Better Butter Chicken (in the CrockPot)


My sister dropped off sick kids this morning and left them to languish on my couch all day while W tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to rouse them and I tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to get stuff done. I had bought some skinless chicken thighs and drums to test a “faux fried chicken” recipe, but instead decreed that they should spend the day in the CrockPot becoming butter chicken.

So I threw it all in, the drumsticks partially frozen, even, without bothering to brown anything first. (Which isn’t necessary, but does boost flavour.) At 5 I stuck a pot of brown rice on to boil, and stirred a bit of plain yogurt and a bit of cream into the finished chicken. After cooking all day the meat self destructed upon being stirred; I just plucked the bones out. You could start with skinless, boneless chicken, but any meat cooked on the bone has far more flavour.

Better Butter Chicken (in the CrockPot)


4 each: skinless, boneless chicken thighs and drumsticks
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. curry paste or powder
pinch cinnamon
1 28 oz. (796 mL) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp. tomato paste (optional)
1-2 tsp. garam masala (optional)
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup(ish) half & half or whipping cream
salt and pepper
steamed brown basmati rice, for serving with


Throw everything but the yogurt, cream, salt and pepper into the CrockPot, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Uncover, stir in the yogurt and cream, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot over rice. Serves 6.


 4 each: skinless, boneless chicken thighs and drumsticks
 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
 4 garlic cloves, crushed
 1 Tbsp. chili powder
 2 tsp. curry paste or powder
 pinch cinnamon
 1 28 oz. (796 mL) can diced tomatoes, undrained
 2 Tbsp. tomato paste (optional)
 1-2 tsp. garam masala (optional)
 1 cup plain yogurt
 1/2 cup(ish) half & half or whipping cream
 salt and pepper
 steamed brown basmati rice, for serving with



Throw everything but the yogurt, cream, salt and pepper into the CrockPot, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Uncover, stir in the yogurt and cream, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot over rice. Serves 6.

Better Butter Chicken (in the CrockPot)

This was good for a laugh today.

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38 comments on “Better Butter Chicken (in the CrockPot)

  1. Cheryl
    April 20, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I really do need to upgrade my slow cooker. I bought a ridiculously large one last year – it didn’t seem that big – but nothing actually ever gets cooked in it, even after 8 hours. Your recipes are so tempting… and may inspire a trip to Crappy Tire.

  2. Kate Crawford
    April 21, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Hey just read your article. That sounds pretty good, can’t wait to try it out. You should post it on Wacanai too. I have found a ton of food and drink recipes that have come in handy at BBQs. They have a ton of articles on how to make everything. Plus you can put a link to your page and they have graphs to track how many hits you get on your articles. Thanks so much for posting your article.

  3. Natalie (Michigan)
    April 21, 2009 at 4:11 am

    too funny (youtube)

  4. thepinkpeppercorn
    April 21, 2009 at 4:42 am


  5. Barb
    April 21, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Whew. Ok . I think the tears have dried enough that I can see to typo. It sounds so funny when other people (or animals) say it. Does it really sound that funny when we say it? I mean, do I sound funny now?!

  6. RobbingPeter
    April 21, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I have copied this into my notebook for future trying. I am curious about the 1/2 & 1/2, is it absolutely necessary? It just seems like an awful lot of cream. I don’t know why I am such a cream-phobe, if you had said add a ton of cheese I wouldn’t have blinked. But for some reason, anything calling for cream or 1/2 & 1/2 spooks me.

    Go figure.

    ps: Love your blog.

  7. Elaine
    April 21, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Brilliant. Dinner tomorrow. I live just south of Little India, a neighborhood in Chicago–and, as luck would have it, replenished my garam masala stock last weekend!

  8. piccola
    April 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    I wonder if you could use evaporated milk instead of the cream…

  9. JulieVR
    April 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    You could totally use evaporated milk (wouldn’t taste quite the same), or just the yogurt, or none at all. Half a cup of half & half for this quantity isn’t bad though, considering most butter chicken calls for copious amounts of butter and/or heavy cream! (Half & half is 10%, whipping cream 35%, so when you look at it that way it seems like a good deal.)

  10. Cory
    April 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Oooooh, looking forward to trying this. 😛

  11. Angela
    April 21, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Doesn’t butter chicken usually have butter in it?

  12. JulieVR
    April 21, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Surprisingly, no! I mean yes sometimes, but not always. And not when you’re trying to trim it down a bit…

  13. helen
    April 22, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Can’t get enough of simple, weekday meals. This looks healthy and delicious!

  14. jennifer
    April 22, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Alright, is this worth making? I am planning on using my crockpot on Friday with two adults and three kids or does someone have another crockpot gooder? I recently made a boeuf daube in the crockpot, supper yum.

  15. Aimee
    April 22, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    III’m craving this kind of one pot meal.Thanks for the nudge.

  16. Paul Cameron
    November 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    So…it’s 8:30 pm and I just put all the items for this in a crockpot, and then in the fridge.

    Veronica will turn the pot in just before she leaves in the morning to take the kids to School and…voila…Butter Chicken for dinner.

    I’ve got a feeling we’re going to visit your blog a great deal more over the winter….


  17. MgMama
    February 8, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I plan on making this tonight, can’t wait! For anyone who was wondering, I entered the info into MyFitnessPal.com and got 322 calories for 4 servings, using half & half and nonfat plain yogurt. Each serving is one drumstick and one thigh. I think that’s pretty darn good for so much chicken!

  18. Anon
    February 15, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Hi, how come this recipe requires yoghurt when your other Butter Chicken recipe (https://www.dinnerwithjulie.com/2012/01/19/butter-chicken/) doesn’t require it? I’m a little confused because I think they are the same recipe. Thanks

    • JulieVR
      February 15, 2012 at 11:07 am

      I just made them a bit differently – one is lighter, made with yogurt. Most butter chicken recipes are similar.. you could swap yogurt for the cream if you like!

  19. Mary
    July 8, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Want to try it, but have one question. Some Indian food is spicy, what in this recipe would determine how spicy it is. Is it the Garam masala or the curry. I like it on the mild side. What would I use less of to make sure it is not spicy hot?

    Thanks Mary

  20. Lisa
    July 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I just made this and it’s awesome! I like things spicy and doubled the curry paste (used the hot kind) and it wasn’t too hot at all. I left out the cream as I too have a cream phobia, I will also add 2 lb of cheese to a recipe without batting an eye! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. harpreet
    October 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    check this out….:)

  22. dieta daneza Pareri
    June 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Currently it sounds like BlogEngine is the top blogging
    platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

    My web blog; dieta daneza Pareri

  23. NanaV
    June 26, 2013 at 6:48 am

    My Butter Chicken is in the Crockpot and smells so good!

  24. Linda
    July 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Tried this recipe today. It smelled amazing all day long! It tasted good too when I tried it in the crockpot. A nice little kick to it. At dinner, once the half and half and yogurt were added, I didn’t taste the kick so much. But it was delicious nonetheless. And healthy! My kids enjoyed it as well. It made a TON of sauce. I don’t eat alot of rice or bread so really couldn’t sop it up as I’d have liked to.


  25. DeborahD
    March 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    This is an amazing dish! Honestly, I didn’t get around to adding the yogurt for my first meal of it (but will next time – so lactose people don’t shy away). Nice balance of spice with heavenly aroma. I did lightly saute the onions with spices first – just a preference before before putting veggies in the pot. My husband and I both love it.

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