My Best Butter Chicken Ever!

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!

Note: You can find Fine sea salt, Aussie Kibble Pepper and Organic Garlic for this recipe in my online store!


My Best Ever Butter Chicken

  • Author: QuirkyJo



Cauliflower ‘Rice’

  • 800g cauliflower, (cut into small florets)

Butter Chicken

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3cm fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded and halved
  • 1 brown onion, halved
  • 100g ghee or coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp Quirky Cooking Butter Chicken Spice Blend, OR
    • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 tsp ground paprika
    • 3 tsp garam masala
    • 1 tsp ground cardamom
    • 2 tsp ground coriander
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 500g coconut cream
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 200g tomato paste
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 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 and Quirky Cooking Butter Chicken Spice Blend (or listed spices) 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 chicken and Quirky Cooking Butter Chicken Spice Blend (or listed spices) and saute over high heat for 5-10 mins, until chicken begins to change colour. (It will finish cooking in the sauce.)
  4. Add coconut cream, lemon juice, tomato paste and salt and reduce heat to med-low. Simmer gently over med-low heat, partially covered, for 20 mins or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is beginning to thicken. Stir now and then.
  5. Meanwhile, fry cauliflower rice in a frying pan over high heat with some ghee or coconut oil over med-high heat for 15 mins or until cooked through.
  6. Serve butter chicken and cauliflower rice with steamed vegetables or a salad.


  • Cauliflower ‘rice’ can be replaced with Basmati rice if desired, or mix half cauliflower ‘rice’ with half cooked rice if you’re working on transitioning to less grains in the diet.
  • For a 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 chickpeas also if you like.
  • Freezes well. Store for up to 4 months in the freezer.

Did you make this recipe?

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386 thoughts on “My Best Butter Chicken Ever!

  1. SLC says:

    This was absolutely amazing! Thank you for the recipe! My really fussy 8year old ate the lot and rated it Googolplex out of 10!

  2. Angela says:

    I love butter chicken but can no longer eat tomato. Do you think I could leave it out? I understand it won’t taste exactly the same but will there be enough liquid? Should I replace with something else?

  3. Ashleigh says:

    The first time I made this, I absolutely nailed it! But the 2 times, it’s really watery and bland. What am I doing wrong!?
    I followed the recipe to a tee, my sauce isn’t thick, even after sitting in the thermos serve for 20mins…I’m so confused.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hmmm, I have no idea!! Are you using coconut cream or milk? You’ll get a better result with cream! And I’ve never had it turn out bland, I put SO many spices in it, ha ha!!

  4. frillypants says:

    This was the best BEST BEST Butter Chicken we’ve had. Just enough spice to be ‘spicy’ without the kids saying ‘too much spice!’. SO tasty. Thanks, Jo.

  5. Emma says:

    Delicious!! Thank you very much. I add hidden spinach and loads of veggies in there too for my one year old and she loves it! X

  6. kaylee says:

    i made this tonight and the household loved it!
    do you know roughly how many calories this has in it?

    next time i will try it with ghee instead of coconut oil

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Oh yay Kaylee!! Glad everyone loved it. 🙂
      We don’t track calories, sorry. You may find a calculator online that can help you out. xx

  7. Penny Horsburgh says:

    Absolutely super recipe. Really enjoyed making the cauliflower rice, added a small handful of green coriander to it before serving. Inspiring butter chicken, added two green chillis as we like a bit of heat, Brilliant. Thank you, I will be trying many more of your delicious recipes.

  8. Bobby-Jo says:

    The flavour was lovely and rich…….. though I think I’d only add 1 good teaspoon of salt next time, rather than the recommended 3. I also add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, to take the acid edge off the tomato paste. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Carla says:

    Hi Jo
    I’m keen to make your butter chicken for the first time tonight. I have everything but fresh ginger and chilli. Can I used ground ginger and chilli? If so, approx how much would I use?
    Thanks so much.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Carla! Sorry to not reply in time. Did you end up making the butter chicken? I would use about 1 tsp dry ginger and chilli powder to taste (if you are not keen on it being too spicy, maybe only about 1/4-1/2 tsp). xx

  10. Robyn says:

    Made this tonight and I must say it was delicious 😋 definitely one of my favourites. Thanks Jo👏🏻👏🏻😀

  11. Kathryn says:

    We love this recipe but I substitute “creamy” almond milk for the coconut cream because of my daughter’s allergies. It’s still delicious.

  12. Pingback: Ep 6: My favourite make-ahead meals - Small Steps Living

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hmmm, good question Bec. Butter chicken (and many other curries) are quite often traditionally ‘oily’ but perhaps if you found it too oily you may have mis-measured or there may have been a lot of fat on your chicken? Not sure, hope you enjoyed the Butter Chicken otherwise! 🙂 xx

  13. Janneke says:

    Due to Fructose intolerances in my family I can’t cook with onion and garlic. I usually leave it out and add some spring onion (green bit) near the end of cooking. Do you have any other alternatives I can add to replace the garlic and onion?

  14. Kirsten says:

    Made this again tonight using chicken breast and added a bit of maple syrup as I may have been a little heavy handed with the spices. Winning!!! Bowls licked clean 🙂

  15. Megan says:

    This was my first Quirky Cooking recipe and we loved it! I left out the chilli (38wks preggo = acid reflux!) and added in a bunch of fresh cherry toms as I didn’t have enough tom paste. It was delicious. Looking forward to enjoying it again as a freezer meal after bub arrives – it made heaps!

