Slow cooker butter chicken made with good for you ingredients and can be assembled ahead and frozen for easy weeknight dinners! Dairy-free, gluten-free, low carb and deeeelish!
Butter chicken is a total weakness of mine, and until now, I thought it had to be super heavy. But this slow cooker version is lighter without sacrificing flavor at all!
You guys are going to be blown away by this recipe! It has so much flavor, despite not sautéing anything, and despite there not being any cream or butter.
I'm sure traditionalists are going to turn their noses up at my recipe, but if you are looking for all the flavors of butter chicken, without the fat and calories, you're going to love it!
Reasons to love this slow cooker butter chicken:
- it is a freezer crockpot meal (assemble ahead and freeze!)
- it is low carb, dairy-free, and made from wholesome ingredients
- it takes 10 minutes to throw together and no pre-cooking is required!
How to make it
For this recipe, we are using tomato sauce (pureed tomatoes, not ketchup!), coconut milk, and a whole lotta spices!
Toss them all together with some cubed boneless skinless chicken thighs, and cook up.
Just before serving, we are going to add 3 tablespoons of almond flour and a teaspoon of lemon juice. This serves two purposes:
- the almond flour helps the sauce get luscious, thickened and creamy
- the lemon juice really boosts the flavor of the crockpot butter chicken
How to assemble it as a freezer crockpot meal
Crockpot freezer meals are a staple in my freezer and are an absolute lifesaver during busy weeks! Here’s how you can turn this recipe into a crockpot freezer recipe:
- Assemble all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag or a large reusable meal prep container (Ikea has good larger glass containers, but they are quite heavy)
- Squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Freeze flat for up to 3 months.
So incredibly simple! When you’re ready to cook, you will need to thaw completely before placing everything in the slow cooker and cooking as directed.
Can I use boneless skinless chicken breasts? Yes, you can! Swap an equal weight, and reduce the cook time to low 3-4 hours.
Can I add veggies? Yes, but I prefer to add them towards the end of the cooking (about 1- 1 ½ hours before serving). That way they don't get mushy! I think small cauliflower florets and frozen peas would be great in this recipe.
How can you call this butter chicken when there's no butter? LOL. This is the 'Denise-ified' version of butter chicken, I certainly don't claim it to be authentic, but I have to say I prefer this over the heavy traditional version (call me crazy!)
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into large cubes)
- 14.5 oz tomato sauce (1 can; NOT ketchup!)
- 13.5 oz coconut milk (full fat; 400 mL)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon tandoori masala
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons almond flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or adjust to taste)
- Combine all ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3 hours.
- Just before serving, stir in the almond flour, lemon juice, and adjust salt to taste.
Freezer Crockpot Meals
- Combine all ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag, 1.5 L reusable silicone freezer bag, or storage container.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before cooking as directed above.
Freezer Lunch Portions
- Portion out the butter chicken with rice (or quinoa) and steamed vegetables into freezer-safe meal prep containers.
- Cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before reheating in the microwave until steaming hot.