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Healthy Butter Chicken

Healthy Butter Chicken

Creamy, dreamy and delicious! Butter chicken is a quick weeknight meal that is comforting and easy to make. In this recipe, we've swapped in ghee and coconut milk to add richness and provide healthy sources of fat. We also add spinach at the end of cooking for extra fiber and nutrients.

Healthy Butter Chicken


Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes



  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons ghee (Plain Jane or Brown Butter)
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 can (400 mL) full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups baby spinach (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

To Serve

  • Basmati or cauliflower rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of ghee until shimmering. Cook the chicken on each side until golden brown and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. In the same pan over medium heat, add 1 more tablespoon of ghee. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric, chili flakes, paprika, ground ginger, and cardamom. Stir to combine. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. 
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and coconut milk. Stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender. Process until smooth. 
  6. Add the mixture back to the pan, along with the remaining 1 teaspoon of ghee, reserved chicken and spinach (if using). Over medium-low heat, cook until the spinach is wilted.
  7. Serve with rice and garnish with fresh cilantro (if using). 
  8. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months. 

| by Jessica Tilley