This crock pot butter chicken is a rich and flavorful curry with tender chicken cooked in a creamy tomato and butter sauce, infused with aromatic spices, we’re going to let the slow cooker do most of the work, and with roughly 15-minute preptime, what’s not to love?

A bowl full of boiled rice and crock pot butter chicken with some sliced red onion and naan bread in the corner of the bowl.
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This Crock Pot Butter Chicken is creamy, lightly spiced and delicious – an easy recipe that’s perfect for the slow cooker.

It’s creamy and spicy – but not too spicy for the kids to enjoy too. Perfect with a bowl of fluffy rice.

📋 Ingredients?

Ingredients for crock pot butter chicken on a large wooden chopping board.

I like to use diced chicken breast for this recipe. I often use boneless skinless chicken thighs when I’m cooking chicken for a long time (since thighs tend to be more tender than breast meat with long cooking), but I’ve tested this recipe with thighs and breast, and they both work well and both are tender and juicy.

📺 Watch how to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Start off by sealing the chopped chicken and onion in a pan (or in your slow cooker if it has a searing function) with oil and butter.
  2. Add the spices.
  3. Then add in the stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree (tomato paste) and sugar.
  4. Transfer to the slow cooker and place the lid. Cook for 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  5. After it’s been slow cooking you want to remove the cardamom pods and stir in some cream and you’re ready to serve.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP Sew the cardamom seeds together with a piece of natural cotton so you can easily fish them out later.

If you don’t have a searing function on your slow cooker then you can do these initial stages in a large frying pan/skillet and transfer to the slow cooker later.

Overhead picture of crock pot butter chicken in the slow cooker bowl, sprinkled with a little fresh coriander with a wooden spoon in the corner.

🍽️ What to serve it with

I like to serve this slow cooker butter chicken with:

If you wanted to go low carb then you could serve it up with some Cauliflower Rice.

Overhead picture of a dark bowl full of boiled rice and crock pot butter chicken with some sliced red onion and charred naan bread in the corner of the bowl, with a fork and a board with more naan bread in the background.


Can I change the spice level in this curry?

You could use a spicier curry powder like madras curry powder or you could add half a teaspoon of chilli powder when you add the rest of the spices.

Which Slow Cooker do you use?

I use a Crock Pot CSC024 because I love its searing function, glass lid so I can see whats going on, and dishwasher-safe bowl, this baby <–Affiliate link.

What do I do with the leftovers?

You can let it cool completely then place in an airtight container and put in the freezer for a quick dinner another night. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator (it will likely take longer than overnight to defrost if you freeze a large portion). Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until piping hot throughout.

What if I don’t own a slow cooker?

Then you can cook your butter chicken curry on the hob (stove) using my other Butter Chicken Curry recipe < click here.

What are the black dots on the butter chicken?

They’re nigella seeds. I like to sprinkle a few on for a unique flavor but don’t worry if you don’t have any in your store cupboard.

🍲 More easy Slow-Cooked recipes

This butter chicken was actually the first recipe I cooked in my slow cooker when we bought it a good few years ago. If, like me, you love an easy prep slow cooker dinner then check out these:

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If you’ve tried this crock pot butter chicken or any of my other dishes then please rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing your thoughts and add-ons to my recipes!

4.70 from 36 votes

Crock Pot Butter Chicken Recipe

This Crock Pot Butter Chicken is an easy meal, where the slow cooker does all of the hard work. It's a perfect dinner where you can adjust the heat level so that the adults and kids will love it!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, British-Indian, Indian


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion peeled and diced
  • 700 g (1 1/2 lbs) chicken breast approx. 4 large chicken breasts, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 240 ml (1 cup) chicken stock water plus a stock cube or bouillon for gluten free is fine
  • 2 x 400ml (2 x 14 oz) tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree paste for US
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 6 cardamom pods sew them together with a piece of string so you can easily fish them out later
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) double/heavy cream
  • handful of chopped coriander to serve
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  • Preheat your slow cooker to high.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a large pan, add in the onion and chicken, and cook for 5-6 minutes until the onions are softened and the chicken is sealed.
    3 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 large onion, 700 g (1 1/2 lbs) chicken breast
  • Add in the garlic, ginger, salt, garam masala, curry powder, paprika and cinnamon. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
    4 cloves garlic, 1 tsp minced ginger, 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tbsp garam masala, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Add in the stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar and cardamom. Stir then pour into your slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
    240 ml (1 cup) chicken stock, 2 x 400ml (2 x 14 oz) tins of chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tsp sugar, 6 cardamom pods
  • Remove the cardamom then stir in the cream and allow to heat through.
    125 ml (1/2 cup) double/heavy cream
  • Serve over rice sprinkled with some coriander
    handful of chopped coriander to serve



Nutritional information is per serving and does not include rice.


Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 620mg | Potassium: 590mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 775IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This crockpot butter chicken recipe was first published in February 2015 and updated in February 2024 with new photos, a video, and extra information to help you make this delicious dinner.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Marilyn Broome says:

    Hi Nicky ,
    Is there anything else I could use instead of sewing the cardiomom pods together , one thing I hate is sewing since school, can I just split them open or will it be too much flavour , recipe is Butter chicken,

    Kind regards

  2. Marianne Perry says:

    Can I use something other than cream?

  3. Rose says:

    You don’t specify green or black cardamom. I only have black will that work?

  4. Peter Marsh says:

    5 stars
    I tried this and it was excellent. My slow cooker is quite “fierce” and it needed less time, so next time I will use less stock as it had lots of liquid. I might even add more chicken as I bought a big pack of chicken thighs which were the best value.

  5. Jane says:

    5 stars
    Gorgeous recipe. Cooked for my new man, he loved it a great hit. We lived in the same town but both moved away, we have met up again so the food had to be good. It was!! Seeing him again….xx

  6. Carla says:

    5 stars
    I have always been intimidated by the spices in butter chicken but this recipe made it so easy. It turned out absolutely delicious and I’ll be using this again. Thank you for the recipe; it’s a keeper.

  7. Ruxi says:

    5 stars
    This turned out so so so good! I somehow always mess up recipes but this turned out incredible! My dad (who doesnt like anything other than Romanian food) absolutely loved it, also. Thank you for the recipe 🥰

  8. Swedish fISH says:

    4 stars
    this was delicious. i didnt have heavy cream so i used cornstarch and water in the end to thicken it and i feel it worked better then the cream would’ve. this meal was exactly what i wanted. i served it with rice too.

  9. Amber says:

    5 stars
    So simple, so very delicious!!

  10. Jill says:

    5 stars
    I don’t have any cream, could I use Greek yoghurt?

    1. Penny says:

      Would you also recommend using skinless, boneless chicken thighs?
      Also, instead of cardamom pods, can I use ground cardamom and how much?

      1. Emily Wheeler says:

        6 pods = 1 tsp ground