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Easy Keto Butter Chicken
Chicken Makhani

4.7 stars, average of 92 ratings

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Today I'm bringing you one of the most popular recipes (and my personal favorite!) from my Beginner's KetoDiet Cookbook!

Butter Chicken is undeniably one of the most popular chicken dinner recipes. Chunks of chicken breast are marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, and fragrant spices, then cooked with fresh ginger and other aromatics, tomato paste, and cream. It’s rich, creamy, and utterly delicious!

There are many versions of Butter Chicken, aka Chicken Makhani, and this is my keto approved version which I like to serve with some palmini rice or Keto Naan Bread.

So if you’re a fan of mildly spicy Indian cuisine, you're in for a treat!

How to Make Keto Butter Chicken

Making low-carb butter chicken is easy and although it seems like you'll need many different ingredients, most of them are just spices and aromatics.

You'll start by cutting the chicken into large chunks and then marinating it in yogurt, lemon juice and spices. After at least 2 hours in the fridge your chicken is good to go!

You'll finish the meal by frying onion in butter and then adding ginger, chillies and garlic. Then you'll add the marinated chicken and cook for a few more minutes. Finally, you'll pour in the stock, add tomato paste and cream, and cook the sauce until thickened. Done! You can serve it with any low-carb sides from the list below.

Recipe Tips - How to Serve Keto Butter Chicken

This low-carb butter chicken goes best with the following sides:

  • Palmini rice — palmini rice is cooked so you'll only need to drain and rinse it, and then briefly heat up in a microwave or add to the pan with the curry sauce.
  • Cauliflower rice — here's how to prepare cauliflower rice.
  • Shirataki rice — here's how to prepare shirataki rice.
  • Keto Naan Bread — easy to make low-carb flatbread.
  • Spinach — another option is using fresh spinach cooked on a pan until wilted or blanched spinach, or you can use frozen, thawed and drained spinach.
  • To make an easy one pot meal, add the vegetable you plan to eat it with into the pot with the chicken. You can use chopped okra, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini or broccoli.

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Hands-on Overall

Serving size about 225 g/ 8 oz

Allergy information for Easy Keto Butter Chicken - Chicken Makhani

✔  Gluten free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, about 225 g/ 8 oz)

Net carbs6.1 grams
Protein39.3 grams
Fat40.9 grams
Calories561 kcal
Calories from carbs 4%, protein 29%, fat 67%
Total carbs7.4 gramsFiber1.3 gramsSugars4 gramsSaturated fat23.8 gramsSodium492 mg(21% RDA)Magnesium65 mg(16% RDA)Potassium829 mg(41% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

Marinated chicken
  • 900 g chicken breasts (2 lbs)
  • 3/4 cup 5% full-fat yogurt (188 g/ 6.6 oz)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter, divided (113 g/ 4 oz)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (70 g/ 2.5 oz)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (12 g/ 0.4 oz)
  • 1 to 2 red or green chiles, seeds removed, chopped (14 g/ 0.5 oz)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste (45 g/ 1.6 oz)
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water (240 ml/ 8 fl oz)
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream (300 ml/ 10 fl oz)
  • Optional: fresh cilantro or parsley to serve and palmini rice, shirataki rice, cauliflower rice or Keto Naan Bread to serve as a side


  1. Cut the chicken into 1 1/2 inch (5 cm) pieces. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Easy Keto Butter Chicken - Chicken Makhani
  2. After 2 hours remove the chicken from the fridge. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Slice the chili pepper and discard the seeds. Easy Keto Butter Chicken - Chicken Makhani
  3. Heat a large pot greased with half of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili pepper. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Easy Keto Butter Chicken - Chicken Makhani
  4. Add the marinated chicken, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the tomato paste, chicken stock, and the remaining butter.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Easy Keto Butter Chicken - Chicken Makhani
  6. Pour in the cream, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Optionally add cilantro (or parsley) and serve with palmini rice, cauliflower rice or shirataki rice. Easy Keto Butter Chicken - Chicken Makhani
  7. Eat warm or let it cool down and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months. Easy Keto Butter Chicken - Chicken Makhani

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 225 g/ 8 oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Chicken, breast (without skin, raw)
0 g33.8 g3.9 g180 kcal
Yogurt, plain (full-fat, Greek style, 5% fat)
1.2 g2.8 g1.6 g30 kcal
Lemon juice, fresh
0.3 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Turmeric, spices (dried, ground)
0.5 g0.1 g0 g4 kcal
Garam masala, spice mix
0.2 g0.1 g0.1 g2 kcal
Cumin, ground
0.3 g0.1 g0.2 g3 kcal
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed
0 g0.2 g15.3 g135 kcal
Onion, brown (yellow), raw
0.7 g0.1 g0 g4 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.3 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Ginger root, fresh
0.3 g0 g0 g2 kcal
Peppers, chile (chili), fresh
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Chicken stock (broth), chicken only, homemade
0 g0.8 g0.8 g10 kcal
Cream, heavy whipping, pouring, full-fat (30-40% fat)
1.3 g1 g19 g183 kcal
Tomato purée (paste, unsweetened)
0.5 g0.1 g0 g3 kcal
Coriander (cilantro), fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cinnamon, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Total per serving, about 225 g/ 8 oz
6.1 g39.3 g40.9 g561 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (4)

Could this be frozen for future meals? Or would I need to prepare everything except the cream, and add it when preparing it later?

Absolutely! I happen to have a triple batch in the freezer now, including the cream. It may split a little but nothing to be too worried about, it will still have good texture.

The BEST ever! I love butter chicken but haven't had it for ages! Now that you've got naan bread too ... 😋! I'll add cashew butter into mine instead of the cream. Weirdly I'm ok with butter but can't tolerate cream. Thank you for this recipe!

Thank you so much Kelly! I think it's the amount of lactose which is low in butter. You may still want to try ghee instead just to be safe.