Enjoy this recipe for keto butter chicken with all the classic Indian flavors you love. It's made with garam masala and Greek yogurt.
One of the biggest temptations, when you are on the keto diet, is eating takeout or in a restaurant. You can't control what ingredients they use and they are usually made with lots of carbs and sugar.
If you can learn how to make your favorite takeout dishes at home, you will be far better off. That's what I did with this recipe.
Indian food is some of my favorite kinds and so I created a recipe that tastes authentic - without the hidden carbs.
What Is Butter Chicken?
Butter chicken is a popular entree at Indian restaurants. It's a relatively new one - it originated in India in 1948 and closely resembles Tikka Masala.
It's basically chicken in a buttery gravy with classic Indian flavors like garam masala, ginger paste, and cumin.
The chicken is usually marinated first - that way it is extremely tender and juicy. It should melt in your mouth and be filled with authentic Indian herbs and spices.
Keto Butter Chicken Ingredients
There are two different sections of ingredients in this low-carb recipe. I made a creamy masala marinade first and then I created the keto butter chicken sauce.
All of the ingredients are low-carb and whole ingredients. I didn't take any shortcuts with this delicious recipe. You can easily find these ingredients at your grocery store, too.
Low-Carb Masala Marinade For Chicken
Here's what you will need to make the low-carb masala marinade.
- Chicken Thighs - Use boneless and skinless chicken thighs because you will chop them up into small pieces. You can use chicken breast instead, but chicken thighs have a better texture with the sauce.
- Greek Yogurt - This has lots of protein, calcium, and nutrients. Use a plain vanilla variety that doesn't have added sugar.
- Garam Masala - If you want to do more Indian cooking, get a large bottle of this spice. It's used quite a bit.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic tastes much better than garlic powder.
Butter Chicken Sauce
This is what I used in my keto butter chicken sauce to make it extra creamy.
- Butter - Use unsalted butter. I've heard of others using ghee instead and it works just as well.
- Minced Garlic
- Garam Masala
- Chili Powder
- Ginger Paste - Do not substitute with powdered ginger. The paste mixes in better and has a more favorable texture.
- Onion - To save time you can use frozen chopped onions.
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Heavy Whipping Cream
Frequently Asked Questions About Keto Butter Chicken
The complete recipe is in a printable card at the bottom of this post. First, I want to answer some questions about it.
How Many Carbs Are In Butter Chicken?
Typical butter chicken in an Indian restaurant might have anywhere from 8-10 grams of net carbs per serving. A serving size is about ¾ cup of chicken.
My keto butter chicken only has 5 grams net carbs per serving and the entire recipe makes 6 servings.
What Do You Serve With Keto Butter Chicken?
Traditionally, butter chicken is served with rice and Naan bread. Naan is a flat bread.
It's easy to replace those two options with low-carb ideas. Instead of rice, serve this with a scoop of cauliflower rice. Plain rice is a popular choice but you can also use authentic spices and make cabbage rice.
You can replace the flat Naan bread with light flaky keto cloud bread. It even has the same shape!
What Is Garam Masala?
Garam masala is a spice blend used in traditional Indian cuisine. The word garam means "hot" and masala means "spices." That doesn't mean this is spicy.
You'll learn that there really isn't one single garam masala recipe. The ingredients and amounts will differ based on the region and chef's preferences. Some of them are spicy and others are not spicy at all.
If you chat with someone from India, you might learn that learning how to make their family's Masala blend is a right of passage - it's something that is passed down.
Today, we can buy jarred garam masala and it has most of the general flavors that you'd expect in Indian food.
Can You Freeze Butter Chicken?
Yes, this recipe freezes really well. It's an excellent choice if you need a meal that you can make ahead and pull out for quick meal prep.
To freeze it, cook it fully first. Then, let it cool completely and store it in a freezer-safe and oven-safe dish. The best kind is an aluminum foil casserole tray with a sealable lid.
When you are ready to bake it again, you just have to heat it back up in the oven. It's so easy!
What's The Best Way To Store It?
Store this chicken recipe in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It will stay fresh in the fridge for about a week.
As it cools in the refrigerator, the cheese and cream will solidify. This is perfectly normal and it will all melt again when you heat it back up.
The best way to heat it is on the stove.
How Long Should The Chicken Marinate?
Ideally, you should try to let the chicken marinate at least overnight, if not longer.
If you want really tender chicken, then let this marinate for longer. It will taste delicious even if you marinate it for only 30 minutes before it cooks. The difference is, the meat will tenderize the longer it sits in the marinade.
Other Recipes To Love
Are you searching for more low carb chicken recipes to make at home? Try one of these favorites:
- Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken is keto comfort food to the max. The crispy bacon on the outside is as yummy as it is beautiful.
- Chicken and Shrimp Stir Fry is another recipe that will replace your craving for takeout.
- Keto Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is so filling and has a classic flavor that it's a favorite for family meals.
- Crispy Dry Rub Chicken Wings Recipe is a favorite for parties or fun a finger-food lunch.
- Low-Carb Keto White Chicken Chili is hearty with a delightful kick to it.
Follow us on FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM for even more tasty keto-friendly recipes!
Keto Butter Chicken
For the chicken:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ½ cup full fat Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- Salt to taste
For the sauce:
- 6 tablespoons butter unsalted and divided
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 3 teaspoon Garam masala
- 1 teaspoon Chili powder
- 2 teaspoon Ginger paste
- ½ medium onion chopped
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and place it into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients for the chicken and toss to combine and coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge to marinate for at least half an hour before cooking.
- Melt two tablespoons of the butter over medium high heat in a large high sided skillet on the stove. Place the marinated chicken into the skillet and cook on both sides until almost completely cooked through. Remove the chicken and keep warm.
- Add another two tablespoons of butter to the skillet, and mix in 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, 3 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 2 teaspoon of ginger paste, and onion. Stir to combine and cook for 30 seconds.
- Reduce the heat to medium and pour the crushed tomatoes and heavy whipping cream into the skillet. Simmer until the sauce has thickened.
- Add the chicken back into the skillet and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Stir the remaining two tablespoons of butter into the skillet and serve.
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [calories] => 457 [carbohydrates] => 7 [protein] => 33 [fat] => 33 [saturated_fat] => 18 [cholesterol] => 229 [sodium] => 317 [potassium] => 574 [fiber] => 2 [sugar] => 3 [vitamin_a] => 1155 [vitamin_c] => 5 [calcium] => 85 [iron] => 2 )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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I love butter chicken and I love that you figured out a way to make it keto!
My very first Indian recipe that I’ve made! My husband said it was the same as the Indian restaurant we go to. He gave it a 10 - and he’s not low carb! I though it was wonderful. I like your recipes because they’re easy to fix and delicious. And I even made the naan cloud bread - the first time I’ve made that too! Both of these recipes are keepers. Thank you.
Thank you for this recipe - so much better than takeout and keto friendly! The family will love this!
One of my favorite dishes and this is such a delicious and flavorful version!
This is one of my favorite keto dinners. I love that you use chicken thighs instead of breasts; we prefer them anyway. Such delicious comfort food flavors.
Greek Yogurt – This has lots of protein, calcium, and nutrients. Use a plain vanilla variety that doesn’t have added sugar.
I use plain Greek yogurt and there are some triple filtered ones with no added sugar that are very low in carbs.
could you use sour cream instead of the Greek yogurt?
Yes. Sour cream should work well in the recipe instead of yogurt.