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Almost effortless, One Pan Spicy Sesame Butter Chicken – incredibly delicious and nutritious comfort food. Indian-inspired butter chicken made with plenty of spice, creamy coconut milk, and even some sesame seeds for a unique little twist. Finish each bowl off with steamed rice, then serve with spicy chili butter. You’ll have the perfect dinner that can be enjoyed any night of the week. This meal is quickly made all in one dish. Then simply bake and serve, easy peasy!

One Pan Spicy Sesame Butter Chicken |

Without a doubt, this is my favorite recipe I’ve been able to share in quite a while. It’s not that it’s anything incredibly creative or different. It’s more that I was able to take a recipe we all LOVE and make it in such a simple, almost effortless, way.

And the outcome is just as delicious (if not more so) than the traditional way of making butter chicken on the stovetop. I’m so happy to share this recipe with you all! I know this is going to be a staple for many of you!

Often, when my brothers are here in Colorado, they request recipes I’ve already shared with you all: tacos, ramen, and the very popular butter chicken.

One Pan Spicy Sesame Butter Chicken |

I love making my brothers new recipes, but I also love making them their favorites too. So when the boys asked for butter chicken, I started thinking of a few ways to reinvent the recipe.

Unfortunately, I made a variation of this dish twice before calling it quits. So I put aside the idea for a sesame butter chicken and decided I was done with it. But after about a week, something gave me the idea to try baking the dish instead. To my surprise, the baked variation turned out INCREDIBLE. The flavors are perfect, the sauce is creamy, and what’s possibly even more exciting – it’s the easiest recipe!

One Pan Spicy Sesame Butter Chicken |

The Details

Step 1: season the chicken

Start with the chicken. For this dish, I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Sometimes, I use chicken breasts, too, but since the chicken is baked, I didn’t want the breasts to dry out in the oven. Small chicken thighs work perfectly.

In a baking dish, toss the chicken with yogurt and add plenty of garlic and fresh ginger. Then, add all of the spices: garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne.

If time allows, you can marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or overnight. If you’re in a time crunch, just start cooking. I’ve now made this both ways, and there’s not a huge difference.

One Pan Spicy Sesame Butter Chicken |

Step 2: everything else

Now, top the chicken with a chopped onion. Pour over a can of coconut milk, add the tomato paste, and mix it all together until you have a very creamy sauce. Make sure you season with salt too.

Add pats of cold butter over the chicken, then sprinkle the entire dish with sesame seeds.

One Pan Spicy Sesame Butter Chicken |

Step 3: bake

And now you bake. In about 30 to 40 minutes, you’ll have perfectly cooked butter chicken in a very creamy, very delicious sauce.

All you have to add to this is steamed rice. Well, ideally some warm, buttery naan too. Oh, and fresh cilantro, can’t forget that! And if you’re up for going over the top, I did a quick chili butter using butter, chili flakes, and paprika. It makes the dish just a touch more special. We love the extra sauce and spice!

One Pan Spicy Sesame Butter Chicken |

How are the leftovers?

They taste even better the following day. The flavors have time to mend, and the sauce is just that much more intense.

I can’t tell you how much I love this recipe. I’m already looking forward to remaking it for my parents and Asher now that they’re back. This dish is so flavorful, so full of color, and even though they’re small, the sesame seeds are such a nice addition. I really think you’ll love this!

One Pan Spicy Sesame Butter Chicken |

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

30 Minute Butter Chicken Meatballs

Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala

Gingery Coconut Sweet Potato and Rice Stew with Chili Oil

30 Minute Spicy Indian Butter Chicken

Crockpot Creamy Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala

Lastly, if you make this One Pan Spicy Sesame 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!

Easy Baked Spicy Sesame Butter Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 529 kcal

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


Chili Butter


  • 1. In a baking dish, toss together the chicken, yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Let sit 5 minutes.
    2. Preheat the oven to 400°.
    3. To the chicken, add the onion, then pour over the coconut milk. Add the tomato paste. Stir until creamy and well-mixed. Arrange the butter slices over the chicken. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Top with cilantro.
    4. Meanwhile, melt the butter, chili flakes, and paprika together. Cook until the butter is browning. Remove from the heat.
    5. Serve the chicken and sauce over bowls of rice with chili butter and naan. Enjoy!
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    1. Hey Michele,
      The garam masala really adds so much flavor to this dish, you could try all spice and cumin! Please let me know if I can help in any other way! xT

  1. I must be missing something. I don’t see where the first 4 Tbl of butter goes.

    The cold 2 Tbl go on top of chicken.
    Then the 3 Tbl butter goes in the chili sauce

    1. Hi Kim,
      Sorry for any confusion, the 4T plus 2T are going on top of the chicken and then the 3T are part of the chili butter sauce. I hope this makes more sense! xT

  2. 5 stars
    First time making an Indian recipe and LOVED it. I mixed the coconut milk, tomato paste, garlic and ginger in a 4C measuring cup so that I could easily pour it over the yogurt marinated chicken and onions already in the pan (foil lined for easy cleanup). Seemed like it would be difficult to mix around the chicken. I had 6 boneless, skinless thighs and baked for 30 minutes. Turned out fantastic. Wanted to try my hand at your naan, but short on time. Next time!

    Question: would reduced fat coconut milk have a big impact on the sauce?

    1. Hi Gretchen,
      Wonderful!! So glad to hear this dish turned out well for you, thanks for making it! Reduced fat coconut milk would be just fine for you to use! xT

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, this was so incredibly delicious! Definitely will be making this again. Often!! It was easy to make too. Followed the recipe to a T with the exception of the cayenne pepper. We added only 1/4 teaspoon instead of the recommended 1-2 teaspoons. We found that to be the perfect amount of heat. Oh my gosh, so yummy!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this last night! It turned out wonderful, and the chicken paired wonderfully with rice and naan! It made a great weeknight meal because so much of the cook time is hands off! 😺👍🏽

  5. 5 stars
    We really liked this very spicy dish! I did change the recipe order a bit, like by sauteeing the onions first because my husband would have hated it if they weren’t totally cooked, and I mixed all the sauce ingredients plus the chicken in a separate bowl instead of in the baking dish since I thought it would be easier and more thorough that way. I wasn’t sure about the chili butter at the end but made it anyway, and it topped off the dish perfectly. Definitely one I’ll be making again!

    1. Thanks so much Helen!! I appreciate you making this dish and sharing what worked well for you! Have a great day! xT

  6. 5 stars
    Made this a few nights ago and it is officially on the list of go-to meals. It was incredibly easy and really flavorful, but the chili butter topping is a must! Really ties it all together. I couldn’t find garam masala locally so used Trader Joe’s tiki masala sauce. Also used tomato sauce as opposed to the paste and still turned out perfect. Made T’s naan bread, which was also easier than I expected, and the whole meal was great.

    1. Hi Jasmine,
      Love to hear that you enjoyed this dish! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you:) Have a great day! xT

  7. OH. MY. GOD. Amazing! Super easy and delicious. Only thing I did differently was to mix the spices in the yogurt ahead of time to let them hydrate. Super easy and delicious. Thanks Tieghan!

  8. 5 stars
    Incredible!!! You are a genius 😊 my new go to butter chicken. I double the spices, coconut milk and tomato paste so I have double the sauce 😁

    1. Wonderful recipe! The house smells amazing! Question: do you add the chili butter at the end to the whole dish or is it just for dipping the naan? Thanks 🙂