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Main Dishes

Super Easy (and Creamy) Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe

Prep

10 minutes

Cook

40 minutes

Yield

4-5

Wait, did you say this is a VEGAN butter chicken recipe? You betcha. I teamed up with my friends at Mountain Rose Herbs to whip this creamy, easy, vegan butter chicken up for you.
 
Big bowl of the Vegan Butter Chicken recipe made with chickpeas in a bowl on a table with Naan in the background.
 
Butter chicken is often something someone who is vegan would never think of trying to recreate to make vegan-friendly, however, I did it, and you’ll love it. I promise. This recipe is easy, is loaded with those Indian flavours we love and it’s seriously I think one of my best curry dishes I’ve made to date.
 
Butter chicken originated in Delhi, the capital of India, sometime during the 50s. The legend says that the cooks of Moti Mahal (a Delhi restaurant) would mix leftover marinade juices with butter and tomato and then stew the tandoori cooked chicken in the sauce. These cooks definitely did something right because here we are, decades later, and still loving butter chicken all the way back here in Canada.
 
In case you need me to state the obvious, there isn’t actually any chicken in this easy vegan butter chicken recipe. Surprise! I’m still vegan ;)! Instead, I’ve used chickpeas and potatoes to really make this Indian curry fill you up and make it a hardy dish for fall and winter.
 
Big bowl of this creamy Vegan Butter Chicken recipe on table with naan bread.

Mountain Rose Herbs Garam Masala Blend bottle on table with the ingredients of vegan butter chicken.

Why chickpeas for this easy Vegan Butter Chicken recipe?

Chickpeas are an extremely versatile ingredient that is used a ton in vegan cooking, and especially in Indian cooking. Chickpeas are packed with not just protein, but also nutrients, such as:

  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus
  • Copper
  • Manganese

They also benefit your digestion and help you keep healthy blood sugar levels + more. Combining the chickpeas with the flavours of the garlic, and this creamy coconut sauce really makes a dish that warms you from the inside out.

Open bottle of Mountain Rose Herb's Garam Masala to make Vegan Butter Chicken.

Plate of Garam Masala on counter.

Garam Masala = a vegan butter chicken necessity

Garam masala is a key spice to get all the flavours into this vegan butter chicken recipe. I used Mountain Rose Herbs garam masala to get all the authentic Indian flavour into this curry. Their garam masala is organic and filled with all the spices you need to make your house smell absolutely to die for. Their combination of spices include:

Image how annoying it be to have to buy ALL these spices individually? That’s why I love this powder that already mixes all of these flavours into one to make my life easier, and also make sure I have the perfect amount of all the Indian spices needed to make this dish as authentic and loaded with flavour as the real thing.

I find any curry to be seriously addictive. Nothing beats the flavour that comes along with a good curry and this vegan butter chicken doesn’t fall short.
Many vegans think they can’t eat butter chicken but think not, you can enjoy the flavours of it in a vegan way. Just minus the chicken!
 

Garlicy Naan bread sitting on cutting board.

Enjoy this comforting meal with rice and garlic naan bread and garnish your dish with cilantro for some extra fresh flavour. If you need a dish that is for sure loaded with flavour but don’t feel like having a million dirty dishes and spending hours in the kitchen, this dish is for you. Loaded with that punch of flavour you need, but easy, and can be made in one pot!
Need more inspiration on how to use Mountain Rose Herbs in your cooking and home? Check out some of my other posts:
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Vegan Butter Chicken in white bowl on top of fresh rice with a side of naan bread.

Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Maria Koutsogiannis
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Description

This super easy one pot creamy vegan butter chicken recipe is the Indian vegan curry recipe you’ve been waiting for going into the fall.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Sauce:

2 tbsp. coconut oil or vegan butter

1 large white onion, small dice

2 large cloves of garlic, pressed

1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated

1 1/2 tbsp. garam masala

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp chili flakes or just a dash

1 tsp vegetable stock paste (optional)

1 400ml no-salt-added canned tomatoes

1 tsp sugar

1 400 ml can coconut milk

season to taste

For serving:

cooked rice

cilantro

naan


Instructions

In a large skillet or pot heat coconut oil or vegan butter on medium-low heat till melted.  Add your white onion and sweat for around 6 minutes or until translucent.  Stir often to avoid burning, scraping the browned bottom bits for extra flavour.
Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, curry powder, coriander, paprika and cinnamon. Let cook for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.
To the skillet or pot add the chili flakes, vegetable stock paste and canned tomatoes.  Let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens and becomes a deep, rich red-brown in colour.
Remove mixture from heat and scoop into a blender and blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick to blend, then add up to 1/4 cup water to blend.  If you have a smaller blender, blend in batches.
Pour the sauce back into the pan. Stir in the coconut milk, sugar and season to taste.  At this point you would add your cooked lentils, potatoes, chickpeas, vegan chicken etc. and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Simmer for 15 minutes even if you’re not adding a protein or root of choice. Serve with rice, cilantro and naan.

