Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe | FoodByMaria

Main Dishes

Super Easy (and Creamy) Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe

Last Updated:

Prep

10 minutes

Cook

40 minutes

Yield

4 -5

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.
Wait, did you say this is a VEGAN butter chicken recipe? You betcha. 
 
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 it 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 the 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.

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:

  • Cumin seed powder
  • Coriander seed powder
  • Cardamom powder
  • Black pepper
  • Cassia cinnamon powder
  • Clove powder
  • Nutmeg powder

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 makes 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!
 

How to make Vegan Butter Chicken

  1. In a large skillet or pot heat, coconut oil or vegan butter on medium-low heat till melted. 

  2. 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. Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe

  5. 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.

    Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe

  6. Pour the sauce back into the pan. Stir in the coconut milk, sugar and season to taste. 

  7. 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.

    Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe

  8. Serve with rice, cilantro and naan.

Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe

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:
Vegan Butter Chicken in white bowl on top of fresh rice with a side of naan bread.

Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe

5 from 25 votes
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.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 4 -5

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
  • 1 400 ml 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.

Video

YouTube video

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.
Review This Recipe Let us know how it was!
 
Tracy

5 stars
We loved this! Next time I am going to do a double batch and save some sauce in the freezer. We added some fried tofu with veggies, and it was delicious!

Maria Koutsogiannis

I am so glad you loved this, Tracy! Thank you so much!

Mary

5 stars
Looks amazing and I can’t wait to try tonight!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Enjoy!! 🙂

Jeanne

5 stars
Delicious! I’ve never made vegan butter chicken before on my own, I really liked the texture I think mine came out a lot thicker than the photos but it was really good!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Wonderful!! You can always reduce the cooking time to keep the sauce thinner OR add some plant-based milk until you reach the thickness you desire!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yum! Thank you!!

TAYLOR

5 stars
I have tried alot of your recipes and they are all really amazing, this one was fun in the making!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Both creating and eating food is meant to be a fun experience! So happy this was for you 🙂

alice

5 stars
Amazing! I don’t really make Indian food as I am not that good at it, but to my surprise, it turned out great! Will be making it again soon.

Maria Koutsogiannis

I’m happy you enjoyed this Alice 🙂

Jasmine

5 stars
Amazing!! So easy, so delicious. Followed the recipe exactly and am very satisfied.

Maria Koutsogiannis

That’s great Jasmine 🙂

erin

5 stars
Absolutely delicious as all your recipes are Maria! Thanks for another winning recipe!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hooray! Thanks Erin 🙂

Melissa

5 stars
So so Delish! Everyone at the table has seconds- and also very easy to make!

Maria Koutsogiannis

That’s what we love to hear!! Thanks Melissa!

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