indian butter chicken with rice

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala or curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 cups cooked basmati rice for serving
  • naan bread for serving


  • In a large 12” skillet with a tight fitting lid, add 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss in 1 small finely diced onion, 3 cloves garlic (or frozen cubes) and 2 teaspoons ginger (or frozen cubes). Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,1 cup  chicken broth, 8 ounces tomato paste, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons garam masala or curry powder and 1 teaspoon turmeric. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken or thighs cut into cubes and toss to combine until the chicken is fully coated. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Stir in the 1 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Return to a simmer and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve chicken over basmati rice topped with fresh cilantro served alongside naan.


  • Serve with Naan and oven roasted or air fried cauliflower on the side.


  • Protein: Swap chicken for pork tenderloin.
  • Vegetarian: Swap the chicken for two (15.5 oz.) cans of chickpeas.
  • Dairy-free: Use coconut oil in place of butter and full fat coconut milk in place of heavy cream.


  • Slice onion and store in an airtight container.
  • Pre-cook and store rice for serving.


Calories: 560kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 198mg | Sodium: 1235mg | Potassium: 923mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1322IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg