Lightened Up Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken for #SundaySupper


Lightened Up Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken is an exotic recipe made easy and healthy in your crockpot.

Lightened Up Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Lightened Up Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken - an exotic recipe made easy and healthy in your crockpot | | gluten free

Happy Birthday #SundaySupper!!  What better way to celebrate than with a crockpot full of flavorful, slightly spicy chicken?!  Go ahead, stick a candle in it…

Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken | Cupcakes  Kale Chips 2013 | 3 title wm

Kidding!  Totally kidding!

But this week, #SundaySupper has a huge milestone to celebrate.  You see, one year ago, a small group of bloggers held an online Progressive Dinner which was the very first Sunday Supper.  Their mission was to bring back Sunday Supper Around the Family Table in every home, and that what starts as one day a week becomes a way of life.  I was so excited to discover this group with this amazing, noble, and important mission last spring.  These wonderful bloggers have been supportive and inspiring both in my blogging life, and in my family life, as I read the stories about them cooking with their kids and bringing their families together.  The three of us sit together almost every night of the week, no television, no mobile devices (unless The Hubby or I need to quickly look something up to settle a friendly debate), and maybe just some music playing in the background.  Heck, The Bug was only a few days old when we started sitting him in his little bouncer seat near us at the kitchen table as we ate dinner.  And I was reminded how special and important this is when I saw a family of four walking to their table at Red Lobster tonight with their faces in their iPads and iPhones, and they barely looked up during their entire meal to say a word to each other.  I am so happy that isn’t us, and I will do everything I can to keep that from happening.  Dinnertime is a time to share our day, talk about what is going on in the world, teach our child(ren) manners and the art of conversation.

For this week’s birthday celebration, we were asked to make a previous #SundaySupper recipe from one of our fellow contributors.  I have loved, and bookmarked, and pinned numerous recipes over these months of participating, so it was tough to pick.  And while I definitely plan to make more of these recipes in the future, I was immediately struck by one from just last week when we shared our Bucket List recipes that I had to make immediately – Lightened Up Slow Cooker Butter Chicken from Pam at The Meltaways.  And the funny thing is that I was going back through Pam’s previous Sunday Supper recipes, and I was recalling that many of them actually jumped out at me when I had originally read them – her Gluten Free Turkey & Dumplings, Cranberry Strawberry Jam, Savannah Sheet Cake, to name a few.

Why did I have to make this dish immediately?  Well, The Hubby loves Indian food, but, well, Indian food doesn’t love me, though I do enjoy the flavors.  I’ve had it locally, in a region with a large Indian population, so it is truly authentic.  I’ve had it in the UK, where curry is the national dish.  But by the time I had to travel to India for work (which is where I got the cool little sandalwood elephant in these photos), I was avoiding it altogether.  Let’s just say, the granola bars and nuts I had packed in my suitcase were the only way I could make it to the American-style breakfast at the hotel the next morning.

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So we never go out for Indian, despite a number of great restaurants nearby, and he no longer works in his old office, which was near a few of his favorite places where he would go for lunch.  But I figured when I could control the spice and the richness of the dish, especially in this lightened up recipe, that maybe I could enjoy these flavors again.  I have actually made tandoori chicken at home, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I am so glad I made this recipe, and it will now become a mainstay on our menu!

I made only two slight variations to Pam’s recipe.  The first was to use light butter, instead of a light butter spread.  The second was that I omitted the cardamom pods, and this is mainly because I am cheap.  Not knowing if I would like this recipe or want to make it again, I didn’t want to spend $11 on the giant container of cardamom pods at my grocery store.  I thought about adding some ground cardamom, but that was $14 for a little bottle.  Then I saw that my garam masala had cardamom, so I decided to just leave it out.  Now, not being an Indian food aficionado, I am not sure if it made a huge difference in flavor.  Also, this may sound horrible to some people, but I also am not sure the butter, or even this much butter, is absolutely necessary when you make butter chicken this way, where it gets all shredded and sauce, versus the chunks in traditional butter chicken.

