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Vegan Butter Chicken
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4.75 from 4 votes

Vegan Butter Chicken

This vegan butter chicken recipe is made with tofu and a curried tomato-based sauce. It's smooth and creamy, comforting and so easy to make. Enjoy scooped over rice, or serve with naan bread.
Category Entree, Main Dish
Cuisine gluten-free, Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Author Hannah Sunderani


For the tofu:

  • 16 oz extra-firm tofu (450g)
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil avocado oil or coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tbsp corn starch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt finely ground
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 28 fl oz/795 ml
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 can coconut milk (14 fl oz/400 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Serve with:

  • cooked rice or naan bread
  • fresh coriander (cilantro) chopped, to sprinkle


  • Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Drain extra firm tofu and rinse well. Press tofu by wrapping in a clean tea towel and placing a few heavy books on top. Use your backsplash to secure books in place. Press for 10 minutes. Then unwrap tofu and cut into bite-sized cubes.
  • In a mixing bowl combine tofu, oil, corn starch, sea salt, garlic powder and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Line a baking tray with parchment and transfer tofu cubes onto tray spreading out so there aren't any clumps. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until golden and crispy.
  • Meanwhile add diced onions, garlic and neutral oil to a deep skillet. Bring to medium heat and cook until onion turns transluscent (about 10 mins).
  • Pour diced tomatoes, tomato paste and freshly grated ginger. Then season with garam masala, chili powder, curry powder, cumin, and sea salt. Add coconut milk and baked tofu and bring to a low simmer. Finally, add cayenne pepper flakes for heat, and maple syrup for sweetness.
  • Scoop vegan butter chicken over cooked rice, or serve with naan bread. Sprinkle with fresh coriander.


Meal-prep: Recipe will keep in fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy throughout the week. Reheat on stovetop, or in microwave. 
Recipe can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to one month.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate. Based on 1 serving of vegan butter chicken (without rice/naan bread)


Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Sodium: 1301mg | Potassium: 698mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 423IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 6mg