This Whole30 Butter Chicken is a healthy version of a popular Indian curry recipe. This easy and flavorful butter chicken curry recipe rivals the taste of takeout with better ingredients!
The flavor of Indian takeout in the comfort of your own home
I made this Whole30 Butter Chicken specifically for my girlfriend after she told me that she loves Keto Connect’s Butter Chicken recipe. Every once in a while when I ask my usual, “what should we have for dinner?” she quickly asks, “butter chicken?”
Of course, I am always willing to oblige, but this round I knew I had to make it Whole30 friendly. That required me to make a creamy and satisfying recipe without dairy.
I’m not going to lie and say it better than butter chicken because I am deeply in love with heavy cream (sorry Amy!), but its a pretty delicious substitute. Since creating this recipe I have made Whole30 butter chicken for dinner an embarrassing number of times.
Healthy Butter Chicken is my go-to comfort food.
During this Whole30 journey I have learned that it is pretty easy to turn any regular dish into a Whole30 dish provided you aren’t getting into SWYPO (Sex With Your Pants On) territory. This Whole30 Butter Chicken fit the mold for a perfect recipe that could be modified to be Whole30 friendly.
I swapped out the butter for some ghee and heavy cream for some full-fat coconut milk and was able to come up with a rich and creamy dish that is just as tasty as the original one. The only difference between my version and the original was that the sauce was a little thinner so I added a bit of xanthan gum at the end just to thicken the sauce up a bit.
Whenever I add xanthan gum to a dish I will inevitably get the question, “but what if I don’t have xanthan gum?” and to all of you I say: its optional! It thickens the sauce a bit, but truly does nothing to change the taste of the dish and will be just as delicious without it.
What kitchen tools and ingredients will I need to make this healthy butter chicken recipe?
To make this simple Whole30 Butter Chicken all you need is a large nonstick pan and sharp knife. No fancy tools or gadgets. I try to keep things simple around here unless I’m cooking with my instant pot because that thing is amazing.
I wanted you all to see just how easy it is to make Whole30 butter chicken so I filmed a little recipe video of myself making this dish. The only thing I didn’t film was cubing the raw chicken, but you can do that by buying boneless skinless chicken breast and cubing it into bite size pieces.
A quick life hack for making that process even shorter is to purchase boneless skinless chicken tenders! There is less to cut when the pieces are smaller. Hit play on the video below to watch how I make this dish.
How to make healthy butter chicken
To make this whole30 butter chicken simply cube the chicken breast and then coat in spices. In the video I threw the spices directly into the bowl with the chicken, but I prefer to combine them on their own first before tossing with the chicken. This allows for an even flavoring.
I heat a pan over medium low and add some ghee. Then I cook onions and garlic in ghee until soft and fragrant. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan and cook over medium until almost fully cooked through.
This recipe is perfect for your whole30 meal prep or cozy winter dinner. Grab the full recipe down below and, as always, if you try this recipe out, be sure to share how you liked it with me in the comments or on Instagram!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1.5 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1/4 cup water
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic
- Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized cubes
- Combine turmeric, ginger, chili powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl
- Pour spices over chicken and toss until chicken is fully coated in the spice mixture
- Heat ghee over medium-low in a frying pan
- Add onion and garlic to the pan with the melted ghee
- Cook onion and garlic until soft and fragrant about 3 minutes
- Increase the heat to medium and add the chicken to the pan
- Allow the chicken to cook over medium for 6 minutes tossing frequently
- While the chicken cooks, whisk together coconut milk and tomato paste
- Pour the liquid mixture into the pan with the chicken and increase the heat to high until the sauce bubbles
- Reduce to medium-low to simmer and simmer for 10 minutes
- To thicken the sauce, combine arrowroot starch and water in a small bowl
- Increase the heat to medium-high and push the chicken to one side of the pan
- Pour arrowroot and water mixture into the pan and mix vigorously as the sauce thickens
- Toss the chicken in the thickened sauce and remove the pan from the heat
- Enjoy with rice, cauliflower rice and veggies!