Lazy Keto Butter Chicken

Indian food is among the most popular types of cuisine (outside of India, that is). Centuries of culinary knowledge has gone into creating countless rich and flavorful dishes of all kinds: Meaty and vegetarian, spicy and mild, hot and cold. And, butter chicken is up there among our favorite Indian dishes. Unfortunately, most traditional recipes call for plenty of added sugar, and for the dish to be served with rice. If you’re on the keto die, this simply doesn’t work.

Thankfully, this keto butter chicken recipe comes in at around 5g of net carbs, meaning it won’t blow you past your carb target and knock you out of ketosis. Yay! The recipe also has plenty of fat and protein, however we’re not concerned about that. That’s why we call this our lazy keto butter chicken – you only have to keep the carbs low, and can do what you like with the fat and protein.

For example, you can use other fat sources in place of butter if you like. And yes, it’s still a keto butter chicken, even if you take the butter out!

Can you take the butter out of this lazy keto butter chicken?

Yep! The best substitute is ghee.

Ghee is a type of clarified butter that’s made by heating cow’s milk at relatively low temperature until the water evaporates and the milk solids can be removed. It’s commonly used in Indian cooking anyway, so the butter chicken will still be nice and authentic. Plus, ghee being made at low temperatures means that plenty of the vitamins and minerals (e.g., vitamins E & A, and various antioxidants) are retained.

Being that ghee is made from cow’s milk, it still has a buttery taste, and won’t compromise the deliciousness of this dish.

How To Make Lazy Keto Butter Chicken

  1. Prepare the chicken by cutting it into 2 or 3-inch cubes and placing in a large bowl with:
    • 2 tbsps garam masala
    • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
    • 1 tsp of minced fresh garlic
    • 4 oz plain Greek yoghurt

    Stir to combine everything and then place in the fridge, covered, for at least 30 mins. Overnight works really well.

  2. Make the sauce using a whole brown onion (fine chopped or grated), 2 tsp of grated fresh ginger, 2 tsp of minced fresh garlic, 14 oz of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 tbsp of garam masala, 1 tbsp ground coriander, 2 tsps of cumin and 1 tsp of chilli powder (optional). Blend together in a blender of food processor, and then place in the fridge – also for at least 30 mins, or overnight if possible.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of refined coconut oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown the marinated chicken for 3 – 5 minutes per side. Then pour in the sauce and cook for a further 6 – 7 minutes
  4. Finally, mix in 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 2 tbsp of butter or ghee and cook for another 1 minute or so. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

What can you serve this recipe with?

Spoon this lazy keto butter chicken over cauliflower rice for a delicious meal that is pretty darn close to authentic taste and texture!

Make the cauliflower rice by first grating (yes, with a cheese grater) your desired amount of cauliflower florets. We’ve found a whole head of cauliflower is need for this dish. Then simply sauté the grated cauliflower in a frying pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil for no more than 3 – 4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and you’re done!

cauliflower rice in a bowl

This lazy keto butter chicken also works well when garnished with sliced fresh jalapeños and freshly chopped cilantro (coriander).

How spicy is this dish?

It’s pretty mild. If you don’t like spice, leave the chilli powder and fresh jalapeños out, and cut back a bit on the garam masala.

How do I store the leftovers of this keto butter chicken?

Store the leftover curry and the cauliflower rice separately to prevent the ‘rice’ from going too soggy.

They’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days, making them a perfect option to include in your keto meal prepping.

lazy keto butter chicken in a frying pan ready to be served

keto butter chicken in a white bowl

Lazy Keto Butter Chicken

A modern, low-carb spin on a classic Indian dish, this keto butter chicken will melt in your mouth. It's super easy to make, and is perfect for anyone dabbling in lazy keto.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 295 kcal


  • 1 Large skillet / frying pan (preferably non-stick)
  • 2 Large chopping boards
  • 1 Cooking knife


The Chicken

  • 1.5 lbs Chicken breast (thigh also works) (cubed)
  • 2 tbsp Garam masala
  • ~1 tsp Ginger (fresh, grated)
  • ~1 tsp Garlic (fresh, minced)
  • 4 oz Plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil (refined)

The Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Butter or ghee
  • 2 tsp Ginger (fresh grated)
  • 2 tsp Garlic (fresh, minced)
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chill powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Ground coriander
  • 0.5 tbsp Garam masala
  • 14 oz Crushed tomatoes (canned is fine)
  • 1 Brown onion (grated or chopped)
  • 0.5 cup Heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper (as needed)

Optional Additions

  • Chopped cilantro (fresh)
  • Jalapeños (fresh, sliced)
  • Cauliflower rice (1 full head)


Preparing the Chicken

  • Cut chicken into 2- or 3-inch cubes and combine in a bowl with garam masala, grated fresh ginger, minced fresh garlic, and the Greek yoghurt.
    Place covered in the fridge for at least 30 mins (24 hours ensures the flavors really marinate into the chicken)
    2 tbsp Garam masala, ~1 tsp Ginger, ~1 tsp Garlic, 4 oz Plain Greek yoghurt, 1.5 lbs Chicken breast (thigh also works)

Preparing the Sauce

  • Add the chopped or grated brown onion, remaining garlic, ginger, and garam masala, along with the cumin, ground coriander, crushed tomatoes, and chilli powder if using into a blender or food processor and blend until nice and smooth. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
    2 tsp Ginger, 2 tsp Garlic, 2 tsp Cumin, 1 tbsp Ground coriander, 0.5 tbsp Garam masala, 14 oz Crushed tomatoes, 1 Brown onion, 1 tsp Chill powder


  • Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides for 3-4 minutes each.
    1 tbsp Coconut oil
  • Pour the sauce into the pan and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
  • Finally, mix in the heavy cream and butter or ghee, and cook for a further 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
    2 tbsp Butter or ghee, 0.5 cup Heavy cream, Salt and pepper
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and sliced jalapeños and serve over cauliflower rice if desired.
    Chopped cilantro, Jalapeños, Cauliflower rice
Keyword keto butter chicken, keto chicken, lazy keto