seemed to enjoy the meal and it achieved an easy and delicious version of a recipe that can at times take a lot of time. Thanks for taking the time to try it out and leaving such a great review. x

  • Claire says:

    4 stars
    This was a delicious Butter Chicken, and I’m sure it will taste even better tomorrow as the flavours intensify.
    It had very authentic flavours without being too spicy or overpowering. I followed the recipe exactly without increasing the amount of spices, and found the flavours fantastic.
    It was very quick to make and I liked that compared to other butter chicken recipes I have made in the past.
    I made the Thermal recipe and I found it quick and easy.
    I didn’t have the Tandoori colouring, but found the fenugreek leaves at my local Asian supermarket. I already had all the other spices I needed as I make Indian dishes quite regularly.
    I marinated the chicken for about 6 hours prior to cooking, and the rest of the recipe was very straightforward to follow.
    The flavours were authentic and thumbs up for a quick and delicious butter chicken recipe.
    My 10 year old son who considers himself a butter chicken connoisseur, gave it a 9 and 3/4 out of 10. 😋
    Overall, we thought it was a great Keto recipe, and was quick to make with authentic flavours.
    We served it with with cauliflower rice, yoghurt and coriander to accompany.
    Thanks for a great recipe Megan.
    We will be making it again.
    Who needs to eat out when you can create this easily at home. 😊

    • Megan Mad Creations Hub says:

      Thanks so much for the great review Claire. So happy that we got such a big score from Master 10 😅
      It is so much better when you make your own in my opinion and yes it tastes better the next day.

  • Jessica Kirk says:

    5 stars
    Love this. Always looking for a tasty low-carb recipe that I can throw in the instant pot and deliver to family and guests. The combination of flavors will impress everyone!

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