A delicious Keto Butter Chicken kept low carb by serving over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. This healthy butter chicken recipe uses coconut milk and chicken thighs.
An Easy Keto Butter Chicken Recipe
If you miss the convenience of take out on a clean low carb or keto diet, making your own and prepping it for a few meals definitely helps!
This easy keto chicken recipe does require a little preplanning (for the best results!). Marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices is what really allows the flavors to shine, and makes the chicken melt-in-your-mouth tender. You can do this the night before, or an hour or two before beginning to cook the sauce – whatever works, but the longer, the better!
Once the chicken is marinating, this dish is as easy as cooking the chicken, and then sautéing a few ingredients for the sauce. Serve over cauliflower rice, greens, or zucchini noodles for a satisfying low carb meal!
Ingredients in Keto Butter Chicken
- Chicken thighs (or use chicken breasts, if that’s what you have on hand).
- Ghee or pastured butter (it’s in the name! You just can’t skip this.)
- Yogurt – a commonly used ingredient in Indian cooking. It works magic as a meat marinade! If you need this recipe to be dairy free, use a combination of coconut milk and lemon juice in its place.
- TONS of spices — think fresh ginger, garlic, chili powder and cumin. I kept this recipe simple by using spices and ingredients you most likely already have on hand, rather than calling for spices blends you would have to purchase.
- Coconut milk – rather than using heavy cream here, I prefer the flavor of coconut milk. If you are a HWC fan, or have that on hand, you can sub that in its place.
How to Make Keto Indian Butter Chicken
- The first step to making a really delicious and flavorful Indian Butter Chicken is to marinate the chicken chunks in yogurt, lemon juice, and lots of spices. I always use fresh ginger here, but if you don’t have it, you can use ginger powder generously in its place. I like to do this and allow it to marinate overnight, but if you don’t have time, just do it an hour or two before cooking your sauce.
- In a large skillet, cook the chicken until just cooked through, and then remove it from the pan and set aside to make your sauce.
- Sauté the onions, garlic, and fresh grated ginger in some ghee or pastured butter. This forms the most flavorful base of the sauce, so don’t skip this step, and be patient and do this on a lower temperature so everything softens and intensifies in flavor.
- Add the tomato paste, spices, and coconut milk, and stir until combined, and then add back in the chicken. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, and then remove from heat.
- Serve over greens, cauliflower rice, or zucchini noodles, for a delicious low carb “take out” style meal!
Can I make Keto Butter Chicken in an Instant Pot?
Absolutely! First, follow the instructions through sautéing the onions garlic and ginger, and instead do that step on the sauté feature of the Instant Pot. Then, add tomato paste, spices, and chicken, and stir to combine. Do not yet add the coconut milk.
Pressure cook for about 6 minutes, and then allow for a natural release. After the chicken is cooked, add the coconut milk back in. If the mixture is not hot enough, turn back on the saute feature and warm the sauce before serving.
Is Butter Chicken Keto?
This version is! Some versions have a lot of tomato paste or tomatoes added, which will up the carb count. It is a generally safe dish to order when you are out, as it is very high in fat, due to butter.
Making it at home allows you to control the carb count and to serve it on a delicious low carb side dish. Also, to most benefit from consuming butter, it’s best to use an organic or pastured version high in CLAs. CLAs are thought to reduce inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Keto Butter Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup full fat greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons ghee or pastured butter
- 1/2 yellow onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoons ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated, if possible
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup coconut milk full fat, canned
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces, and then add it to a container for marinading. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients, and mix to combine evenly over the chicken. Allow marinade for 2 hours up to overnight.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and then add the chicken. Saute the chicken for about 10 minutes until it's just cooked through, and the remove it from the pan.
- Add the ghee or pastured butter, along with the garlic, onions, and freshly grated ginger. Reduce the heat to medium low, and allow these ingredients to slowly cook for about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, spices, and coconut milk. Stir well to combine, and then return the chicken to the sauce. Bring to a low simmer and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Serve hot. Store leftovers in air tight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Other Keto Curry Recipes
- Keto Low Carb Chicken Curry, by Wholesome Yum
- Lightened Up Chicken Tikka Masala, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Keto Coconut Chicken Curry, by Joy Filled Eats
do you have to drain the marinade off the chicken before you saute it – or saute it with the marinade on it.
Absolutely amazing! Marinaded for about 5 hours, then cooked according to recipe and OMGoodness!! The flavors are amazing! The chicken thighs /bone (no skin) I used were so tender. I cooked and then simmered for a good hour or so. Only thing I would say is, it’s a bit “spicy” (which is something I love about Indian food), but if u only like minimal heat, draw back you cayenne a bit. I paired this with a Keto Curry Roasted cauliflower, with fresh cauliflower, not frozen.
Michelle Miller says
Your meal sounds amazing! Inspiring me to make another curry very quickly 🙂 Perfect for the snowy weather we’ve been having!
Can you use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?
Michelle Miller says
Absolutely you can! I would increase the cooking time by about 30 minutes — or taste and see if it needs more time to get fully tender.