This Vegan Butter Chicken recipe dresses crispy fried tofu in a silky Indian spiced butter sauce. It’s a delightfully creamy and gluten free meal with BIG flavor!
Can you believe this Vegan Butter Chicken recipe isn’t made with any butter or cream? This simplified and veganized version of the popular Indian recipe is deliciously creamy and silky smooth. Made with crispy fried tofu instead of chicken, you won’t be able to stop after one bowl!
This easy vegan butter chicken recipe is:
- Made with crispy and tender tofu instead of chicken
- Easy to make in one pan
- Naturally gluten free
- Savory and delectable
If you love Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala, then you’re sure to be a fan of tofu butter chicken as well. Both dishes feature tofu dressed in a creamy sauce and are best served over basmati rice with vegan naan bread on the side. However, if you’re a fan of rich flavors and silky smooth sauces, butter chicken is the dish for you.
What is butter chicken?
Butter chicken (Murgh Makhani) is a popular recipe from northern India. It’s traditionally made with chicken covered in a creamy butter, cream, and tomato-based sauce. The spice levels are very mild and the flavors are well-rounded, making it a popular family-friendly dinner.
What is vegan butter chicken made of?
- Tofu - Extra firm tofu acts as the “chicken” in this vegan butter chicken recipe. It’s cut into small pieces and pan-fried to get it nice and crispy, but you can easily air fry or bake the tofu instead.
- Cornstarch - The cornstarch surrounds the tofu pieces to help them crisp up as they fry.
- Vegan butter sauce - This creamy sauce is made with a base of vegan butter, vegan yogurt, coconut milk, tomato sauce, green chilies, and a variety of Indian spices and aromatics.
- Indian spices - A variety of Indian spices is the secret to a truly flavorful Indian butter sauce! If you can, use all of the spices listed in the ingredients, especially garam masala. This spice blend is traditional to India and will help the butter chicken recipe taste warm and comforting.
How to make vegan butter chicken
Make sure to press the block of tofu before you begin. The more moisture that’s removed from the tofu, the crispier it will become. Once that’s done, you can put the rest of the dish together:
- Prepare the tofu: Chop the tofu into small cubes and place them in a bowl. Toss them in oil, cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
- Pan fry the tofu: Heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the tofu. Fry until the cubes are golden and crispy, then transfer to a plate. Want to save time? Air fry the tofu instead!
- Start making the butter sauce: Melt the vegan butter in the same pan and cook the garlic and ginger. Afterward, stir in the spices.
- Finish the butter sauce: Stir the rest of the ingredients (except the tofu) into the pan. Bring the sauce up to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.
- Bring everything together and serve: Add the tofu into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then serve over cooked rice with vegan naan bread on the side. Enjoy! For full ingredients and instructions see printable recipe card below.
Frequently asked questions
The difference between the two comes down to the flavor profile. Butter chicken is very creamy and buttery, whereas tikka masala is tomato-based and not as creamy. The flavors are more intense, too!
The tofu “chicken” can easily be replaced with chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, soy curls, homemade seitan chicken, or store-bought vegan chicken.
The leftover vegan butter chicken will last for 3 to 4 days when kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
Yes! To freeze vegan butter chicken, transfer the cooled leftovers to a sealed container and freeze for up to 2 months. Let them defrost overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
More vegan Indian-inspired recipes
- Vegetable Chickpea Indian Curry
- Indian Mulligatawny Soup
- Curried Quinoa Salad
- Vegan Raita (Indian Cucumber Yogurt Sauce)
Enjoy everyone! Happy Day! Please feel free to comment below and give this recipe a rating. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!Print