Make boring chicken dinners a thing of the past with this classic Indian Slow Cooker Butter Chicken and Cauliflower. So rich and creamy and uses coconut milk to make it dairy-free. Plus, it’s easy to prep and even better the next day. A super delicious and budget-friendly recipe with simple ingredients you'll want to cozy up with any night of the week.
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What is Indian Butter Chicken?
Butter chicken may be India's most popular culinary export, along side tikka masala. Butter chicken recipes can vary greatly, but ultimately result in a steaming pot of tender chicken bathing in a richly spiced yet mild, tomatoey, creamy, curry-like sauce.
The creaminess can come from heavy cream and butter, or Greek yogurt, or coconut milk as I've opted for here. You can also combine any of the above as well. I suggest using whole-fat yogurt and coconut milk if you decide to go in that direction. Low-fat or lite options will result in a thinner consistency. Even though the dish is called 'butter' chicken, I didn't use any. The choice is yours.
And as for all that amazing flavor, it comes from a blend of Indian spices like garam masala and curry powder complemented with cumin, chili powder, ginger and lots of garlic. Again, there's plenty of leeway in the amount and combination of spices you use.
How to Make It
The beauty of this recipe is easy prep that allows the slow cooker to do the heavy lifting. I started out by sautéing the onion first with the garlic, ginger and spices to amp up their aromatic flavor. You can skip this step and just put the ingredients right in the slow cooker, but I highly recommend taking the few extra minutes. You'll be delectably rewarded.
Next, transfer the sautéed onion mixture into your slow cooker, then layer in the chicken and scatter the cauliflower florets over top. I whisked the coconut milk, tomato sauce and paste together first in a bowl before pouring into the crockpot. Cover, set the timer and the rest of the day is yours.
How to Serve
In just a few hours, you'll have juicy, tender chicken and cauliflower steeped with amazing flavor and plenty of sauce begging to soak into steamy rice and be mopped up with warm naan. For added flare, I like to top the bowls with sliced green onion, fresno pepper, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Dinner is served. Hope you enjoy, friends! Stay warm and well.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken and Cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion , chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon each of chili powder , cumin and curry powder
- 2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 small head cauliflower head , cut into florets (about 3 cups)
- 14- ounce can coconut milk
- 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- Cooked rice or quinoa
- Fresh cilantro
- Sliced green onion
- Lime wedges
- In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, and curry. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Transfer onion mixture to a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker. Lay the chicken on top then add the cauliflower florets.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Pour mixture over the chicken and cauliflower.
- Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or on low 4 to 6 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and the cauliflower is tender. Cooking time may vary based on your slow cooker.
- When done and the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces and return to the slow cooker.
- Ladle the Butter Chicken and Cauliflower over cooked rice or quinoa, and serve with naan, cilantro, green onion and lime wedges, as desired. Enjoy!
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