Dairy-Free Slow Cooker Butter Chicken // GF

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

Ooo Baby it’s cold outside. Seriously thought, it’s been freakin’ cold here in #yeg. As much as I love this city, sometimes the bitter winter cold and grey can get a little old, and there’s only a few things that can really turn it around. Cozy warm blankets, the fireplace, and something seriously yummy in the slow-cooker.

This dairy-free 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.

Instead of using dairy, I used a simple ingredient that can create a creamy, rich texture in any recipe…cashews! Raw cashews, when blended up with the rest of the sauce ingredients, make a lovely cream-like consistency. With a few bites, you would likely never guess this recipe was actually dairy free.

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

Another very specific feature in the recipe that makes it warming and perfect for the cold winter weather… the blend of spices! Garam masala, ginger, turmeric, cayenne blend wonderfully with curry paste, light coconut milk, and garlic create a deliciously savoury flavour, that couldn’t be mistaken for anything but Butter Chicken!

Nobody knows spices like Raw Spice Bar, who reached out to me not long ago to share their holiday 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?

The other day I was looking for baby gear, ugh, seriously – major confusion. Do I need a car seat? A travel kit? What about a bassinet? What’s the best stroller? How do I know which of all these fits my lifestyle? 

Then, I came across a website with a quiz that evaluated mine and the hubby’s lifestyle to show us which strollers, gear, and all-things-baby would be best for us. Unbelievably helpful. So, I can tell you personalizing quizzes are where it’s at!

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

If you are feeling the chill like me, pull out that slow cooker and whip up this recipe, then pop on over to Raw Spice Bar and check out all the warming spicy holiday options to suit your tastes!

What’s your favourite spiced recipe for warming up in the cold winter months? I’d love to read about it in the comments below! 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Dairy-Free Slow Cooker Butter Chicken // GF
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
  • ½ 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
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • ½ 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.
  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



Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and stay warm folks!

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

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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