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But this dish was fabulous!  I served it with some steamed broccoli and brown basmati rice, and The Hubby and I devoured it.  The Hubby was so happy to have some yummy, spicy, Indian-inspired food that he doesn’t get as often as he would like.  I just wish I had made some mango lassis.  The Bug was a little more hesitant, as these were completely new flavors to him, but he did eat some.  He was also just in a mood that night, so it may have just been him.  I put some leftovers in the freezer, so we’ll give it another shot with him.

Make sure you check out all of the other great #SundaySupper birthday dishes at the bottom of this post – consider this a Best of #SundaySupper, since each of these amazing bloggers picked their favorite recipe from another favorite blogger.

Then, join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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Have you made one of the #SundaySupper recipes you’ve seen in the past year?  What is your favorite thing to make for Sunday Supper?

Lightened Up Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken
Make traditional Indian Butter Chicken healthier and easier by lightening up a few of the ingredients and making it in your slow cooker.
Recipe type: Slow cooker, main, chicken
  • 1½ -2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 T butter, light butter, or light butter spread (I used Land O'Lakes Light Butter)
  • 2 t curry powder
  • ½ t cayenne pepper
  • 2 t garam masala
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 (14 oz) can light coconut milk
  • 1 c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  1. Place the chicken, onion, garlic, and dry spices in the slow cooker.
  2. Add the butter, tomato paste, lemon juice and coconut milk.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4.
  4. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the slow cooker.
  5. Stir in yogurt about 15 minutes before serving.
  6. Salt to taste.
  7. Serve with brown rice, basmati rice, or jasmine rice. I also served it with steamed broccoli.


Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken | Cupcakes  Kale Chips 2013 | 5 title wm

We are celebrating this week’s birthday event by choosing recipes from contributors that have inspired us in the past year.  Boy was this a tough week… how do you choose just one recipe from 52 weeks of fabulous Sunday Supper Recipes?

Sunday Supper Appetizers:

 Sunday Supper Soups and Breads:

 Sunday Supper Main Dishes: 

Sunday Supper Veggies: 

Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks: 

 Sunday Supper Breakfast Faves:

Sunday Supper Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

This recipe was shared with: Thursday’s Treasures


Want to see lots more yummy food from me and my friends, and cute pictures of my kids? 

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  1. says

    ooh, didn’t know you had visited India. Wherabouts? I am from Bangalore, only came to the states about 15 yrs back. I cook Indian a lot at home, but have a light version of butter chicken too but have never tried it in a slow cooker. I bet it’s full of flavor cooked in a slow cooker. Have to try this recipe.

    • says

      Oh gosh, I was in a different place everyday, so I can’t even remember, it was such a whirlwhind. I was near Bangalore, and near Pondicherry, plus a couple of other places. It is nice with the shredded chicken – lots of flavor in each bite!

  2. says

    I am so glad that you liked it! We loved it and I’ll have to make it again soon for my hubs as well. Thank you so much for choosing one of my dishes – it totally made my day! Your pictures are beautiful – love the elephant!

  3. says

    We love Indian food here even Morgan does, I have been shocked at how spicy she can eat her curry. But then again I guess kids in India eat it as well so I shouldn’t be so shocked. But I have to say I have never made butter chicken before, I love that it is a crock pot version as well.

  4. says

    Oh yes I know what you meant with the nuts in India. I used to only eat parle cookies, oranges and peanuts when I discovered the country first, I just couldn’t eat the spicy hot food! First of all its so different to our food in Europe and secondly my stomach couldn’t handle it. ^.^

    Nowadays I love Indian food, especially the goan cuisine. One of my favorite Punjab style dishes is the Butter Chicken. We are all nuts for this dish here and when we used to run a Tandoori restaurant here, we would have butter chicken very frequently with nans.

    You tempted me with your gorgeous butter chicken!

  5. says

    It looks so amazing, and I love the flavors so much! Looking over the recipe I even have all the ingredients. About the cardamom, I might add some, since I use it a lot in baking and always have some. Happy Sunday Brianne!

