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This vegan butter chicken recipe is healthy, plant based, made with cauliflower, simple, and also so easy to make! In addition, it's creamy, gluten free, soy free, customizable, and perfect for meal prep and made in one pot!
This butter cauliflower is perfect to enjoy by itself, with a side of rice or naan bread. It is cozy, warming, hearty, and also has a creamy sauce.
I love cauliflower as you can see from my orange cauliflower, sticky sesame cauliflower, vegan sesame chicken, sweet and sour cauliflower or buffalo cauliflower wings recipes so this Indian inspired dish is another favorite. This vegetarian butter chicken is perfect for a weeknight dinner like vegan biryani and also makes amazing leftovers just like my vegan korma, red lentil dal or chana masala!
Before we jump into the recipe, let's talk about how you can customize it and learn some tips.
How to make Vegan Butter Chicken with Cauliflower
Cauliflower is the main ingredient for this vegan butter chicken because of the texture. You can also make it with chickpeas or extra firm tofu but I think cauliflower works great.
There are a lot of great options for vegan butter in stores so feel free use your favorite.
Tomato paste gives the sauce umami taste and also works really well with coconut milk. I don't recommend subbing for tomatoes since it won't have that rich taste.
Using full fat coconut milk makes this dish very creamy and delicious. If you use light coconut milk, it will not be as creamy so keep that in mind. You can also use coconut cream if you like the sauce thicker.
I like using yellow onion for cooking but you can also use white or red. I find that yellow onions caramelize a lot better.
This recipe calls for 3 cloves of garlic but you can add less or more. When garlic cooks with the onions and all the spices, it gives amazing aroma.
Fresh ginger really makes this dish so I don't recommend subbing for ground ginger. Also, it is important to mince the ginger really well so it blends with the flavors.
Arrowroot (sub for corn starch)
Arrowroot helps thicken up the sauce so the sauce is not watery. You can also use corn starch instead.
Spices make this dish so we will be using a blend of garam masala, coriander and curry powder. It is very important to use good quality spices, I promise it makes a huge difference!
How to Make it
- First, melt the butter in a large pot and then cook the onions until caramelized. After that, add the garlic, ginger, spices, salt and tomato paste, cook for another minute or so until fragrant.
- Next, stir in the cauliflower florets and then cook a little bit more. And then, mix the arrowroot with water, add the mixture to the pot along with coconut milk. First, bring it to a boil, cover and then simmer for 17 to 20 minutes until cauliflower is fork tender.
Tips & Variations
- Make this vegan butter chicken spicy by adding chili powder or chopped serrano pepper.
- If the butter cauliflower sauce is too thick, add ¼ cup of water at a time. You don't want it to be soupy, it should be a thick stew.
- If you want even more flavor, you can roast the cauliflower in the oven before adding it.
- Always adjust to taste and add more salt if needed!
How to serve vegan chicken butter
- Serve over rice or brown rice or try it with my cilantro lime quinoa recipe!
- Eat it with delicious naan bread.
- You can also add unsweetened yogurt or vegan sour cream on top.
- Garnish with cilantro or parsley and lime wedges.
How to store vegan butter chicken
You can store the leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 – 6 days. If the leftovers are too thick, you can add a splash of water before reheating it.
This vegan butter cauliflower comes together so fast and it is very easy and uses mostly pantry staples. It is also:
- Gluten free & Soy free
- Hearty & Filling
- Flavorful & budget friendly
- Perfect for meal prep
- Also so delicious!
More Plant based stew and soup dishes to try
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH CURRY
- EASY CHILI RECIPE
- POTATO LEEK SOUP
- SPLIT PEA SOUP
- RED LENTIL SOUP RECIPE
- THAI RED CURRY RECIPE
So, did you make this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, SelinPrint
This vegan butter chicken recipe is healthy, plant based, made with cauliflower, simple, and so easy to make! It's creamy, gluten free, soy free, customizable, and perfect for meal prep and made in one pot!
- 1 head of cauliflower (cut into bite size florets)
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger (minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp arrowroot and 2 tsp water
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 (13.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- In a large pot or a dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the onions until caramelized for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, spices, salt and tomato paste, cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Stir in the cauliflower florets and cook for another minute. Mix the arrowroot with 2 tsp of water in a small bowl, add the mixture to the pot along with coconut milk. Bring it to a boil, cover and turn the heat low to simmer for 17 to 20 minutes until cauliflower is fork tender.
- Serve over rice, with naan bread. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice.
Make it spicy by adding chili powder or chopped serrano pepper.
If the sauce is too thick, add ¼ cup of water add a time. You don't want it to be soupy, it should be a thick stew.
You can roast the cauliflower in the oven before adding it.
Always adjust to taste and add more salt if needed!
- Serving Size: 4-6
- Calories: 262
- Sugar: 7.8g
- Sodium: 721.4mg
- Fat: 19.3g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 20.7g
- Fiber: 5.9g
- Protein: 7g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: vegan butter chicken, butter cauliflower, vegan butter cauliflower, vegetarian butter chicken