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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
    Holy hell! I made this last night. Followed exactly as you said.
    It is sooo delicious, I can’t wait too make it again. I didn’t have time to make Naan, but I’m going to next go around. So much for my soup diet…

    1. Hey Beri,
      Happy Tuesday!! Thanks a lot for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it turned out tasty for you! xT

  2. 4 stars
    really good! Found there was a bit too much liquid (had to use a slurry)- would try 1/2 cup of water next time, to start.

    1. Hey Diana,
      Awesome!! 🍂 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for trying it out! xx

    1. Hey Emma,
      Happy Sunday!! I truly appreciate you giving this a try and sharing your feedback, so glad it was enjoyed:) xx

        1. Hey Breanne,
          Awesome!! 🍂 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for trying it out! xx

  3. I live in boulder at high altitude.2nd time making- it takes a long time – 35+ minutes to cook the squash & I keep adding water. I use a great curry mix and Garam massla. At the end I add organic peas! So delish! Last time I made the nann but it’s labor intensive so hubby is picking it up now. Thanks for helping me learn Indian dish & I will definitely try your other Indian recipes!

  4. I was wondering how to make these meals freezer friendly. I was trying to see if you wrote it in the recipes but don’t see it. Thank you

    1. Hey Danielle,
      I would just follow the recipe as is and freeze:) When you thaw just warm on low on the stove top. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious! I left out the chicken and added broccoli to make it vegetarian. The butternut squash adds a nice sweetness. I also left out the water based on other reviews until the end to thin it out as needed. I will definitely be making it again!

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Happy Friday!!🌻 I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for trying it and sharing your review:) xT

    1. Hey Hailey,
      Yes, that will work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  6. This sounds amazing! Could it be made in a slow cooker? I would love to come home and have it ready for dinner on a busy day.

    1. Hey Lindsay,
      Sure, that would work for you! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  7. 5 stars
    This was amazing! It was my first time cooking with some of these flavors, but I will for sure be exploring it more! I added a little extra paprika (and used smoked paprika) because that’s what my family likes. I also added a can of chickpeas when you bring back the chicken to simmer with the goodies, just to add some more veggies and to fill it out. I am going to be making this on repeat all winter!

    1. Hi Kaley,
      Happy Monday!! 🍁 Love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for making it! xT

  8. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best butter chicken we’ve ever made – bravo! We only put in about 1/4 tsp of cayenne which added flavor but wasn’t too spicy for our little kids (+ added chili flakes on top of ours, rather than in the sauce). We forgot to order butternut squash from the store so just did it with chicken and it was still great! It would work well as a vegetarian dish the other way around (omit the chicken).

    Naan is a must!

    1. Hey Becky,
      Happy Sunday!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a lot for giving it a try! xT

  9. 4 stars
    This recipe was great! Nice was to use squash, which can be really affordable. I appreciate that you listed the measurements in Step 3 – was really helpful over just stating “the rest”. I am one of those people who just doesnt not enjoy cilantro I skipped that but did add some leftover kale from another recipe for Vitamin A and color

    1. Hi Kimberley,
      Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review:)

    1. Hi Sabrina,
      Totally, that will work well for you! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

    1. Hi Julie,
      Happy Wednesday! Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  10. 5 stars
    This is sooo delicious! Spicy as expected for this dish. Only thing is it took me longer than 10 minutes during the last step for the chicken to cook. I can’t wait to make it again!!!!

  11. 5 stars
    This dish is fabulous!! I went to a “Pumpkin Party” and every dish had to have pumpkin in it. So I added 2/3 cup pureed pumpkin to this recipe and won the prize for BEST SAVORY DISH. My whole family can’t wait for me to make this again (with or without pumpkin)!
    (PS – I only added 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes and it was plenty for our taste)
    Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Hey Joyce,
      Such a great idea to add some pumpkin!! Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback:) xT