Butternut Squash Butter Chicken with white rice and cilantro in a bowl.

Butternut Squash Butter Chicken

If you’re looking for a simple butter chicken recipe, look no further! This recipe has many elements of a traditional Indian butter chicken, but with a little secret ingredient to lighten it up: butternut squash.

Butternut Squash Butter Chicken with white rice and cilantro in a bowl.
Butternut Squash Butter Chicken

If you’re looking for a simple butter chicken recipe, look no further! This recipe has many elements of a traditional Indian butter chicken, but with a little secret ingredient to lighten it up: butternut squash. Recipe from my cookbook, Meat to the Side.

Butternut Squash Butter Chicken with white rice and cilantro in a bowl.

My first job outside of college landed me in perhaps the best location I could have hoped for in midtown Manhattan. My office was within walking distance of so many delicious restaurants! Just a few steps away, my favorite Indian restaurant served up the most irresistible butter chicken, which I craved long after I moved out of New York. When I decided to tackle butter chicken at home, I found I could still get the flavors I craved but lightened up with a butternut squash puree.

As I developed my recipe list for Meat to the Side, I knew that I wanted to include my version of an Indian butter chicken recipe in the book. I take liberties with this recipe, and while it may not be authentic, I like that this version sneakily adds an extra serving of vegetables without taking away from the spirit of the dish.

The beauty of butternut squash is when softened and puréed. It transforms into a silky consistency that makes for a creamy butter chicken recipe. For me, this version of butter chicken is about those little wins; the small additions of vegetables that add up over time. Eating plant-forward for me includes squeezing in more veggies whenever we can, even in small amounts.

ingredients for Butternut Squash Butter Chicken

Butternut Squash Butter Chicken

If you’re looking for a simple butter chicken recipe, look no further! This recipe has many elements of a traditional butter chicken, but with a secret ingredient: butternut squash.

I like to blend butternut squash in dishes when I’m looking for creaminess but want to save on calories from heavy cream. For example, I use this method in Butternut Squash Scalloped Potatoes and Butternut Squash Creamed Corn.

To make the butter chicken, marinate chicken tenders in a medley of spices and yogurt. This tenderizes the chicken even more while adding a beautiful flavor. When added to the lightened-up, spiced butternut squash sauce, it makes for an explosion of flavors that I know you will love!

spices and ingredients for butternut squash butter chicken

Looking for more ways to eat veggies?

If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy your vegetables, even in the smallest of ways, check out my cookbook, Meat to the Side.

Butternut Squash Butter Chicken with white rice and cilantro in a bowl.

Butternut Squash Butter Chicken

If you’re looking for a simple butter chicken recipe, look no further! This recipe has many elements of a traditional Indian butter chicken, but with a little secret ingredient to lighten it up: butternut squash.
Butternut Squash Butter Chicken with white rice and cilantro in a bowl.
Print This Pin This
5 from 2 votes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 365kcal

Ingredients

For the marinated chicken

  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic about 2 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound chicken tenders cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter for the pan

For the butter sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper optional

For serving and garnish:

  • Cooked white basmati rice
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Toasted naan

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, spices, and salt. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight — the longer the chicken marinates, the better!).
  • When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat the ghee in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade; discard the marinade. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes; it will not be fully cooked at this point. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Make the sauce: Heat the ghee in the same sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to wilt. Stir in the spices, butternut squash, tomatoes, and water. Lower the heat to a simmer and let the sauce bubble for 10 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove from the heat, transfer to a blender, and purée until smooth, working in batches if necessary.
  • Pour the sauce back into the pan, add the chicken, and stir in the cream, sugar, salt, and cayenne, if using. Simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Spoon the chicken over rice and serve garnished with cilantro and with toasted naan on the side.

Notes

This recipe for Butternut Squash Butter Chicken was first published in my cookbook, Meat to the Side: A Plant-Forward Guide to Bringing Balance to Your Plate (Victory Belt, 2021).

Nutrition

Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 1117mg | Potassium: 868mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4292IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante

Comments

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Aditi Bhardwaj

    5 stars
    Literally this dish seems so amazing , delicious and the combination of incredients loved it. I think this is going to be cooked in my weeknight dinner definitely

    Reply
  2. Sabrina

    5 stars
    great dish, love this butter sauce and the ingredients, complicated but in a good way, fun, so thank you!

    Reply
Kitchen Confidante®