    • says

      This still has some richness with the butter and even light coconut milk, but it would be a nice treat that isn’t going too crazy. Like I mentioned, try using less butter even. You’ll still get all the spices, and I am not sure I tasted the butter much. The coconut milk and yogurt add a lot of creaminess and richness.

  6. says

    I like this lightened up version of Butter Chicken.Its also very different from the traditional Butter Chicken that you would eat in an Indian restaurant!I bet it tasted delicious with the curry and coconut :)

    • says

      Give it a try! So easy that it won’t feel like a huge effort if you aren’t a fan. And maybe cut down on the spices the first time. The tomato and coconut and yogurt add a lovely creaminess, so you can add a little spice at a time till you get used to is.

  7. says

    Thank you so much for all your inspiration every week… there is nothing I love more than when you talk about all the wonderful food the bug enjoys! This recipe looks amazing and it is on my must try list for sure!

    • says

      No, thank you, Isabel. While we do eat together most nights, you and everyone else in this group inspires me to continue this as I look at your families through your blogs and see even the older kids still enjoying meals with their family. Plus all of the themes inspire me to come up with new ideas! And you must try this!! So goood!

  8. says

    I love that you make a rule not to take out electronic devices during dinner. Growing up, we never ate with the TV on and I remember eating at a friend’s house whose parents had the news on during dinner. No one talked but the news anchors and everyone faced the TV instead of each other. I’m guilty of whipping out my phone to take pictures of what I’m eating, but it’s a habit that I’d like to break! Also, I’m glad you chose this recipe. Indian food is intimidating to me (I’m not sure why), but I love eating it. This looks very doable :)

    • says

      This is so doable. I remember eating dinner in front of the TV as a kid, but my mom, when she was single and we were on our own, used to let me do that as an occasionally treat. We were very close and talked a lot, but sometimes the two of us sitting at the table could get a little boring. I hope I can keep my boys at the table!

  9. says

    Thank you, Brianne! A. My husband and my friends and I love curry. B. I’ve received a bottle of garam marsala from my ex-pat brother and his wife and wondering what the heck to do with it C. My husband loves chicken. You can be sure your recipe is a keeper!

  10. says

    I’ve never eaten butter chicken before, but this shredded version over rice looks wonderful! And I can definitely see room for a candle on top 😉

  11. says

    Fabulous post as always, Brianne. I want to make Pam’s dish too. I love Indian but can’t handle anything too spicy so this is perfect for me. I don’t have a slow cooker (so sad!) so maybe I’ll try this in my dutch oven – just set the heat on my stove real low and cook it long. And isn’t it amazing how the internet/smart phones can now stop debates right in their tracks? Before, we’d have to go to the library and do research in an encyclopedia (remember those?) to verify details & information!

  12. Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) says

    I LOVE INDIAN FOOD! I’ve always wanted to make butter chicken. I’ll give this a try! Thanks for reintroducing this recipe!

  13. says

    Brianne, this is amazing! I love Indian food and this is the first Indian recipe that I came across using butter, I can imagine how tasty it is. Thanks to both you and Pam for this fabulous recipe!

  14. says

    This dish is definatly fresh in my memory. It looked gorgeous when Pam made it and looks just as gorgeous now. Instead of salvating at the computer screen maybe I should get off my tukas and just make it. Good idea right? 😉

  15. says

    I like Indian food so much and sadly we do not have many good Indian restaurants around in PDX. – this dish looks absolutely fantastic. Now, all I have to do is get a slow cooker :)

  16. Jeri Safari says

    Hi, this sounds wonderful and I love that it’s made in a Crockpot. I noticed in the “Meltaways” version they used 2 tsp of curry but you used 2 tbl of curry, is this correct? I can’t wait to make this, thanks for sharing!

  17. Honest Tom says

    What is Mango Lassis? My daughter, husband, and 8yr. old visit me every Friday for supper. I am a very amateur cook(mostly follow directions to the letter, no imagination or feel for cooking) -I think I may give this a try and see what they think.

  18. says

    Thanks for this great recipe! My family loves a good curry but it is a hassle to prepare for a weeknight meal. Until now! My daughter said this was way better than the curry I usually make and she is right! We love it!!

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