You’re going to love this wonderful version of a classic dish – this slow cooker butter chicken is creamy, warming, and comforting. Best of all, it’s dairy free and allergy friendly, but still loaded with flavor.
This recipe is one I’m really excited about. I know how tough it can be when you eliminate dairy from your diet. You might feel like all of your favorites are off limits.
You might think that creamy dishes like chicken casserole, grilled cheese, and warming curries will be no more. But that doesn’t have to be true! You can still have your favorites, and you can still love them, even though they’re dairy free.
This butter chicken is a great example of a dish that’s not lacking anything even though it’s dairy free. Tender chicken simmers in the slow cooker along with a handful of simple ingredients like coconut milk, tomato sauce, and spices.
The result is a flavorful dish that the whole family is sure to love.
- Coconut Milk – Full fat coconut milk (the kind that comes in a can) is the key to this rich and creamy sauce. I like Thai Kitchen brand or Native Forest brand.
- Vegan Buttery Spread – I use Earth Balance Soy Free Spread. You could probably any variety from Earth Balance or a different brand if you prefer.
- Spices – There are many different brands of spices out there. I use McCormick spices. Please call and check with any spice brands to make sure that they are safe for your dietary needs.
- If you don’t want to use chicken, you could make this with lamb stew meat instead.
- If you would like to make a vegan version of this dish, try using canned chickpeas and diced potatoes in place of chicken. You could also try my slow cooker lentil curry instead – it’s vegan as written.
- Full fat coconut milk is the best choice because it adds richness to the sauce, but if you can’t have coconut, you could probably use a different non-dairy milk instead. The sauce will be a little thinner, but you could thicken it with a bit of cornstarch and water.
Stove Top Variation
I love using the slow cooker for this recipe, because it’s very hands-off. I simply throw the ingredients in there, turn the slow cooker on, and it does the work for me.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you could make this on the stove top. Saute the onion and garlic in the vegan buttery spread until tender. Then cut up the chicken, and add it and the spices, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and tomato sauce and raise the heat to high. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat and put a lid on the pan. Simmer for about 25 minutes to develop the flavor.
More Dairy Free Dinners
- Slow Cooker Lentils and Rice
- Skillet Chicken with Quinoa and Red Peppers
- Pasta with Creamy Spinach Sauce
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Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (Dairy Free).
This dairy free butter chicken is so creamy and flavorful, and it's easy to make in the slow cooker.
- 2 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread use dairy butter if you prefer
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 8 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 15 ounces full fat coconut milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
- ¾ teaspoon ginger
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- rice for serving
Place the vegan buttery spread in the slow cooker along with the chopped onion and garlic. Turn the slow cooker on low heat and let the butter melt, and stir the onion and garlic to coat with the butter.
Add the chicken, tomato sauce, coconut milk, and all of the spices. Stir.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.
Once the cooking time is up, shred the chicken with a fork, It will be very tender and should fall apart.
Serve the butter chicken over cooked Basmati or Jasmine rice.
Stovetop Variation: Saute the chopped onion and garlic in the vegan buttery spread until tender. Cut the chicken into pieces, and add it along with the spices, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and tomato sauce to the pan and raise the heat to high. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for about 25 minutes to develop the flavor.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for about 3-4 days.