Spice up your pasta game with this Butter Chicken twist! How to make this easy, decadent Butter Chicken Pasta.
Butter Chicken Pasta is a delicious and unique fusion dish that combines the flavours of classic Indian butter chicken with the comforting, familiar taste of pasta.
The flavours of the dish are a combination of rich, savoury and spicy notes. The creamy sauce is made from a blend of ready-made tomato-based pasta sauce, heavy cream, and spices such as curry powder or garam masala, chili powder, turmeric powder and onions and garlic.
I made this dish because I had butter chicken marinating in the fridge… and I simply could not be bothered to cook rice with it. I had an opened pack of pasta, with no storage space for it and ta-da! Butter Chicken Pasta happened! I’ve long discovered using ready-made pasta sauce as a shortcut to make Butter Chicken, and I feel almost foolish that I never thought of this sooner.
Best of all, this is one dish that you can make in under 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknight dinners – if you don’t count the marinating time!
Why you will LOVE this Butter Chicken Pasta?
- CREAMY AND DECADENT – combining the creamy and rich flavors of butter chicken with the comforting and familiar texture of pasta. The dish offers a harmonious balance of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors, making it appealing to a wide range of taste preferences.Marinate this for at least 30 minutes, best if it’s overnight! Let the yoghurt and spices really work into the chicken for restaurant-level quality.
- EASY – Instead of stewing tomatoes to get that signature butter chicken tang, I used ready-made pasta sauce! This is the best hack ever.
- It’s a dish to IMPRESS – Butter Chicken is that one dish that everyone seems to love! Plus you can adjust the spice levels very easily with no discount on flavours, making this an easy crowd-pleaser.
How to Make Butter Chicken Pasta
1. Marinate the Chicken
Combine the spices together and evenly coat the chicken pieces. You can use any parts of the chicken, but I love boneless chicken thighs for this.
Marinate this for at least 30 minutes, best if it’s overnight! Let the yoghurt and spices really work into the chicken for restaurant-level quality.
2. Pan Fry the chicken until cooked through
Add some oil to a pan and pan fry the chicken until it’s cooked through. Remove from the pan once cooked through.
PRO TIP: While chicken is cooking, boil your pasta! Depending on your chicken size, it should take some 5-8 minutes to cook through.
3. Make the Butter Chicken Sauce
In the same pan, add more oil if needed, and add the butter next. Once butter melts, add onions and garlic, and stir fry. With a spatula, gently scrape the bottom of the pan with the onions. You should get a spiced onion butter that is chock full of flavour.
Once you get that, add the pasta sauce, cooked chicken and heavy cream. Stir to combine.
4. Put it all together
Once the sauce starts to bubble, add cooked pasta. Stir to combine. If needed, add some pasta water for an easier stir. Butter Chicken Pasta is done! Before serving, swirl on more heavy cream over the top, and garnish with cilantro.
What are the Spices used for Butter Chicken?
If you have a usual blend of spices that you use for Butter Chicken, you can use those! This is my minimal list of ingredients:
- Yoghurt: This not only adds that signature tang, this also tenderises the chicken.
- Curry Powder: Typically garam masala is used for butter chicken, but I always use curry powder since it’s what I always have at home. To me it works just the same.
- Turmeric Powder: This adds colour and flavour to the butter chicken.
- Chilli Powder: For a bit of spice! Feel free to omit if you want a milder butter chicken.
- Onion & Garlic Powder: This can be optional; I included these since I have it on hand. We will be adding onions and garlic to the sauce later on as well.
- Salt & Pepper
Other spices that you can include if you have these on hand are:
- Cumin Powder (or Ground Cumin)
- Coriander Powder
- Turmeric Powder
- Cinnamon Powder
- Cardamom Powder
More Recipes Like This
BUTTER CHICKEN PASTACourse: Recipes
- Chicken Marinade
300g chicken thighs, chopped in bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon yoghurt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
- Butter Chicken Pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ginger paste
250ml ready-made tomato pasta sauce or passata
2-3 servings cooked pasta
100ml heavy cream
Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
- In a bowl, mix together the yoghurt, curry powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and toss to coat well with the marinade. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight for best results.
- Heat some oil in a pan and pan-fry the chicken until fully cooked, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the butter, onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Pour in the tomato pasta sauce, add the cooked chicken, and stir to combine. Pour in the heavy cream and stir again.
- Toss in the cooked pasta and add some pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce. Cook for a few more minutes until heated through.
- Serve the butter chicken pasta, topped with more heavy cream and garnished with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!