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Vegan Butter Chicken

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan


This Easy Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe is our plant-based take on the popular Indian dish, Murgh Makhani. It’s equally as rich and flavorful as traditional butter chicken and is made with a delicious sauce the whole family will love. Serve over rice with our vegan flatbread for the ultimate meal.



  • 1 block (16 ounces) super firm tofu
  • ½ cup plain vegan yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, grated


  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, divided
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves (optional but highly recommended)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • Chopped cilantro



  1. In a large bowl, add the vegan yogurt, olive oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, salt, garlic, and ginger. Mix together until well-combined. 
  2. Pat your tofu dry with a towel and tear into bite-sized chunks. Add the tofu chunks to the yogurt mixture and carefully mix until the tofu pieces are well-coated. 
  3. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  4. Thirty minutes before you’re ready to make the butter tofu, soak the cashews in boiling water and set aside. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. 
  6. Transfer the tofu to a baking sheet and space the pieces apart. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  7. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add 2 tbsp of the vegan butter to a large skillet or pot. 
  8. Heat over medium heat and once melted, add the diced onion and ½ tsp salt. Sauté until the onion starts to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper (if using), cumin, coriander, chili powder, and cardamom. Sauté for another minute until fragrant. 
  9. Drain the soaked cashews and add to the pot along with the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, and the remaining ½ tsp salt. Stir until everything is well-combined and bring to a simmer.
  10. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 12 minutes, transfer the contents to a high-speed blender. Add the coconut milk and blend until smooth and creamy.
  11. Transfer the sauce back to the pot and heat over low. Add the sugar, fenugreek leaves, garam masala, and the remaining 2 tbsp of vegan butter. Stir constantly until the butter is melted. Taste and add more salt or sugar to taste. Serve with rice and fresh cilantro, and enjoy! 


  • If you’re sensitive to spice, remove the seeds of the serrano pepper before chopping or omit them altogether.
  • You can also blend the gravy in the pot using an immersion blender but it won’t be as smooth.
  • If you can’t find super firm tofu, you can opt for extra-firm and just press it before using it. Learn how to press tofu here