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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

I recently went to Chicago and ate the most amazing butter chicken, better known as Chicken Makhani, from a local takeout restaurant. I hardly ever eat Indian food but this one simple meal has completely opened my eyes to Indian food. I actually tried butter chicken from 3 different restaurants within a week of coming home, until I looked up the nutrition stats, ugh. I decided I needed to find a way to make it at home for my waistline and bank account and found this wonderful recipe on All Recipes. I adapted it to be lower fat and adjusted it for the slow cooker. I served mine with a simple cauliflower rice, recipe coming tomorrow, but it also works great with regular rice.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Nutritional Information: 240.1 calories, 13.8g of fat, 5.1g of carbohydrates, .7g of fiber, 24.7g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 *


  • 2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup plain non fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper


  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and onion and saute until soft.
  2. Add the butter, lemon juice, giner, garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, and bay leaf. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and cook for 2 minutes stirring often.
  4. Add the half and half, milk, and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add everything to a blender and blend until well combined.
  7. Add cubed chicken breast to the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours. Enjoy with rice or cauliflower rice.

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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I’m Kristen and I couldn’t be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

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31 Response to Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

  1. Blue on March 14, 2012

    This looks fantastic! Is it spicy? I’ve had both spicy butter chicken and 100% mild butter chicken, and I’m searching for a mild version to make at home. Love that this works with a slow cooker 😀

    • Kristen on March 14, 2012

      I would say this is at a pretty medium spice level. I would start by adding less cayenne and chili powder to start and then slowly add it until you get the spice level you want. You can always add more before adding it to the chicken.

  2. Christine on March 15, 2012

    I have to say I was excited to make this. I love Indian food and I ran home whipped it up. I tasted it and it was delicious!!! It was awesome because there was no guilt!! Can’t wait to have it for dinner tonight! and tomorrow and the next day!!! : )

  3. Becca on March 19, 2012

    Has anyone tried this with greek yogurt?

    • meauxjeaux on June 11, 2012

      I used Greek yogurt tonight and it was delicious. :)

  4. Kristin on April 5, 2012

    I assume you dump the sauce mix over the chicken in the slow cooker. The yogurt and milk don’t curdle in the slow cooker? I’ve always seen it added at the end, but just wanted to make sure. Thanks so much! I LOVE butter chicken!

    • Kristen on April 6, 2012

      Yes – I had no problem with the milk or cream curdling. Hope you enjoy it.

    • Monica on January 2, 2013

      I am not sure what everyone else does….but when I added the sauce to the chicken in the crockpot…4 hours later it separated and looked disgusting. I recommend cooking the chicken by itself and leaving the sauce off until you are ready to eat.

      • Kristen on January 3, 2013

        Sorry the sauce separated on you – I haven’t had that happen before and make this fairly often. If your slow cooker gets really hot it might have been caused by that. You can definitely make it though by adding the sauce afterwards. Just cook the chicken with some chicken broth.

        • Shannon on January 3, 2013

          I have made this several times and the sauce never separated on me either….

  5. Rhonda on April 9, 2012

    I was wondering if the chicken breast meat was raw or cooked?

    • Kristen on April 9, 2012

      It is raw. If you are going to use cook, just make the sauce and stir it in – no slow cooker needed.

  6. Sandy on May 15, 2012

    Kristen, have you tried it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts? Would that affect the point count? Thanks!

    • Kristen on May 16, 2012

      I haven’t tried that yet, but I am sure it would be delicious. One pound of chicken thighs has 2 more points per serving than one pound of chicken breasts, so it would add 4 points to the entire recipe or 1.5 points per serving.

  7. Sandy on May 18, 2012

    Thank you so much! I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’m so delighted to have found your site. I’ve tried several recipes (the beef barbacoa most recently), and everything is so delicious!

  8. Shannon on June 2, 2012

    I just made this today with the cauliflower rice and it was AWESOME!!! I tasted and smelled as if I was in an Indian restaurant! It tasted so authentic!
    Thanks Kristen!

  9. Jenn P on July 2, 2012

    I have a question. You make the sauce… And then put the cubed raw chicken breast at the bottom of the crock pot with the sauce on top? And then cook on high or low for 4 hours? It looks delicious and is on my weekly plan. I’m excited to try it, just don’t want to make any mistakes.

    • Kristen on July 2, 2012

      Yes – make the sauce and then add it over the chicken. My crockpot doesn’t have low and high settings (just times) but I am pretty sure it would be the high setting. Hope you like it!

  10. Joan Harrison on July 24, 2012

    Where do I find the garam masala? Can’t wait to try this.

    • Kristen on July 26, 2012

      I am able to find it in my local grocery store. If not, Whole Foods definitely carries it or you could order it online.

    • Shannon on July 27, 2012

      Its in the spice section of your grocery store. If for some reason you can’t find it, you can order it from amazon.
      Good luck!

  11. Ashley on October 17, 2012

    We’ve made this twice already and my husband and I are obsessed. I love food that packs a huge flavor like Indian and Thai and on Weight Watchers I’m constantly looking for ways to enjoy food that fits this description without using 30 points per meal! This is wonderful. I’d love a Slender-Kitchen remake of my favorite Thai Dish, Yellow Curry Chicken. : )

  12. Amy on November 1, 2012

    Made double batch last night for Halloween because we had people in and out all night. Was a hit! The sauce separated a little but it didn’t bother me. Doubled everything except the chicken and added bag of frozen cauliflower and 1/2 bag frozen peas at the end to make it go further. Served with some frozen samosas, (NOT ww friendly) and naan and brown rice.

    This and the crockpot korean beef tacos are my new faves! So easy and tasty, keep ’em coming!

  13. Mary on January 21, 2013

    Would it taste okay if I didn’t but it in the blender?

  14. Beth B on February 23, 2013

    Is there any substitute for garam masala?

  15. Vera on February 25, 2013

    This sounds great – I love butter chicken – but don’t love all the fat and calories in the traditional version.

    Can I make this on the stove top or oven instead??

  16. Rona on September 6, 2013

    For those who can’t find garam masala, you can google recipes for it and make it yourself using spices in your spice cabinet. You can adjust based on what you have and what you like (e.g., I don’t like cardamom).

  17. Danielle Taylor on January 3, 2014

    Hi! I’m new here! Thanks for the recipe! Can you please tell me if I place the slow cooker on high or low? Thanks!

  18. Danielle Taylor on January 3, 2014

    Just read the answer for my question! Lol

  19. Jennie on January 5, 2014

    I made this tonight and it was a winner! I accidentally used VANILLA flavored yogurt and had to make my own garam masala, but it was perfect regardless. We like a lot of extra spice, so I added a ton more chili and cayenne pepper.

  20. Regan on February 2, 2014

    FANTASTIC – used a lot more spice – more like a tablespoon each (except for the cayenne) – absolutely loved it!


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