I made Butter Chicken for the first time sometime after we moved into this house in 2013. Since then, it’s become a family favorite and been our alternative to take-out many times. It freezes beautifully and makes a great packed lunch for work. All you have to do is cook some rice, which we always have in the house. Done.
Ingredients (Serves 8)
- 2 onions, diced
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, shredded (or 2 pounds of boneless chicken, cut into bite-size chunks)
- 29 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups basmati rice, cooked according to package directions
- Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and soft.
- Add chicken. If using raw chicken, cook until seared on all sides. You may want to do this in two batches.
- Add tomato sauce and spices. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
- Add cream and stir. Serve over rice, topping with more cayenne for extra spice if desired.
To freeze, spoon into ziploc bags and lay flat in the freezer. To reheat, cut open bag (do not thaw) and place butter chicken in a skillet with 1/4 cup water. Cover and reheat over medium-low until heated through. Serve over rice.
This recipe is a staple of our household, but it’s more of an equation than an actual recipe because it’s so flexible.
Pasta + pantry item sauce + almost any vegetables + meat (optional) = delicious and quick dinner!
For pasta, we have made this dish with spaghetti, linguine, rotini, rigatoni, penne, and campanelle. All have been good. Our favorite is probably rotini or penne as we find it easier to eat a short pasta with the vegetables, but by all means use what you have on hand.
Start boiling the water for the pasta, then prep your vegetables. We have enjoyed all of the following in this dish, at various times:
- Bell pepper
- Snap peas
- Green beans
- Edamame (out of the shell)
You can even use a mixed bag of frozen vegetables. Start cooking your vegetables in a skillet with a little oil according to the length of time they need to cook. So I usually start with carrots, broccoli or green beans, then onion and bell pepper, and so on.
At the end, add your cooked chicken to heat it. If you are cooking the chicken from raw, start with that, then move it to a plate while you cook the vegetables. At the end, mix it back in.
While your vegetables and pasta are cooking, mix up the sauce. Add hot water to the peanut butter and stir to combine. It will look super gross at first. Just keep stirring.
Then add the other ingredients and taste. It should be runnier than you think – it will get much thicker when you put it on the pasta.
When your pasta is done, add it to the pan with the cooked vegetables. Pour on the sauce and toss to combine.
Serve with the green onions, peanuts, and lime wedges.
- 8 ounces pasta (almost any shape works)
- 1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 lime, half juiced and half cut into wedges
- 2 teaspoons Asian chili garlic sauce
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- vegetables (see above for suggestions)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken (optional; or 1 pound raw boneless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces)
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat vegetable oil. Add vegetables, season with salt, and cook to desired tenderness. Add chicken to pan to heat.
While pasta and vegetables cook, combine peanut butter and hot water. Stir to combine. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, Asian chili garlic sauce, and cayenne. Adjust seasonings as desired.
When pasta and vegetables are done, drain pasta and add to pan with vegetables. Toss with sauce to combine. Serve accompanied with green onions, peanuts, and lime wedges.