Notes

We had a little mishap in our kitchen with the coconut milk, that is why the images are looking more tomato-based.  Had we added coconut milk, the colour would be more orange and creamy like.

The sauce will last up to 1 week in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.  Be sure to cool completely before placing it in a tightly sealed container in fridge or freezer.

When you go to re-heat, you may need to add more water to loosen sauce slightly.  Then add your protein or root veg of choice.

Keywords: best, butter chicken, coconut, creamy, curry, easy, garlic, Indian, pot, recipe, rice, sauce, vegan

 

Emily

Delicious!! I made this with chickpeas and it was creamy, flavorful and made big portions. Will definitely be making again. Thank you Maria!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much for the love, Emily! So glad you enjoyed this!

Carly

If you’re using potatoes do you cook them prior to adding to the sauce for the last 15 minutes? Or does that cooked part only apply to if you are doing lentils?

Maria Koutsogiannis

I would cook them slightly before adding them to the sauce to simmer. Depending on how large you cut them that will also dictate how long they need to cook. I hope that helps!

Amy Rintoul

So tasty and simple to make!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you, Amy! So easy and delicious, right!

Rebecca

This recipe was incredible. I was craving butter chicken tonight and this absolutely hit the spot. So satisfying! I used chili oil instead of flakes and it kicked up the intensity. Thanks again Maria!

Maria Koutsogiannis

You’re so welcome Rebecca! I am so glad you enjoyed this!!!

Tracy

Super delicious. The whole family loved it.

Maria Koutsogiannis

So happy about this Tracy! Thanks so much for the love!

Cherilyn Meesak

Let me just start off my saying, I do not typically like Indian food. At all. Not sure if it’s the curry seasoning but it’s just not a genre of food I prefer to eat. My fiancé went to a restaurant and kept raving about how good this Indian food he had and said we needed to try it. I stumbled across your recipe and thought I’d give it a try to make something for him for once (lol) and I have to say I ate two helpings!!! So so good! So flavorful, sweet, spicy… etc After trying many Indian recipes that I never was a fan of, I’m so glad to say I have seriously fell in love with this one!! Thank you!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSS!!!! This makes us so incredibly happy, thanks so much for the love, sweetie!

Nina

YES! I loved this recipe! I added chickpeas and lentils and it turned out delicious. I am defenitely going to make this again, thanks Maria! 🙂

Maria Koutsogiannis

You’re so welcome Nina! Thanks for the love on this recipe!

Alice

This recipe is INSANE! Tastes just like the real deal and will hit the spot. Adding this to my rotation!

Maria Koutsogiannis

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LOVE, ALICEEEE!!!!

Kristin

Holy coconuts—this recipe is delicious!! And, as is written all over this page, it is SUPER EASY. Yes, a lot of spices are involved, but it’s sooooo worth it. I loaded the sauce up with zucchini, pepper, and broccoli (I love how broccoli soaks up whatever sauce it’s in), and served over rice with some homemade pita. I will probably make this once a week. Thanks, Maria!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much for the love, hun!!!!

Nicole

Heya, approx how many potatoes and how much chickpeas did you (pre) cook? Thanks

Maria Koutsogiannis

It would depend on how much sauce you’re cooking, how many people you’re feeding etc. I made this sauce (exactly as in the recipe) and we likely used around 3 potatoes and 400 ml can of chickpeas. Hope that’s helpful. Please let us know how it goes and touch base with a star review if you can!

Marian Matthews

Followed the directions but sauce turned out runny. What can I add to thicken it?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Marian, can you confirm you used a Can of Coconut Milk and not regular coconut milk? This sauce should still be loose (sauce-like) but definitely not runny. I would cook it without a lid on to reduce the liquid but I am intrigued about which coconut milk you used. Hopefully we can help solve this!

Amy Froise

I’ve made this twice now, and it’s absolutely delicious! It was thinner the first time with the whole amount of coconut milk, this time I only had a small tin but it still turned out perfectly, perhaps just a little bit more spicy!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yes!!!! This makes me so happy, thank you so much for the love, Amy!

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