Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken (Dairy & Gluten Free)

This delicious slow cooker Indian butter chicken is dairy free, gluten free, and full of flavour made easily in the crockpot or slow cooker!

Delicious dairy free Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken in a bowl with naan bread on the side


Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken that’s Dairy Free! 


This dairy-free slow cooker Indian butter chicken has been a blog favourite, a client favourite, and a personal favourite over the years. I usually shy away from Indian-inspired food as I find it can be challenging to create, and there are a lot of Indian dishes that contain dairy, like butter chicken (traditionally called Murgh Makhani) for example. Despite the name, traditional butter chicken does not typically contain butter, but actually cream or yogurt which gives it a rich, hearty consistency.

Dairy-Free Slow Cooker Butter Chicken // GF via Nutritionist in the Kitch

When I created this recipe a few years ago, I was inspired by a great recipe I got from the lovely Half Baked Harvest blog! Tieghans butter chicken looked absolutely delish, and I loved the idea of making it in the crockpot, but as per usual, I wanted to healthify the recipe a little more, and make it dairy free.

Milk, Cream, Yogurt Substitute for Butter Chicken


For this delicious slow cooker Indian butter chicken instead of using any dairy products, I used two simple ingredients that can create a creamy, rich texture in any recipe:

  1. Raw Cashews
  2. Coconut Milk

Raw cashews, when blended up with the rest of the sauce ingredients create a lovely cream-like consistency that can be mistaken for a traditional Indian butter chicken sauce. With a few bites, you would likely never guess this recipe was actually dairy free. The light coconut milk is also a great substitute for the cream to blend with the cashews to create a wonderful flavour and richness. 

Dairy-Free Slow Cooker Butter Chicken // GF via Nutritionist in the Kitch

Another very specific feature in the recipe that makes this recipe warming and perfect for cooler weather is the blend of spices! Garam masala, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne blend wonderfully with curry paste, light coconut milk, and garlic create a deliciously savoury flavour, that couldn’t be mistaken for anything but slow cooker Indian butter chicken!

Nobody knows spices like Raw Spice Bar, who reached out to me not long ago to share their spice kits. These kits contain freshly ground spices in delectable blends for wildly flavourful meals. The spice kits (and quarterly spice subscriptions!) can work for savoury recipes such as Indian-inspired, sweet recipes like pumpkin-spiced cornbread or chai-spiced apple clafoutis. Drooling yet?  

Dairy-Free Slow Cooker Butter Chicken // GF via Nutritionist in the Kitch

The coolest part of this spice-lovin’ company is their spice subscription option, where you can sign up for a monthly spice box delivered right to your door.

While I love working with individual spices, having blends already whipped up and ready to go with recipe ideas for inspiration takes all the guess work out of it. Over the years I’ve gained a little more knowledge in the spice world (I think?), but having ready-made spice kits are always a treat. Also, if you have specific tastes and prefer certain flavours, you can personalize your recipes with the Raw Spice Bar Flavor Profile Quiz after you sign up. How cool is that?

CrockPot Butter Chicken or Instant Pot Butter Chicken


If you love the idea of this recipe but don’t have a traditional slow cooker and rather have a Crockpot or an Instant Pot, you can definitely use either one instead! I would recommend following the recipe instructions as listed and then add to a crockpot for 6 hours on low. For the instant pot, follow the instructions according to the appliance or use the “poultry” setting!  

Dairy-Free Slow Cooker Butter Chicken // GF via Nutritionist in the Kitch

If you are feeling like some warm, comfort food these days like I am, pull out that slow cooker and whip up this delicious slow cooker Indian butter chicken, then pop on over to Raw Spice Bar and check out all the warming spicy holiday options to suit your tastes!



Looking for more delicious dairy free recipes you can make in the slow cooker, Crockpot, or even Instant Pot? Check out some of my faves!


What’s your favourite spiced recipe for warming up in cooler weather? I’d love to read about it in the comments below! Also, be sure to pin the photo below to save this delicious slow cooker Indian butter chicken recipe for later! 

Dairy-Free Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Dairy-Free Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Yield: Makes 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes

This delicious slow cooker Indian butter chicken is dairy free, gluten free, and full of flavour made easily in the crockpot or slow cooker!


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, ginger paste or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons Red Thai Curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala spice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • Gluten-free or regular naan, pita, or cooked brown rice for serving


    1. In a blender add the olive oil, ginger, spices, curry paste, salt, tomato paste, coconut milk, and cashews, and blend until smooth. This may take a couple minutes if you don't have a high speed blender.
    2. Add the chicken, zucchini, carrot, bell pepper and onion to the crockpot or slow cooker.
    3. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and stir to coat.
    4. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours (if using an Instant Pot use the "Poultry" setting)
    5. Stir everything in the slow cooker once or twice during the cooking process.
    6. When ready to serve taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
    7. Serve over rice or with a piece of whole grain naan or pita.


Recipe Adapted from Half Baked Harvest



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Dairy Free Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken


Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Christal // NITK 

Disclaimer: This recipe post was sponsored by Raw Spice Bar, but as always, the thoughts are opinions are completely my own! 

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

  • The instructions make no mention of the carrot, zucchini, or bell pepper, so I threw them in with the onion. I hope that was the right thing to do, since this is in my slow cooker right now! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Nina! Whoops! Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I must have missed adding them in! That’s perfect 🙂 Hope you enjoyed it!

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