Easy Keto Butter Chicken – Chicken Makhani

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.

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.

Preparation time

Hands-on: 30 minutes
Overall: 2 hours 30 minutes

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

Total Carbs7.4grams
Net Carbs6.1grams
of which Saturated23.8grams
Magnesium65mg (16% RDA)
Potassium829mg (41% EMR)

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (29%), fat (67%)

Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

Marinate 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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  7. Eat warm or let it cool down and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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