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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken {Paleo + Whole30}

A recipe for Slow Cooker Butter Chicken that is Whole30 and Paleo friendly while also extremely rich in taste and texture!

One of the ways I keep the Whole30 feeling fresh and fun is by challenging myself to menu plan and to try new dinner recipes. I feel like we’ve discovered so new recipes this go round that we’ll continue making all year, not just on the Whole30. This Slow Cooker Butter Chicken is one of them. It is so good that I knew I had to post it for you guys ASAP. You are going to love it!

A recipe for Slow Cooker Butter Chicken that is Whole30 and Paleo friendly while also extremely rich in taste and texture!

Butter chicken is an Indian dish known as murgh makhani. The New York Times calls it the “General Tso’s of Indian food” because it’s so delicious and universally appealing. It’s just a basic chicken curry in a creamy tomato sauce but there’s nothing “basic” about the flavor of this dish thanks to this line up of spices.

Butter Chicken Spices

Cayenne pepper, paprika, coriander, garam masala, cumin and turmeric meet to make magic happen.

Dairy-Free Butter Chicken

The original recipe calls for lots of cream in the tomato sauce but I used a can of full-fat coconut milk for a dairy-free, Whole30, Paleo modification. I can’t stress to you enough the importance of using the full-fat version. It makes the biggest difference in richness of flavor and texture.

A recipe for Slow Cooker Butter Chicken that is Whole30 and Paleo friendly while also extremely rich in taste and texture!

This is one of those super easy “dump it all in the slow cooker and go” recipes where you don’t even have to brown anything ahead of time. Personally, this is my favorite way to use the slow cooker! 🙂

A recipe for Slow Cooker Butter Chicken that is Whole30 and Paleo friendly while also extremely rich in taste and texture!

The Slow Cooker Butter Chicken only takes about six hours on low. The chicken will easily shred with a fork. I served it over cauliflower rice with fresh cilantro.

Try this out! Especially if you’ve never experimented with Indian curry spices. This Slow Cooker Butter Chicken is a great gateway!

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 4 servings Total:

This slow cooker butter chicken is rich in taste and texture and also Whole30 approved, Paleo, dairy-free and gluten-free!

You'll Need...

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (I used thighs)
  • 1 red, yellow or orange pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Arrowroot powder (or coconut flour)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt (taste and season as needed before serving)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Rice, for serving
  • Cilantro, for garnish


  1. Place chicken thighs and remaining ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Chicken should be falling apart and easily shred with a fork.
  3. Serve over rice of your choice. Use cauliflower rice for a Whole30, Paleo friendly option. Garnish with cilantro.

Additional Notes

The leftovers taste even better!




{ 15 comments… add one }
  • ACKTIVE LIFE February 6, 2017, 8:12 am

    YUMMY! I cannot wait to make this next weekend for a slow cooker Sunday! I’ve always wanted to try Butter Chicken and this recipe so far looks like my favorite. Happy Monday friend! XOXO

  • Jennifer February 6, 2017, 9:01 am

    Oh man! I LOVE butter chicken! Thank you so much for this! I’ll definitely be making this for my daughter and son in law when they come up next weekend. Perfect!!

  • Teri || A Foodie Stays Fit February 6, 2017, 9:17 am

    This sounds AMAZING. Adding it to my must-try list of recipes!!


  • JennyV February 6, 2017, 9:32 am

    Seriously? This is amazing!! It seems so uncomplicated and yet so unusual! I need something like this in my rotation. Will definitely try it.

  • Anastasia February 6, 2017, 6:52 pm

    I made this for my husband tonight and he loved it! I served it with basmati rice but I’m going to try making it with tofu and cauliflower rice for me sometime soon. This was the easiest recipe ever and he asked me to make it again, so thank you!

  • Stephanie February 9, 2017, 10:40 am

    I just ran out in the storm (I’m in Boston) to get a few things because we were totally out of food and all the store had left was lite coconut milk. Any suggestions to up the fat to make up the difference? I know it’s going to make a difference in taste. I’m guessing coconut oil is a bad idea?

  • mary February 9, 2017, 2:28 pm

    Do you think this will still work without arrowroot or coconut flour? Thanks!!

    • Jen February 9, 2017, 3:04 pm

      Yes! You could also just use regular flour or cornstarch.

      • Mary March 7, 2017, 9:30 pm

        I just wanted to let you know I finally got around to making this, and I wish I had done so earlier! It was soooo good! I didn’t have a bell pepper so I skipped it, but followed everything else. I actually made it in my instant pot which was great – o quick! Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Jessica February 27, 2017, 1:10 pm

    This looks delicious! Is there anything that I could use as a substitute for the coconut milk? My boyfriend is allergic to coconut. Thanks!

  • Abbey March 23, 2017, 9:46 pm

    None of the stores in my area carry a garam masala blend. Do you have a recipe to make my own blend? Don’t want to order online really

  • Renee May 15, 2017, 10:06 pm

    Great recipe. I made this last night and will be making again! I did not have the garam masala but it still turned out okay without it. Will try to find some for the future.

    • Jen May 18, 2017, 2:13 pm

      Glad to hear this was a hit for you! 🙂

  • Hillary September 3, 2017, 9:31 pm

    We are having this for dinner tonight! I can’t wait to try this!! By chance do you know how many calories this meal is? I know with Whole30 the point is not to count calories, but just trying to fit since having my baby.

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