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Keto Butter Chicken

I easily get stuck in a flavor rut, do you? Every once in a while, I challenge myself to explore the flavors of a different cuisine to combat this. While this is not the most exciting Indian dish you can make, this keto butter chicken has some great flavors while still being easy to make.

The best way to make keto butter chicken is to prepare the chicken the night before. This allows it to marinate for 24 hours. If you happen to forget this step, marinating it for an hour or two will suffice.

As you may have surmised, one of the critical ingredients in this dish is butter! You can use what you have on hand, but it's more traditional to use clarified butter, also known as ghee. An optional ingredient for this dish is fresh cilantro. If you don't enjoy that flavor, it's easy enough to leave out. However, the brightness of the cilantro really offsets the creaminess of this dish nicely.

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Keto Butter Chicken, to Rice or Not to Rice?

It's easy to keep butter chicken keto, even though this dish is traditionally served with rice. Cauliflower “rice” to the rescue! Cauliflower rice is very easy to make at home. However, riced cauliflower has gotten so popular that you can find it in the frozen section of any major grocery store.

Add another layer of flavor to this keto butter chicken by jazzing up your cauliflower rice with our cilantro version. You can also simply serve it in a bowl and enjoy it more like an Indian stew, or use shirataki rice. Keto naan (coming soon) is another great addition to this dish.

I like to use a combination of chicken breasts and thighs in this recipe for extra flavor. If you're more fond of one versus the other, feel free to use all breasts or all thighs for this keto butter chicken.

Keto Butter Chicken

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Marinade: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people
This classic Indian dish is made quickly the next day after an overnight marinade.


Chicken Marinade

  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup greek yogurt, plain
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, optional, for garnish.


  • Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Place chicken into a large mixing bowl or gallon ziplock.
  • Add yogurt, ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, chili powder and salt to the chicken. Mix thoroughly or knead inside the ziplock.
  • Place in the refrigerator ro marinate for a few hours or overnight.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Place chicken pieces in batches so they're not crowded. Fry chicken until browned on all sides.
  • Set aside and keep warm, the chicken will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Heat butter in the same pan.
  • Add onions and cook for about 3 minutes or until translucent.
  • Add garlic and ginger, sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add ground coriander, cumin and garam masala. Let cook for about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour in crushed tomatoes, chili powder and salt and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat, scoop mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add a couple tablespoons of water to help it blend.
  • Pour the puréed sauce back into the pan. Stir the cream and add the chicken back into the pan.
  • Cook for about 10 mintues until chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Stir in chopped cilantro just before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with fresh, hot cauliflower rice and keto naan, if desired.



Serving: 1servingCalories: 362kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 39gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 885mgPotassium: 820mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gCalcium: 92mgIron: 3mgNet Carbohydrates: 8g

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