Butter Chicken with Quinoa

This easy-to-follow recipe for lightened-up Butter Chicken with Quinoa will become a healthy, gluten-free dinner staple for your family. The butter is still there, just less of it. 😉 Greek yogurt makes for a tasty, creamy substitute.

Looking for a comforting and rich fall meal to warm those bones on a blustery day? Look no further, my friends, because I am here to share.

This recipe replaces some of the butter and all of the cream found in traditional recipes with coconut oil and Greek yogurt to make this meal velvety smooth but a little lighter.

There’s some heat too.

Don’t worry, just a little.

It bounces so well off of the butter/yogurt and with fresh cilantro liberally sprinkled over? Please. Just writing about this is making me crave it all over again.

First, warm the coconut oil, then add the chopped onions to saute.

Next, add the seasonings.

When the turmeric hits the onions, the aroma is simply incredible.

Lightened Up Butter Chicken with Quinoa

Of course, this couldn’t be butter chicken without a little butter, right?

The beauty of this recipe is it only has two tablespoons of butter.

That’s half a tablespoon per serving which is exactly enough. Make sure, as with any dairy product, that you choose the organic variety.

Lightened Up Butter Chicken with Quinoa

Everything ends up together and simmers away for all of the flavors to incorporate fully and for the sauce to thicken up.

It starts out looking like soup but ends up a thick, velvety, spicy sauce to die for.

Sauce being stirred by a wooden spoon

While the sauce is simmering, it’s the perfect time to get your quinoa a-cookin’—we usually do Instant Pot Quinoa as it is so simple and hands-off.

Once my quinoa was cooked and the sauce had thickened nicely, it was time to eat.

I liked the heat from the pinch of cayenne and loved the cilantro. I’m an absolute sucker for fresh cilantro.

Leftovers heated up perfectly for lunch the next day too, in case your interested. In my case, I was. 😉

Lunch was delicious.

If you like a coconut vibe, try this onion chicken curry. Similar to this butter chicken but with rich coconut milk.

If you are looking for more warm and cozy dinner recipes, we also love this comforting Chicken Marsala inspired by the great Barefoot Contessa. Say yes to all that mushroom goodness.


Mexican Brown Rice Bake

Chili Lime Chicken Marinade

Chicken Enchilada Bake

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

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Lightened Up Butter Chicken with Quinoa – Gluten Free

Sharon Rhodes
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 431 kcal



  • Heat coconut oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium low heat
  • Add in the diced onion and cook, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes
  • Stir in the turmeric and stir for another minute
  • Add the garlic, butter and remaining spices to the pot and stir well. Cook this mixture for another 5 minutes. You need to stir this pretty much constantly so it does not burn.
  • Pour in the milk, yogurt, and tomato sauce and give it all a good stir, then add in the cubes of chicken
  • Stir everything well and let simmer over medium low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the sauce to thicken up
  • Meanwhile, cook the quinoa to the package instructions
  • Portion out the quinoa into four bowls and spoon the butter chicken overtop
  • Top with fresh cilantro


Calories: 431kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 34gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 829mgPotassium: 1021mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 775IUVitamin C: 7.7mgCalcium: 134mgIron: 3.8mg
Keyword light butter chicken quinoa
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Hi! Made this over the weekend. I must say this dish is ridiculously delicious!! Saved the leftovers for packed lunch and taste even better! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Oh my gosh! I am sending you the most gi-normous hug! I adore butter chicken (and so do my kiddos), but I absolutely know that it’s not the most healthy meal. This recipe is the answer! I’m so excited – definitely, definitely pinning! Thanks oodles! 😀

  3. By any chance do you deliver lunches to the GTA? bahaha! I love your creativity with recipes, I honestly never thought of adding butter and yogurt together….but I LOVE the idea! As always, rockin’ another awesome recipe! 🙂

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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