Vegan Butter Chicken

Hearty, creamy, and oh so flavorful butter chicken, but made vegan. This version uses tofu, but doesn’t sacrifice any bit of flavor or creamy texture.

vegan butter chicken

My absolute favorite cuisine to eat and make is Indian food. Now, I am not Indian myself, but I have done quite a lot of research and experimenting with Indian Cuisine. I won’t call myself an expert, but I really do enjoy the plethora of spices and flavors used in traditional Indian recipes. There really isn’t anything like it.

For the longest time I’ve wanted to recreate one of the most beloved Indian dishes, which is butter chicken. I have a recipe on my site already, but I knew it needed to be creamier and even more delicious (yes, that’s possible).

This recipe contains simple ingredients, relatively quick to make, and pantry-friendly.

vegan butter chicken
vegan butter chicken

This Vegan Butter Chicken is…

  • Creamy
  • Hearty and oh so flavorful
  • Vegan and gluten-free
  • Easy and simple

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vegan butter chicken
Vegan Butter Chicken
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Hearty, creamy, and oh so flavorful butter chicken, but made vegan. This version uses tofu, but doesn't sacrifice any bit of flavor or creamy texture.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butter chicken, healthy dinner recipe, vegan
Servings: 4 people
Author: Taavi Moore
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • One 15-oz can tomato puree
  • One 15-oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 14 oz. extra-firm tofu pressed and drained ahead of time
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lime
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp vegan butter. Add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, cumin, garam masala, and turmeric. Stir until a smooth paste forms. Cook for 1 minute to allow the spices to toast. It will become fragrant and turn a darker brown (but make sure you don't burn the spices). Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Stir to coat them in the spice paste. Cook for 3-4 minutes until onions are soft.

  2. Add tomato puree, coconut milk, water, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. This will be enough time for the tomato flavor to subside a bit and mend all the flavors together. Take the tofu and tear it into rough pieces, about a golf-ball sized each. Add to the sauce and stir to coat. Cook for an additional 4 minutes. Season with salt if needed.

  3. Serve butter tofu with basmati rice and top with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


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