Butter Chicken (Healthy & VEGAN)

Author: Sarah Cobacho

Published: January 1, 2023

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Bowl of vegan, healthy butter chicken

This Vegan Butter Chicken recipe is a tribute to the classic Indian dish, Murgh Makhani, that originated in the 1950s in New Delhi. It was my partner Cam’s go-to favorite before switching to a plant-based diet, and after much experimentation, we’ve crafted a version that satisfies his butter chicken cravings. Made with tofu that’s marinated in a blend of aromatic spices and yogurt, this dish is as flavorful as it is satisfying. The sauce combines the creaminess of cashews and soy milk with an incredibly rich mix of spices that bring warmth and depth to the dish. A touch of maple syrup and lemon juice balances out the flavors. This one tastes even better the day after, so I highly encourage you to make extra for leftovers! Serve with rice or naan and chopped cilantro.

Bowl of vegan, healthy butter chicken

Butter Chicken (Vegan)

5 from 5 votes
Indulge in the rich flavors of a classic Indian dish with this vegan butter chicken recipe. If you've been looking for a meat-free version to replace your past favourite take away, trust me, this is it!
Sarah Cobacho (plantbaes.com)
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour


Servings 4


Tofu marinade

  • 600 g extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup soy yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 dash sea salt flakes


  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (or sub for neutral oil, such as avocado)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (finely diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup raw cashew
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 400 g diced tomatoes (1 can)
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)

Serving suggestion

  • Rice
  • Naan


  • Using your hands, break the tofu apart into chunks.
  • For optimal texture, freeze, thaw, and squeeze out the excess water of the tofu. This step is optional.
  • In a container, combine the marinade ingredients (soy yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, chili powder, cornstarch, and salt). Incorporate the tofu chunks and ensure they are all evenly coated. Allow to marinade in the fridge for 2 hours to overnight.
  • Cover the cashews in hot water and let them sit for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F
  • Spread the tofu chunks on a baking tray and cook for 20 minutes.
  • To a pot on medium heat, add the butter and onions. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add the spices. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, until the paste gets a darker color.
  • Add diced tomatoes, soy milk, and maple syrup. Cook covered for 5 minutes.
  • Add the sauce to a blender with the soaked cashews. Blend until perfectly smooth.
  • Transfer the tofu and the sauce to the pot.
  • Cook on low heat for 5 minutes, add the lemon juice and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Top with cilantro, and serve with rice or naan, enjoy!

Per Serving

Calories 496kcalCarbohydrates 38gProtein 32gFat 27gSodium 450mgFiber 7gVitamin A 40IUVitamin C 29mgCalcium 705mgIron 6mg
COURSE Main Course
CUISINE Indian-Inspired
KEYWORDS Healthy, plant-based, Tofu, Vegan
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