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Megan! 🙂 Thanks for your feedback – glad you love this recipe and yes, it does make tonnes!! Hope all goes well with the rest of your pregnancy and the arrival of bubs. xx

  16. Kerrie-Ann says:

    After some quick dinner inspiration cooked the butter chicken. End result devoured by 3 boys….13, 11 and 5yrs. Happy well fed boys. Thankyou

  17. Katherine says:

    Delicious recipe. I didn’t have ground cardamom so I used seeds, it’s cooking now so hopefully it turns out. Used a mix of breast and thigh. The aroma in my kitchen is divine. My 9yo has set the table in anticipation and sent a Snapchat to taunt her sister with what she’s missing!

  18. Suse T says:

    Hi Jo,
    Sorry if I’ve missed this, but how many people does this recipe cater to – I want to try it for a dinner party tonight!

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Suse! Sorry for the late reply. This recipe can easily feed 6-8 people. If you cook it on the stovetop and add more chicken, it can feed even more! xx

  19. Jules says:

    Is that your son on the youtube clip making it? If so, he inspired me to look for your recipe (I was too lazy to write it down from the video). I’ll be making it tonight and hoping my kids don’t recognise the cauliflower! I’ll also be showing my 13 year old the video afterwards to inspire her to use my TM. Thanks for all your recipes and cookbooks (‘Quirky Cooking’ is a regular in my kitchen!).

  20. Sam says:

    HI Jo, Could I swap out the coconut cream for natural yoghurt? Trying to come up with alternatives for my husband who has just been diagnosed with high cholesterol (still trying to get my head around it all) and we still want to be able to enjoy a decent curry 🙂 TIA x

  21. Clare says:

    If you’re not doing the cauliflower rice what setting do you use instead of Varoma? I’m new to thermomix!
    Thank you

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Clare! 🙂 You can still use Varoma temp and put the simmering basket on top of the lid instead of the Varoma, or 100 would work fine as well. xx

  22. Amelia Laina says:

    This was delicious! Can I freeze the leftovers in mixed portions? Or will the cauliflower rice go soggy when I reheat it and it’s best for me to freeze and reheat it separately from the curry? Thanks!!

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Amelia, yes you can freeze both the curry and cauliflower rice (either together or separately depending on how you plan on reheating them). 🙂

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Yes, for sure, though chick peas won’t need to cook as long as the chicken if using pre-cooked or tinned (if you still want to steam the cauliflower rice, you would need to add the chickpeas in a few minutes towards the end). I would also add some other veggies as these will help to create some of the liquid needed in the sauce. 🙂

  23. Suzanne says:

    I can’t believe I have only just tried this recipe now!!! It’s a winner!! For the record I used butter instead of ghee/oil and turned out fab xx

  24. Phuong says:

    Hello! Do you put the lid on top of the Varoma too? Or just leave it open? My husband thought the lid would help to steam the cauliflower better – but you hadn’t mentioned it, so I didn’t use it.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Phuong! 🙂 It is important every time you use the Varoma, you use the lid as it helps keep the steam and heat in the Varoma to cook the ingredients. xx

  25. Julie says:

    I’m thinking of doing a big batch in the slow cooker for a freezer stash – do you have any advice or feedback on using a slow cooker for this recipe?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Julie! 🙂 I would lean towards using thighs as they won’t dry out as much as breast. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 on low. You can also easily double (maybe even triple) the chicken without needing to adjust any of the other ingredients. xx

  26. Jess says:

    Hi Jo, I haven’t made your butter chicken for a while and thought I had all the ingredients… I’ve just realised I don’t have any lemons. Any ideas on what could work as a substitute? Thanks,

  27. Veronica says:

    Hi Jo,
    This buttered Chicken sounds delicious. I have decided to cook it for a dinner party I’m have on a cold winter night. I will be coming for about 20 people. I would’nt double or triple all of the ingredients would I. ?
    Thank you for you your thoughtful recipes.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Veronica! If you make this recipe on the stove, you can double or triple the chicken without needing to increase any of the other ingredients. 🙂 xx

  28. Karina says:

    Made this for the first time tonight. It was so delicious. Both my kids ate it without complaints and hubby even commented on how yummy it was. Thank you.

  29. BusyMum says:

    I would like to use more chicken (about 2kg). Just do it all in the Thermomix up to Step 5, and then cook on stove top?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Yes, for sure! The potato could go in at the same time as the chicken but would need to be cut in fairly small (1cm) pieces so it cooks through in time. xx

  30. Amanda says:

    Just made this and it was amazing!!!! Thank you for the recipe.
    Very new to thermomix, could you please let me know how to thicken up the sauce?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Amanda! 🙂 Glad you loved it. You can thicken the sauce by adding a mix of cornflour or tapioca powder with some water (make into a paste) in the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time. xx

  31. Susan Mills says:

    I would like to halve the recipe. Do I need to alter cooking times? And I only have smoked paprika so should I just leave it out? Thanks so much

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Susan! 🙂 Normally the rule when halving a recipe in the Thermomix is to reduce processing and cooking time by 20%. Yes, if you don’t have paprika, you can just leave it out. xx

  32. Jade Kersey says:

    Had this for dinner tonight. Our daughter ate all hers. She doesn’t like butter chicken, but she loves quirky chicken…

  33. Mummyalloveragain says:

    This is my go to recipe for butter chicken (stovetop here). Always tastes amazing! Fussy Miss 6 loves it, fussy Mr 4 would if he’d actually try it – work in progress right there. But thanks it’s awesome!

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