Light Indian Food Done Right – Healthy Butter Chicken Recipe

When it comes to eating healthy, many South Asians feel as if they need to abandon Indian food altogether. They say “goodbye” to their favorite curry dishes but soon start to crave a little spice back in their life.
The reality is that Indian food does not have to fall into the ‘forbidden food’ category. Many Indian dishes use fresh vegetables, legumes, lean meats, and yogurt, which are not only delicious but nutritious as well. Many of the signature spices used, such as turmeric (haldi) and cumin seeds (jeera) also possess immune health benefits.  Yes, it is true that some of the more lavish Indian recipes call for oil or butter, but these dishes can easily be transformed into healthy meals.

Butter chicken is a classic example of a dish that people have a love / hate relationship with. They love the flavour, but, understandably, hate the guilt that comes along with eating a dish, which has the word “butter” in it. Now, choosing between flavour and calories is a thing of the past with this butter chicken recipe that allows you to enjoy the signature flavour without the excess fat and calories, and all you need is your crockpot!


3 – 3.5 chicken breasts, sliced into chunks

3 large onions, minced

½ inch ginger root, peeled, minced OR 1 tsp ginger paste

4 garlic cloves, crushed OR 2 tbsp garlic paste

6 oz can tomato paste OR 5 – 6 fresh tomatoes

3-4 green chilies slit from the middle and de-seeded

¼ cup cilantro for garnish

¼ cup 0% Greek yogurt

14 oz can of light coconut milk

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp red chili

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp tandoori masala

¼ tsp turmeric

salt to taste



  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, ginger, garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in coconut milk, Greek yogurt, tomato paste, garam masala, red chili powder, coriander powder, and turmeric until well combined and slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place chicken into a slow cooker / crockpot. Add sauce mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 hours.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro

Sonia’s Notes:

  • There have been times that I’ve been on such a time crunch that I’ve literally thrown all of the ingredients mentioned above directly into a crockpot, without any of the saucepan work. Surprisingly, the recipe turns out just as good! So if you can’t spare the time to pre-cook any of the ingredients, don’t worry about it!
  • I have eaten this dish with brown rice and quinoa and I’ve loved both! I prefer brown rice but quinoa can add great texture to the dish.

 About Sonia Jhas

Engaging over 200,000 fans on Facebook with her inspirational tips on health and wellness, Sonia Jhas is best known for providing her audience with information to help them reach their fitness goals. Her website, is dedicated to providing an even broader range of information, providing readers with recipes, workout routines, product reviews and the latest in fitness news.