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A warming bowl of wholesome, Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Chicken. Indian-inspired butter chicken made with seasonal butternut squash, warmings spices, and creamy coconut milk. This dish is quick to make, cozy, wonderfully spicy – but not too spicy, and filled with warming Indian flavor. Complete each bowl with steamed rice and serve with fresh naan. And the leftovers the next day? They are even more delicious!

Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Chicken |

With two new butternut squash recipes this week, I think it’s safe to say I’m really enjoying the fall squash. Promise I have dishes with spaghetti squash, acorn squash, and yes, definitely pumpkin (both savory and sweet) coming soon. But this week it’s butternut squash!

I think most of you that read daily know of my family’s love for Indian-inspired dinners. Creighton, my oldest brother, who I find myself cooking for the most, is consistently requesting butter chicken. It’s one of his favorite dinners to order out and eat in.

The idea for this dish came with my urge to switch up a dinner that I consistently turn to in the fall. How could I add something new? Something yummy for fall?

Immediately I thought about how delicious butternut squash would be in a creamy butter curry sauce. I knew the squash could melt into the sauce making it even creamier, while also adding a sweetness that really pairs nicely with the spices.

It turned out so good. Creighton’s not in town right now, but I’m excited to make this for him as soon as he gets back. I sent photos his way via text, and trust me, he’s wishing he was here.

Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Chicken |

Here are the details

The beauty of this recipe is how simple it is to throw together. It’s made from start to finish in one skillet on the stove and ready in under an hour.

You’ll want to start with the chicken. Just like a traditional butter chicken recipe, we’re first tossing the chicken with yogurt and spices. But instead of marinating overnight, I found that a quick 5 to 10 minute rest in the spices was really enough to do the trick.

While the chicken is sitting, I like to start in on the prep for everything else. Chop the onion, garlic, and ginger, grab that coconut milk and tomato paste, and get everything for the remainder of the recipe ready to go.

Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Chicken |

If you need to chop up your butternut squash, now is the time to do that! I will say that for convenience, you can use pre-cut butternut squash or frozen cubes. Both work wonderfully and will save you a lot of hands-on prep time.

When I have all the remaining ingredients prepped and ready for cooking, I sear the chicken with olive oil. The next step is key, add a couple of tablespoons of butter. Then allow the butter to brown around the chicken. This will really help to flavor the sauce.

To that same skillet, add the onion, butternut squash, and all of those remaining spices. Because we are using butternut squash, I didn’t want the tomato paste to overpower the flavor. So I reduced the amount of tomato paste that I’d normally use. Now, instead of the sauce being tomato based, it’s butternut squash based!

Stir in the coconut milk, or if you don’t enjoy coconut milk, use cream. Either is delicious. The coconut milk does add a special touch and keeps the curry dairy-free, minus the butter.

Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Chicken |

Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken around the squash and chicken. As the curry slowly cooks, the squash melts into the sauce. The sauce becomes creamy and buttery without having to add actual cream.

I like to serve this pretty traditionally, over steamed rice with fresh naan for scooping up the creamy, coconutty sauce. Absolutely DELICIOUS. You can’t skip the naan either. We love it so much that it’s reason enough to make this cozy fall version of butter chicken.

Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Chicken |

Looking for other Indian-inspired dinners? Here are my favorites: 

Coconut Curry Salmon with Garlic Butter

30 Minute Spicy Indian Butter Chicken

30 Minute Butter Chicken Meatballs

Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala

Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil

Lastly, if you make this Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Chicken, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Chicken

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 499 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1. in a bowl, toss together the chicken, yogurt, 2 teaspoons garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Let sit 5-10 minutes.
    2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and toss to coat the chicken. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate.
    3. To the skillet, add the onion and butternut squash, tossing with the butter in the skillet. Cook 5 minutes, until softened. Add 2 tablespoons butter, the garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, paprika, and the chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking another 3-4 minutes.
    4. Reduce the heat to low. Add 1 cup water and the coconut milk. Stir to combine, bring the sauce to a simmer, cook 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with 1/2 to 1 cup additional coconut milk. Add the chicken and any juices in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Serve the chicken, squash, and sauce over bowls of rice with fresh naan. Enjoy!
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Creamy Butternut Squash Butter Chicken |

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  1. 5 stars
    I cooked the onions and squash until caramelized and it was sooo delicious! And I love the amount of spice! Thanks for another great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for a large group. It was delicious. I had to make the chicken and butternut squash in sections because it was for 12. When all of it was seared, I put it into a large pan and then added the coconut milk and water. It worked just great. Had leftovers also and froze for meals at a later time. Tastes great reheated and the seasonings mellow a bit. This is a winner which I will make again during the winter.

    1. Hi Greta,
      Happy Monday! 👻 I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! Happy Halloween! 🎃

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      I like to use jasmine or basmati rice. I hope this recipe turns out well for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

  3. 5 stars
    I normally make two of your recipes a week. This one has taken the throne. It was so easy and so delicious. I would definitely make this and serve it to others and then bask in the glow of approval.

    1. Hey April,
      Happy Sunday! 🎃 So glad to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks a lot for making it and sharing your feedback! xx

  4. Me and my husband had this for dinner last night and we loved it!! Even though I decided to go for the naans too (because how can you not). But our kitchen is tiny so it was chaotic to say the least.. but in the end all is well, just have to clean up the mess today. When the dish was ready I felt it missed some..deep. I added some sugar and a stock cube and then it was peeerfect. Can´t wait to have the leftovers for dinner tonight. Thank you so much Tieghan for all the amazing recipes, I basically only cook your food these days :))

    1. Hi Sara,
      Thanks so much for making so many recipes!! I am so glad this dish was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a try! Happy Thursday! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Made this Butter Chicken the other night, it was amazing!! I cut the cayenne and pepper flakes amount in half, so it wouldn’t be too spicy for my littles. Took longer then recipe said it took to make, but I was also making naan bread in the middle of it. Both were amazing! Look forward to make them again!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Sure, that would probably work well for you! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner the other night!! OMG, it is so flavourful. My hubby and adult son loved it. I did all the prep in early afternoon, so when it was time to make the butter chicken, it was quick and easy!! Only adjustment I made was I added less cayenne as I don’t like anything to spicy!! Will definitely be making this recipe again and again.

    1. Hey Sheila,
      Fantastic!! 🍁🍂 I am delighted to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review! xT

  7. I am allergic to coconut (all tree nuts) so I swapped the coconut milk for the same amount of full fat greek yogurt and it turned out great. I also pureed some of the sauce to remove some of the chunks before placing the chicken back in the skillet. We are a little weird about leftovers so I tossed the leftover in the freezer and it heated up perfectly even after being frozen.

    1. Hey Lisa,
      Perfect!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing what worked well for you! xx

  8. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was superb! My husband told me that the flavours were ‘gourmet’ 😀 It really was delicious and I loved that I had all the ingredients already and the only out of my ordinary was a butternut squash! Thanks Tieghan! Can’t wait to eat some more today 🙂

    1. Hey Emelle,
      Happy Wednesday! I really appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad it was a winner! 🤩

  9. 5 stars
    I made this on Saturday night for a group of friends and it was so so good. Got texts the next day about how they dreamed about the meal. Had the leftovers for lunch today and it was even better.

    1. Thanks so much Laurie!! So glad to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for trying it out! Happy Sunday! xx