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Lighter Butter Chicken

This Lighter Butter Chicken is an easy recipe that’s full of savory flavor with warm spices-it’s packed with tender chunks of chicken simmered in a creamy spiced sauce! No one will believe it’s not take-out!

Servings: Makes 5 ( 1 cup or about 8 oz. ) servings

GREEN: 7 smartpoints per serving

BLUE/PURPLE: 3 smartpoints per serving

What is Butter Chicken?

Butter Chicken or murgh makhani is a curry of chicken in a spiced tomato, butter and cream sauce. It originated in India as a curry. It is similar to chicken tikka masala, which uses a tomato gravy. Butter chicken originated in Delhi, the capital territory of India, sometime during the 1950’s. During this time, a man named Kundan Lal Gurjal operated a restaurant in the city, called Moti Mahal. 

What ingredients do I need to make this Lighter Butter Chicken?

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts-raw and cut in to 1-inch cubes
  • Fresh lemon juice- about 1 large lemon
  • Ground cumin
  • Garam masala-is a blend of ground spices.You will find it in the spice section and it costs around the same as other spices or HERE on Amazon. 
  • Salt
  • Ground ginger
  • Light butter- I use Land o’ Lakes light butter made with canola oil
  • White onion- diced
  • Garlic– minced. 2 cloves or 2 tsp.
  • Jalapeño-minced
  • Paprika
  • Tomato sauce
  • Fat free half and half- I find the fat free half and half at my local Walmart store. It can be challenging to find so if you can’t locate or don’t have it-you can substitute it for 1 cup of skim milk mixed with 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, for optional garnish 

 

How do I make this Lighter Butter Chicken?

In a medium mixing bowl combine the greek yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, garam masala, salt, ginger

Add cubed chicken and stir until well combined. Let marinate in the fridge for  30 minutes.

Spray a skillet with non stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.

Add marinaded chicken cubes. Discard remaining marinade. Cook chicken until it’s cooked throughout and is no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Melt butter in the skillet. Add in onion and sauté onion over medium heat. Cook until onion is tender— about three minutes.

Add the garlic, garam masala, ginger, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Stir to combine, and cook for about a minute before adding the tomato sauce.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until well combined.

Add the cooked chicken, and let simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. 

Stir in half and half or unsweetened almond milk with 2 Tbsp cornstarch whisked in.

To avoid curdling be sure to keep the heat low and do not allow it to boil.

Tip: milk and cream can curdle if it heats too quickly, or if it comes to a boil-so be careful. 

Remove from heat and serve over cooke Basmati rice, White rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice, if desired.

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, if desired 

 

Chicken and Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp light butter- I use Land o’ Lakes light butter made with canola oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch of ginger 
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup fat free half and half or unsweetened almond milk mixed with 2 Tbsp cornstarch or you can use coconut milk as a diary free option 
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro for garnish if desired 

Directions:

  1. Measure the fat free half and half or unsweetened almond milk and set that on the counter so it can get to room temperature.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the greek yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, garam masala, salt, ginger, and cubed chicken. 
  3. Stir until well combined and chicken is coated. Let marinate in the fridge for  30 minutes.
    Spray a skillet with non stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add marinaded chicken cubes. Cook, stirring frequently, 5-8 minutes, or until browned. Remove chicken to a plate. Wipe pan clean.
  4. Melt butter in the skillet. Add in onion and sauté onion over medium heat. Cook until onion is tender— about three minutes. Add the garlic, garam masala, ginger, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Stir to combine, and cook for about a minute before adding the tomato sauce.
  5. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until well combined. 
  6. Add the cooked chicken, and let simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Stir in half and half or unsweetened almond milk with 2 Tbsp cornstarch whisked in. To avoid curdling be sure to keep the heat low and do not allow it to boil.  Tip: Milk and cream can curdle if it heats too quickly, or if it comes to a boil-so be careful. 
  8. Remove from heat and serve over cooke Basmati rice, White rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice, if desired.
  9. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, if desired 

Servings: Makes 5 ( 1 cup or about 8 oz. ) servings

GREEN: 7 smartpoints per serving

BLUE/PURPLE: 3 smartpoints per serving

 

Author Notes:

  1. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can reheat butter chicken easily in a skillet pan or in the microwave.
  2. Point values do not include rice or quinoa.
  3. Point value is the same if you use the fat free half and half or the skim milk or unsweetened almond milk mixed with 2 Tbsp cornstarch.
Yield: 5

Lighter Butter Chicken

Lighter Butter Chicken

This Lighter Butter Chicken is an easy recipe that's full of savory flavor with warm spices-it's packed with tender chunks of chicken simmered in a creamy spiced sauce! No one will believe it’s not take-out!

Author: thepounddropper

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp light butter- I use Land o’ Lakes light butter made with canola oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ( 2 tsp minced garlic)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup fat free half and half or unsweetened almond milk mixed with 2 Tbsp cornstarch 
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro for garnish, if desired

Notes

    • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can reheat butter chicken easily in a skillet pan or in the microwave.
    • To calculate the smart points on a recipe you have to enter the ingredients in manually (by creating a recipe in the recipe builder) not by the nutritional information. If this recipe contains zero point items the WW app doesn't realize there are zero point items in the recipe and will calculate it based only off the nutritional information which will not be accurate. The ww calculator doesn’t recognize 0 point foods. It goes strictly off of nutritional info. Therefore, it's likely to be higher in points than building the recipe in the ww recipe builder.
    • Point values do not include rice or quinoa.
    • Point value is the same if you use the fat free half and half or the skim milk or unsweetened almond milk mixed with 2 Tbsp cornstarch.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 11gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 650mgCarbohydrates: 11gNet Carbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 43g

Darlene Blood

Sunday 29th of August 2021

Made this last night, and it was beyond delicious. My husband couldn't get over how yummy it was. We love Indian food, and thanks again for this perfect lightened up recipe.

Anne

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Going to try this for supper tonight! I had printed out the recipe a few days ago, but then realized just now that the directions don't print if you click on "print" on the recipe itself. You may want to fix that. I copied out the directions by hand from the detailed description to use tonight.

Alethea

Monday 2nd of August 2021

The sauce ingredients list paprika, but the instructions reference ground ginger instead. Which spice is used for the sauce? Thank you!

Jamie

Thursday 29th of July 2021

I see in the instructions for the sauce that it says to add ginger, but I don’t see it listed in the ingredients for the sauce. Can you tell me if it’s ground or minced, and how much?

Lindsay Kehl

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Hi Jamie

Thanks for the comment. I add just a pinch of ground ginger to the sauce. The chicken already is coated in 1 tsp so not too much needs to be added in the sauce.

I have updated that in the recipe!

Thanks so much!

Suzanne

Thursday 29th of July 2021

Absolutely the best!! A slight issue though….directions call to add ginger in the sauce, but ingredients for sauce does not include ginger. I only used it in the marinade and was yummy!

Lindsay Kehl

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Thanks for the comment. I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it!

I just a pinch of ground ginger to the sauce. The chicken already as 1 tsp of ground ginger in the marinade so not too much needs to be added in the sauce.

I have updated that in the recipe! Thanks again for catching that!

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