Butter Chicken was one of my favorite meals before going veggie and this Vegan Butter Chicken was one of the first recipes I created for this blog when I started it back in 2013. I had just moved to Belgium, was a new vegetarian and dove right into my new-found love of everything veg! Since then, I’ve changed the recipe slightly and I thought it was time for me to share the recipe with you guys (with some updated photos, lol! I’ve since learned that taking photos of leftovers is
usually always not a good idea, ha!).
This Vegan Butter Chicken is so incredibly creamy, comforting and full of rich flavors from the spices and thick tomato and cream sauce. Plus, it tastes out-of-this-world-amaaazzing on top of a fluffy bed of basmati rice!
The “secrets” to this Vegan Butter Chicken lie in the cashews and the chickpeas.
The blended cashews make the sauce of this Butter Chicken so incredibly buttery, rich, creamy, comforting and delicious. The cashews also do a wonderful job of thickening the sauce of this vegan butter chicken when it is simmering on the stove.
The chickpeas replace the “chicken” that is traditionally used in this recipe. The chickpeas makes this Vegan Butter Chicken so incredibly hearty, slightly nutty and meaty. I love to use freshly cooked chickpeas because they are slightly firmer than the ones that come in the can. Canned chickpeas also work here if you are in a pinch. When I originally made this recipe, I used half chickpeas and half cauliflower, I still sometimes make it this way but have come prefer this Vegan Butter Chicken with only chickpeas.
This Vegan Butter Chicken is one of my favorite meals to serve for dinner. It is a simple recipe to make and is ALWAYS a hit with everyone at the table. You can adjust the spiciness based on how much of a kick you like in your food (I like a lot of spice but tone it back a bit when I’m serving this to company or family).
If y’all end up making this delicious VEGAN Butter Chicken in your home, I love love love hearing about it and seeing your awesome feedback! Share your creations with me by writing your feedback in the comments below, tagging me (#cearaskitchen) in your beautiful shots on Instagram or sharing your photo on my Ceara’s Kitchen Facebook page. Have a beautiful day guys! #EatHappyLiveHappy
- 2 small yellow onion (or one large), chopped
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp garam masala
- ¾ tsp cumin, cinnamon & ginger
- ¼ - ¾ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1¼ cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 2¾ cups plain tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar or cane sugar*
- ⅓ cup raw cashews + 3 tbsp to roast for garnish
- 3 cups chickpeas
- Soak cashews in hot water while preparing the sauce.
- On medium high heat, in a large pan, saute the onions and garlic with the spices (garam masala, cumin, cinammon, ginger and cayenne pepper) in ¼ cup of the vegetable broth until the onions are soft and the spices are fragrant.
- Add the remaining vegetable broth (1 cup), plain tomato sauce and sugar. Simmer for 5-8 minutes or so until fragrant.
- Rinse your cashews, In a blender or in a separate deep bowl, blend ⅓ cup of raw cashews with about ⅓ cup of the butter chicken sauce that is simmering on the stove until creamy and smooth . I used a stick immersion blender and blended the soaked cashews with a bit of the sauce in a deep bowl. If you are using a high speed blender you may need to add in about ½ cup of the sauce with the cashews for it to blend well. Transfer the blended sauce back into the pan with the rest of the Butter Chicken sauce.
- If using, in a separate pan, over medium high heat, roast 3 tbsps of cashews for 5 minutes in a pan (these are the cashews that you will use to garnish the butter chicken with).
- Add the chickpeas to the pan. Simmer for an additional 5 - 10 minutes. Serve Butter Chicken over yellow rice pilafor basmati rice. Garnish with roasted cashews.
2) Use freshly cooked or canned chickpeas. I like to use freshly cooked chickpeas in this recipe because they still have a bit of a "bite" to them.