Vegetarian Butter “Chicken”

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Veggie Butter "Chicken" -

Let me be clear: I love butter chicken. Its sweet, mild and creamy curry base is an excellent companion to tender chicken. Served over a bed of rice and with a side of home-made naan bread, this is hands down my family’s favourite meal.


I even keep a spare bottle (okay, two bottles) of butter chicken sauce in my pantry “just in case”.

That being said, it takes a bit of work. My usual Butter Chicken recipe takes a full hour and half, and is worth the wait – but only when I have the rare opportunity to make it, that is.

Enter the chickpea

So, without a spare couple of hours, but really wanting some butter chicken, I looked in my cupboards for something, anything that might taste somewhat close to chicken.


Alone, they weren’t quite enough.


Yes! Much better!

And so, I came up with this adaptation that takes only 20 minutes start to finish, and yet still keeps the same spirit. It still replicates that sweet curry I’m so fond of – but it’s so much quicker to prepare. Armed with this recipe, my family and I can finally have Butter Chicken (or, more accurately Butter “Chicken”) during the work-week.

This version relies heavily on the bottled sauce (unlike my full butter chicken recipe – coming soon), so it’s important that you get a brand of Butter Chicken sauce that you like. I’ve tried a few and like Patak’s and Sharwood’s, but the store brand does work in a pinch. If you’re industrious (or if you plan ahead) a home-made sauce would work too. I haven’t worked out the homemade version… yet.

Without further delay, I present:

Vegetarian Butter “Chicken” Recipe


White rice -

White rice. Goes with everything.

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • 1 bottle Butter Chicken sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter

Goes well with a side dish of rice or naan bread.


  • Large sauce pan and spoon
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Can opener


Butter chicken sauce simmering -

Simmering sauce, just waiting for the chance to be eaten.

  1. Heat the oil on medium-low temperature (4/10) in a large sauce pan.

  2. Add the onions and mushrooms and stir occaisionally.

  3. Meanwhile, start cooking your rice as per package directions. Set the rice aside if it’s done before the sauce.

  4. Add the raisins and milk when the onions are translucent, then heat until the milk is hot but not boiling. Add the peanut butter and mix through.

  5. Rinse and add the chickpeas once the peanut butter is mixed through.

  6. Add the butter chicken sauce and mix through.

  7. Bring to a simmer until the chickpeas are ready (about 15 minutes).

  8. Serve over rice or alone as a soup.


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