Butter chicken is like a hug in a bowl.
Tender yogurt marinated chicken pieces, swimming in a lusciously creamy tomato sauce with a hint of sweetness and spice from garam masala. When spooned over fluffy rice, the sauce coats each bite with rich, comforting flavors that will make your tastebuds sing.
And yes, true to it’s name, butter chicken uses a lot of butter (and heavy cream).
But OMG is it good.
This is a relatively mild Indian dish, and a great introduction for those who might be apprehensive of strong spices or curry-heavy dishes. In fact, butter chicken doesn’t use curry spice at all.
Instead, it gets it’s flavor from garam masala.
What is garam masala? It’s a spice blend made from peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cumin, and coriander.
Garam masala gives butter chicken a deep, sweet and savory note that is perfect for a cold winter’s night.
The process of making Butter Chicken requires two steps:
- Overnight marinating of the chicken in yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, and a bunch of spices.
- Sautéing the chicken and simmering in a creamy tomato sauce.
So really, once the chicken is marinated, it takes less than 30 minutes to throw together this meal. Just brown the chicken, melt in some butter, stir in tomato sauce and spices, and finish with heavy cream.
Get ready to enjoy a new family favorite!
Creamy Indian Butter Chicken
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 tablespoons for cooking
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups white or brown basmati rice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces)
- 1 cup tomato puree or tomato sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Minced fresh cilantro for garnish, optional
Place the cubed chicken in a large dish or ziplock bag. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, turmeric, 2 tablespoons garam masala, cumin, coriander, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Use your hands to toss the chicken and coat evenly with the marinade. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water, cover the dish or close the bag and place the chicken mixture in the fridge to marinate overnight.
The next day, when you're ready to make dinner, put the rice in a rice cooker or saucepan and cover with 4 cups of water. Cook in the rice cooker or according to package directions on the stove while you prepare the chicken.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 12 minutes. Note: Exact time will vary based on the strength of your stove & size and thickness of your pan. Cook the chicken until it is golden, no matter how long it takes, since this is where the base flavor of the dish is developed.
When the chicken is golden, reduce the heat to low and add the butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted but not browned. Add the tomato puree, salt, and sugar and stir to combine. Let simmer for 5 minutes until warmed. Turn down the heat and stir in the heavy cream and garam masala. Cook on low until warm. Serve right away over rice and sprinkled with cilantro, if desired.
*Requires overnight marinade.
You know those nights when you’ve gotten to the end of the week and have a bunch of leftover veggies in your fridge?
A couple carrots… some celery and onion, tomatoes, and maybe some fresh herbs?
Most people use ’em up in a simple soup or salad, but I’m here to tell you a secret…
You can cook them up in an easy veggie saute!
Just add beans, greens, olives, and cheese & you’ve got a filling and super healthy dinner.
I know. It sounds a little weird… but trust me…. it’s delicious! And it’s one of those dinners you can feel good about eating. The warm cheesy veggies and creamy beans leave you feeling light, nourished, and full of energy.
When I make dinners like these, I usually don’t follow a recipe. I just saute up all the veggies in the fridge, add whatever beans, greens, olives, and cheese I have on hand, top with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice and call it a day.
But if you’ve never made a saute like this before, it can help to have a framework. Follow this recipe to get the basic idea down, then customize it yourself next time the mood strikes. It’s also great with feta, goat cheese, or even blue cheese, kidney beans, white beans, or black beans, and any sort of greens- kale or collard greens are delicious too. Have fun with it!
Chard and Vegetable Saute
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr
- 4 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
- Several tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or oil of choice
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch red chard, stems thinly sliced, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz can black olives, drained and halved
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch parsley, minced
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup halved ciliegine, small balls of water packed fresh mozzarella cheese
Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to a large non-stick saute pan and warm over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper, and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and add the onion. Reduce the heat to medium and saute until the onions are soft and just turning golden, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and saute another 5 minutes until softened.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the bell pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the bell pepper just starts to soften.
Reduce the heat back to medium and add the garlic and swiss chard. Cook, stirring to incorporate the greens, for about 1 minute or until the chard has started to wilt. Add the garbanzo beans, olives, green onions, parsley, cherry tomatoes, and reserved mushrooms. Let cook for 1 minute until warmed.
Turn off the heat, drizzle the juice of 1 lemon on top, stir in the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, and season well with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Enjoy right away with a hunk of crusty french bread on the side.
Pasta sauce is the ultimate veggie vehicle.
I just love how you can sneak in all sorts of delicious vegetables & not even notice. Not that vegetables need hiding, but hey you might as well bump up the nutrients in your pasta sauce if you can!
Finely chopped mushrooms blend particularly well with bolognese sauce.
When the cook down, they look just like the little chunks of ground beef, so you can’t even tell they’re in there! I use regular white button mushrooms since they have the mildest flavor. It’s a great way to add more fiber and some vitamin D to your meal.
Finely diced carrots also cook down to a nice soft texture, and the bright orange color blends in with the vibrantly red tomatoes.
The result is a thick and hearty bolognese sauce that coats each strand of noodles and is absolutely packed with flavor.
How good does that look??
This recipe is for a quick and easy weeknight bolognese.
Sure, a true bolognese that simmers for hours on the stove is what dreams are made of, but that’s not super realistic for a weeknight.
Luckily, you can still get a rich and complex sauce in under 30 minutes by using dried herbs, high quality canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine.
I love this meaty sauce tossed with thick fettuccine noodles, but feel free to use whatever noodles you want. This meal is a crowd pleaser, and also makes great leftovers – the flavors deepen as it sits.
Weeknight Bolognese with Fettuccine
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4 lb ground beef, 85% lean
- 4 oz white button mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp paper towel and finely chopped
- 2 whole carrots, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/4 cup dry red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon
- 28 oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, plus extra to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus extra to taste
- 1 lb dried fettuccine pasta
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the ground beef and saute for about a minute, breaking up with a spatula as you stir. Once the meat is broken up and just starting to brown, add the mushrooms and carrots and continue to cook until the meat is nicely browned and there are no liquid juices left in the pan.
While the meat browns, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Next, add the garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste to the pan with the meat along with an extra splash of olive oil. Saute for about a minute, stirring, until the garlic is nice and fragrant.
Add 1 cup of the red wine, the tomatoes, salt, and pepper to the meat mixture and stir to combine. Let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the fettuccine to the boiling water and cook according to package directions until al dente. When the pasta is done, drain and lightly toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent it from sticking while you finish the pasta sauce.
To finish the sauce, stir in the nutmeg, heavy cream, and 1/4 cup wine. Let simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve up the pasta into bowls, top with the bolognese sauce, extra Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Inspired by Ina Garten’s Weeknight Bolognese recipe.